New Workforce Sequence: Kayleigh Maksymec & Félix Desmarais

Kayleigh Maksymec (19) and Félix Desmarais (21) are a brand new senior ice dance staff who will symbolize Switzerland this season. 

Tell us about your particular person skating journeys, together with any early particular recollections.
Kayleigh Maksymec (KM): I picked up skating as a enjoyable winter exercise once I was 5 years outdated at an ice rink near my home. I insisted that I needed to skate extra so my mother put me in skating lessons a couple of instances per week. I felt so free & I fell in love with the sensation of gliding, spinning and leaping. One among many particular recollections, was once I was so excited as a result of I acquired my first skating costume which was mild blue with sparkles, which I wore it once I handed my first skating take a look at.

Félix Desmarais (FD): My mother was a skater and it was necessary for her that I discovered to skate for enjoyable. By training this sport, it gave me an ideal alternative to study gliding whereas preserving my stability. Once I was younger, I didn’t have plenty of alternatives to apply actually actually because it was far-off from house. Nevertheless, it was a spot the place I used to be capable of see my buddies so, I continued to go. All through the years, I’ve began to develop extra curiosity in skating however it’s only once I began ice dancing that I actually appreciated skating.

What drew you to ice dance?
KM: I really like the artistic choreography and efficiency a part of skating and I really feel like I can specific myself and make individuals really feel one thing by way of dance and motion. As a former single skater I used to get extraordinarily nervous in competitors. On the age of 15 I had an harm that put me out of the primary a part of the season. I had at all times needed to strive ice dance. Within the fall of 2019, I used to be requested if I needed to modify to pairs at a camp with Bruno Massot & Stéphane Lambiel in Switzerland. I discovered the twists & throughs terrifying and most popular the dance & extra efficiency a part of skating so ice dance was the easiest way I might deal with the efficiency I used to be giving and sharing with my associate relatively than worrying in regards to the jumps and being alone on the ice. I felt ice dance was the easiest way to proceed my skating profession.

FD: Once I was ten years outdated, my mother and my coach determined to match me with my coach’s daughter. Firstly, it was simply one other exercise that I used to be appreciating and discovered rather a lot from it. Gymnastics was nonetheless my fundamental sport at the moment. It was once I grew up that I realised all of the potential of ice dancing. It’s fascinating how precision and technical abilities are wanted in addition to good inventive abilities in ice dance. On the age of 17, I made a decision to cease gymnastics as a way to pursue my profession in ice dancing and attain my targets.

Inform us how your partnership began (Companion Search, coaching mate, and so on.) Describe the tryout. 
KM: Felix got here to IAM initially for a tryout with one other lady, which didn’t work out. I (Kayleigh) had been coaching in Montreal for two months. We acquired in touch and had a tryout. We acquired in touch and had a tryout, and it went rather well. We actually clicked from the start as we now have the same mindset, values and targets. Our coaches have been additionally enthusiastic about our partnership and thought that we have been a great match. We’ve been skating collectively for round three months now, and actually having fun with it.

What’s it that you simply already like most about dancing together with your new associate?
KM: We’ve nice communication, which is important to a profitable partnership. We additionally giggle rather a lot collectively whereas we work on and off the ice which makes our journey actually enjoyable and pleasurable.

FD: I like her perseverance and arduous work throughout apply time on & off the ice. Kayleigh is devoted to her sport and works arduous to succeed in our targets as a pair. She can be open minded and prepared to strive something akin to coming to Montreal.

What experiences do every of you carry to the partnership? 
KM: With my earlier associate I skilled in Lyon, France with Olivier Schoenfelder and Muriel Zazoui. I began there throughout pandemic instances, so my first aggressive ice dance season started in 2021/2022 and my first competitors ever in ice dance was the Junior Grand Prix in Courchevel that season. I additionally had a chance to compete in a couple of different worldwide competitions such because the Volvo Open Cup, the Egna Ice Dance Trophy & I went to Junior Worlds in Tallinn in 2022.

FD: As a retired nationwide gymnast, I’m used to rigorous work throughout apply time all yr lengthy as a way to prepare for prime degree competitors. A lot of my abilities gained all through my gymnastic expertise are in actual fact very helpful in my skating profession for instance I’ve developed power, flexibility in addition to the flexibility to analyse physique actions. As a devoted ice dance coach, I additionally know a number of the skating secrets and techniques.

What has been the most important adjustment for every of you to date within the partnership?
KM: We’re each sturdy skaters on our personal, however our fundamental problem proper now’s simply studying to skate collectively. Additionally, my earlier associate was very tall, and Felix and I’ve much less of a top distinction, in order that’s one thing new for me to get used to. But it surely’s going rather well and I’m actually pleased.

FD: There was no large adjustment for the reason that starting of our partnership. Kayleigh is a really easy-going associate. She is at all times prepared to just accept all solutions I give her. It’s enjoyable to coach together with her.

Inform us about your coaching web site. 
The Ice Academy of Montreal is place to coach. We really feel like we are able to obtain our targets and develop as athletes & as individuals too. The atmosphere could be very optimistic & there’s loads of respect between our teammates as everybody is concentrated on doing their finest. It s so inspiring to be sharing the ice with World class skaters & Olympians that I used to look at on TV. We primarily prepare on the Centre Gadbois in Montreal however within the off season we’re between completely different rinks.

Who’re your coaches? 
We work with all of the IAM coaches, which is a superb pleasure, however our fundamental coach is Romain Haguenauer.

KM:  I relocated to Montreal on the finish of January after being at house in Geneva for a couple of months recovering from an harm. It was at all times certainly one of my goals to coach at IAM and now right here I’m!

FD: Though I reside on the south shore of Montreal, I nonetheless have to return nearer to my coaching web site and college.

Who’s choreographing your applications. Is another person arranging your music? In that case, please share these experiences.
Romain is choreographed our Rhythm Dance and our Free Dance as effectively. We love his creativity and developing with cool strikes that improve our completely different abilities.

In case you might have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who wouldn’t it be? Why?
KM: I had a chance earlier this yr to have some classes with Madison Hubbell, and that was unbelievable. I’ve lengthy admired her skating and the way she and Zachary Donahue skated with a lot velocity and energy. I’ve additionally had a chance to coach with Zachary, so it’s been very fascinating to see either side, and to study from them.

FD: I actually respect having classes with Guillaume Cizeron. I want to study extra about his manner of transferring as he appears to drift on the ice in addition to softness in physique actions.

What’s every of you trying ahead to most this skating season? What might be your largest problem(s)?
KM: I’m actually ahead trying ahead to be competing once more and to be representing Switzerland!

FD: Will probably be a tremendous journey to symbolize Switzerland and coaching in a excessive degree faculty akin to Ice Academy of Montreal! My largest problem this yr might be to handle my schedule as a skater, as a pupil and as a coach. These three passions are actually necessary to me. However I’m trying ahead to succeeding in these areas of my life.

Our largest problem might be debuting as a brand new senior couple. This would be the first yr in seniors for each of us. We hope to make our mark by bringing recent, unique programmes & by exhibiting components of our personalities by way of these applications.

What’s your debut competitors this season?
We’re within the means of determining our planning for the season however we intention to compete in a summer season competitors right here in Quebec.

Please share something you desire to our readers to find out about you as a staff?
Outdoors of skating, we’re each college students. I’m finalizing my credit to pursue worldwide enterprise and Felix is learning drugs. We additionally each have many exterior pursuits alongside our skating, we each like to journey, and most of the outside sports activities which might be very talked-about in Switzerland like mountaineering and snowboarding.