Jessica Dube and Sebastien Wolfe

Jessica Dube and Sebastien Wolfe

Canadian pair champion Jessica Dube found success with longtime former partner Bryce Davison who was sidelined in the Fall with a serious injury to his knee requiring surgery. Looking to make a fresh start, Dube is joined this season by new partner Sebastien Wolfe who is a pair skater looking to make the leap on to the big stage with only three years of pair experience.  Not knowing what to expect, I stayed late the night before they competed their free to watch them practice. At 6’2″ tall, Sebastien already has a physical presence that is hard not to notice. Watching them in practice, their potential is clear. They have speed and strength on their side even with only about 6 weeks of solid training experience.

Coach Annie Barabe’s perspective can be summed up this way:

The biggest challenge in the last couple of years has been Jessica’s consistency in the jumps and the throws. I want her to get confidence and consistency and that is what I am working for.

Annie’s thoughts:

In the midst of interviewing fellow Canadian and 1989 World Silver medallist, Lyndon Johnston, Jessica and Sebastien got on to the ice and into position without me noticing them. It was only when Lyndon had to go because he wanted to watch them that I wrapped up what we were doing and turned my attention to the rink and started to record the team on the ice. At a certain point in my line of work, you can recognize skaters, even  from a great  distance based on their (familiar) silhouette. As I was taping the team on the ice, it took me much more than a moment to recognize the skaters. The broody intensity of the Philip Glass music (including selections from Heroes) and the intricacies of the David Wilson choreography coupled with the elongated body line of the team paints a completely different picture from what I expected. The skaters, coach and those of us standing around watching would have to agree that this program is a departure for them from the ‘expected’..

We knew we needed something different.

Here are some highlights from their Liberty free program:

At this point in their training, appearing at the Liberty competition is for experience. Jessica said: “We don’t know each other really well. We have been friends from the rink but in this case I didn’t know what to expect. Now that the ‘ice is broken’ we can get home and working on things.” Their short program was choreographed by Marina Zoueva and the skaters say simply  is a blues which again will give the pair a sophistication that will impress as they start to try and carve out their own niche on the Canadian landscape.

It’s normal to be a bit off.

In July it makes sense that with the programs so new, they would be considered a work in progress. With relaxed and happy faces they talked about their nervousness taking the ice, she not as much as usual and he more so. Satisfied on balance with getting ‘out there’ some of the highlights in their free included gorgeous side by side triple flips and strong triple loop and Lutz throws.

“Of course we have lots more to do.” Jessica said. Clearly from both skaters, it looks like they are on the right path.


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