At least that’s what Carol Lane thinks.

During the in-between time after the old season ends and before it’s time to get revved up for the new season, Carol and coaching partner Juris Razgulajevs met with Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier to discuss how to approach the 2010/11 season. They decided it was time to look at using a different choreographer for their free dance. Carol and Juris agreed that it needed to be entertaining and although they both felt a pang at not doing the FD choreography this year, it was decided that Christopher Dean would be the perfect (and only) choice. Carol and Chris used to compete against each other in Britain and have a friendship dating back decades.

Apparently Christopher asked Carol why she wanted him to come and create a free dance for students Vanessa and Paul when, as far as he was concerned, the choreography that she creates along with Juris is more than up to the challenge.

She told him: “There is no substitute for genius.”

Dean recently spent a week in Toronto and Carol commented on the experience as fulfilling the coaches’ goal of helping to broaden Vanessa and Paul’s skating horizon. It was a dream come true for Carol to have their work showcased at Olympics and Worlds in 2010 with such enormous success, after all Vanessa and Paul finished in 7th place in Torino.

Now it was time for something different and the hunt for the perfect music was the first obstacle. Carol talks about her reaction to music as being visceral. She immediately connected with Joshua Bell’s version of the Beatles’ classic Eleanor Rigby and brought it to the skaters, who loved it. She says that the music is a bit of a risk, given the climate and the fact that the new rules insist on “uplifing” music choices. That said, she says: “Just because music is ‘cha cha cha’ doesn’t always make for a good program.”

The music was massaged to perfection by Hugo Chouinard and Carol says she feels that the story of the free dance parallels Eleanor Rigby’s life and quest for love with Paul as Father McKenzie.

The creative process was simple. With only choreography as his agenda, Chris had carte blanche to create what he wanted and Carol was there every step of the way to ensure that they were able to still stay within the rules. She knew that they would be able to keep the best of what was created and that she and Juris could tweak the rest in order to satisfy the “rules beast”.

Paul’s face was absolutely glowing in speaking of his biggest lesson from the ice dance living legend: “learning how to use every part of our bodies and to move in a cohesive unit as well as broadening our range of movement.”

He says that one of their goals for the season is to show that they belong in the top senior ranks.

With a Christopher Dean free dance and their amazing dedication, talent and work ethic, it would appear as if they are already there.

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