New Staff Collection: Kayleigh Maksymec & Félix Desmarais

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

Tell us about your particular person skating journeys, together with any early particular reminiscences.
Kayleigh Maksymec (KM): I picked up skating as a enjoyable winter exercise once I was 5 years previous 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 occasions every week. I felt so free & I fell in love with the sensation of gliding, spinning and leaping. One among many particular reminiscences, was once I was so excited as a result of I acquired my first skating gown which was mild blue with sparkles, which I wore it once I handed my first skating check.

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 a fantastic alternative to be taught gliding whereas maintaining my stability. Once I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of alternatives to observe actually actually because it was distant from dwelling. Nevertheless, it was a spot the place I used to be in a position to see my associates so, I continued to go. All through the years, I’ve began to develop extra curiosity in skating however it is just once I began ice dancing that I really appreciated skating.

What drew you to ice dance?
KM: I like the artistic choreography and efficiency a part of skating and I really feel like I can categorical myself and make folks really feel one thing by 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 well-liked the dance & extra efficiency a part of skating so ice dance was one of the simplest ways I may concentrate on the efficiency I used to be giving and sharing with my associate moderately than worrying concerning the jumps and being alone on the ice. I felt ice dance was one of the simplest ways to proceed my skating profession.

FD: Once I was ten years previous, my mother and my coach determined to match me with my coach’s daughter. In the beginning, it was simply one other exercise that I used to be appreciating and discovered so much from it. Gymnastics was nonetheless my major 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 expertise are wanted in addition to good creative expertise in ice dance. On the age of 17, I made a decision to cease gymnastics so as to pursue my profession in ice dancing and attain my targets.

Inform us how your partnership began (Associate Search, coaching mate, and so forth.) 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 very well. We actually clicked from the start as we’ve got the same mindset, values and targets. Our coaches had been additionally enthusiastic about our partnership and thought that we had been a superb match. Now we have been skating collectively for round three months now, and actually having fun with it.

What’s it that you just already like most about dancing along with your new associate?
KM: Now we have nice communication, which is important to a profitable partnership. We additionally snigger so much collectively whereas we work on and off the ice which makes our journey actually enjoyable and gratifying.

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

What experiences do every of you convey to the partnership? 
KM: With my earlier associate I educated in Lyon, France with Olivier Schoenfelder and Muriel Zazoui. I began there throughout pandemic occasions, 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 possibility 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 observe time all yr lengthy so as to prepare for prime stage competitors. Lots of my expertise gained all through my gymnastic expertise are actually 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 few of the skating secrets and techniques.

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

FD: There was no huge adjustment because the starting of our partnership. Kayleigh is a really easy-going associate. She is at all times keen to simply accept all options I give her. It’s enjoyable to coach together with her.

Inform us about your coaching website. 
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 folks too. The setting may be very optimistic & there may be numerous respect between our teammates as everybody is targeted on doing their greatest. It s so inspiring to be sharing the ice with World class skaters & Olympians that I used to look at on TV. We primarily practice on the Centre Gadbois in Montreal however within the off season we’re between totally different rinks.

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

KM:  I relocated to Montreal on the finish of January after being at dwelling 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: Despite the fact that I dwell on the south shore of Montreal, I nonetheless have to return nearer to my coaching website and college.

Who’s choreographing your packages. Is another person arranging your music? If that’s the case, please share these experiences.
Romain is choreographed our Rhythm Dance and our Free Dance as properly. We love his creativity and arising with cool strikes that improve our totally different expertise.

In case you may have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who wouldn’t it be? Why?
KM: I had a possibility 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 pace and energy. I’ve additionally had a possibility to coach with Zachary, so it’s been very attention-grabbing to see each side, and to be taught from them.

FD: I actually respect having classes with Guillaume Cizeron. I wish to be taught extra about his method of shifting as he appears to drift on the ice in addition to softness in physique actions.

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

FD: It will likely be an incredible journey to characterize Switzerland and coaching in a excessive stage college similar to Ice Academy of Montreal! My greatest problem this yr will likely 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 wanting ahead to succeeding in these areas of my life.

Our greatest problem will likely 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 contemporary, authentic programmes & by exhibiting components of our personalities by these packages.

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 time competitors right here in Quebec.

Please share something you want to our readers to learn about you as a crew?
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 lots of the outside sports activities which might be extremely popular in Switzerland like climbing and snowboarding.