Janse Van Rensburg & Steffan embrace new alternatives

by Matteo Morelli | Images by Yoriko Suzuki

Germany’s Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg and Benjamin Steffan are having fun with a season that’s giving them lots of new alternatives to indicate their potential. We sat down with the 2 time German Nationwide Champions after they competed at their first European Championships in Espoo, Finland, the place they shared what this season means to them and what they’re specializing in in the direction of their future.

Jennifer and Benjamin, thanks for spending a while with us. You competed at your first European Championships, ending in ninth place. What do you’re taking away with you from this competitors?

Benjamin Steffan (BS): We really feel superb about this, it has been fairly a journey to get right here for us. That is our first large championship collectively and reaching that high ten placement means so much to us. We’re very thrilled.

What does this end result imply for you in relation to your targets? 

Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg (JJ): We’re fairly joyful that with the highest ten we obtained two spots for Germany at subsequent yr’s European Championships. This yr we nonetheless have the upcoming World Championships in Japan, a contest that I believe is most skaters’ dream and that’s additionally coming true for us. We’re fairly excited.

this season, you could have taken half in a number of challenger competitions, you went to the Skate America Grand Prix, and secured a second consecutive title on the German Nationwide Championships.

BS: This season has been an enormous step up for us. Now we have been in a position to safe a second nationwide title which meant so much to us and we’ve got had two medals at challenger competitions (silver at each Denis Ten Memorial and Warsaw Cup), which is an enormous deal. It provides us the sensation that what we’re doing is the suitable factor and we’re not at our restrict but however we will push our skills to get higher and higher.

Your free programme is on “Prelude (Age of Heroes)” by Balázs Havasi, a music that features a choir firstly, adopted by a piano and solo voice within the center, to finish with a crescendo. How did you give you it?

JJ: Our coach (Natalia Karamysheva) heard the music and instantly considered us. She performed it and we immediately cherished it! 

BS: That’s how we selected the music, we might actually see us performing to that and as crew we determined to make use of it.

Though that is the post-Olympic yr, the subsequent Milano-Cortina Olympic Video games aren’t that far. Have you ever obtained any ambitions in relation to that?

BS: Sure, we’ve got sat collectively and talked concerning the future, and we’ve got determined that we need to go for the Olympic Video games in 2026. That is our large aim: we’re taking each step that’s vital and that we will take in the direction of it. 

We appeared at the moment and the long run, let’s now return to the previous. You’ve got been skating collectively since 2016, however earlier than getting there you each had completely different experiences. Beginning with you, Jennifer: you had been a single skater for some years till 2014, while you determined to vary.

JJ: I modified very late to ice dance. Fairly lots of people mentioned it was too late, however I took that as a problem. Within the final couple of years we got here to some extent the place we lastly reached what we had been aiming for. It took us some time, I needed to commit so much.

And Benjamin, what’s your background?

BS: I’ve been an ice dancer for fairly a very long time. I by no means did solo skating, nevertheless I did play ice hockey earlier than that! However that was a very long time in the past. I began ice dancing after I was ten years previous, I’ve had a number of companions up till I partnered up with Jenny. I actually recognize each facet of each partnership that I’ve had up to now. The whole lot that I’ve executed has taken me nearer to the place I’m, and the place we’re, proper now.

How did you discover one another and determined to skate collectively?

JJ: Truly, we’ve got recognized one another for fairly a very long time! Now we have been buddies outdoors the ice rink too. Now we have discovered one another in our fundamental military course and sport schooling: our educator knew we had been each on the lookout for companions and steered we tried out. 

Whilst you focus in your aggressive profession, you’re additionally doing a training qualification course. 

BS: Our federation has given us the power to take slightly shortcut, so to say, to that total schooling course of. Since we’re professional athletes, we’ve got to do the identical exams, however so far as the academic half goes we don’t should attend each seminar, which provides us the power to do the course whereas we’re skating. It’s a actually good alternative to do one thing that we will use later and get a training licence whereas we’re skating.

Is that this a future aspiration of yours and one thing you positively need to do after your aggressive profession, or is it one thing you need to have in case you need to take that route?

BS: I believe I communicate for the each of us by saying that it’s an possibility, however there was nothing determined but. It’s positively a very good factor to have as a result of we each share such an enormous ardour for this sport and ice dancing particularly. I might positively see myself teaching sooner or later, however it’s going to depend upon circumstances.

JJ: It might be good in fact, we’re having this expertise and we’d like to share this with the youthful generations.

What are your finest reminiscences as a crew?

BS: There’s not one reminiscence particularly, however one factor I actually recognize about our partnership is that it’s not only a work relationship, but additionally a very good friendship. Now we have managed to undergo so many ups and downs collectively and which means so much to me.

JJ: I agree with that! That is essentially the most invaluable factor to have, in case you are outdoors of the rink you too can do stuff collectively and never avoiding or preventing one another. I actually recognize our relationship!