New Group Collection: Kayleigh Maksymec & Félix Desmarais

Kayleigh Maksymec (19) and Félix Desmarais (21) are a brand new senior ice dance group 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 wished to skate extra so my mother put me in skating courses a number of instances per week. I felt so free & I fell in love with the sensation of gliding, spinning and leaping. Considered one of 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 an awesome alternative to study gliding whereas holding my stability. Once I was younger, I didn’t have a number of alternatives to follow actually actually because it was far-off from house. Nevertheless, it was a spot the place I used to be capable of see my pals 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 actually appreciated skating.

What drew you to ice dance?
KM: I like the inventive 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 wished to strive ice dance. Within the fall of 2019, I used to be requested if I wished 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 the easiest way I may give attention to the efficiency I used to be giving and sharing with my associate somewhat 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 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 rather a lot from it. Gymnastics was nonetheless my predominant 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 in an effort 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 woman, 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’ve an analogous 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 together with your new associate?
KM: Now we have nice communication, which is important to a profitable partnership. We additionally snort rather a lot collectively whereas we work on and off the ice which makes our journey actually enjoyable and fulfilling.

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

What experiences do every of you deliver to the partnership? 
KM: With my earlier associate I educated 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 number 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 follow time all 12 months lengthy in an effort to prepare for top degree competitors. Lots of my expertise gained all through my gymnastic expertise are in reality very helpful in my skating profession for instance I’ve developed power, flexibility in addition to the power to analyse physique actions. As a devoted ice dance coach, I additionally know among the skating secrets and techniques.

What has been the largest adjustment for every of you up to now within the partnership?
KM: We’re each sturdy skaters on our personal, however our predominant 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 rather well and I’m actually completely happy.

FD: There was no massive 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 strategies I give her. It’s enjoyable to coach along with her.

Inform us about your coaching web site. 
The Ice Academy of Montreal is place to coach. We really feel like we will obtain our targets and develop as athletes & as folks too. The surroundings could be very constructive & there may be lots of 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 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 predominant coach is Romain Haguenauer.

KM:  I relocated to Montreal on the finish of January after being at house in Geneva for a number of months recovering from an harm. It was at all times one in all 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 come back 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 expertise.

Should you may have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who wouldn’t it be? Why?
KM: I had a chance earlier this 12 months to have some classes with Madison Hubbell, and that was improbable. 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 attention-grabbing to see each side, and to study from them.

FD: I actually admire having classes with Guillaume Cizeron. I want to study extra about his means 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 might be your largest problem(s)?
KM: I’m actually ahead wanting ahead to be competing once more and to be representing Switzerland!

FD: It is going to be a tremendous journey to characterize Switzerland and coaching in a excessive degree faculty reminiscent of Ice Academy of Montreal! My largest problem this 12 months 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 wanting 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 12 months in seniors for each of us. We hope to make our mark by bringing contemporary, unique programmes & by exhibiting elements of our personalities by these applications.

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

Please share something you want to our readers to find out about you as a group?
Exterior of skating, we’re each college students. I’m finalizing my credit to pursue worldwide enterprise and Felix is finding out drugs. We additionally each have many exterior pursuits alongside our skating, we each like to journey, and lots of the out of doors sports activities which can be very fashionable in Switzerland like mountaineering and snowboarding.