Q&A with Tarah & Danny – Fall Competition Recap

Q1: Tell us about your season so far. You started off winning in SLC, then you went to Skate America, then it was off to Russia (Rostelecom Cup), and finally you finished up at Golden Spin with a bronze medal. What are your overall thoughts on how things have gone for you to this point?

Danny: So far the season has gone pretty well. We started off with our first international win at the U.S. International Classic in Salt Lake City, and while Skate America was a bit of a disappointing performance for us, we felt that we were able to redeem ourselves a bit through Russia and Golden Spin and pick up some momentum heading into U.S. Nationals.
Tarah: The season has kind of felt ‘up and down’ to me. It hasn’t necessarily been as smooth as I would have liked, but I think in general we have been steadily improving and we have really been in a good place going in to U.S. Nationals.

Q2: What is the biggest thing, good or bad, that you’ve learned from your competition season so far?

Danny: Our coach, Jim Peterson, always says that every competition is a very heightened learning opportunity in a little package. I feel that we learned a lot from each competition about ourselves and about our programs this year. The biggest thing for me is probably just the experience of our first year on the GP Series, and getting those newbie jitters out of the way.
Tarah: As Danny said, this being our first Grand Prix season, this is the most we have ever competed internationally within one competition season – we definitely had to learn how to pace ourselves within practice so as not to be overtired for the next competition.

Q3: You recently changed your short program music and program. What brought about that change?

Danny: Well, I don’t think it is any secret that our short program has not scored well this season. So we started searching for why exactly that was, and though there were technical mistakes at times, the real issue we decided was our connection to the music and the program. We have made great strides this year with our long program at becoming artists and really connecting with the program and the story as a whole, and we wanted to feel this same connection in our short program as well. The new music was something Mr. Peterson had thought about and mentioned to us as an option for next year, and the three of us collectively decided that now was the right time to move on to it. The program has come extremely naturally and smoothly in such a short time.
Tarah: Although we initially really enjoyed the fire-y nature of our old short program, we never really got to a comfortable place with the program. We had discussed the possibility of switching to new music but wanted to give the program time to mature and develop. At some point in time during our Grand Prix and Challenger season, we knew that the program just wasn’t a good fit for us and we started discussing what our goal for the program really was; to skate to music that inspired us to skate, like our long program did. So we found a piece that did just that.Tarahmedal

Q4: The U.S. National Championships are coming up soon. Tell us about your preparation for this event: How do you get yourselves ready for the busy week of training and competing on such a large stage?

Danny: Lots and lots of run-throughs! But seriously, nothing prepares you like actually being ready, and feeling and believing that you are ready. Having the confidence that you can do everything in the program and have done it many times at home gives you a sort of calm that you can carry with you through what could be a stressful situation.
Tarah: We have just been training what’s in the program and drilling our weak points into the ground until they are no longer our weak points. I have also been concentrating on my physical therapy so I can feel as healthy as possible.

Q5: Have you achieved any of your goals for this season so far?

Danny: While there are small goals that we achieve on a daily and weekly basis, I think the big ones still have a little more time until they come to fruition. I would ask us that question again in April.
Tarah: Some of them, yes, but most of them, no. We have a lot of time left to achieve our goals, so that’s okay. We are moving in the right direction.

Photo by Leah Adams