A Long Update

Hi everyone!

Last season was a wild ride from start to finish.

It started off with a Valentine’s Day knee surgery (I’ve always been a romantic) to reconstruct my right patellar tendon – which was over seventy five percent torn. Dr. LaPrade in Vail, Colorado worked true magic and used a cadaver hamstring to craft me a new tendon. It was a very intense, but successful, surgery. What followed wasn’t pretty; for weeks I was sick from the anesthesia and pain meds and couldn’t keep solid food down while I was hobbled around on crutches – I even had a pain pump attached to my stomach. I took solace in watching three seasons of “Chopped” and I do not remember a single episode. These were not my best moments and I am extremely lucky that I had Danny to take care of me (it is not an easy job and he deserves a raise).

Things were looking bleak but they eventually got better, and after a lot of trials and tribulations, I was able to resume training and even return to competition where we placed 3rd at the Golden Spin of Zagreb, 2nd at US Nationals, and 1st at Four Continents in Taipei, Taiwan. While I was so thrilled with our performances and placement at Four Continents, I was even more excited to resume our training and continue pushing forward for Worlds.

We immediately left Taipei and went to Japan where we were to train in preparation for the Olympics (we were attending them as first alternates). I’ve always dreamed of being in Pyeongchang for the Olympics…but being an alternate at the Olympics is kind of like being a bridesmaid where the love of your life is marrying your best friend. At times it was heart breaking and hard. It was inspirational, but it was devastating. I was able to see some of the best skating of my life while fighting the urge to cry because I wasn’t out there competing myself. Overall, the experiences we gained were life changing and will help us throughout our career, and even more importantly, they gave both Danny and I the determination to push forward.

During our training in Korea, we were working harder than ever on improving our dynamic elements and getting rid of our weak points so that we could end our season on a high note at worlds in Milan. Unfortunately, upon returning home, I had a recurrence of pain in my right knee which we soon found out was a stress fracture (something that is often seen after knee surgeries like the one I had to have). This cut our season short as my team and I knew that it wasn’t worth risking my health for one competition.

After that whirlwind, I’m happy to say that I am back on the ice and ready to move forward. Danny and I have both grown from this past year’s experiences, and our friendship has helped us navigate and stick together through all of the tough moments. Looking back, the hard moments, like vomiting in the hotel lobby because I tried to eat a spoonful of oatmeal a few days after knee surgery, really do make the good moments, like standing on the podium at a Four Continents, so much better.

On to the new season, we are thrilled to resume our work with Shae-Lynn Bourne and Shae Zukiwsky on a brand new short program. I’ve never been more excited, nervous, and….pumped up about a piece of music before. (Is now when I make the joke about skating to Phantom of the Opera again?) When Danny and I heard the piece, it immediately made us both smile and I knew it was the one! We hope you will love it as much as we do!

Thank you for reading this blog, for not giving up on us, and for your love and support – it really does mean the world to us.


Tarah and Danny…and our dog Snow (@snowthedoodle on instagram)

Moving Forward…

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays!

This year, Danny and I are lucky to be spending quality time with our families over the Christmas weekend. Danny is especially excited to be able to travel home to Chicago for Christmas for the first time in 4 years.

We have been training hard since NHK to overcome the many battles we have faced within 2016 so we can enter the new year with confidence and ferocity. Adversity is a constant throughout our partnership and has been since day one. Danny and I learned the meaning of the word “persevere” very early in our career, and it has been the glue holding us together ever since.

So far, this season may not have been a dream sequence…at times it has felt more like a blooper reel…however, you can always count on the two of us to press on with determination, grit, and perseverance. Everything else will fall into place on its own time, in its own way.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From Tarah, Danny, and Snow (the goldendoodle)

Other Words for Amazing

2016 U.S. Championships

I haven’t written a lot lately. I’ve been meaning to write a new blog but I’ve been dragging my feet. So much has happened but I had a feeling it would be hard to explain. How would I put into words how it felt to stand on the ice at Nationals looking up at hundreds of people standing up and cheering for us? Would I try to think of synonyms for the word amazing? I will think of that moment every day and never know how to describe it in words. It’s the type of thing that takes your breath away. It makes you feel grateful for every terrible thing that has ever happened to you because they all led you to that exact moment: standing on the ice at Nationals, looking up at hundreds of people who are standing up and cheering for you. Pick a synonym for amazing…any one, they all work.

After a quick day in Boston for a Worlds media day, we went back home to resume our training. Things picked up where they left off in preparation for the Four Continents Championships in Taipei City, Taiwan. We were prepared for the competition and skating at the top of our game, but unfortunately I became extremely ill while in Taipei City. I fought through a difficult week and had to spend time at home to recover completely.

Through the many ups and downs that we have experienced throughout this season so far, we have accomplished many of the goals we had set for ourselves and grown closer as people while doing so. We have learned not to limit ourselves and always to push forward no matter what doubts we may have. This has been a season of firsts, our first Grand Prix events, our first National title, and now our first World Championships – sometimes it gets overwhelming and we get scared, but the best thing about pairs is you always have your partner to take the next step with.

One step at a time, together. See you in Boston!

Tarah (& Danny)

New Year, New Beginnings

Our team is always searching for inspiration to keep our skating fresh and alive.  Whether that inspiration comes from theater, ballet, art or a song we hear on the radio.

Last year on New Year’s Eve, we celebrated by going to see a play – Phantom of the Opera – which, to everyone’s chagrin, inspired us to skate our hearts out over the following season in our freeskate.

We always want to skate the type of program we would want to watch. We want to skate the type of program that inspires us to skate it – not the type of program that we have to swallow like a pill. This season, our long program has always felt inspired. Our short program, on the other hand, has been a challenge. So, together with our coach, we decided to make a change. To make this change, we decided to follow our inspiration.

Our new short program is set to “Take Me to Church” by Hozier. This has always been a song that invokes passion between us, a passion we are looking forward to bringing on to the ice at the U.S. National Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota.

We are looking forward to making every day of 2016 count.

Happy New Year!

Tarah & Danny

Training with Tarah: Kayne Reflects on Season-Opening Travel to Salt Lake City

Training with Tarah is a season-long blog that Team USA pairs skater Tarah Kayne will be writing for the U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone! Have something you want Tarah to write about? Email socialmedia@usfigureskating.org.

 As I sit in the middle of Starbucks with both my laptop and phone open to two different competition streams, it’s safe to say that the competition season is officially in full swing.

Winning our first international gold at the 2015 U.S. International Classic a few weeks ago was a really happy moment for me, but it was short lived because competition tends to emphasize all of the things that need work within your programs. We have made great improvements so far this season but it is also clear to me that we have a long road ahead of us to reach our ultimate goal.

Some things within the programs just require more time, while we may throw some others back to the drawing board completely. During the time it takes to figure out which is which, we will continue working tirelessly in pursuit of improvement in anticipation for 2015 Progressive Skate America.

Read the rest of Tarah’s blog here.

On the subject of new, and everything being it.

new [noo, nyoo]
Adjective, newer, newest.

  1. of recent origin, production, purchase, etc.; having but lately come or been brought into being: a new program.

When the off season began, it was “in with the new”. New music, new costumes, new choreography, and new elements. newnewnew.

Needless to say, it was a little daunting.

You forget choreography, you fall … a lot, your new dress gives you wedgies and your partner skates over your hair.

New does not always mean easy or better, it just means new.

Within a world of new, we choose to stay together, stay grounded, and with the help of our coaches, continue to persevere through any struggles that come our way; including all that is “new”.

At this point in our season, I find that it’s a lot about persevering. The ‘off’ season was short lived, and now we flick the ‘off’ switch to ‘on’ as we prepare for our first Challenger competition of the season – Salt Lake City, and our first season on the Grand Prix circuit, where we will compete at Skate America and Rostelecom Cup.

Danny and I recently finished attending Champs Camp, in Co. Springs. I like to think of it as my first Champs Camp, because it was the first time I actually experienced skating in it – last time I stood by the boards and watched. I had just gotten off of crutches and was trying to pretend that I could stand for that long without help. I couldn’t.

This time, I did a lot more than that.

This time, we won the pair jump competition and skated both programs.

Debuting programs for the first time is not always easy. We develop them daily, and the music gets stuck in our heads as we try to sleep at night. A short isn’t just a short, and a long isn’t just a long. Somewhere along the line, we put a piece of ourselves into the music, and the choreography becomes a part of us. 24/7 they are our passionate projects that start as an awkward combination of transitions and elements and evolve into the perfect algorithm. We are never just going out there and ‘doing a program’ we are putting a piece of ourselves on the ice, to be judged.

Our short program this season is set to “Espana Cani” and our free I skate is to “Music of the Night”, a duet by Barbra Streisand and Michael Crawford. We love our programs, and as always, think they are our best programs yet.

Along with all of our hard work on our programs, we have been working diligently on doing something we were unable to consider last year – increasing our technical content. Last season we were forced to try and become as good as we used to be, and this year we plan to be better than we ever have been. That might sound confusing, but I promise, it’s simple.

And for a little while, it might not be perfect.

But it’s just new.


PS: My Blog will be put on overdrive during the season. That means a new blog every 2 weeks to give an intense look into the life of a skater.

Have a question about training, competing or anything else that you think SERIOUSLY needs some delving into during one of my posts? Do your noble duty as skating fan and write in/tweet us your suggestion so we can make this blog happen!

From the Olympic Training Center, with love

As I have said to Danny and Mr. Peterson many times throughout the 2014-15 season: “This is the longest – shortest season of my life!”

Many times since my surgery, 8.5 months ago, it seemed like we weren’t going to have a competitive “season” at all. I struggled heavily dealing with our early season competition withdrawals and it hit me like a brick when we had to pull out of our first two Grand Prix events. The three of us made every decision with both my health and our longevity as a team in mind. I tried to convince myself that those competitions wouldn’t be our last and, luckily, they weren’t.

Four months after my surgery, we competed in Croatia. Another month and a half later, we won the bronze medal (and our first) at the 2015 U.S. National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. This bronze truly was beautiful, as it won us a spot to compete at the Four Continents Championships in South Korea – just 6 months after a major surgery to my landing leg. Our short but sweet competition season was not all fun and games, but the reward was certainly worth the risk and recovery.

As for right now, I’m back at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where I did some of my rehabilitation after surgery. Thankfully, this time there are no crutches involved and instead of learning how to walk again, I’m learning how to regain the strength I lost so we can emerge as a stronger team in the months to come. While I am here, I am catching up with the athletes who helped me work through the mental aspect of my surgery and I am also regularly getting my butt kicked in ping pong and foosball by Nathan Chen – gotta have someone to keep me on my toes!

I love being at the OTC, but all the while I can’t wait to get back home to sunny Florida, where I don’t need a jacket, where my partner is working hard and where we have two new programs waiting for us to fill them with beautiful movements and even more beautiful moments.

Although I would love to take all of the credit for our comeback, Danny has been by my side through every moment, from running our programs by himself when I couldn’t skate to taking care of me after surgery. As my Grandma says, he gets the “platinum medal” for being the best partner. I would also like to thank all of our coaches, U.S. Figure Skating, the USOC, and everyone who has ever listened to me complain about how much my hip hurt. We couldn’t have done it without you.


Happy New Year!

We would like to start this post by wishing a Happy New Year to everyone who has taken the time to follow and support our skating!

2014 flew by in a blink of an eye. Unfortunately, a lot of it was spent off of the ice and many people doubted we would even be able to compete this season. Lucky for us, one of our favorite things to do is to prove people wrong.

Last month, we did just that when we competed at the Golden Spin in Zagreb in Croatia. The competition was a test of nerves, as it was not only our season debut for our new programs, but also our first time competing in 10 months… the longest time Tarah had ever gone without competing. Despite nerves, we fought hard and brought home our fifth consecutive international medal – a bronze.  We were also able to explore the city center with our Team USA teammates and enjoy a lot… a LOT of Italian food.

Before we even hit U.S soil we had already began practicing for our club’s intense holiday show by skating one of our show numbers in the Golden Spin exhibition alongside Denis Ten and Kiira Korpi. Complete with lip-synching lines, Team Florida brushed off our acting skills and gave a sparkling rendition of “Frozen” just one week after we got home, starring Tarah as “Queen Elsa” and Danny in the role of “Sven the Reindeer.” (How he lifted Tarah with his hooves, the world will never know!) Four sold-out shows later, and Tarah had improved her cardio dramatically thanks to “Let it Go” and Idina Menzel’s amazing lung capacity.

We then spent a quiet Christmas at home in Florida and rang in the New Year at the theater, with our coaches and teammates.

As we get closer to the U.S Championships, we know we are blessed to have the opportunity to skate. Every athlete dreads injury, but going through it only makes you more thankful for the days you get to spend on the ice, and for us – thankful for the days we get to spend together on the ice.

See you in Greensboro.

Tarah & Danny

The hips don’t lie

It’s hard to believe that, less than four months ago, Tarah was lying in a hospital bed after having surgery photo (2) (1)and now, just a few months later, we are preparing for an international competition. What isn’t hard to believe is how hard it actually was … and how hard it still is, to recover.

Tarah skated with injury for the entirety of the 2013-2014 season, having been told by doctors that there was nothing she could do about the pain she was enduring. Injections, therapy sessions and three international medals later and we were into the new season. With her pain increasing to an unmanageable level, we knew we had to do something about it.

Enlisting the help of US Figure Skating and the USOC, Tarah and Danny were brought to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Dr. Marc Philippon performed Tarah’s hip surgery on July 28th and she spent the next month and a half rehabbing at the OTC, alongside Olympic and Paralympic athletes who aided in her recovery. Having packed for a six-day trip, and having stayed for six weeks, things were not going well in the wardrobe department. (A big thanks goes out to Madison Hubbell, Zach Donohue and Jason Brown for hanging out with Tarah anyway – you are the real MVPs!).

As any athlete would agree, anyone who told us “no” along the way only added fuel to the fire. Tarah was dead set on being able to compete in the two Grand Prix competitions to which the team had been invited, and we pushed tirelessly for the chance to be writing this update from Moscow instead of Florida; however, looking at the situation realistically, we chose to make an investment in our future together as a team and give the surgery more time to heal properly instead of risking re-injury. As the haunting words of OTC physical therapists remind Tarah every day, “Did you like having this surgery? Because you’re going to have to have it again if you’re not careful.” There’s pushing hard, and then there is pushing too hard, and right now, we live on the balance in between.

Luckily, we are really good at balancing.

Three weeks after our planned Grand Prix competitions, we will be taking the ice again for Team USA at Golden Spin in Zagreb, Croatia.

Better late, than never.

We would like to thank US Figure Skating, the US Olympic Committee, the Olympic Training Center, IMG Academy, our coaching staff and medical team for helping to aid in our recovery and for your belief in our future.

We could not have reached this point without you.

Tarah & Danny