About a month ago, senior ice dance competitors Isabella Cannuscio and new partner Michael Bramante competed at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships. The new team returned to Lake Placid to perform as the featured skaters in the final Saturday Night Ice Show of the 2012 Summer season on Aug. 25.
Cannuscio and Bramante are experienced ice dancers and both have had three previous partners. However, this will be their first season skating together.
Their ice dancing careers started casually, with Cannuscio skating both freestyle and dance and Bramante trying ice dance while training at a skating camp.
Photo by Christie Sausa
Isabella Cannuscio and Michael Bramante
"I was doing regionals one year in both freestyle and dance," Cannuscio said. "I made it to Junior Naitonals in dance and didn't with freestyle, so I stuck with dance. I liked freestyle, but it wasn't my thing."
Bramante's was introduced to ice dance in Lake Placid, where he was participating in skating camp for a week.
"A few of the girls convinced me to go out on a session and try dance, and it was fun enough for me to go back to Boston, and just start a little bit of ice dance," Bramante said. "Little did I know that two weeks after I started ice dance, I would have a partner, and I started competing."
Cannuscio and Bramante skated their first competition together in Lake Placid at the Ice Dance Championships a month ago. Their next competition is the Challenge Cup in Ardmore, Penn., Sept. 13-16.
The team trains at the well-known University of Delaware training center with coaches Karen Ludington, Sasha Kirsanov and Christie Moxley.
Since this is their first season, Cannuscio and Bramante's goal is to establish themselves on the ice dance scene.
"Because we're very new together, and this is my first year as a Senior, our goal together is basically to get noticed this year," Bramante said. "So we're going to go to nationals and will hopefully make an impression there."
Both Cannuscio and Bramante have ties to Lake Placid, and have been here for events and competitions. Cannuscio was in Lake Placid this winter, accompanying her sister (Anastasia Cannuscio, also an elite ice dancer) to a show.
"My sister was invited to skate here in the BP show this February, so I tagged along," Cannuscio said. "It's definitely different from this, but it was a great experience for her to do a show here, and I felt the same way about skating in this show,"
For Bramante, skating in a Lake Placid ice show had special significance.
When I was here for that weeklong camp, I saw the show; I didn't skate in it or anything, but I was in the audience," Bramante said. "So it's very nice to be asked to skate here it's kind of a full circle in my skating career, where I came at the start of my ice dance career, saw the show and however many years later had a chance to skate in it."