New junior ice dance couple Leticia (Tish) Marsh (15 years old) and Anton Spiridonov (17 years old) recently qualified to take part in the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix Series representing the UK after less than a year skating together. The young athletes will fly off from their training camp in Canton, Michigan to Ljubljana, Slovenia in September to take part in this prestigious competition. Tish and Anton are performing their Short Dance to jazzy blues and hip hop extracts from ‘Seven Nations Army’ by Jack White and ‘Hush Hush’ by The Pussycat Dolls, with a highly charged and mature Free Dance to segments from French musical ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ composed by Riccardo Cocciante. The couple have been recently confirmed on the pathway towards the 2022 Olympic Games by selection to the National Squad representing GBR on behalf of the National Ice Skating Association (UK).
British born skater Tish and Russian/American skater Anton got together in early October last year after a successful try out in the USA under the watchful eye of Anton’s former US Coach, Igor Shpilband. Anton received hundreds of responses to his advertisement on Partner Search and had already worked through 5 try-outs with other partners before finding the r ight fit with Tish. Similarly, Tish was also mid-way through a tour of the USA, Canada and Europe exploring potential new partners when she met up with Anton. Tish said, “The moment I started skating with Anton it just felt right, and after working together for just over 9 months I can honestly say he’s a lovely guy and we’re really good mates both on and off the ice. Can’t think of anyone I’d rather be sharing the podium with!”. Anton too is very happy with the way things are going, “Working with Tish is so easy. It’s just like we know what each other is thinking. I’ve never had that before with a partner”. The couple now train full time with National and Olympic Coach, Marina Zoueva as the only Junior couple on her elite training squad in Canton, Michigan. Training takes place in the USA alongside Olympic Gold Medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, World Championship Gold Medallists Maia and Alex Shibutani and Olympic Medallists Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov. Whilst it is still very early days for Leticia and Anton, they hope that their place on the training squad in Canton will ensure their future international success as they work hard to reach the benchmark set by senior members of the team.
The young team excelled in their first competition together scoring a podium place with a Bronze medal in June at the Chesapeake Open Figure Skating Competition 2016 in Laurel, Maryland. They then went on to achieve qualifying scores for both Junior Worlds and the National Senior Competitive Test Score in July at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International 2016 where they represented GBR, placing them at the top of the rankings in the UK and gaining them their first international ranking this season. In their latest international event for GBR, Tish and Anton scored a Gold Medal for their Free Dance and were ranked first overall in the Junior IJS Ice Dance section at the 2016 Chicago Dance International. As always, Tish and Anton performed well in their Short Dance with good scores for key points on their compulsory dance sequences, but it was in the Free Dance to an emotional soundtrack from Notre Dame de Paris that their true potential and maturity showed. Next up for these rising stars is a trip back to the UK on 19 August for the National Ice Skating Association (UK) IJS Competition and GBR Performance Squad Camp followed by their first Junior Grand Prix allocation in Ljubljana, Slovenia in September. Two more international allocations then follow in Germany and Budapest before finishing the year with the British National Championships back in Sheffield at the end of November.
Tish already has an impressive track record in the UK having achieved a Gold Medal with her former partner at Advanced Novice representing Great Britain in the Copenhagen Ice Dance Cup 2015 held in Denmark. With the highest overall score achieved at this level by any couple representing Great Britain in an international competition for that season, Leticia and her former partner finished the 2014/15 season ranked third in the UK in Advanced Novice Ice Dance. Other successes included winning Gold Medals at both the Lee Valley Ice Dance Competition 2015 in March and the Bradford Ice Dance Competition 2015 in February, 4th Place at the Nestle Mentor Cup 2015 in Torun, Poland in January, a Silver Medal at the Welsh National Figure Skating Championships 2014 in October, achieving a Competitive Test Score at Advanced Novice level at the August IJS 2014 in Sheffield and nomination to represent the UK at the prestigious ISU Junior Ice Dance Development Seminar in Poland 2014.
Russian/American ice dancer Anton also has a very impressive skating pedigree and performance record. Anton’s brother is former World Junior Champion ice dancer and international coach Maxim Zavozin, whilst his parents are international coaches and gold medallists Elena Garanina and Valery Spiridonov (who both toured professionally with Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean during their time in the USA). Anton and his former partner achieved podium places and medals in National Competitions whilst also representing Russia in international competitions during the period 2012-2015. When selected to join the elite training squad in Michigan, Anton started the search for the perfect partner to work towards the Junior World Championships. After receiving hundreds of applications to his Coach’s advertisement on Ice Partner Search (an international partner match website dedicated to Ice Dance and Pairs Skating), Anton went through 5 partner try outs (with candidates from Canada and the USA) in the period April to August 2015 before finally being paired with Leticia (from the UK) just a few weeks later. Both he and Leticia are very happy with the new partnership and are already making waves with how well they work together both on and off the ice.
Leticia and Anton train together on and off ice for more than 30 hours a week at the Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Canton, Michigan and are coached by Marina Zoueva and her team. Leticia and Anton would like to acknowledge and thank their former coaches in the UK and Russia for giving them the confidence to grow into the rising stars they are today. Mark Rickard at Oxford Ice Rink was Leticia’s coach for more than 5 years whilst Elena Garanina and Valery Spiridonov (Anton’s mother and father) coached both Anton and his brother Maxim in Russia.
A former pupil of Headington School, Oxford – Leticia still manages to fit working towards completing her Senior year for a US High School Diploma via an online home school course supported by the Michigan Connections Academy. Anton has recently completed his US High School Diploma, graduating with an excellent GPA to take up coaching alongside training and competitions. This talented young couple are both supported by grants from the xStream Technology LLC, GLL Sports Foundation, The Country Gentleman’s Association and MDCure (Aerotel USA Inc) to help to achieve their sporting goals.
For more information, pictures, quotes etc. please call Denise Marsh on +1 248 946 1786 or email: email@example.com