Posted By SkatingPj

I finally got the chance to sit down for a chat with former Italian Ice Dance champion and current coach and choreographer Pasquale Camerlengo. Truth be told, I saw him first while he was still a skater in the early 1990s and am delighted for his well-deserved success. He got as high as 6th in the world and placed 5th at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France skating with partner Stefania Calegari - so he knows a thing or two about competing at the elite level.

He first started creating a buzz with interesting and original choreography as part of his own programs. When he made the decision to retire after Worlds in Prague in 1993, almost immediately  the late Carlo Fassi contacted him to ask him his plans. Pasquale wasn't sure what  he would be doing exactly but had already thought about coaching. With a gentle nudge from Fassi asking him how much he would charge for choreography, he was put to work the very next day. Pasquale is a thoughtful man; intent on finding the perfect work to express his ideas. I get the feeling that he is the same on the ice; the steps carefully chosen to express the program idea, concept or theme. "The difference between being a skater and a choreographer is: as a skater, everything is done for you. As a coach/choreographer, everything is done for others. You can't be selfish and be a choreographer."

It is because of Carlo and his wife Christa's encouragement that Pasquale thought about the move to the United States. "They always mentioned the US and how great the possibilities would be there because there are many more rinks and many more skaters". He now makes his coaching base in the Detroit area along side wife and coaching partner, two-time World ice dance champion Anjelika Krylova. "I am here because of Anjelika. She built her life here and already had everything: a house, rink, life. Did you know that she is the only one to win world medals in ice dance with 2 different partners?" he says with pride.

It didn't take long for Pasquale's work to catch on as he started with Stanick Jeanette and Georghe Chipeur but in my opinion it was his work with Daisuke Takahashi that really put him on the map. "I got an email from Daisuke's agent 4 years ago asking me if I could do some choreography for him. Anjelika saw the email first - I couldn't believe it when she told me." Focused on his work he says: "I can say that everything really started from there. It was then that I got the commitments from a lot of big skaters."

With the amount of choreography that he is doing, he also finds the time to put coaching front and center and is responsible for Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje and France's Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat among others. "I have learned as a coach to keep the balance on everything and it's a very hard thing. The relationship between a coach and skaters is to keep the balance in work, motivation and to create chemistry."

His advice for skaters? "Listen to your heart. We know what is right and often cannot explain why."

For Pasquale, skating is "about expressing." When asked how he would describe himself, he says: "I am Pasquale. I am myself."

A simple statement about a complex, confident and visionary man. I am sure there is lots more to write in this book. Stay tuned :)

 

 @@@ Pj has more great videos on YouTube: PjKwongWordBroker @@@


 
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