INTERVIEWS: Kendra Goodwin & Brent Bommentre

  • Kendra Goodwin and Brent Bommentre teamed up in the spring of 2003. They capped their 2003/04 season with a 4th place finish at the 2004 US Nationals.

  • Photos are from Lake Placid Ice Dancing Championships and were taken by Michelle Wojdyla.

How did you start skating together?
Brent:We had known each other for a long time and I also knew that she had broken up with her partner.  So, I called her and set up a try out.  She was trying out with multiple guys and chose me.

Kendra: Brent gave me a call and asked me if I would tryout with him. I had been trying out with other people so I still wasn't sure what I was doing with my skating so I accepted. The tryout went very well and the rest is history!

How do you feel about your performances and placement at US Nationals?
Brent:I thought that at nationals we skated great.  No performance is perfect and there are things that I wish I could do over.  For the time that we were working together I thought our placement was incredible.  I feel that our placement was deserved, we worked very hard to improve for nationals and it paid off.

Kendra: This past year I was very happy with the way we performed at nationals. After placing 4th after the od we were both so excited because it was such a surprise to be in that placement. Being in 4th place really didn't sink into reality until after the freedance and receiving my medal. We worked so hard in between our international and nationals that we didn't even notice how strong of a team we had become. Since then, I have realized that anything is possible and that hard work really does pay off.

Who are your coaches?
Brent:Our main coach is Robbie Kaine.  He works with us on compulsories, stroking and our programs.  Our choreographer is Natalia Lynichuk.  We train at Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society and the University of Delaware each day.

Kendra:Brent has been with Robbie his whole skating career and Natalya had choreographed for me before with my former skating partner. We are training in both Ardmore, PA and Delaware. They are 45 minutes apart and we skate in both places everyday so its a lot of driving!

Tell us about skating at your first international, Golden Spin of Zagreb.
Brent:We were very excited to compete in Croatia.  Unfortunately Kendra sustained a sprained ankle by accident 14 day before we left.  It was a tough call whether we were going to compete or not.  Our first day on the ice, 7 days before we left, Kendra was doing twizzles.   She progressed rapidly every day after that and we figured that with her progress continuing while we were there it was worth a shot.  When we competed our free dance it was the first full run through that we had done since her accident.  We were not at top form but still competed very well and placed fourth.  

Kendra:Croatia was a huge obstacle for us. Once we got there I was wrapping my ankle every practice to keep it from getting worse and we had only skated a couple of times before then. We finished fourth overall and we were very happy considering the fact that I was injured. We knew we could have skated better if I wasn't injured but it made us stronger competitors as a team both physically and mentally.

What advice would you give to young skaters that might encourage them to give ice dancing a try?
Brent: I would say to young skaters that ice dancing is in my opinion the purest form of skating.  You have to have impeccable technique and stroking.  Its also incredible rewarding because it teaches skaters how to relate to others.  You are in a intimate relationship with your partner and that teaches you skills that you will need for the rest of your life.

Kendra:What I love about Ice dancing is that it is such a passionate and emotional sport. Its one of the very few sports in which you can show your true self and emotion through your performance and expression.

When you're not training, how do you like to spend your free time?
Brent:When I am not training I am coaching or driving.  But in my free time I like to read, bike, play soccer, play video games, and most important eat.  I love good food.  

Kendra, what other types of training besides on ice do you and Brent work on?
Kendra: Brent and I have someone stretch us out 3 times a week, we have a ballroom lesson once a week and workout as much as we can.

What are your favorite and least favorite compulsory dances?
Brent:My favorite compulsories is the Tango Romantica, and I can't wait to compete it.  My least favorite is the hickory hoedown. And I am glad that I won't have to compete that again.

Kendra: My favorite dance is the Argentine Tango because of all the long extensions that can be held and also the quick movements and twizzles that are required. I can also really show expression through the steps of the dance.

What are your goals for this season? beyond?
Brent:My goals for this year are to improve my skating.  Especially my posture and extensions.  Kendra and I would love to move up in the standings nationally.  We feel that by working hard and staying on the course that we started last year we will be as successful as we want.   As for the future I defiantly am looking forward to the 2006 Olympics.
 

Kendra: I plan to keep going to school part time this year and plan to place top 3 at nationals.

Which ice dancers do you look up to as role models or influences?
Brent:I certainly look up to Peter Tchernyshev.  I feel that out of all of the male ice dancers he is the best.  

Kendra:I have always looked up to Angelica Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov ever since before I even started to compete ice dance. There expression was so intriguing and they inspired me to become a better ice dancer.

Brent, what was it like for you to compete your first season as a senior?
Well, this year was incredible. All of the years that I spent to get to this point paid off. Being senior gave me a lot of perspective on my past.  Things that I used to get frustrated over don't seem as big of a deal.  It just seems that nothing really matter in terms of medals until I got to senior. It was also really exciting to be competing with all of the big names, and going into the competition I was scared that I would be out of place because I was so young. But after a few practice sessions I realized that I could compete with everyone else.

What do each of you think is your partner's best quality?
Brent: Kendra best quality is her sense of humor.  Training with Kendra is so much fun.  And to me its really important that I am having fun.  Kendra has a great perspective on life and is a great leader as well.  I also have to mention that she is a very strong person, and our accomplishments over this year could not have been possible without her strength and determination.

Kendra: Brent is a very fun and outgoing guy. He tries his hardest at all times, never gives up on anything and is willing to do anything to make him a better skater. He is always eager and open minded in everything in skating.

What do you think it takes to build a strong partnership?
Brent: Well, I believe that there has to be mutual respect and common goals.  If Kendra and I didn't share the same goal our training would be pointless.  And our respect for each other allows us to work through hard situations.

Kendra: In a team I believe it necessary to never blame each other. A partnership is a team and if someone messes up on something the team is affected so no one is at fault. Trust is also very important. Since it is a partnership one must trust the other when it comes to anything including listening to criticism from the other partner, trusting that the partner will put just as much effort into everything as you are, etc. Patience is also very important. Success does not come overnight, it comes through time, experience and hard work.

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