dancers Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovski celebrate
ten years of skating together this season. They
are currently training with Evgeny Platov and
Tatiana Tarasova in Simsbury, CT. Galit took time
from her busy schedule to answer some questions
for ice-dance.com. Below is the result of the
is your daily training schedule?
During the competitive season, we start with a half
hour warm up, then skate for two hours, take a break
for two hours and then work in the ballet room going
over our programs on the floor before our second two
hour practice. During the summer, it's a more intense
you do any off ice conditioning?
Sergei and I do some stretching and weight
training. We also work with Tatiana Drouchinina on
and off the ice; more on ice when it comes to competition.
did you, along with your coach, Evgeny Platov, decide
to return to Simsbury to train?
We both enjoyed working with her and her choreography
and programs and wanted to go back and work with her
again. We spoke with Tatiana to see if we can work
together again. The Simsbury rink is such a great
facility and they accommodated skaters so well; so
we decided to partially move.
not uncommon; for teams to have worked with several
different coaches by the time they reach the elite
level, what do you think the reason is for this?
you have to search to find the right coach for each
point in your career. We have been lucky to have good
relationships with our past coaches and we know that
if we need help, theoretically, we could get help
from any of them.
All of our coaches are great and talented people and
each coach has given what another coach couldn't have
have had the opportunity to work with many of the
top coaches including Dubova, Tarasova and Linichuk,
what have you taken away from working with each one?
From Natalia and Gennady, we learned such a great
work ethic with them. They taught us that it is ok
to be on the ice all day. At the start of our career,
that is what we needed. We learned that if you you
work hard, anything is possible.
Tatiana, we learned a little bit of everything. She
has charisma and lots of energy. If she gives you
100%, she expects the same from all of her students,
100%. She knows how to pull the best program out of
us. When you are working on a new program and are
uncomfortable with some of the moves and do not want
to say anything, she is intuitive, so she sees this
and makes the changes so that you're comfortable with
the choreography. The program creation process with
her is very interesting. You do the moves, and she
doesn't show you what to do. The music is played and
you skate to see what moves you would like to do.
She takes the moves we make and turns it into our
program so the concept is from us and this gives us
the freedom artistically.
is a very strong technical coach and teaches body
position and how to make an edge. She is a professor
of making everything look very aesthetic. She knew
how to break down a step or dance and make it understandable
with Platov has helped us in our technique because
he is able to show us. His ability to do the moves
for us is a big plus. He pushes us, but knows when
it's enough and time to stop. He paces us to make
sure we have enough time to rest, do our run throughs
and stop when it's enough. He is behind and believes
in us 100% which helps knowing we have someone who
believes in us.
would you like the fans of ice dancing to know about
you, (something they probably wouldn't know)?
Sergei and I have been skating together for 10 years,
which is a long long time. We have other interests
and we like doing other things. We like going to shows
and having other interests outside of skating. When
you're skating for such a long time, sometimes your
partner will try to help you and you don't want to
listen and you're busy saying "I'll do it myself".
I've noticed since Sergei is teaching at the rink,
that he knows how to explain things really well. He
has that talent to be able to explain.
example do you want to set for future ice dancers
I hope that we give a lot to the kids there;
they watch us at competitions. At the rink there are
a lot of kids skating, a lot more than in past years.
We go there to help them and work with little kids
who are there for fun. The school and the program
is getting bigger, so hopefully some of the skaters
there will be my future students, when I have finished
all of your programs, which one is your favorite?
It is so hard to pick just one since there are several
that are memorable to me. This years free dance means
a lot. When we were making this program, even before
it was finished, Tatiana said that "this is the
program of your career with Sergei." It shows
our ups and downs and being together in good times
and bad times. It's not a sad or depressing program,
it's a triumphant program resulting in the culmindation
of events in our career.
The second, is our Columbus program. I found this
music and wanted to skate to it but Sergei and Tatiana
said no. I asked them to please let me play it and
then we could play around on the ice, which they agreed
and then decided to use it. I love the music, it gave
me chills and I could do the program a million times.
Paganini program is the third. At the time, we were
choreographing a new number to Phantom of the Opera
and it was not working. I brought in the Paganini
music. I researched information on Paganini to help
with the expression and program, he was an extremely
talented violinist, but people thought his talented
was the devil because he was so good. We choreographed
the program in two days.
has been your favorite place to visit for competition?
There are so many. We love competing in America because
it's home and in Canada because the fans are unbelievable
- only in canada for compulsory packed; Russia because
it is also heritage, a little bit home; Australia
was unbelievable; and Japan, the Japanese fans are
fans for life. China. In Italy, Germany, Hungary the
crowds have always been so generous. The locations
where the crowds are so good, that is what matters
a lot to me.
event has been the most memorable for you?
Skating wise, the Grand Prix series this year - Skate
America, Skate Canada and Cup of China; I had so much
fun competing this season. We have been skating well
and getting the medals this year and being on the
podium. Off the ice, it was walking into the Olympics
opening ceremonies holding the Israel flag. It was
funny because I had my cell phone in my pocket and
people were calling me. The entire experience is something
I'll never forget.
has been different about this season, than others?
This year, we kind of just got more involved
in every part of it; getting deeper into the program
and really understanding it. We're realizing that
we only have a few left, so let's just do it, we can't
wait any longer. We are working with Tanya Drouchinina
a lot and it really helps us. Once we had a feeling
like everything was on our shoulders. We now have
an even more positive attitude and have been able
to get past the difficult times.
you plan to retire after the Olympics?
We plan to go to the olympics and be injury
free and then they will see what happens afterward.
We're taking it one day at a time.
you given though to what you'd like to do once you've
retired from competitive skating?
Definitely coach and do choreography. Working
with Tatiana Tarasova and watching her process, has
prepared me for coaching. When I am finished, I want
to spend time on the other side of the boards. I'd
like to sit with Tatiana when she is coaching to get
a different perspective. Coaching is more than standing
at the boards, it is psychology and how to work with
athletes, how to give 100% all the time and make everyone
want to go all out. Tatiana has that talent. Her father
was a famous hockey coach, so maybe he taught her
or it runs in the family.