Australia's newest senior ice dance team bursts onto the scene
May 19, 2017
In a surprise move, two of Australia's most well known skating families have linked up to produce a dance couple with their eyes on the Olympics.
Chantelle Kerry, daughter of Olympic Ice dancer Monica McDonald and sister of Olympic men's singles competitor Brendan Kerry, has partnered with Andrew Dodds, Australian men's singles competitor and member of the #DoddsSquad. Andrew also comes from a skating family with his three brothers all representing Australia internationally in singles and pair skating.
In what has been a fast rise to the top, Chantelle and Andrew only seriously got together just four weeks ago. Living in two separate states of Australia, Andrew headed down to Sydney in early April for a tryout before returning home to Brisbane. While the couple had instant chemistry on the ice, there was a lot for Andrew to weigh up, he was not just taking on another skating discipline, but it would also mean having to move to Sydney and then there were the hours that would be required to have a serious shot at the Olympics. These sort of chances don't come along all that often though, so not quite four weeks ago, he packed his bags and moved to Sydney.
In that time the couple have put in countless hours, both on and off the ice. While Chantelle already had her senior dance test, Andrew was starting from scratch. He'd done some low level dance tests years ago but he had a lot to learn.
With Chantelle having just missed out on a spot to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and Andrew having competed at Four Continents Figure Skating Championships four times, the couple knew that they had the skating skills to back up their dance moves. Not afraid of speed, this couple is making a serious bid for the Olympics in Pyenogchang, South Korea in early 2018.
Over the last few weeks the couple has trained under the watchful eye of their coaches, Monica Mc Donald and Jon Dunn. They also caught the attention of International coach, Nikolai Morozov during his recent visit to Australia. Wanting to get out on the ice to show off their skills as soon as possible, the couple has also put in extra hours to get both their short dance and free dances finished. They know that these will need polishing and tweaking but they are ready to go and looking forward to competing as soon as the season gets started.
Not putting aside his singles career completely, the couple will head to Brisbane next week so they can continue to train while Andrew gets new singles programs choreographed by long time coach, Margaret Nicholls. An international representative herself, Margaret has coached Andrew since he was four and a half years old. While Margaret has her gold dance test, she has concentrated on coaching singles and pair up until now, but she has the technical knowledge to work with the couple while they are in Queensland.
With their family backgrounds in the sport, both Chantelle and Andrew know exactly what it will take to get to the Olympics, hard work and then more hard work, but if anyone can do, they can. Look out for them on the international circuit when the season starts.