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February 8, 2001 Dance student competes at figure-skating nationals



Ice-dancing team Judith Longpré and Shae Zukiwsky.

Shae Zukiwsky is a student in Contemporary Dance at Concordia, but he also has a career as a figure skater.

With his partner, Judith Longpré, Shae competed last month in Winnipeg at the 2001 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. They came eighth in a field that included some of the best skaters in the world. The pair had won their category here in Quebec in the Provincials, and it was their first time competing as seniors.

Shae said competing in the nationals, televised across Canada, was exciting — “a lot of exposure, a lot of crowds, and lots of good feedback.”

A skater first, he started studying dance at the University of Calgary as part of his training. He moved here two years ago to be with his partner, and because “Montreal is the best place in the country for ice-dancing.”

It will take him another two years to finish his degree in Contemporary Dance, because he is too busy to study full-time. Juggling dance and skating are exhausting, both physically and in terms of scheduling, but he’s nowhere near ready to choose between them.

As a practical career choice, skating is definitely the way to go. “There’s a lot more money in skating right now,” he said. “It’s enormously popular in Canada.”

However, Shae sees the two disciplines as complementary, especially in view of his interest in choreography.

Competing in the nationals marked the end of the skating season for Zukiwsky and Longpré, since only the top two pairs get to go to the international championships. “This is when we take a break until the early summer, and look at new material for next year.”

— BB