Professional ice skaters Alexandra Schauman and Łukasz Różycki joined Dancing on Ice in Series 5/6 respectively, with Alexandra partnering Dr. Hilary Jones in 2010 and Łukasz partnering Elen Rivas in 2011, for their first celebrity pairings. In Series 11, Alexandra won with her celebrity partner James Jordan, and in the All-Stars series in 2014, Łukasz partnered with Beth Tweddle, reaching the Final and finishing in 3rd place. The new series of Dancing on Ice is set to air in the new year on ITV, and Alexandra and Łukasz will be returning as professional skaters, and with rehearsals already underway, Alexandra has been partnered with John Fashanu and Łukasz with Michelle Heaton. Catching up with Alexandra and Łukasz, they answered our questions about joining Dancing on Ice as professional skaters in Series 5/6, winning Series 11 with James Jordan and reaching the Final in 2014 with Beth Tweddle, and what they’re looking forward to for the upcoming Series 15 in 2023.
What is it like being professional skaters on Dancing on Ice and do you remember how you felt finding out you’d be part of the show in Series 5/6?
Alex – We were very excited as it was a very different concept of a show and, since we’d been touring all over the world for over a decade and doing gala shows as well as skating on cruise ships, this was something new.
Łukasz – We actually took part in the Swedish version of Dancing on Ice the year prior and found working on/with TV very exhilarating.
How is it meeting your celebrity partners for the first time and preparing them for the competition?
Łukasz – Meeting your celeb partner for the first time can be very nerve-racking, it is almost like a blind date ha ha ha. It is important that you have a connection with them and can build a good working relationship together to progress on the show. Some years this is definitely easier than others.
Can you tell us how it feels seeing the progression in your celebrity partners?
Alex – This is the most exciting part of teaching for me as it is so satisfying seeing them progress and learn new skills. It can be anything from a simple step to achieve a move or something you have been working on for a long time. This moment (almost like a light bulb coming on), a revelation, and seeing the happiness on their faces.
Łukasz – Since we are so passionate about skating, it is very thrilling to share the knowledge and experience you have accumulated over the years.
Alexandra, having won the series with James Jordan in Series 11, how was it waiting for your name to be called out and being announced as winners?
Both me and James were so sure that Wes (Nelson) and Vanessa (Bauer) had it in the bag so when I look back I can see the utter disbelief on our faces followed by such utter happiness.
Łukasz, you reached third place alongside Beth Tweddle in the All-Stars series in 2014, what was it like partnering with Beth and reaching the Final?
Working with Beth was very fun as it meant combining two worlds – gymnastics and skating. Beth was such a great skater but also being able to produce brand new lifts that had never been done on the show before was very exciting for both of us and we became great friends in the process. Reaching the Final was the icing on the cake, I’m just sad we didn’t get to show our Bolero as we had worked really hard on it and it had some breathtaking lifts.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being professional skaters on Dancing on Ice?
Łukasz – Preparing for the unknown every week as the show constantly changes with different themes and required elements. The stress levels can run very high. There is always such a limited time of learning and getting the next routine ready for the live show. Every week is a roller coaster in emotions for both you and your celeb.
How often do you skate when not part of Dancing on Ice and what is a typical training day once you’ve met your celebrity partners for the show?
Alex – Our own practice differs a lot from a typical training day with our celebs. With them we skate for a couple of intense hours every day along with off ice training as well. As the show starts in January this intensifies and it is pretty much “Eat, sleep, skate – repeat” Lol.
What are you both looking forward to most for Series 15 starting in the new year, and why would you recommend watching the series on ITV?
Łukasz – Dancing on Ice is one of the most dangerous shows on TV, so every week you are guaranteed to see something new. Personally, I’m also very excited to be back to a “normal” series without cohorts and COVID measures so that the pros can perform amazing numbers together again every week.
Is there anything you enjoy most about being part of the Dancing on Ice cast?
Alex – Definitely getting to share the ice with my talented fellow pros as well as Jayne (Torvill) and Chris (Dean). Over the years, we have formed such a close bond with everyone on the production and we are all like a big family.
What are some of your highlights from ice skating professionally over the years?
Alex – Definitely one of the highlights is taking part in the live Dancing on Ice tours together with Jayne & Chris.
Łukasz – Performing live together with artists like, for example, Andrea Bocelli, Chris de Burgh, Bonnie Tyler, Alexandra Burke, The Saturdays, Blue and Coldplay, just to name a few. Performing to live music brings the performance to another level and is such a pleasure for an ice skater as the music is a huge part of it all.
Can you tell us what your process is of choreographing a routine?
Alex – I like to sit down and really listen to the music, pick it apart so to speak with highlights and perhaps some lyrics that really jump out at me.
Łukasz – It is obviously very important to bear in mind who you are choreographing for so that the routine brings out the best of them and their skill set.
Alex – Yes, choreographing for ourselves is in some ways the best but also the hardest as we are both perfectionists and want it done just perfectly.
How do you like to spend your time away from skating?
Łukasz – Cooking, baking, DIY, drone flying – I have so many different interests, the list is endless ha ha.
What advice would you give a young skater starting out and have you been given any advice over your career that has stuck with you?
Alex – “If you believe it you can achieve it”.
Most skaters struggle with self confidence so I always like working on that. In my experience, it is really mind over matter in most cases.
Łukasz – The best thing I ever learnt was to give any performance 110%, if you really enjoy something, people will always enjoy watching you. So my advice to a young skater is that the performance is equally important as the technical aspect. You need to master both to go really far. But don’t forget to have fun in the process.
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