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AthleteWe are 4 time National Bronze Medal Ice dancers and World Team members. Our Olympic season kicks off in just two weeks. ASK US ANYTHING AS WE PREPARE FOR MAKING TEAM USA!

Aug 30th 2017 by Hubbell_Donohue • 21 Questions • 956 Points

Hey guys! We have to run back to the ice! Thank you so much for your questions, it was great to chat with you all! We will be logging on throughout the week to get to any questions we missed, so feel free to keep posting!

We started our partnership in 2011, and have since been 4 time National Bronze Medalists and World Team members. Our Olympic season kicks off in just two weeks, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Come chat with us, and ask us about what it is like training as a team, for the biggest competition in sports! Follow us on Instagram : @splashmadison @zachtdonohue Twitter: @madihubbell @ZachTDonohue

If you didn't get enough, and want to check out some more info, read my blogs at www.hubbell-donohue.com

Proof: https://i.redd.it/8qwvzn3l9riz.jpg

Visit: reddit.com/user/TeamUSAOlympics/ for all upcoming Winter Olympic AMA's

Q:

If you guys could change any rule(s) to ice dance, what would it be?

A:

@SuTerifa Great question!

Madi, first!

Where to start?! In my dream world, there would be no rules! I know that it isn't possible, but grass is always greener on the other side! The older generations felt the sport needed structure, and justice, so they made rules. Now, with a large rulebook we have, I dream of complete freedom. I guess that is why we have show programs.

Seriously, though, the only room I really want gone is about Free Dance Music. We are required to make a medley of songs, with atleast one change in timing, rhythm, and expression! As if skating to one piece of music for 4 minutes would make it less dance, or more boring!

Also, we need an audible beat! This is tricky, since all music has a timing, but not always an audible consistent beat! It kills us to see people enhancing the instruments of music as timeless as Mozart!

Zach here. For me, the first rules I would want to see changed are about Dance Lifts. I believe that the rules, in an attempt to differentiate us from Pairs Skating, are too closed. We see too many lifts that look similar to one another, and we feel limited by the laundry list of Do's and Don'ts!


Q:

Thank you so much for your replies to both of my questions. Thank you for giving such an informative and insightful answer. I also agree with you two 100%.

A:

But...let's compare! Midnight Blues for two turns of the ice rink, or Short Dance ending in "Turn down for What!"

haha


Q:

I love all of these Olympics AMAs. The ice dancing is so beautiful. It's the one I wait for every year. How much do you think being an actual couple helps? I feel like so much of it is the passion you feel with your partner.

A:

Hey @Alexjessa020308

Well, it is Madison here. I think each partnership works differently. Zach and I have competed together as an off ice couple in the past, but we have actually been in separate relationships for the past 3 years. I think the most important thing is a friendship and respect between the two people, or at least I hope we haven't lost our passion!! Most of the top teams in the World are not actual couples, so I think it isn't crucial.


Q:

Can you share how you met each of your SOs? It always amazes me how the skating world is so small!

A:

Hey!

Madi first... I met Adrian Diaz in 2008, in a junior international event. We have a few facebook messages from after the first time we met, kids flirting. He was training in Europe, and the spark quickly fizzled. Fast forward 7 years, and in the 2014-15 season, it seemed like we were at every competition together. We reconnected for the first time at Skate Canada 2015, and immediately fell for each other! The move to Montreal, where he trains, made our relationship even closer. We live together, have our Pomsky puppy Nova, and plan to live our happily ever after! Skating is a small world, and it has given me many great friends, and also my amazing relationship!


Q:

You look so in sync I assumed you were a couple. Thank you awesome, good luck

A:

Well, many people assume. I take it as a compliment, we are doing our sport well!


Q:

To Madi, when does costume prep usually start and how do you come up with style ideas? P.S. I love your blog!

A:

YAYYY!!! My Favorite username also loves my blog!

Sorry for not posting one in the past few weeks, I promise it is coming!

Costume prep begins as soon as we select our programs. This year I began searching for inspiration and fabric in May. My mom drove 12 hours for the initial fitting in July, and then again last weekend to drop off the finished garments. :) I hope you like them.

The inspiration for the style varies year to year...sometimes it is a recreation of a dress we have seen, and sometimes it is a truly unique design.


Q:

YAY! Can't wait to see your new costumes! πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸΌ

A:

So, this is Zach, my turn now!

  1. Talent..I mean, who doesn't want a talented partner?! She is hard working as well, but her natural talent gets her pretty far!
  2. I love her dedication every day. She doesn't waver, she just goes forward towards what she wants.
  3. She is an incredibly passionate person, on and off the ice. Nothing she does is empty, everything comes from her heart.
  4. Her patience! I can be a handful, and she handles me better than most could!
  5. Her charisma is infectious. She doesn't let it out for everyone, but when she isn't holding it in, she is one of the most fun people I have ever met.

Q:

YAY! So happy to see your answers! Thank you so much! Totally made my day! :)

A:

Zach now...and she said it well. That is the hardest thing for us. I think because we are an equally matched team in skating ability, the skating part is actually our easier component compared to mentality.


Q:

How tough was the fall at Worlds last season when you were primed for a spot on the podium? How did you overcome the disappointment of that competition?

A:

@nachomannacho

Zach here, and maybe I am hungry, but your username makes me want nachos! Since it was my fall, I will take this one.

Honestly, the fall was heartbreaking. I had never cried over skating, until that day. I overcame the fall by facing it head on. My coaches, family, partner all made me stay in reality. We don't pretend it didn't happen, but we don't wallow in it either. My coaches helped me a lot, sharing their experience of falling in the Olympic Games. I was lucky that it happened to me then, and not in 6 months in Pyeongchang. I guess I needed a wakeup call!


Q:

No matter the fall you two are just great and I can't wait to see you at nationals! Your FD was sublime every time you skated it...even with the fall.

A:

Thank you @neemarita

That means a lot!


Q:

Hi guys, what's your favorite performance of your program(s) so far in your career? Favorite program from another team/skater from last season? p.s. Madi excellent and insightful blog posts!

A:

Its Zach now, and yes, it is supposed to be endearing!

After skating I would like to be an Olympic level choreographer, working alongside my skating school. I also want to open a fitness center for elite athletes...so basically, I am gonna be busy and I need to a lot of money!


Q:

Hi Madi & Zach! Thanks for doing this AMA! I'm a huge figure skating fan, been to several events and even met you guys one time and you were both so nice and genuine :) My question is what is your favorite competition to compete at during a season, and where is your favorite place/city/country to compete? Wishing for a terrific season for you both!

A:

;)


Q:

how committed are you to sparkle motion?

A:

I am intrigued @spacemanza ... what in the world is sparkle motion?

I would venture to guess that I am VERY committed.

*Do I need to mention that this is Madison?


Q:

Pineapple on pizza or no?

A:

Hey @drchopsalot , it is unanimous!

We both say, Why the hell not?!?!

We love all food!


Q:

r/knightsofpineapple thanks for answering.

A:

That was Madi btw...Now its Zach. Getting my large frame off the ground to fly through the air is not a challenge I am ready to undertake.


Q:

Hi guys, long time fan of your skating! Do you watch So You Think You Can Dance and if so, who have been your favorite dancers/routines?

A:

Hey @limemojitea

Thanks for being a long time fan of ours, Zach here. I love watching the show, and I am always inspired watching different styles of dance. I would have to say that my favorite is still Travis Wall, both in his personal performances and his choreography. It is hard to pick out one piece that is my favorite, but I haven't seen any I dont like yet.

Ok, Madi here, I am butting in! I can't stay silent about this any longer!


Q:

Hi guys, long time fan of your skating! Do you watch So You Think You Can Dance and if so, who have been your favorite dancers/routines?

A:

I started obsessed with Mia Michaels...and my love for the show grew from there.

A few I love in particular, excuse my made up names for them...

The Obsession Dance The hummingbird and the Flower The Mercy Dance...

Basically, I like all of them


Q:

Hey Madi & Zach! I was wondering what (each of your) favourite and least favourite things about training with a few of your biggest rivals is?

Looking forward to seeing you dance - I'll be cheering super loud!

A:

Hey @headphones13

The only thing I, Madi, don't like about training with the best teams in the world...They always look so damn good! We can't have just one day of peace, you know? They are always there, training, and taunting us with their talent. The little voice in our heads saying "You better get going!"

Zach here...I agree with Madi. Everything else about training with these teams is great. And I guess that what she said can also be seen as good too...good for motivation!


Q:

I love ice dancing but don't know a great deal about it yet. How does the early training work? Do you start out training more like a figure skater, or is there ice dance training from the start?

This is my favorite winter Olympics event, and I can't wait to see you guys perform. Best wishes!

A:

Hey @DocHolliday13 ...

This is Madi here. When we begin as children, we basically learn the same basics. The typical track seems to lean more towards freestyle, since there are more coaches around the country that teach freestyle. I did freestyle, but quickly realized that dance was where my heart was.


Q:

What do you think about synchro? As a synchro skater myself, I would love to see it at the Olympics. Although I have competed at a national level in Canada, there really isn't much hype surrounding the sport, which is a shame. Do you have any experience with it?

A:

@rileewyliecoyote

Madi here... First, congrats to you for your career in Synchro! I trained in Ann Arbor for many years, while the Hockettes were very competitive. I guess that the logistics of bringing in SOOOO many athletes for one event is too challenging for many venues! It is unfortunate that it is hard to get the credit you all deserve. After all, I find it hard to match my one partner, let alone another 20!


Q:

Hi Madi and Zach! My question for you is: how different is it for you to choose a FD music and an EX music? (P.S: I watched videos of your "Stand By Me" at SOI 2017 and I hope we'll get to see this EX again)

A:

Hey @voutenocturne ... we like this subject.

So, with the rules of Ice Dance, the pool of music that we want to skate to is cut in half. We need to compete with music that has an audible beat, changes of character, and changes in timing! Some pieces just don't fit into the rules, and it is those pieces that don't fit the competitive rules that we make into our show programs. We are glad you enjoyed our "Stand By Me" program, which was Zachs suggestion. I am not sure, however, which program we will do for exhibition this season. We get bored easily, and love to switch things up!