Local teens named Skate Ontario Gold Dance Champions

Two local teens made the last weekend in March one to remember, as they executed the “best skate of their lives so far” to be named the Skate Ontario Gold Dance Champions.

Wesley Lockwood, 17, of Kingston and Kadynn Morrison, 16, of Spencerville execute a flawless dip at the 2022 Skate Ontario Provincial Championships, held in Mississauga March 24 to 27, where the pair earned Gold in Ice Dancing to be named the Skate Ontario Gold Dance Champions. Submitted photo.

Wesley Lockwood, 17, of Kingston and Kadynn Morrison, 16, of Spencerville both started ice skating like many Canadians do: at an early age. However, their knack for the art of carving blade through ice quickly drew them to figure skating: Wesley at two-and-a-half, and Kadynn at two years old. They have both pursued the sport ever since, leading them to the Skate Ontario Provincial Championships in Mississauga this past weekend.

“We skated in the moment. [It was] the best skate of our lives, so far,” said Wesley, who attends LaSalle Secondary School here in Kingston. “It was an experience we’ll always remember.”

Kadynn said the entire experience of the Provincial Championships was “pretty cool,” even more so because she got to share special moments with her mother, her coaches, and her skating partner. And for that partner, sharing special moments with his mother and coach was extra special because they are the same person: Wesley’s mother, Colleen, is the pair’s co-coach.

The two skaters trained for years at their respective home clubs – Napanee Skate Club for Wesley, and Skate Brockville for Kadynn – but what makes their most recent achievement particularly impressive is that the pair only began training together about four months ago. Colleen is quick not to take all the credit for the success of the young skaters, who were also coming off a period of two years of inconsistent training opportunity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It takes a village behind a team,” she said, noting that working alongside co-coach Kelly Johnson of Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie clearly had its benefits. “We were very fortunate to have Olympian and Olympic Coach Kelly Johnson on Kadynn and Wesley’s team.”

Colleen then turned her attention to the most recent gold medal winners. She noted that the pair’s dedication and determination in ice dancing are accompanied by a sense of balance that is much needed in their sport. “Kadynn and Wesley both have the ability to laugh off skills that don’t turn out as planned in daily training, keeping the fun in their sessions – a strong base to build a team,” she said.

Kadynn and Wesley mirror one another’s sleek lines during a leg lift as part of one of their performances at the Skate Ontario Provincial Championships, held in Mississauga the last weekend of March 2022. Submitted photo.

Both Wesley and Kadynn expressed a sense of relief and elation over the triumph, particularly after having weathered disrupted training throughout the pandemic.

“There was relief, happiness… We’d succeeded through shut-downs and skating on outdoor rinks during those shut-downs,” said Wesley, “and the hard work paid off.”

Kadynn agreed that the “ups and downs of the shut-downs” certainly had an impact, but the duo was able to overcome it through their devotion to the sport, their respective skills and talents, and the joy they find dancing on ice.

“We’ve only been skating together for four months, twice a week, but we were still successful!” Kadynn said, beaming.

At the Provincial Championships, Wesley and Kadynn performed two routines: a Blues routine, performed to Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning for five patterns; and a Viennese routine, skated to Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs. The latter routine, Wesley said, is their favourite to perform, as they are “most connected to that song.”

Now, with this massive accolade at the top of their resumes — and Gold medals around their necks — Kadynn and Wesley have an eye to the future – and some decisions to make, as well.

“We still need to decide if we’re going to [move up a competition level] to Pre-Novice, or staying at Gold Dance,” Wesley said.

Regardless of what they decide, the pair will continue their training, employing the balance of hard work, skill, and healthy perspective that has gotten them this far.

“We’re going to keep training together and build up our skills and techniques for next season,” said Kadynn.

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