October 5th, 2015

King and Shook compete at USFS Solo Dance Finals

Staff Report

King and Shook compete at USFS Solo Dance Finals
Mary Shook / photo provided by Mollie Shook

Mary Virginia Shook and Emmett King brought home silver medals from U.S. Figure Skating’s (USFS) fifth Annual Solo Dance Finals.

The finals were held in Lansing, MI, Sept. 23-26, where at each level, the country’s top 16 solo ice dancers competed for a spot on the podium.

Shook, 18, competed in the Gold, the highest U.S. Figure Skating dance level.  She placed first in her preliminary dances, the Westminster Waltz and the Argentine Tango.  The final dance was the Quickstep, where she finished second.  She entered Nationals as first in the Midwest division.  This was Shook’s fifth trip to nationals and her first time on the podium.  She is a senior at Sacred Heart Academy.

“The best solo ice dancers compete at this event, so earning a medal was incredible,” Shook said in a press release.  “I’ve just missed the podium for the past few years. So to achieve my goal of medaling was a dream come true.  There are no short cuts-- it is hard work, training and coaching.”  Skaters must place in the top four to medal.

King, 12, competed at the pre-Silver level.  He placed second in his preliminary dances, the Fox Trot and the European Waltz.  The final dance was the 14 Step, where he finished second.  This is King’s first time qualifying for nationals. He entered the competition third in the Midwest division.  King is a seventh grader at St. Francis of Assisi. 

“I am so excited I did it,” King said.  “The medal really shows that hard work and not giving up pays off.”

Susan Dresel Caudill coaches both skaters.  Caudill is a three time Master Rated Coach by the Professional Skaters Association (PSA).  She has coached two dance teams to nationals and four skaters to USFS Solo Dance Finals.

“Coaching such driven students as MV and Emmett is a pleasure,” said Caudill.  “They’ve both worked very hard and spent countless hours training to achieve their medals.  I am especially proud of MV’s work and dedication over the past five years.  She never gave up.”

Shook is unsure if she will skate the Solo Dance Series again but plans to try out for Disney on Ice this spring or skate for her university.  King will compete for Silver dance the next year.  Both skaters train at the Louisville Skating Academy (LSA).

The Solo Dance Competition Series serves as an avenue for solo ice dancers to hone their skills and compete for a place in the national spotlight.  USFS created the program in 2011.


LSA is a member club of U.S. Figure Skating.  U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States, as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. For further information on the Solo Dance Finals visit www.usfsa.org.


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