The Independent London Newspaper
25th March 2019

Ice dance sisters are set to take on the world

    Lilah (left) and Sasha Fear with their Sheffield trophies

    Lilah (left) and Sasha Fear with their Sheffield trophies

    Published: 15 December, 2016
    by CHARLIE CORBETT

    FOR many of us, taking to the ice is something we just do in winter – a quick whizz around a pop-up rink to help get us in the Christmas spirit, and earn the mulled wine that will soon follow. 

    We may even convince ourselves that we’re Torvill and Dean performing their world famous Bolero routine in the 1984 Winter Olympics as we close our eyes and slowly lift a wobbling leg off the ice. 

    But for ace skate sisters Lilah and Sasha Fear the dream of performing a medal-winning routine at a future Winter Olympics is fast becoming an achievable reality after they climbed to the very top of the British rankings. 

    Sasha and partner Elliot Verburg

    Lilah, 17, and Sasha, 14, who both go to South Hampstead High School, and their respective dance partners Lewis Gibson and Elliot Verburg, were crowned British Ice Dance Champions at the British Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield. 

    But success doesn’t come easy, with the sisters embracing a 5am start so that they can train six days a week at the Alexandra Palace Ice Rink. They are, however, reaping the rewards. 

    On Monday senior champions Lilah and Lewis heard they’ve been selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships, which are being held in the Czech Republic in January. They are currently ranked second in Great Britain.

    “When Lilah got the news she was absolutely delighted. She is so proud to have been selected as part of the GB team,” revealed mum Kirsten. 

    Lilah with partner Lewis Gibson

    Her coach, Karen Quinn, a former British Professional Ice Dance Champion, added: “Lilah and Lewis could be a possibility for the winter games in Sapporo, Japan, next year. 

    “If the number one couple in the country are ranked high enough, we could see the second highest ranked couple also picked for the games – which is where Lilah and Lewis step in. 

    “Obviously, a lot can happen in a year but it’s nice to be in the position they are in.” 

    Younger sister Sasha and dance partner Elliot managed to pull off complex moves like curve lifts, rotation lifts and the very difficult side-by-side twizzle in their final to secure the junior British title.

    “It was quite an incredible achievement”, said Karen. 

    “They have only been together for three months, which is a very short time. They went out and beat couples that have been skating together for well over a year so they were absolutely ecstatic to win the title. 

    “Because they are so young, they could be at this level for another five years,” Karen added. 

    “So right now, they should be trying to climb as high as they can in the junior world rankings before they move on to the seniors.” 

    All four ice dancers are now waiting to hear if they’ve secured  a place in the World Championships next year – with the senior event being held in Finland and the junior event being held in Taiwan. 

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