In the fall of 2007, Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov suffered a fall in a warm up before the free dance at Skate Canada that brought their competitive career to a screeching halt. They sat out the rest of the season recovering while financial constraints added to their problems. When they failed to pop up in International competitions the next year, many of their fans were both confused and disappointed. Gregory and Petukhov have used the last few years to carve their own artistic path. They have created opportunities for themselves and other skaters in this sport that they both still so clearly love. Style On Ice had an opportunity to catch up with the married duo this past week.
SOI: Have you ever officially retired from amateur competition?
G&P: We like to keep our eligible status and keep our options open.
SOI: You haven't competed since getting injured in a practice in the fall of 2007, do you miss it?
G&P: Yes we do miss the thrill of competing, but we love skating and love performing in general. We really are enjoying doing shows.
SOI: You've focused your ice time now on exhibitions, what do you personally gain from these performances?
G&P: We LOVE performing! We also love producing and creating shows and artistic programs. We feel that every show, performance, & program choreographed allows us to grow personally as artists. Plus, we do gain some business skills along the way.
SOI: Is there a particular style of dance that is the most fun or that you think best suits you as a couple?
G&P: Classical, orchestral, & modern.
SOI: Are you still coaching in CT and if so, how is that process for you?
G&P: We don't do a lot of private coaching during the fall, winter, or spring since we travel a lot performing. We do have our program that is here in Hartford, Fever on Ice and we enjoy it very much. In the summer we do coach and help young skaters and coaches, we also developed some workshops and travel to different clubs or rinks around the country to inspire skaters in this sport.
SOI: You both have been very smart about marketing yourselves and finding a way to make opportunities for yourselves and other skaters as well. Tell me about some of these endeavors and what has meant the most to you.
G&P: Last year we took students from Fever on Ice to Rockefeller Center to participate in the USOC's event that was promoting the 2010 Olympic Games. It was so rewarding to get to make a difference in their lives and give them a memory that they will never forget!
SOI: Anything exciting lined up in the near future?
G&P: Yes we actually have our 2nd annual "Proud Nation" show coming up on Friday April 8th, 2011 7:30pm. It will be a mosaic of entertainment with live music, cirque arts, skating, & dancing.
SOI: What would you like to say to the skating fans who continue to support your skating?
G&P: That they are the reason why we do it and love it! We love them! We hope to continue entertaining them and seeing them at our shows!
SOI: What would you tell the young skaters just coming up with elite goals?
G&P: Do your best and forget the rest. Dream BIG! And, never give up!
2011 Proud Nation Promo Video
Gregory and Petukhov Official Site