Ireland-Heidt, Robinson Up To The Challenge

Natalie Robinson and Chase Ireland Heidt ice dancing

Chatham-Kent ice dancers Natalie Robinson (Ridgetown) and Chase Ireland-Heidt (Chatham) skate at a recent competition – Contributed Photo

Natalie Robinson and Chase Ireland-Heidt competed this past week in Montreal at a national competition. This competition had skaters from all over the country, and it is known as ‘Challenge’. What an intriguing name for a competition, and considering the challenges pairs went through to get their place. Natalie and Chase competed with 25 other pairs in the Pre-Novice Ice dance category.

Robinson, 15, is part of the Ridgetown Figure Skating Club, and Ireland-Heidt, 16, is part of the Chatham Figure Skating Club. Natalie is in grade 10 at Ridgetown District High School, and Chase is in grade 11 attending École Secondaire De Pain Cour. The pair have been training together since mid-2013.

The pair talked about their improvement over the last year. Chase stated, “We have our good days and bad days, but overall we’ve improved so much more, on ice and off ice. It’s good to have a friend as a partner.”

The pair have been to many places for competition; Ottawa, Montreal, and Paris (Ontario), are just a few examples of where they’ve been and how far they go.

The pair also talked about their recent competition in Montreal. Natalie says, “Usually you start feeling the nerves, and my way of getting rid of that is laughing and joking around with people. It takes my mind off the being nervous.”

The pair also discussed their feelings going into the national competition, Natalie saying, “Because it’s such a high competition, I personally don’t feel the need to get first or second place. The fact that we have the chance to compete there and be a part of it is already good enough for me.”

Earlier this year, Natalie and Chase met Olympians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Both Natalie and Chase agree that they are talented and beautiful ice dancers, and they say they are their role models.

Natalie and Chase may not have not won Challenge, but they are content with knowing they did their very best and that’s what matters. Their coach Connie Toth is very proud along with their friends and families.

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