Meet Ellie Fisher
If you had to describe Canadian ice dancer Ellie Fisher in one word, it would definitely be "sweetheart." With her old soul, kind nature, and oh-so infectious smile, Ellie brings some much-needed sweetness to the figure skating world. She loves to travel, loves to try new things, and is the type of person who makes the most out of every moment. This junior (soon-to-be senior) skater has so much to offer the world, and she's just getting started! Read on to learn more about Ellie - and find out what it's really like training at Centre Gadbois among the best ice dancers in the world.
Birthday: September 10th, 2001 (17 years old)
Born: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Hometown: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Currently: Monreal, Quebec, Canada
Country Represented: Canada Skating Club: CPA Lorraine
Discipline: Ice Dance
Partner: Simon-Pierre Malette-Paquette
Training location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada @ Centre Gadbois
Coach: Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis
Little Ellie on the left and right, with grown up Ellie and Simon in the middle (photo by Danielle Earl Photography)
Q: You're from Moncton, New Brunswick - I feel like every Canadian grows up with skates on their feet, but what was your journey discovering and falling in love with the sport?
A: My parents put my brother and I in lots of different activities to find out what we enjoyed, and when I started skating there was nothing else I wanted to do! Soon I was asking to skate twelve months of the year.
Q: In 2011, you (along with your mom and brother) moved to Barrie, Ontario, to train with coach Lee Barkell. What prompted the change in training environment, and how did you end up going from singles to (almost pairs) to ice dance with your first partner, Parker Brown?
A: I needed to be with a lot of skaters that were better than me - in order to have people to look up to, and I needed a coach that could push me to the level I wanted to achieve. In Barrie, there was ice time all day long, as opposed to a couple hours a few days a week like I was getting (back home in New Brunswick). Also, I had already worked with Lee, and I knew I loved his coaching style and him as a person. Getting into dance was actually a fluke thing, as I was suppose to do it a couple times a week in order to learn how to skate with a boy for pairs and continue to improve my skating skills. Parker had broken up with his previous partner, and our dance coach David Islam thought it would be a good idea for us to do tryout. After 15 minutes, we knew we wanted to skate with each other. I continued to do both singles and dance for the next couple years; however when Lee moved to Cricket Club I needed to decide one or the other, and dance was really my passion.
Ellie LOVES ice dance, can't you tell? (Photo by Danielle Earl Photography)
Q: Five years later, you moved again and started training at basically the ice dance capital of the world, Gadbois. I imagine Montreal is very different from Ontario or the Maritimes - how hard was that transition, and did you have any difficulties (language-wise) living in a French-speaking province?
A: I absolutely adore Montreal and it was an easy choice, as it is so much closer to my home. Everyone was so welcoming, and I felt it was a really good time to make that change, as I was looking for a new partner. As for the language, I can both speak and understand it, even though I don’t speak French as much as I should, but it wasn’t an issue for me! I was used to French because my home province, New Brunswick, is bilingual (it's actually the only official bilingual province in Canada), and I grew up with it.
Photos from last season's SD and FD, as well as the JGP Armenia podium
(Photos by Danielle Earl Photography and ISU)
Q: Then in 2016, you joined forces with native Québécois ice dancer Simon-Pierre Malette-Paquette. How did that partnership come about, and why do you think you and Simon-Pierre make a great team?
A: He was home for Easter in 2016 and asked me for a tryout. We had a great tryout, but he wanted me to move to Washington with him. I went for a tryout there to try and convince him to come to Montreal, but we both loved where we were, and I had no intention of leaving Gadbois. He skated with another girl for a while and it didn’t work out, so he asked me to skate with him again later that year - but I still wasn’t leaving Montreal because I knew I was in the best place possible! He decided to move back home and we started skating together right away, but we were unable to compete that season as he only returned to Montreal in October. Both of us have a great passion for the sport and a desire to do well. We are great friends and overcame a lot together with his concussion this past summer, and it really made us grow as a team to come out of it stronger.
Q: So we know Gadbois is a magical place where champions are made, but what is it actually like on a day-to-day basis and how does everyone get along? And how on earth do your coaches (Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, etc.) give each of the (almost two dozen!) teams adequate attention and ice time?
A: It is so well-run and organized! Yes, there are a lot of teams (approximately 20 teams and a few solo dancers as well), but there are also a lot of great coaches to take the time to work with each and every team. We get a schedule each night telling us the times we all skate and the coaches we get and in the morning, we get a detailed schedule on what we are supposed to do throughout our on-ice training day. Everyone is so caring and loving, and we are like a big family who push each other so we can all be our best. I also get to look up to, skate with, and watch some of the greatest skaters in the world every day, which will never get old!
Simon and Ellie's fierce Argentine Tango RD this season! (Photo by Joosep Martinson, ISU)
Q: You guys have had a great season together, with highlights including bronze at the Junior Grand Prix in Armenia, gold at Québec Sectionals, and a strong 4th place finish at the Canadian Junior Nationals earlier this month. Are there plans to move up to the senior level next year?
A: Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, we do plan on making the move to senior next season, as Simon ages out of junior.
Q: Let's talk about your programs this season - I am especially in love with your Les Mis FD! Can you take us behind the scenes in your process of choosing the music, refining the choreography, and of course, designing those beautiful costumes?
A: For both our programs, our coaching team picked the music. Our Les Mis free dance was a piece of music they thought would highlight the way we skate and showcase our skating skills. Romain choreographed both of our programs this year because he felt a connection to both of the pieces of music the most. I’m lucky enough to work with the amazing Mathieu Caron and his team who created the simple-yet-elegant vision Marie, Romain, and I had for my dresses. He always asks for your opinion and makes you a priority in the whole process; he is truly so talented and wonderful to work with!
They dreamed a dream... and it came true! (Photo by Danielle Earl Photography)
Q: Imagine you had a day off where you could go wherever you wanted, do whatever you wanted, and most importantly, eat whatever you wanted - what would your ideal day look like?
A: There are too many places I want to go! Somewhere warm with crystal blue waters, tropical fish, amazing animals, and fresh fruit all day long would be my dream day!
Q: As you finish up high school online, do you find that it's been hard missing out on that "typical" high school experience? And do you have plans to go to university in the fall?
A: Giving up the "typical" high school experience was something I chose in order to do what I love, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t find it sad or hard because it has allowed me to have so many opportunities doing what I love. Next year, I will be taking a gap year just to skate and also take some extra courses I want, but then I plan to go to law school.
Q: What are five goals - both skating and non-skating related - that you have for yourself going into the next five years?
A: In the next five years, I would like to have started law school, be on the senior Grand Prix circuit, go to Worlds, volunteer overseas to help people or animals who are struggling and in need, and always continue to travel and explore the world!
Favorite country you've visited?
Best thing about ice dancing?
I love getting dressed up for competitions and the chance to play a role and tell a story
If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be?
Pralines and Creme
Favorite Disney character?
You always have the perfect curls - what's your best tip for curling hair?
I use a curling wand!
Most random thing in your skating bag?
Gum, always gum!
Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
I was never really a person who had a celebrity crush, but I always looked up to Tessa Virtue so much!
Something about you people would be surprised to know?
I never wear matching socks
What three words would your parents use to describe you?
Old soul, dedicated, loyal
Quote to live by?
“Never be afraid to try something new because life gets boring when you stay in the limits of what you already know”
Keep up with Ellie
Follow Ellie on Instagram to keep up with all her ice dance adventures and travels, and stay tuned next season as Team #FisherMalettePaquette burst onto the senior scene!
All other photos courtesy Ellie Fisher