Meet Emmy Bronsard
If you couldn't tell from her expression in the photo above, Emmy Bronsard is quite literally a ray of sunshine. Canadians are known for being kind, warm, and welcoming, but this junior ice dancer radiates joy unlike anyone else. Her bubbly nature and natural expressiveness translate very well onto the ice, where she brings a whole new meaning to the words "artistry" and "energy." She's just getting started in her skating career - competing alongside steadfast partner Aissa Bouaraguia - but the two of them already show such promise. I mean, even Olympic ice dance champion Tessa Virtue said they were the future of figure skating!
One of the things that impresses me the most about Emmy and Aissa is their unique, creative music choices and program interpretations. The 2018-19 season saw them making their Junior Grand Prix debut in Ostrava and Yerevan (placing 4th and 6th, respectively), winning silver at Quebec Sectionals, 4th at Skate Canada Challenge Skate, and 6th at the 2019 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Perhaps I'm biased, but there's something very special about these two. Read on and get to know the Gadbois girl with the big talent, big goals, and even bigger smile!
(Original header photo courtesy of Tomasz Pindel)
Birthday: October 13th, 2004 (14 years old)
Born: Levis, Quebec, Canada
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Currently: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Country Represented: Canada
Skating Club: CPA Gadbois
Discipline: Ice Dance
Partner: Aissa Bouaraguia
Training Location: Montreal International Skating School @ Centre Gadbois in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Coaches: Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis
Emmy and partner Aissa Bouaraguia skate their Greatest Showman free dance at the 2018 Junior Grand Prix event in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Q: You were born and raised in Montreal - a city that is now basically the ice dance capital of the world, thanks to Centre Gadbois! How did you get involved in skating when you were younger, and what about skating do you love?
A: I started skating when I was about three years old, at Centre Gadbois! So, I basically grew up in that skating center, and I have always been skating for CPA Gadbois. I remember that back then, I used to run behind Marie-France to try to get my skates autographed by her! I started to skate with team #EPMISS (Montreal International Skating School, run by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon) when I was about eight years old. Fun fact: I actually got my first choreography from Marie-France as my Christmas gift one year! What I love about skating is very simple: as soon as I step on the ice, I feel a shiver - a sort of empowerment - and it makes me feel like home, a dream come true.
Left and right: young Emmy showing off her medal and her skating moves
Center: Emmy and coach Marie-France in the kiss & cry at the 2017 Skate Canada Challenge Skate
Q: You started your skating career in singles, as most skaters do, picking up several medals at Sectionals and Challenge Skate (plus a gold at Minto Summer Skate) over the years. Are you still training/competing in singles now, and what are your favorite and least favorite things about that discipline?
A: I am not training or competing in singles anymore. My favorite thing about singles is definitely the spins, and my least favorite thing, I'd say jumps... I liked to jump, but the injuries I got from it at some point were very serious: slight tear of the Achilles tendon, slight displacement of the coccyx…!
Left and right: Emmy performing during the 2017-18 season (pictured on the left at Skate Canada Challenge Skate, where she came in 7th in pre-novice)
(Courtesy of Danielle Earl Photography)
Center: Emmy with her silver medal at 2017 Quebec Sectionals
Q: You teamed up with Aissa Bouaraguia and began your ice dance career in the 2016-17 season, pausing for the following year to focus on singles, then coming back together this past season as juniors. What makes you and Aissa's partnership work so well?
A: Aissa and I have known each other for more than 10 years, and I think that is one of the main reasons why it works quite well! There is also the fact that we are complete opposites!
This is NOT your typical Greatest Showman program - watch Emmy and Aissa strut their stuff on the ice during #JGP Ostrava!
Q: The first time I heard about you and Aissa was actually in an interview that Tessa Virtue did (for Real Style Magazine in June 2018), when she was asked about the future of this sport and she mentioned you guys - "Emmy and Aissa are a fantastic new duo that will be shining brightly on the world's stage in no time!" How does it feel to have someone like Tessa say that about you, and what is it like training alongside champion ice dancers every day at Gadbois?
A: I mean, IT’S AMAZING! They are the best skaters in the world, but not only that, they are my friends. They are all so kind and caring, they are my family! You know the expression, it takes a village to raise a child? Well, #EPMISS is my village!
Some of Emmy's "village" at École de Patinage Montréal International Skating School (#EPMISS)
Q: Did you guys compete in novice at all, or did you just make the jump from pre-novice (in which you won silver at Challenge Skate in 2016) to junior? What was the biggest thing you learned in your first junior season, and what surprised you the most about being in junior?
A: Yes, we went from pre-novice to junior. And wow, the biggest thing I learned from my first year (in junior) was to keep smiling no matter what. I think everybody knows that we had some difficulties at the end of the year, and facing that was not easy. But no matter what, I learned that I can take a situation with a smile, and I turn it into something positive!
Emmy and Aissa rehearsing their Argentine Tango rhythm dance, set to "El Choclo" and "Let's Face the Music and Dance"
(Courtesy of On Ice Perspectives)
Q: Outside of skating, what are your dreams and passions, and what do you like to do when you're not at the rink?
A: So as you might know, I am a full-time student, and I go the College de Montréal School in Montreal. One of my biggest dreams is to become a lawyer! I also love to cook, and I love ballet and all sorts of dance! When I am not at skating, I either go to school, study, cook, or take care of my dogs!
Q: What style of music is your favorite to skate to and why? Your programs are always so entertaining and make me smile, so I can't wait to see what you guys skate to next season!
A: I like to skate to music that makes me want to dance, in a happy, contemporary, classical, jazzy, etc. way! I can’t wait to show everybody my programs this year - they are all finished, and we are training really hard to be able to perform well! We're doing a Cabaret RD and David Bowie FD!
While most teams only skated to a traditional tango, Emmy and Aissa mixed it up and added the classic standard "Let's Face the Music and Dance" to their RD
Q: Heading into next season, what are you looking forward to, and what goals do you and Aissa have for yourselves?
A: So this year is a very BIG year! As you know, the Youth Olympic Games are in Lausanne, and they are happening this season! We want to go there and be on the podium, that’s for sure! We would also love to be able to compete at the Junior Grand Prix Final and Junior Worlds. Big plans, big training, and big expectations are motivating us this year!
Q: What advice would you give to a young girl who just started ice dancing?
A: Skate with your heart. Hear each sound your blades are making on the ice. Be one with the crowd and your partner. The ice is your stage, it’s yours alone, just shine!
Emmy definitely skates with her heart and soul no matter what!
If you were a city, which one would you be?
I really don’t know... maybe Paris? It’s such a beautiful city, it has one of the most well-known structures in the world, it is the largest market in Europe, and it is a very important city fashion-wise. It’s such a refined city!
Favorite costume you've ever worn?
Honestly, this year's costume will be my favorite, I don’t know which one, but they are going to be awesome!
What would you do with a million dollars?
I think I would save it for later (so I have money when I'm an adult), share it with my family, and I would give some to an organization such as UNICEF or ONU or something like that!
What are your top three favorite skating programs of all time?
I can’t do a ranking, I think they are all the most amazing!
Tessa (Virtue) and Scott (Moir)'s Moulin Rouge FD
Marie-France (Dubreuil) and Patrice (Lauzon)'s Somewhere in Time FD
Gabi (Papadakis) and Guillaume (Cizeron)'s Rachael Yamagata FD
Cutest thing your dog has ever done?
Honestly I don’t know, he is always so cute! But there was certainly one time, I was leaving for school, and he didn’t want me to leave the house, so he sat in front of the front door, blocking my way out! That was pretty cute!
Follow Emmy's adorable bulldog Hamilton on his Instagram!
Last song you listened to?
"Love and Hate" by Michael Kiwanuka, a song from a very good TV show called Big Little Lies.
What do you keep in your skating bag?
My skates, my guards, a pair of gloves, a notebook, my pencil (that is very special, it's a Mrs & Mr character pencil), my lululemon towel, some soft blade covers, a roller, and a Swell bottle of water.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream!
Describe each of your coaches (and Aissa!) in one word.
Quote to live by?
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous." - Coco Chanel
Left: Emmy posing with an alpaca on a trip to Peru
Right: Emmy posing with a decked-out Christmas skate
KEEP UP WITH EMMY
Emmy's Instagram: @emmy_bronsard2004
Emmy's Dog Hamilton's Instagram: @hamilton_the_englishbulldog
Follow Emmy (and her adorable bulldog Hamilton) on Instagram to keep tabs on all the fun coming up in the 2019-20 season. And if you're in the Ottawa area July 25th - 28th, you can catch Emmy and Aissa competing in Minto Summer Skate!
All other photos courtesy of Emmy Bronsard