Meet Molly Lanaghan
British-turned-Canadian ice dancer Molly Lanaghan does everything with love. Whether she's performing on the ice, spending time with partner/boyfriend Dmitre Razgulajevs off the ice, or even just replying to my emails, she is so thoughtful, funny, kind, and makes everyone around her smile. After competing in pairs for many years, this sparkle-loving skater hopped across the pond and began a new life in Toronto. Read on to learn more about Molly and how she approaches all aspects of her life with love and joy!
Birthday: January 29th, 1999 (20 years old)
Born: Doncaster, England
Hometown: Doncaster, England
Currently: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Country Represented: Canada
Skating Club: Scarboro FSC
Discipline: Ice Dance
Partner: Dmitre Razgulajevs
Training Location: Ice Dance Elite @ Scarborough Centennial Recreation Centre in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Coach: Carol Lane, Jon Lane, Juris Razgulajevs
Molly and Dmitre making beautiful art together (photo by Sean McKinnon Photography)
Q: Growing up in England, how did you get your start in skating, and were you at all inspired by British greats Torvill and Dean?
A: There were a couple of things that got me into skating, all of which happened to be around the same time. Anything my older sister Charlotte did I wanted to do too. She started going to the Friday night public sessions at the local rink with her friends, so of course I wanted to tag along! Also, my grandparents went on a trip to Alberta, Canada, to visit family and brought back Charlotte and I each a pair of hockey skates as a gift. During this period, Torvill and Dean's TV show, Dancing on Ice, was my favorite thing to watch on a Sunday night. So my mum took me to the local rink with my new hockey skates as promised, and I remember getting on the ice and falling in love with the feeling of ice beneath my blades! I asked my parents if I could learn how to skate like the pros on the TV, and they enrolled me in Ice Sheffield's Learn-to-Skate program.
Q: You actually used to compete in pairs with former partner Jake Astill, and the two of you were British junior national champions in 2014! What did you love about pairs, and why the switch to ice dance?
A: I started pairs when I was 13, and what got me the most was skating and sharing everything with another person on the ice; aiming to make two bodies move and think as one really gave me a new love for the sport. Lifts were probably my favorite element! I was never the best jumper... by a long way! I was more passionate about working on transitions and performance, so when my pairs partnership ended my coaches suggested I give dance a try... getting off the ice with a dry bum was great! Haha! Once I stopped jumping and sessions had a whole new game plan, again I found a whole new love for the sport on a deeper level. It's definitely my favorite discipline!
Molly in her earlier days of figure skating - and doing a lift with former pairs partner Jake Astill!
Q: Before joining forces with Canadian Dmitre Razgulajevs in 2017, you skated briefly with fellow Team GBR member Joseph Buckland. What makes a good partnership on the ice, in your opinion, and how did you and Dmitre find each other?
A: It's a mixture of a few things for a good partnership! I think one of the main things is having the same goal with the same amount of passion and determination for it. Having a true friendship is a major key because you spend so much time together that I think not getting along would be a nightmare! You go through lots of good and bad together and have to learn how one another deals with success, defeat, good/bad days, etc. Even if you're not a couple off the ice, you have this connection which just forms over time, and it's kind of like a marriage... I think.
I was originally flying to Toronto for a try out at Ice Dance Elite with an English ice dancer, and while the try out was being arranged, a coach who I did a previous try out with sent videos of me and his skater to Juris (Razgulajevs, Dmitre's coach and dad) suggesting that I would be a good match for Dmitre. Juris emailed me and asked me to extend my stay here so I could have a week-long try out with Dima. Which I did haha.
Fun fact, Dim and I both competed at the Tallinn Junior Grand Prix together in 2014 - we never met, but of course it would have been cool if we did!
Q: You and Dmitre are partners both on and off the ice, which is so cool. What are the challenges of dating your skating partner and spending basically 24/7 with them?
A: We think it's cool too. ;) I think one of the only challenges is simply being too close and comfortable with each other to say things we don't mean when in a bad mood or tired on the ice, because we know we don’t mean it and everything will be fine half an hour later. Being so close, we can help each other: if I don't understand something the coaches are teaching us, Dima knows exactly how to explain stuff to me so I get on the same page, and if he’s being a real pain, I’m usually the only one who can cheer him up and calm him down. Being able to share your work and success with someone you love makes it that much more special and meaningful. We wake up and go to the rink together, but after our training and workout, Dima goes to work for 7 to 9 hours, and I don’t see him until he comes back home. So it’s not quite 24/7, but I appreciate and love (almost) every second we get to spend together! Is that too cheesy?
Lovebirds on and off the ice! *awww*
Q: Was it hard moving to another country and settling into life in Scarborough, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto)? Off the ice, how was that transition?
A: It was very exciting moving to a new scene and training and living with such inspirational athletes. My whole family is so supportive of my skating and goals which made it a lot easier! Obviously I love and miss my family and home so much, but as soon as I got here, it felt like a home away from home and like I fit in so perfectly. Dima's parents both left their home countries and families at young ages so they welcomed me into their home so amazingly, as they’ve gone through all this themselves. Dima made the transition a lot easier by taking me out to different places, showing me his city, introducing me to his friends, and making me laugh everyday without fail.
Q: Let's talk about your coaching team! Not only are you coached by the renowned Jon and Carol Lane, but also by Dmitre's dad, Juris Razgulajevs. What do you love about each of your coaches - and is it at all weird being coached by your partner's dad?
A: All of our coaches have such amazing and different personalities and specialties! Carol is very artistic and has a perfect eye for this sport - she can spot every little detail and correct them, as well as giving each of our teams their own fingerprints in skating! Jon is like everyone’s grandpa in the rink, he is soooo funny and loving. He’s very passionate about the sport and every one of his pupils; his area of expertise is pattern dances and putting a giggle into everyone at 6:30 AM! Juris is so creative and comes up with the craziest, coolest things! He’s such a naturally talented skater and shows us all up in stroking class when demonstrating the exercises! Choreography is so much fun with Carol and Juris because they think so much alike and bounce ideas off of each other, it’s exciting to watch them come up with everyone’s programs together. I don’t find it weird being coached by Dima's dad because they have a good way of keeping family and coach separate on and off the ice. Having a parent as your coach can be difficult, but Juris and Dima just seem to make it work and use each other as inspiration. I’m very lucky to have the coaching team I do.
Left: Molly and Dmitre pictured with their coaches Juris Razgulajevs and Carol Lane
Right: Molly and Dmitre with Scarborough trainingmates Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier
Q: Jon, Carol, and Juris also coach ice dance Olympians and current silver national medalists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier - what is it like training with such an amazing pair, and what's the relationship between the four of you like?
A: We all get along very well! They have such amazing technique and speed, and watching them in stroking class every morning really pushes us to aim to their standard. They show everyone the same respect and really light up the rink with lots of VERY loud singing and lots of dancing! Haha. Piper was one of the first people I meet when I first came here; we never had any issue or awkwardness between us, and she welcomed so warmly. One time Paul and I actually pretended to be a married couple in order to get into the Maple Leaf Lounge at Toronto Pearson Airport. The four of us have a great friendship with lots of banter that I wouldn’t change for the world!
Q: Coming off of your second season together - including winning gold at Ontario Sectionals, bronze at Skate Canada Challenge, and sixth at Canadian Nationals - what are your guys' goals for next season? And what personal goals do you have for the future as well?
A: Our goal for every season is the same: for anyone who watches us to really enjoy it and want to watch more! Obviously we skate because we love it and it makes us happy, but we wish to pass our feelings for the sport along to the audience. We’d like to up our scores (especially on the components side) and placements in competition, and hopefully we’ll be given more opportunities to represent Canada internationally throughout the season to help make our mark and build our reputation as a serious team. Personal goals... stay happy, healthy, and in love! :)
Molly and Dmitre winning gold at Ontario Sectionals and bronze at Skate Canada Challenge
(middle picture by Sean McKinnon Photography)
Q: Are there plans for you to get your Canadian citizenship, ahead of the Olympic Games in three years?
A: Yes, getting my citizenship and competing at the Olympics is our goal. The next Olympics might be a bit of a stretch for us because Canada has such a strong field of experienced teams who are all fighting for those top three spots. We're one of the younger and newly formed teams, but we train every morning with the mindset of, "we have nothing to lose and anything can happen." We hope we work hard enough to be given any opportunities.
Q: And lastly, what advice do you have for young skaters starting out - in any discipline?
A: Skating is a judged sport, so don't be too hard on yourself with results. Use other people's positives and negatives to your advantage. Listen and take any advice from anyone willing to give it to you. Always set your own goals and expectations and focus on reaching them. Also try to train and look at everything as a long-term process. And only keep going as long as you're truly happy and enjoying it!
These two just bring so much joy to the ice!
Favorite British food?
Favorite Canadian food?
I mean... poutine is the only answer
In your opinion, what's the biggest issue in the skating world today?
Hmmmm I think there is a lot of politics involved in figure skating, which can cause issues
Hobby you enjoy outside of skating?
I enjoy sticking Swarovski crystals to anything I can ;) and makeup! (Is that a hobby?)
If you could start any business you wanted, what kind of business would you start?
Maybe a custom dress company
Molly and Dmitre's killer tango RD from this season! (Photo by Sean McKinnon Photography)
Favorite program you and Dmitre have done?
Our tango! Also one of my favorite dresses!!
What quality do you love the most about Dmitre?
His big heart and passion for things he loves... and those dimples
What's your spirit animal?
Probably a puppy becauseI love cuddles, Dima always tells me my hair gets everywhere, and it takes me a while to learn new tricks/choreography!
If a movie was made about your life, what celebrity would play you?
Blake Livley to play myself and Ryan Reynolds to play Dima! We LOVE them! We like to think of ourselves as the Blake and Ryan of the skating world lol! (Not looks-wise unfortunately)
Quote to live by?
"Treat everyone as you want to be treated yourself"
The only thing bigger than her smile is her heart!
Keep Up With Molly
Team Instagram: @team_dilly
Team Facebook: Molly Lanaghan & Dmitre Razgulajevs
All other photos courtesy of Molly Lanaghan