©International Skating Union (ISU)

Interview Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps

28 October 2023


Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps won their first Skate Canada title. Throughout the event, we had opportunities to engage with them alongside other attending journalists.


How do you feel about your performances at Skate Canada?

Deanna: It was an improvement from Autumn Classic International. I was not at all happy with the throw in the short program. The side-by-side spin could have been a lot better, too. Our rhythm dance's music is fast, with many quick dynamic arm movements. It's much more challenging to match this type of program than a slow one. We had to work a lot on that and the intricacies between the element parts. We have been working on our speed and power during the off-season, hoping it shows. The free program was the performance we have been waiting for a long time. It was frustrating last year not to be able to pull off a clean, free skate.


You were the favorites for the event. How did you feel about it?

Deanna: It's new for us to be expected to win. Last year, everything was a surprise. Nobody was expecting us. This year is very different. I've never been an expected winner before! That was a new experience. But if you want to be good, you have to learn how to deal with the pressure. You have to learn how to skate last, too. All these experiences will hopefully add up and help us in the future.


©International Skating Union (ISU)


With that victory at Skate Canada, are you considering the Grand Prix final?

Maxime: Before looking to the final, we will compete at the Cup of China and try to skate clean programs. One thing at a time. We only have four days in Canada before flying to China, so our preparation will be very short.

Deanna: Of course, qualifying for the final is one of our goals. We qualified last year, but then I was sick for three months. We have redemption to find this year in Beijing.


Could you explain your music choice for the short program?

Deanna: Max was born in Montreal and French is his first language. Worlds are not only in Canada but where he was born. We decided to pay tribute to Montreal. "Oxygène" is a Quebec-French song. It's from "Cirque du Soleil," also from Montreal.



How did you come up with a vampire program for the free skate?

Deanna: Last year, our coach suggested exploring this theme. I looked into the literature and films around it. We decided against Dracula, as I felt it was overdone, and we also ruled out a "Vampire Hunters" concept because we thought it would be too complex for the audience to grasp quickly. That led us to "Interview with a Vampire," a love story but a turbulent one. One of the things I'm most excited about is that I get to portray a vampire throughout the program (laughs). Furthermore, midway through, I get to turn Max into a vampire as well. What appealed to me was the originality; I've never seen anyone do this before, but this year, the vampire theme is trending.


Maxime, you opened up about ADHD. How does that affect your skating?

Maxime: I've researched ADHD to gain a comprehensive understanding of it and to explore tools that can help manage its symptoms. While focus can often be a struggle, I've noticed that it becomes easier for me during competitions. However, maintaining that concentration level is significantly more challenging for me in daily life at home.

Solène MATHIEU - Skate Info Glace