Catching up with… Lagouge & Caffa
by Matteo Morelli | Photo by Robin Ritoss
Natacha Lagouge & Arnaud Caffa have been skating together representing France since 2019. We caught up with them during their attendance at Grand Prix de France: they told us about what they have been focusing on in the recent years, their move to Helsinki to join Maurizio Margaglio’s school, and which skaters they are inspired by.
Natacha and Arnaud, it is lovely to see you here in Angers. You had an interview with us in 2020, when you were just a new team. Now in your fourth year together, how is everything going in your partnership?
Natacha Lagouge (NL): Perfect, amazing! We are building a very strong relationship and partnership. The most important thing for us it to have a good base, work on our technique and improve every season. We always try to do different styles, explore our personalities during our programmes. That’s our goal, we want to build something very strong. It takes a bit of time!
It looks like you still have that fire inside of you that you mentioned to us in our previous interview!
Arnaud Caffa (AC): Yes! We have been working from day one on everything that she was saying: the partnership, the harmony, the connection, the trust, to build the very strong ground that we can build on from.
Grand Prix of France was your second Grand Prix event in your career, after competing at Grand Prix of Espoo last year. How does it feel to compete in front of your home audiences at such an important international event?
AC: It feels really nice and satisfying. We used to watch the Grand Prix events when we were younger, it is such a blessing to be here with the best skaters in the world. And we are part of it!
Around two years ago, you took the decision to join Maurizio Margaglio’s school in Helsinki. What led to that?
NL: When we were in Lyon (their previous skating location), at some point we thought that we needed something else to grow. It was also the pandemic period, it was complicated because in France we couldn’t skate during some period of times. At some point, when we started to work on this partnership, we thought we should probably move to another place to try a different approach and technique. The goal was to try something new that would match us better.
AC: The pandemic was really difficult for us to go through, we couldn’t go to any event that year, not even French events. We had two lockdowns in France, it was a very tough and hard year. We needed to find a place that could match us better. During that time, we did a lot of work on ourselves and our partnership. Anything we couldn’t do on the ice, we did off the ice, we grew certain parts of ourselves and our couple. When we came back on the ice there were some things that weren’t matching, and required us to take the decision we took.
You relocated to Finland from France. How are you finding it in Helsinki?
AC: It is very cold there! (they both laugh) But other than that, it is a great place to live in, everything is very efficient.
NL: It is very peaceful, it is a very calm training centre. Everything works well in Finland.
Let’s talk about your programmes this year: you have music by Jon Bon Jovi for your rhythm dance.
NL: The rhythm dance is about what we needed to improve. We wanted to try something faster and something different than just dancing 80s music.
AC: We did the rhythm dance with Luca Lanotte in Milan, and the free dance with Massimo Scali in Rome. We are very Italian, somehow!
And how did you create your free dance?
AC: For the free dance, we went for something that is more our style and personality, something that works more on how we move and our body language. It is music that speaks to us. We chose it because we like it, and we wanted to tell a story on that music, moving the way we like to move and bringing something that is not that common on the ice. We could easily have gone to something more lyrical or contemporary, but we decided to do something that is more us this year. We can see the public likes it too!
Would you like to share any skaters, current or past, that you like and that you take inspiration from?
AC: I think it is important to say that we want to be who we are, and we are doing good with that because we are working on what we want to be. However! Who do we like the best?
NL: We like Tessa (Virtue) and Scott (Moir) of course, for many reasons: their connection, their power. I am dying to meet Tessa!
AC: We really like them, especially their connection: when on the ice, they don’t even look at each other, but they are so powerful together.
NL: We also like Gabriella (Papadakis) and Guillaume (Cizeron) for their skating skills, their quality of technique, their harmony, the way they move. I also love Madison Hubbell!
AC: We really like the confidence, power and femininity that skaters like Madison, Olivia Smart, Tessa, and Sara Hurtado show on the ice.
Finally, what would you like to share with our readers?
NL: Keep an eye on us, we are building strong things, step by step!