Aleksandr Zaboev (Sasha) began skating in 1994 at the age of five, when his parents discovered he had too much energy to sit still. A native of Yekaterinburg, Russia, Sasha began practicing at the famed Locomotive Arena in the heart of the Ural Mountains. Inspired by Alexei Yagudin and Michelle Kwan, Sasha began as a single skater training heavily with Marina Voitsekhovskaya (coach of Olympic Champion Julia Lipnitskaya and European medalist Maxim Kovtun), from 2003 to 2010. Artistically, Sasha developed under choreographer Ludmila Antonova of the Perm Ballet College, who taught him classical dance skills and built his programs; including Piazollo Tango, Arabian Dance, Warrior and Rodrigo Adagio.
Off the ice, Sasha studied Ballroom Dancing, competing internationally in the World Dance Sport Federation (WDSF). Sasha and his partner Alexandra Panina stood on several domestic and international podiums, ultimately seating 12th at the Russian Open Championship.
In order to devote himself more fully to skating, Sasha retired his dance shoes in 2004, and began training with Tatiana Odinokova, coach of Junior Gran Prix Final Champion Polina Tsurskaya. The same year, Sasha placed 9th at the Russian National Jump Championship and won several Regional Championships. In 2006, Sasha attained his Master of Sport in Figure Skating; an honor awarded to those who have achieved the high level of national athletic success. This Sport Degree allowed him to begin coaching and choreographing. Over 7 years Sasha developed a Select Training Team of ten skaters (but he needs to move across the Atlantic now to prepare for the Olympics and meet his future wife, so more on that later…)
As a student, Sasha entered a Language Primary School at the age of six, studying English and French, along with the core curriculum. Having achieved high scores on his exams, in 2006, Sasha entered The Ural State University of Economics. Carefully balancing his work in The Economic Theory Department, Sasha continued his on ice training. And at the recommendation of his coaches, entered pair skating in 2010.
Partnering with Alexandra Herbrikova to compete at the International Junior level, Sasha moved to the Czech Republic to learn his second skating discipline and fourth language. This period was highlighted by off-ice training with Olympian and World Gymnast, Alena Coufalova; as well as with coaches Vladimir Dvojnikov, Stanislav Zidek and Otto Dlabola who placed 8th at the Salt Lake City Olympics. At the same time, Sasha starred in his first Principal Role in Director Frantishek Blat’ak's musical on ice Godfather Frost, performing in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Following Godfather Frost, Sasha joined and soloed in the international tour of the famous ice ballets Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty by Director Artyom Knyazev of RusOnIce Company.
Continuously inspired by his favorite pair skating couples Elena Berezhnaya/Anton Sikharulidze and Pang Qing/Tong Jian, Sasha returned to Pairs, and was invited to represent Estonia at the World Senior Pair Skating Level with Natalja Zabijako in 2012. Training out of Virginia, USA (where he met his wife at practice one day) with Olympian Andrei Krukov, Olympic Bronze Medalist Ruslan Goncharov, Olympian Stanimir Todorov and Pavel Dimitrov, the pair debuted in the Summer 2013, earning Gold at the May Day Open (Laurel, MD). The team went on to claim Gold at the Liberty Competition (Aston, PA), finished 3rd at the 2013 Olympic Qualification Competition (Germany) earning the opportunity for Estonia to compete at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, and placed 2nd at the ISU Golden Spin of Zagreb (Croatia) in December 2013.
Full of a desire for success Sasha and Natalja went to the 2014 European Championship in Budapest, Hungary placing 10th, and gaining two spots for Estonia at the next European Championship. However, International Olympic Committee regulations stipulate both halves of the competing pair be citizens of the nation represented. Despite great effort by the Estonian Skating Union, Sasha did not gain citizenship in time for the competition and the pair forfeit their Olympic License. Nevertheless, the pair went on to perform at the 2014 World Figure Skating Championship in Saitama, Japan finishing 19th.
Following the competitive season, Sasha joined acclaimed European production company Holiday on Ice, to star in Passion as a Principal Skater. Brought to life by Creative Team – Bart Doerfler (Artistic Director for Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, FOX, ESPN and NBC), Jamie Isley (Choreographer for MTV Video Music Awards, NFL, ABC and CBS) and Ashley Clark (Professional Ice Skater), Passion performed over 200 shows throughout Germany and France in 2014-2015. In addition to his solo numbers (Sacrifice and Dunes), Sasha had the great opportunity to collaborate and perform with Dutch Aerialist Simone Heitinga in The Flying Act and The 5th Element in-show program.
In May 2015, Sasha paired with World Bronze Medalist Narumi Takahashi to represent Japan. The team began work with renowned Choreographer Nikolai Morozov and World Junior Champion, Coach Gennadi Krasnitski. In November 2015, the pair took Gold at the Japanese East-West Sectional Championship and qualified for the National Team. However, in the same month, injuries and lack of sponsorship brought the season and partnership to an end.
Having trained, studied, performed and competed at the highest level around the globe, Sasha continues his adventures on the ice as a guide and mentor to new athletes, leading them through their own extraordinary journey through the joy and discipline of figure skating.
Favorite Food Ice Cream
Favorite Color Yellow
Hobbies Reading, Movies, Cooking, Travel
Favorite Quotation ”It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” (Dumbledore)
Sasha | International Skating Union
Sasha | 2014 European Championships, Short Program