In a remarkable display of talent and dedication, two members of the Havas family recently showcased their skating skills at the highly esteemed 2023 Nations’ Cup and Adult Gold Cup. These prestigious International Theatre on Ice competitions are a form of competitive skating that combines the grace of figure skating with the excitement of theater and dance. Hear more from Cyrielle Luisciani (right), Learning & Development Partner, Havas Village HR department, and Marine Bonneau (left), Research Director, CSA, about their experience at this year’s event.
How did your passion for skating begin?
CL: It all began by chance when I was 7. My mom brought my friend and I to the ice rink for the first time. Despite the falls, collisions, and uncontrollable slides, we enthusiastically expressed our desire to pursue it. I then trained for two years before being scouted for national-level competitions at the school of skating. For the next 10 years, I dedicated more and more time to the ice rink. Even summer vacations were spent training in the French Alps. Towards the end of high school, balancing figure skating and studies became difficult, leading me to transition to Theatre on Ice, which offered me a competitive challenge with less investment.
MB: My mom’s love for skiing sparked our family tradition of spending winter vacations in the mountains. When I was 4, a huge snowstorm in the Alpe d’Huez ski resort led us to the ice rink and that’s when I discovered my passion for ice skating. In 1997, I began nearly a decade of training in Aix-en-Provence and Aubagne. In 2007, following my coaches’ advice, I left the south to join a sports study program in Paris, first with the Français Volants in Bercy and then in Nice. However, after balancing intense training and high school for years, I decided to focus on my studies and enjoy life. It wasn’t until 8 years later that I returned to skating, joining the Theatre on Ice team of the Métropolitains.
How do you manage to juggle this passion with your professional life?
CL: Throughout high school, I had adjusted schedules that allowed me to skate every day. Now, I have two training sessions per week, ending around 11 PM, and choreography classes on some Sunday mornings. Remote work has allowed me to gain some extra hours of sleep, and I’m lucky to have supportive managers who encourage my passion and are flexible with my time off.
MB: Basically, we have two 1.5-hour training sessions per week, along with off-ice preparation and video debriefings. During vacations, we train every evening. And competitions are usually on weekends, so it’s manageable. I usually anticipate and take time off when needed, especially for longer trips. There are tough moments, but overall, I’ve found my balance: working on diverse topics during the day and then letting go in the evenings, enjoying my “playground” where I feel free to pursue what I love.
Has this discipline impacted the way you work?
CL: Sports in general provide valuable lessons for professional life. They teach respect, discipline, and foster creativity. At the beginning, we listen to our coaches’ recommendations, but as we gain experience, we share and explore new ideas for moves and lifts. Theatre on Ice is a team sport. It teaches us to observe, adapt, and trust our teammates. These qualities make a difference in competitions, where judges assess not only our performance but also our expressions and willingness to take risks. In professional environments, these skills translate into effective teamwork, clear communication, and positive project outcomes.
MB: Ice skating has profoundly influenced both my personal and professional growth. Leaving home at 14 to pursue training in Paris accelerated my maturity and resilience. The sport’s demand for discipline and mental fortitude shaped me into an industrious and meticulous individual in the workplace. The sport’s emphasis on precision has made me a perfectionist in my work. I’ve learned to invest hours of practice to achieve desired results. As a high-level athlete, I also benefited from guidance on stress and emotion management, which continues to benefit me today, enabling me to overcome setbacks and persevere. As captain of the Métropolitains, I thrive in leadership roles and find fulfilment in leading and supporting teams.
What does the Adult Gold/Nation’s Cup mean to you? Can you tell us about your results in Boston this year?
CL: The Gold Cup is incredibly meaningful to me. Although Theatre on Ice is not recognized as an Olympic discipline, if it were, the Gold Cup would be the equivalent of the World Championships. Being selected for this competition is already a victory. This year was my fourth time participating, and it reminded me of my first competition in Boston in 2011. Back then, the pressure got to us, resulting in a disastrous performance. But this time, 12 years later, we were more mature, physically fit, and determined. We gave it our all during the 5-minute program, and when the scores were announced, all 24 of us burst into tears of joy as we heard the words “first place.” Winning as a team holds special significance, a triumph that will be cherished by each team member for years to come.
MB: The Nation’s Cup in Boston… so many emotions! After multiple postponements due to Covid, this competition was the long-awaited highlight of the season. We prepared tirelessly for each previous competition, presenting our new programs, adjusting, and rehearsing relentlessly. The support from the Français Volants club and our technical team was crucial. When we arrived in Boston, we were focused, happy, and determined. On the ice, we were united and connected. I’ll always remember that moment when we were so in tune that stress didn’t get the better of us. We were overwhelmed with joy when we won the choreographic event. The free program was a challenge, but we gave it our all. When we realized that we had emerged victorious, the emotions were indescribable. A culmination of years in this beloved sport, surrounded by an incredible team. As the captain, standing on the podium with the French flag and singing the national anthem was a magical moment. I couldn’t have dreamt for a more perfect ending to my career.