It's not where the U.S. figure skating strength usually lies, in the ice dancing area, but that has changed.
Besides the veteran team of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, the U.S. has two other promising dance couples.
Meryl Davis, 22, of West Bloomfield, Mich., and Charlie White, 21, of Royal Oak, Mich., are in fourth place overall after two of the three rounds of ice dancing competition. The former world junior bronze medalists won senior nationals this year, most likely because Belbin and Agosto sat out while Agosto recovered from a back injury. But their cheery Charleston dance Thursday was a crowd pleaser.
"We made some errors," White said of Thursday's performance, "but it is things that would not be visible to anyone watching.
"It's great that our technical skills were credited by the judges. We value that."
The third American team, 2008 world junior champions Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates, are 12th in their first senior world championships. Samuelson, 18, from Southfield, Mich., and Bates, 20, from Ann Arbor, Mich., received a standing ovation after their swing dance. "The crowd's response was absolutely incredible," Bates said. "That's our first standing ovation and that's worth more than any score we could possibly get."