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Born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on July 11, 1984 and raised in Kirkland, Quebec, Tanith Jessica Louise Belbin began the process of becoming an American citizen in 1998. Although her father, Charles Belbin, was an engineer, it was her mother, Michelle (McKinlay) Belbin, whom Tanith would wind up taking her career cues from. Not only was Michelle a former figure skater who trained under Rolf Adomeit in Newfoundland, she was also a skating coach and costume designer. She even designed several outfits for Tanith once her eventual ice dancing career began to take shape.
As mentioned, Tanith eventually moved to the United States (Canton, Michigan, to be exact) in 1998 to continue pursuing her ice dancing career. But prior to this, her life in Canada consisted of learning how to ice skate by age three, and ice dance by age eight. This, in turn, led to an eventual interest in pairs skating, as well as ice dancing, but the latter proved much more appealing to the young blonde. She went on to partner with Liam Dougerity in ice dancing competitions before moving on to Ben Barruco, whom she took second place with during a novice-level Canadian Championships in 1997.
It wasn't until her move to the U.S. that Tanith's career as an ice dancer really gained momentum. She was soon teamed with a new partner, Benjamin Agosto, and the two went on to share a long and fruitful career together. The pair's silver medal winning performance at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy aside, they conquered many an ice dancing competition together, ranging from four medal-winning finishes at the World Figure Skating Championships between 2005 and 2009 to five gold medal-winning performances in a row at the U. S. Figure Skating Championships between 2004 and 2008. They announced their retirement from eligible skating in June 2010, but continue to skate in ice shows together.
Tanith Belbin is a former professional Canadian-American competitive ice dancer. She is now a commentator, specializing in ice skating competitions, as well as a choreographer.