Dance Beat Team
10 for 10!
Last night at the WDC World 10-Dance Championship, held at the Grand Nationals, new World Champions were crowned, and it was Nikolay Govorov & Eugeniya Tolstaya from Russia and they won all 10 dances.
Pro Ballroom & Amateur Latin Take the Lead
Both danced over 3 rounds, the Pro Ballroom and Amateur Latin were the feature events at the San Francisco Autumn Classic last night.
A Smooth Night at OCDC!
The last night of the Orange County Dancesport Challenge went quite smoothly with only two professional events, the Smooth and Latin and just a handful of other competitions. When a competition ends on a Sunday it is nice to have a strong but quick easy finish so locals can go home and everyone can just relax and finish at a reasonable hour to prepare for their next day journey. This for us was a perfect finish to a fun weekend of dance competition.
No Surprises! Pro Heats Great!
Yesterday we said we were surprised at the quality of the Pro RS divisions, so today it was no surprise that the Open Pro heats were so good. 3 had semifinals.
The Rhythm was dominated by the local Fred Astaire studios as their pros took the 1st 3 places. Ilya Velednitskiy & Mariya Ilchenko won all 5 dances, 3 of them with the majority of 1st places. We thought they gave the best overall performance without really standing way above the field. Judge Boriana Deltcheva favored them the least scoring them 5,6,6,6,6. 2nd went to the tall Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshakka 2,2,2,2,4. They did have the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores in 4 dances. Rounding out the FADS trifecta were Aaron & Iryna DeSoto with 3,3,3,4,2. The top 3 from the RS rounded out the final and finished in the same order. Erwin & Iwona Rybczynski 4,4,4,3,3; Jonathan Green & Rachel Grumblatt 5,5,6,6,5; Roman Malkhasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman 6,6,5,5,6.
The highest ranking couple of the competition, Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzil had an easy time winning the Smooth and received 10 out of 11 first places in all dances. Only judge, Vito Bertucci demurred. 2nd in all dances went to Michael Choi & Erin Marie who continue to explore new avenues in this style. 3rd in all dances went to Adrian & Hanna Dydynsky. Then it was over to the Rising Star couples from the day before but with a change in order. This time Mykyta & Anna moved up a place, taking 4th tonight with 5,5,4,4. We felt that their dancing was consistent with their performance the night before. With 4,4,6,5, Roman & Viktoriya were one place lower in 5th place. We thought their best round was the semifinal, but in the final they seemed a little stressed. Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes were 6th, 6,6,7,6 and closing the final were Jimmy Mulligan & Dani Atkins The scores at the lower end of this final were very mixed.
The Latin was also a semifinal. Winning tonight were Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan. They had the majority of 1st places in all 5 dances and were very strong tonight. 2nd with 2,3,2,3,2, were the RS winners Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova in a close race with Sergey & Dasha Chislov, 3,2,3,2,3. We felt they were very strong tonight and could have seen them higher placed. 4th went to Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko 4,4,4,5,4; 5th to Andre Strinadko & Ching Kao 5,5,5,4,5 and 6th to Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko
The only straight final was the Ballroom and the results mirrored the RS with the exception of the winners who did not enter the RS and this was Martin & Liene Reinbold. We thought they were well clear but they did not receive every 1st place although they did have the majority in all dances. The closest scored was tango that they won by 6 to 5. 2nd in all were Kharyton & Anastasiya, 3rd in all Dmitry & Cristina Turcan and 4th in all Dymytrii Gonchorov & Tatyana Lutsenko.
Nighttime highlights in the pro-am fields were the A and B Open Latin Scholarships. The A went to a very accomplished lady who also had the top solo score of the competition, Masha Gasychenko w/ Max Kholostoy 1,1,1,1,1. 2nd was Jacqueline Steinbecher w/ Andrzej Przybyl 3,3,2,2,2 and 3rd Kubak Mateusz w/ Dasha Chislova 2,2,3,3,3.
In the Open B, Cindy Mishlove w/ Vartan Zakhariants was the winner, 1,1,2,1,1. 2nd was Joanmarie Vanaski w/ Andrzej Przybyl 2,2,1,2,3 and 3rd Carrie Steinmetz w/ Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine 3,3,3,3,2.
The Open B Smooth was also strong and this was won Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 1,1,1,1. 2nd was Emily Kirschbaum w/ Shapiachan Sevrin 2,2,2,2 and 3rd Colette Nolin w/ Atanas Pavlov 3,3,3,3.
Another feature of the night was a show, interspersed with the competitions, by Dancing With The Stars alumni, Alec Mazo & Edyta Sliwinska.
The ballroom was full for the whole night and there was great atmosphere. That atmosphere continues today for the Junior Matinee session.
Strong RS Divisions at Harvest Moon
The Professional Rising Star divisions were surprisingly strong here at Chicago Harvest Moon Ball last night. The Rhythm was a semifinal and the others finals.
The Rhythm was also possibly the toughest to judge as we felt there were 3 couples vying for that top spot. In the end, experience paid off and Erwin & Iwona Rybczynski were the winners 1,1,2,1,1. The winners of the swing, Jonathan Green & Rachel Grumblatt were 2nd overall 2,2,1,2,2. They have improved greatly since we last saw them. A new partnership, Roman Malkhasyan & Viktorija Kleyman, were 3rd in all dances, but we certainly saw them as part of this mix for 1st place.
3 couples shared the 1st places in the Smooth, a 7-couple final. In the end, Roman & Viktorija moved up a notch to 1st overall with 2,1,1,2. We thought they had the best movement around the floor. Another 9-dance couple (although they did not enter the RS Rhythm) were the runners-up, Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka, 1,2,2,3. 3rd were Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes 3,3,3,1.
The RS Latin was also a 7-couple final. For us the easy winners were Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova and they did win all dances. They have been having considerable success since leaving the amateur ranks last month. They also won the Showdance earlier in the evening. 2nd went to 10-dancers, Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko. We thought Vlad & Jenya danced well last night and could have taken some of those 2nd places.
Kharyton & Anastasiya were the winners in the Ballroom, winning all 5 dances. 2nd in all five were Dmitry & Cristina Turcan and 3rd in all Dymytrii Gornchorov & Tatyana Lutsenko.
The pro-ams competed in 2 styles yesterday, Rhythm and Ballroom. The best 2 open scholarships of the day came in the B divisions.
In the Ballroom Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold was the winner 1,1,1,2,1. 2nd went to Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 2,2,2,1,2 and 3rd to Sherry Borchelt w/ Andrea Stefano 3,3,3,3,3.
In the Open B Rhythm Akiko Birch w/ Jonathan Green was the winner 1,1,1,1,1. 2nd went to Dana Voigt w/ Randy Wilson 2,3,3,2,2 and 3rd to Maria Matulainiec w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 3,2,2,3,3.
A Legendary Celebration!
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Saturday was the official day for the “Legendary Celebration,” for about two hours the nearly 6,000 (5,973 to be exact) entry competition came to a complete stop to celebrate one of America’s greats, Mr. John Kimmins. At approximately 7:30PM the dinner began with a number of VIP’s from the dance industry present. Before the award was presented we were treated to two very different presentations, 10 year old classical guitarist Penelope Shvarts treated us to two magnificent scores of music, then to conclude the entertainment 11 year old “Pole Fitness Champion” Tori Darling, presented us with some life threating moves on the fitness pole.
The video presentation began with the bloopers that people made while congratulating John in a video presentation, then Brian McDonald, President of the NDCA, said a few words leading to the video where everyone spoke about John and his kindness, generosity and full dedication to ballroom dance and its dancers. The 10 minute video left not a single eye dry, even the gentleman himself contributed a tear or two, and it concluded with the President of the NDCA presenting the award to this Icon.
The Lifetime Achivement award was followed by a full night of competition. The most prominent of all this night was the Professional Ballroom with the featured third stop of the “Star Ballroom Tour.” The five dance group competition was won by Voskalchuk & Egorova who won the waltz with the majority of firsts but had to rely on second or better for the other four dances. Their worst marks on this group competition came from Meryem Pearson from Canada who though they should be last in every dance (6), they also received a sixth place from Margaret Redmond from England in the Quickstep. Second overall in this five-dance event went to Lebedev & Borshch and they placed 3,3,2,2,2, leaving third place to Avdeev & Blimova 2,2,3,3,4.
Fourth in this very exiting Professional Ballroom competition were Begunov & Demidova 4,4,4,5,3, fifth went to Kutepov & Sinitsa 5,5,5,4,6, and in sixth position were Zinshtein & Izmaylova.
Once the professional final was decided and the “Peter Eggleton” cup awarded, it was time for the solo dance portion of the Star Dance Tour. The judges were all picked at random and funnily enough the Ballroom Icon and our guest of honor Mr. John Kimmins was selected as one of the 9 judges. Here too the highest score went to Voskalchuk & Egora with a 94.14 overall. We must point out that judge 16 Innessa Strelnikova from Canada awarded them 100 for their solo routine, something rare in professional scoring. This 94.14 along with their 30 points awarded for winning all dances in the group competiion and 17.5 points from the audience put them over the top on this leg of the tour with a whamming 141.64 points overall.
Second best score of the night for the solo number was awarded to Avdeev & Blinova and it was an 89.29, they too had great audience appeal and they managed a 15.5 score from the audience, their total including their 21 points earned in the group competition gave them a second place finish on this third leg of the tour with 125.79 going toward the tour. Third in the tour portion went to a brand new couple in this race, Lebedev & Borshch from Canada who presented a “matrix” type of routine and it got the third highest score 85.29, they had very little audience appeal with only 3 points being returned by the audience but they did come into the solo portion with 23 points from the group competition, giving them a total of 111.29 for this third leg of the tour.
Fourth on this leg of the tour was awarded to Begunov & Demidova with a 98.29, fifth went to Kutepov & Sinitsa with 86.71 points total, sixth was Zinshtein & Izmaylova with an 80.07 overall, leving the audience “wild card” (the couple the audience brought back with their votes) Colac & Milotti in seventh with a 78.86 overall.
It is interesting to see how much effort the couples are putting into this. You can see who is in the lead and how the race is going at www.dancebeat.com
The Professional Rhythm ran side by side with the Ballroom event and here Shtefil & Barsukov took the prize home by winning three dances and placing second in the cha cha and rumba. Evgamukov & Angelone placed second overall but won the Cha and Rumba, they took second in the other three dances. Third went to Svirydzenka & Zubova 4,3,3,3,3, fourth were Abdullin & Barakov 3,4,4,4,4, fifth was awarded to Edouard & Spotar and sixth went to Toporski & Cazeneuve.
The Amateur Latin also took place this same evening and here Livshitz & Keselman took first overall but placed second in the samba. First in the samba and second in the other four dances went to Kutuzovs & Shalvarova from Canada, leaving third in all dances to Garber & Liza. Fourth was Osai & Waszkiewicz, fifth in all dances went to Varshavsky & Ioukhnikov, sixth in all was Hacke & Hermanova.
The Ballroom Pro/Am Scholarships were run also this same day of competition and the winner of the “A” was Paek w/ Zinshtein, second went to Yeh w/Levedev and third was awarded to Liu/w Foster. The “B” went to Paek/w Zinshtein again, second was awarded to Kisler/Gorolevici and third with a tie broken by (R10) went to Sha w/Gabor, fourth with that (R10) decision was awarded to Matsumoto w/Pali. In the “C” Ballroom Gorder w/Gorolevici took first in all dances, second was Neyshtadt w/Issaev and third went to Johnson w/Shelkoviy. The winner of the “C1” was Sato w/Issaev, second was awarded to Glasoe w/Gorolevici and third went to Hung w/Avdeev.
In the Pro/Am Smooth scholarships the “A” weny to Gibber w/Talbert, second in this heat was Jensik w/Hannigan and third was Rico w/Jensen. In the “B” Smith w/Levit were the winners, second was Kennedy w/Afonkin, and third was Coltharp w/Chekhova. The “C” went to Neyshtadt w/Pali, second was Zukovsky w/Hannigan. The “C1” went to Springer w/Pali, second was awarded to Hodges w/Fortuna.
Special prizes were awarded to the winners of the Best of the Best Bronze in the Smooth and Ballroom. In addition to representing BBC & C at Ohio Star Ball, the two winners also received a package for themselves and their teachers to the Daikin Champions Ball in Moscow, April 2016. Chris Smith won the Smooth and Anna Logan, the Ballroom.
Another special event was the open Viennese Waltz competition in American Style and Ballroom. The winner of each category was slated to dance off for the grand prize – a package for the student and teacher to attend the Amazing Vienna competition in Vienna, Austria. However, there was no dance off because the same lady, Alla Neystadt won both styles and so the trip to Vienna is hers. The proceeds to from this competition went to Dance For The Cure.
The BBC&C a legendary celebration, concluded with a “Duck Tour” on Sunday and a dinner at Del Friscos by the bay to conclude the “Banned In Boston” package. We were all treated to a beautiful eclipse of the moon all I’m sure planed by the BBC&C staff - a perfect finish to a very successful weekend of dance and a fantastic celebration of an Icon, a friend, a coach and the one person that has given his entire devotion and life to our industry - Mr. John Kimmins.
Classic Lines at BBC & C
The glamorous ballroom of the Boston Park Plaza played host to two interesting Open Professional divisions last night.
US Finalists, Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova, were the easy winners of the Open Smooth, winning all dances. They had perfect 11 first places in the foxtrot and lost only 1 first in the waltz and tango and 2 in the VW. Jean Paul & Lana Rossi were also secure in 2nd spot with the majority of 2nd or better scores in all dances and they took the first places not awarded to Yegor & Aleksandra. Dave Hannigan & Maggie Toth were 3rd in all dances. Their best scored dance was VW where they took 4 second placements. Gabor Seres & Rebecca Gentry were 4th 4,5,5,4; Aaron Talbert & Angela Maughan were 5th 6,4,4,5 and Christopher & Jenny Sochnacki were 6th 5,6,6,6.
The Open Latin was a much closer fought battle with 3 couples sharing most of the 1st placements. With the overall score of 1,2,1,1,2, Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova were the winners. This couple has recently moved from the Amateur division and as often happens, seem to have re-invented themselves as professionals. It’s working great for them. They had the majority of 1st places in rumba and paso. Runners-up with 2,1,2,2,1, were Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets. They had the majority of 1st places in jive. Roman Italyankin & Aleksandra Bokova were 3rd 3,3,3,4,4. They started strongly from the judges’ perspective tying Dmitry & Olena for 1st places in the cha cha. Another other couple to take some 1st places were Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan and overall they were 4th with 4,4,4,3,3. Another couple to recently move into the professional division are Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova and they were 5th in all dances although they did pick up 2 first places in samba. Closing this interesting final were Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina 6,6,6,6,6.
The Amateur Ballroom provided a 5-couple final. The winners in all dances were Fernando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvili. With 2,3,2,2,3, Brandon Buchthal & Natasha Barrera were the runners-up and gave the strongest performance we have seen from them. 3rd were Zhiwei Zhang & Ersi Nie 3,2,3,3,2. Xingmin & Katerina Lu were 4th in all dances and had also won the Senior I earlier in the evening. 5th were Peter Westlake & Sehyun Oh 5,5,5,5,6 and 6th Davis Perchuk & Tatiana Ratush 6,6,6,6,5.
The evening session began with Rising Star Divisions. In the Rhythm Jean Paul & Lana Rossi won all 5 dances. 2nd in all were Ilya Abullin & Tara Barakov and 3rd were Rotislav Toporski & Sophie Cazeneuve 5,3,4,3,6.
In the RS Ballroom Yuriy & Oxana Shelkoviy won all dances. 2nd were Manuel Ttruillo & Anna Belyavtseva 3,3,2,2,2 and Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova were 3rd 2,2,3,3,3..
The pro-ams competed in 2 styles – Rhythm & Latin. In both styles the closed bronze scholarships were Best of the Best divisions qualifying couples to compete at Ohio Star Ball representing BBC & C. The winner in the Latin also won a package to the Daikin Champions Ball in Moscow 2016 and this was Holly Sturgeon w/ Eric Pali The winner in the Rhythm, Sam Smith w/ Dave Hannigan, won a package to the Caribbean Dancesport 2015.
In the Open A Latin Scholarship the winner was Shelly Mechkausk w/ Tomas Shiloshvili 1,1,2,3,1. In a Rule 11 tiebreak, Nguyen w/ Helle Rusholt was 2nd 3,2,3,1,2 and Nicole Pierzchalski w/ Vlad Astafiev was 3rd 2,3,1,2,3.
Khong Pham w/ Jessie Mineau won the Open B Latin 1,1,1,2,2. Vanessa DiCicco w/ Vlad Astafiev was 2nd 3,3,2,1,1 and Diana Wong w/ Hayk Balasanyan was 3rd 2,2,3,3,3.
Lorraine Peoples w/ Andrei Gavriline won the Open C Divisions 1,1,1,1,1; Pasquale Digiorgio w/ Tatiana Banko was 2nd 2,2,2,2,2 and Patti Wilson w/ Marc Nocera was 3rd 3,3,3,3,3.
The C1 was won by 1,1,1,1. 2nd was Nickie Luftig w/ Ranko Bogosavac 2,2,2,2 and 3rd Margie Juanillo w/ Matt Hauer 3,3,3,3.
Gwen Bourque w/ Aaron Talbert won the Open B Rhythm placing 3,1,1,2,1. Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika was the runner-up, 2,3,3,2,1 and Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin was 3rd 2,2,2,3,3.
Be sure to tune in tonight for the 3rd leg of the Star Ballroom Tour, it will be broadcasting live here on our website and you can vote for your favorite solo and for the wildcard couple. Click here to view the livestream and cast your vote starting at about 9:00 PM, EST.
Life! It’s a Hideaway!
What good is sitting all alone in your room, come dance the night away. Life is a “hideaway” old chum, don’t waste your night away. Come see the dance, come taste the wine, tip the pole dancer, and cheer the drag… your host Didio Barrera was sultry, we don’t mean to brag.
Last night at the BBC&C, festivities got started with the nightclub session at “Didio’s Hideaway.” Two dramatic icons and host/owner of the competition Didio Barrera greeted the attendees at the door for pictures, cocktails and a cheer. The intimate setting of the basement of the Park Plaza was an ideal venue for a full night of Cabaret. The nightclub dances were presented in the best light imaginable with many onlookers and personalities from other styles in attendance cheering everyone on.
The night began with a performance by “LaKia”, a 6’9” “glamazon” who was what every “woman” could ever be as she interpreted the Whitney Houston hit “I’m Every Woman,” her crown alone rivaled the Statue of Liberty. We are sure that many of the guests as they arrived felt that freedom feeling of arriving at Ellis Island. Guests stayed to the very end when the nightclub scholarships got under way and the Best of the Best was selected.
The “Best of the Best” in our nightclub division was a potpourri of different styles and age categories. The C1, was represented by Margie Juanillo/w Matt Hauer who won all three dances in her challenge, leaving second place to Carole Walters/w Ilia Volokh, third was Sue McQuay/w Marcio Desouza and fourth was awarded to Martin Rooney/w Maggie Toth.
The A Caribbean Mixe Challenge was represented by Paula Delcore/w Tibor Kerekes, and in the same division second place went to Sam Smith/w Dave Hannigan.
In the B division of the Caribbean Mix Challenge, the winner was Meg Baba/w Dave Hannigan, second was awarded to Susan Underwood/w Tibor Kerekes and third went to Matt Foley/w Maggie Toth.
This year’s Caribbean Challenge Best of the Best will represent the BBC&C at the Ohio Star Ball and will also receive a full package to the Daking Championships in Moscow, Russia 2016. The winners of the last challenge mentioned, competed head to head and in the end there was an impossible tie to break between Maggie Juanillo and Meg Baba. After a dual challenge between the two, Meg Baba/w Dave Hannigan took the honors and was awarded the prizes.
Didio used to know a girl named Elsie, she was not what you would call a blushing flower, as a matter of fact she rented by “the-hour”. The day she died the neighbors came to snicker “well, that’s what comes from too much pills and liquor.” But when Didio saw her laid out like a queen, she was the happiest …corpse…he’s ever seen.
He thinks of Elsie to this very day, and remember how she turned to him and said. “what good is sitting all alone in your room? Come hear the music play and dance your night away. Life is a hideaway old chum. Come to Didio’s Hideaway…”
We’re Spreading it! The Aloha!
The fabulous Hawai’I Star Ball continued yesterday with all the pro-am Ballroom heats and wound its way on a tropical breeze to a fabulous dinner with a 7-piece band and on to the professional events and half of great show by Emmanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova. They will dance the second half tonight.
The weather was kind and we jealously noted some natural tans on many of the dancers – no smelly, fake tan required here in Hawai’i!
Ivan Dishliev & Marietta Nedyalkova won the Pro Rhythm over Riccardo Papi & Sabina Moretti – it was a 3 to 2 dance decision with Riccardo & Sabrina winning cha and swing.
In the Ballroom, Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were the winners.
In an interesting happening the same gentleman student placed 1st and 2nd in the top Student Solo competition between the highest scoring solos of the week. Mark Jason won with a Fred Astaire routine partnered by Kyle Spinder and placed 2nd with a Charlie Chaplin routine partnered by Allie Spinder.
Tonight the Hawai’I Star Ball concludes with the Pro Latin and Smooth – plus more show from Emmanuel & Liana and other surprise performances.
A Little Alvarez Aloha!
Here we are again at the Hawai’I Star Ball held in the beautiful Shearton Waikiki ad under the direction for the 2nd year of David Alvarez & John Fishpaw. Unusually the event runs midweek – Monday – Thursday – although many dancers take advantage of being in Hawai’I and stay extra time in these delightful islands.
Monday begins with a starlight luau and traditional Polynesian show of dance and music. Everybody had a good time and we also got to enjoy judge, Dan Rutherford’s, interpretation of the Hula.
The next day everyone was ready for competition and there was a full day of pro-am dancing in 2 styles, Smooth and Latin.
In the evening package holders enjoyed a great dinner in the ballroom, the Hawai’I Star Ball still serves banquet style food every night. A jazz ensemble played during dinner for listening and dancing.
Dinner was followed by professional competition as the rising stars performed all 4 styles. The big winners were Jason Rivers & Elisa Seja who won both the Ballroom and Smooth. Local dancers, Jacob Himato & Jessica Dzienkowski won the Rhythm and Vasily Golovin & Anastasia Banderovskaya won the Latin.
It is great to see a sizeable contingent of dancers from New Zealand attending – pro-am, amateur and one professional couple.
Stay tuned for more!
All About the Latin!
Click here for video by SuperShag
Yesterday at the Toronto Open was all about the Latin, during the day there was a few hours dedicated to Smooth but the majority of the time was dedicated to Junior Amateur Latin events as well as Pro/am Latin. There was four feature events for the closing evening of the competition and two of them were Latin events, this is easy to understand since a big force behind the competition team is the WDC World Professional Latin finalists, Mauricio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite, Canadian National Champions, who delighted the audience as well with a three dance presentation.
The Professional Latin was the best of all the feature events and it was a seven couple final. The Toronto Open Professional Latin Cup wen to Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko who easily took first in all dances. We must add that this was a delightful couple to watch. Anna is so steady on her feet and the maturity in their performance is close to world class. I would not be surprised to see this couple soon make the world ranks in many major events around the world. Second overall went to Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier and they easily placed second in every dance. Third was awarded to Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak and they placed fourth in the cha and third in the other four dances.
The Professional Showdance closed the competition and although it was only two couples it was the perfect closing to a terrific weekend of dance. World Cabaret sensation Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva treated us to their “Intergalactic war dance” and it was great to have a front seat. These two managed to do the impossible when it comes to lift work and as we discussed with them during the after party, their routine does not let up. It’s about 5 packed minutes of nonstop thrills and lifts that made a front seat attendant feel as if you are on a roller coaster. The other entry who also placed second overall were Dmitriy Kuamen & Andrea Lynn. Their routine was excellent with some very difficult lifts, but they could not come close to Carlos & Dora on this night, their routine was not strong enough to come near them.
The Under 21 Latin run earlier in the evening was also terrific here we saw some very promising talent. Arturs Voicehovics & Albina Gorbachevskaya placed first in every dance but for us once again it was a close call between first and second. Arturs & Albina had the power and physical attraction that Latin requires but for us Vladislav Kvartin & Anna Prokodovicova had a very interesting look and unique interpretation. For us who have been here for so long we value anything different and creative and this couple have what it would take to make this a reality. Third in this excellent heat was awarded to Alex Maslanka & Sharon Tudorovsky 5,3,4,3,4.
The Professional Smooth was the weakest link at the closing of the Toronto Open, and here the competition was between three well accomplished couples only. Our favorite of the three was awarded third place in all dances Christopher & Jenny Sochnacki, for us Christopher & Jenny were the only ones that showed any characteristics of what Smooth dancing should look like. Yes, as they say here in the USA, “they were not the sharpest tools in the shed” but at least they were doing something (don’t mean to be rude) that resembled a style that I’m used to seeing here in the USA and not just bad standard that you must let go to be balanced with some tumbles and rumbles. For me the two top couples were doing Standard with some open movements but I suppose this was the flavor of the night and so Viktor Tkachenko & Yulia Lukina placed first in all dances and Dmitry Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn placed second.
In conclusion I thought the Toronto Open was terrific. It is great to see such an entrepreneur couple taking the reigns on a competition that as I said will one day rival every major event in Canada.
Young but Promising!
The Toronto Open Dance Championships is young in years in fact we attended the first ever three years ago and it is impressive how this one-day event three years ago, has now turned into a two-day event, and it looks like soon enough we will close our eyes and it will be one of Canada’s premiere events to go to.
Yesterday the beautiful ballroom of the Hilton Garden Inn, in Toronto, Vaugham was packed to capacity through the day featuring the pro/am Rhythm and Smooth categories. In the evening we had the seniors in the Latin and Standard (Ballroom) as well as the feature events the Professional Rhythm, Ballroom and what we thought to be the best, the Amateur Open Latin Championship.
The Amateur Open Latin Championship last night was a six-couple final but the quality was excellent down to the sixth place finish. The winners in all dances were Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward from Toronto. They gave a very correct performance showcasing great quality of work and beautiful leg action and Latin body motion. However, for us it was closer than that between first and the second place winners, Ron Garber & Liza from NY. We say it was close because when it came to the performance Ron & Liza’s musical interpretation and characterization of each dance but the paso was very clear and easy to understand and we were easily transported to the region and roots of the dance. However, we must clearly point out that we were not shocked to see Adam & Morgana win, as we mentioned their performance technically was down to perfection and we loved their unique yet traditional interpretation of what we consider to be a difficult dance, the paso doble.
From second place on, it was not as difficult of a decision to make for the judges. Vladishlav Kvartin & Anna Prokodovicova from NY placed second overall 3,4,3,3,3. Their biggest competition came from Bogdan Oligov & Evelyn Vidal from Toronto, who placed fourth overall but third in the samba. Fifth went to Oleg Kreimer & Sharaf Malik 5,5,6,6,5 from Toronto, and sixth was Joe De Angelis & Elise Magliorchetti 6,6,5,5,6 also from Toronto.
The professional division were poorly attended but even in these small heats there was plenty of quality. The Rhythm was uncontested but the couple was terrific giving us a show worth the time.
The Ballroom was a challenge for us all including the runners up Bassam Hanafi & Natta Porn who placed second in all dances and managed to take our breath away litterly. Bassam & Natta were not even near the bold part physically or skill wise to challenge the winners Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch, who could have walked with it just by standing still. When I look at a couple and they start breathing through their mouth it is not a good sign and Bassam & Natta did this from the first dance on, to the point that they were not able to execute some of their steps as well as we know they could have done. However, we must tip our hat to Bassam, a previous Canadian Champion, who for years continues to go out on the floor with no fear and with total love for the art, this is wonderful and something to be celebrated.
As I mentioned earlier the ballroom is beautiful and it transports you to an epic era of Ballroom dancing. The organizing committee is also very caring and pays close attention to the needs of all their guess, this and all the other amenities keeps everyone wanting to come back and as we said earlier we could see it becoming a strength for Canada’s Ballroom dancing.
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Yesterday at the final day of the USDC, was mostly about the Open to the World Professional divisions in Ballroom and Latin (WDC World Series events) and the Open to the World Cabaret.
Many of the results mirrored those in the National Titles, but there were some changes as you can see below.
1. Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova 1,1,1,1,1
2. Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva 2,2,2,2,2
3. Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk 3,3,3,3,3
4. Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Ergorova 4,4,4,4,5
5. Rudy Homme & Katia Kanevskaya (Germany) 6,5,5,5,4
6. Iaroslav Bieliel & Lillia Gladiuk 5,6,6,6,6
Arunas & Katusha lost only 1 first place mark (in tango) and Victor & Anatasia lost only 2 second place marks (in VW and QS).
1. Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina 1,1,1,1,2
2. Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk (Ukraine) 2,2,2,2,1
3. Mykhalio Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Schchypilina 3,3,4,4,3
4. Gunnar Gunnarsson & Marika Doshoris (England) 4,4,3,3,4
5. Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir 5,5,5,5,5
6. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova 6,6,6,6,6
All of the dances were won with the majority of 6 first place marks, so a good win for Nikolai & Maria. An obvious improvement for Mykhalio & Anastasiia who jumped above Andrei & Asta.
In the Open Cabaret there was also a switch at the top. The runners-up in the National title, Travis & Jaimee Tuft, were the winners tonight and the National winners, Shane & Shannon Jensen slipped to 2nd place. The judges’ scores were very spread, perhaps because they once again had to place 11 couples. No couple had a majority of 1st place marks. Shane & Shannon had a problem with one lift and perhaps this is what caused some judges to place them lower. The remainder of the top 6 were: 3rd Mykhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko; 4th Clyde Harris & Summer Elkin; 5th Clifton Sepulveda & Mar Martinez; 6th Craig Smith & Micheline Marmol (S. Africa).
The traditional awards were presented last night. The John Monte Award was given to Corky Ballas and the USDC Hall of Fame Award went to Michael Mead & Toni Redpath.
The overall top teacher, as in 2014, was Sinisa Vasic and his total prize money was $33,000.
And Again The Champions Return!
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Once again last night as the US Championships we saw the 2014 National Champions re-crowned for 2015 – Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko in the Latin and Peter & Alexandra Perzhu in the Smooth.
Riccardo & Yulia, who are also the WDC World Champions, were never really in doubt and indeed they collected all but 2 of the total available first places. They received a 2nd in rumba and paso, both from judge, Corky Ballas.
It was a double celebration for Yuliya who was also celebrating her birthday today.
The rest of the final was tightly contested and with several of last year’s finalists no longer in the race, there were open spaces in this final. Runners-up tonight were Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina and they placed 2,3,2,2,3, a close race with 3rd placed Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir 3,2,3,3,2. Nikolai & Maria were 3rd last year, Andrei & Asta did not compete last year due to injury. These two couples received mostly 3rd and 4th places but each also had some lower half scores. Only the paso was won with a majority of “2nd or better” scores. Nikolai & Maria received Corky Ballas’ 2 first places.
Andrey Tarasov & Yuliya Kuznetsova, who were finalists last year, were 4th in all dances this year. Their best dance was the rumba where they received the same amount of 2nd places (4) as Andrei & Asta. The new kids on the block, Mykhallo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Schchypilina, who won the Rising Star earlier in the week, stormed into the final and placed 5th in all dances. Closing this final tonight were Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova 6,6,6,6,6.
Peter & Alexandra also won all dances and had the majority of 1st places in all of them. 3 judges, however, did score them 2nd overall – Nicole Carroll, Valentina Kostenko and Toni Redpath.
We saw an upset in current form in the runners-up spot as Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzill regained the upper hand placing 3,2,3,3. Placing 2nd in 2 dances, but also 4th in 2, Mikhail & Galina Zharinov slipped to 3rd this year 2,4,4,2. A difference of only 1 point between them. The couple that really changed this year’s final around was the newer partnership of Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova who got in among the seconds and placed 4th with 4,3,2,4. Yegor & Aleksandra received the most 1st places in a dance of any couple except the winners – 5 in the foxtrot. Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija were 5th 5,5,6,5 and Travis & Jaimee Tuft were 6th 6,6,5,6.
Last night we saw the first of the US Open Championships, the Open Amateur divisions. The Latin was the better of the events with a semifinal round. The final scores were some of the most varied we’ve seen in a while with 4 of the finalists winning a dance. Winning tonight were Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriela Sabler and they placed 2,1,4,2,1. 2nd tonight fell to Alexander Chernositiv & Arina Grishanina and their scores were 1,2,3,4,2. Next came Alexey & Vlada Karaulov, 4,3,2,1,5. The last of those elusive 1st places went to 4th placed Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze, 5,4,1,5,4. Unlucky and placing 3rd in 3 dances but ending up 5th were Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman 3,5,5,3,3. Closing the final were Tagir Mansurov & Alexandra Kondrashova.
Only 4 couples contested the Open Amateur Ballroom but it did go outside of the USA. The winners were Stanislav Portanenko & Nataliya Kolyada from Ukraine and they won all dances. 2nd went to Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova 2,2,2,2,2; 3rd Nicholas & Rochelle Kharlamov 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Brandon Buchtal & Natasha Barrera 4,4,4,4,4.
The Open to the World Pro-Am Ballroom Scholarships were decided today and once again the A1 Final was danced at night. In fact this division was disappointingly a straight final. There was a change in ranking from last week’s World Championship as 1st and 2nd places were reversed. This week Natalie Rezai w/ Sergey Kiselev was the winner and she won 4 dances and placed 3rd in quickstep. Last week’s winner, Julia Shen w/ Alexander Voskalchuk had to be content with 2nd today, 2,2,3,2,2. 3rd went to Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenco 3,3,2,3,1. 4th Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Feraci 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Irene Lau w/ Mikhail Avdeev 5,5,5,6,6; 6th Irene Lee w/ Nick Cheremukhin 6,6,6,5,5.
The A2 went to Canada as Beverly Moore won her 2nd Championship of the week 1,2,2,1,1. With 4,1,1,2,2, Julie Zhao w/ Denis Kutepov was the runner-up and with 2,4,3,3,5, Lengxi Gao w/ Kamil Urbaniak was 3rd. As you can see this was quite a tight race and it continued as 4th placed Audrey Paek w/ Ronen Zinshtein placed 5,3,4,4,3. Also scoring 3rd in one dance but placing 5th overall was Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold 3,5,5,6,4 and closing this final was Michelle Peng w/ Mikhail Avdeev 6,6,6,5,6.
Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano had a fairly easy time in the B division winning 4 dances and placing 2nd in tango. Another of our favorites, Hye-Kyong Park w/ Linas Korieva won the tango but placed 2nd overall 3,1,2,2,2 and another lady who is proving a strong contender, Connie Edmonds w/ Samuele Pacchini was 3rd 2,3,3,3,3. Lynn Murrell w/ Alexander Voskalchuk took all the 4’s, Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia was 5th 6,5,5,5,6 and Paige Riffle w/ Iaroslav Bieliel was 6th 5,6,6,6,5.
Susan Walter w/ Samuele Pacchini was the clear winner of the C1 placing 1,1,1,1,2. The remaining placements were very mixed. Runner-up, Linda Dillman w/ Arturas Misurenkovas 2,2,5,2,3; 3rd Charlotte Carey w/ Kostadin Bidjourov 4,3,4,5,1; 4th Sherry Borchelt w/ Andrea Stefano 3,5,3,3,4; 5th Sharon Sanchez w/ Sergey Barsukov 5,4,2,4,5; 6th Avi Lazarovits w/ Anna Oblakova 7,7,6,6,6; 7th Vivien Chen w/ Mirko Selli (Hong Kong) 6,6,7,7,7.
In the evening we also saw the Open to The World RS Professional Ballroom and as in the National RS this resulted in a win for Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova 1,1,1,1,1. But 2nd place tonight went to Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubrowska 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Youriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson 4,3,3,4,3.
Champions Once More!
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Last night at all three National Champions from 2014 were once again voted champions by the 19 judge panel. Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova won the National Professional Ballroom, Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova won the National Professional Ballroom and Matt Hauer & Lauren Schelfhaudt won the National Professional Mambo.
In fact while it was a night of America’s greatest dancing, it produced few surprises with the majority of finalists from last year returning to the finals this year.
Arunas & Katusha won the Ballroom clearer than last year, winning all dances with the majority of 1st places. The closest dance was the quickstep. Here they received 10 first places while the runners-up, Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva received 7. Victor & Anastasia were clearly second in all dances receiving some firsts in every dance and only a total of 3 third places over the 5 dances.
New world finalists, Murat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk, were 3rd in 4 dances and 4th in quickstep, but had a much wider spread of marks than the fist two, including a few sixth placements. They did have the majority of “3rd or better” scores in W, T, F. The big gain tonight came from Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva who bounced back from a bad result at Embassy Ball last week to take 4th place here 4,4,5,4,3. They took 3rd in the quickstep on “4th or better” scores. Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova were 5th 5,5,4,5,6 and came close to 3rd place in VW where they lost on “4th or better” scores. Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova who had the best result of this group at Embassy, had to be content with 6th place tonight 6,6,6,6,5.
In the Rhythm, Emmanuel & Liana had the majority of first places in all dances. The closest dance was the rumba where they had 10 of the available 17. In all dances except the mambo the first places were shared between the top 3 couples. In mambo Emmanuel & Liana had 16 first places. They received no score lower than 2nd.
Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were 2nd in all dances. They received some first places in all dances (including 1 in the mambo) and overall they did not receive any score lower than a 3rd. Andre & Natalie Paramonov were 3rd in all dances and received 1st places in all dances except mambo, however, they did have some judges scoring them in the lower half of the final most notably Sveta Daily 4,4,5,4,6 and Bill Sparks 5,4,5,4,5. 4th tonight were Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakhova. They were 4th in all dances but picked up some 3rd places in all dances. Two Californian couples rounded out the final, Danus Jaksevicious & Yuki Haragouchi were 5th 5,5,6,5,6 and Vard Margaryan & Mandy Carlisle were 6th 6,6,5,6,5.
Seven couples entered the National Mambo and the result was unusual. The judges actually scored Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakhova to win. In fact they received 16 of the 17 first places. However, their solo routine was above the maximum time limit so after a penalty was applied they became 2nd. This meant that the runner-up and last year’s winners, Matt & Lauren became the champions once again. 3rd were Perez/Burkina, 4th Edouard/Spotar, 5th Martinez Murphy, 6th Polaschek/Hutchinson, 7th Wayne/Simanenkova. We were a little surprised that so many of the couples selected very slow music for their solo presentations.
For the pro-ams it was Latin day and the Open to the World Open Scholarships were of a very high standard.
The A1 final once again took place in the evening session and it became the 2nd pro-am scholarship to go north of the border. Sabrina Strasser w/ Stanislav Kocergin of Canada won all dances. 2nd tonight was Joanna Wa w/ Plamen Danailov 2,2,2,4,3 and 3rd Vera Xu w/ Jakub Zeglin 3,3,3,2,4 – a close race there. 4th fell to Saina Hadden w/ Daniele Gozzi 4,4,4,3,2; 5th Brittany Gonzalez w/ Ivan Dishliev 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Ivana Dragasevic w/ Jose Decamps 6,6,6,6,7; 7th Emily Tang w/ Delyan Terziev 7,7,7,7,6.
Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev was the confortable winner in the A2 division, taking all dances. Maria Seragou w/ Dimitrios Damalas was 2nd 2,2,2,3,2 and Marina Dzasokhova w/ Ivan Statsenko (Russia) was 3rd 4,3,3,2,3. Christine Sanko w/ Jean Paul took 4th 3,4,4,4,4; 5th Matthias Kirwald w/ Leanne Aranza 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Natsuko Lipchutz w/ Nikolai Sparkov 6,6,6,6,6; 7th Caroline Mao w/ Simeon Stoynov 7,7,7,7,7.
Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski took her second open to the world title this week, winning all dances in the B Latin. Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan was 2nd 2,2,2,3,2 and Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet (Canada) was 3rd 3,4,4,2,3. 4th Lorraine Peoples w/ Andrei Gavriline 4,3,3,4,4; 5th Tasha Romero w/ Evgeniy Likachev 5,5,5,6,6; 6th Iris Chang w/ Igor Colac 7,6,6,7,5; 7th Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia 6,7,7,5,7.
Also scoring her 2nd open to the world scholarship win was Susan Miller but this time dancing with Ricky Bentzen who won the C1 division 1,1,2,2,3. Janet Colleran w/ Aleks Nashev was 2nd 3,3,1,1,2 and Fifi Wang w/ Delyan Terziev was 3rd 2,2,3,3,4. Penelope Rostad w/ Nikolay Karchev was 4th 4,4,4,5,6. Winning the jive but placing 6,6,6,4 in the other dances, Olga Bassett w/ Petr Dubovsky was 5th and 6th Pam Olsen w/ Vadim Gazda 5,5,5,6,5.
Also run tonight was the Open to the World Professional RS Latin. This basically mirrored the results from the National RS division. Once again Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Schchypilina were the winners, Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova were 2nd and Sergey Chislov & Dasha Chislova were 3rd.
A 12-Couple Final!
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That’s right, 12 couples competed in the US National Pro Cabaret last night and the judges were asked to place them from 1 to 12 – no easy task.
But they did it and the win went to Shane & Shannon Jensen over their close rivals and fellow BYU alumni, Travis & Jaimee Tuft. But it was close! Shane & Shannon received 6 first places to Travis & Jaimee’s 5. But with a 15-judge panel this was not enough for a majority. However, the Jensen’s did receive more 2nd place scores than the Tufts and won the event with 12 “2nd or better” scores to 8. The only judge to radically disagree was Iveta Lukosuite who placed the Jensens 8th.
Mykhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko were 3rd and they had the majority of “3rd or better” scores and these included 2 first places. Clyde Harris & Summer Elkin were 4th. Clifton Sepulveda & Mar Martinez 5th; James Brann & Sayra Vazquez 6th.
The US National Titles for professional 9-dance and 10-dance are both held over 2 days and both came to a conclusion last night. In the 9-Dance, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi were the winners. Their scores, beginning with the Smooth were 1,1,1,2,3,2,1,1,2,1. Winning in the Rhythm but with much weaker placements in the Smooth, the runners-up were Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov 2,5,5,8,1,1,2,2,1,2. 3rd spot fell to Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka 5,4,4,3,2,3,3,4,3,3. Perhaps the most interesting scores went to 4th placed Roman Malkhasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman who went from placing 8th in waltz to 1st in VW. 5th overall went to Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth and 6th to Viktor Tkachenko & Yuliya Lukina.
Only 6 couples contested the 10-Dance and the winners were Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab who won 8 of the dances and placed 2nd in waltz and tango. 2nd place went to Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti who were the winners in waltz and tango and placed 2nd in the remaining ballroom dances. Their scores in the Latin were 2,2,3,3,3,2. Simeon Stoynov & Kora Stoynova were 3rd 4,3,3,4,4,3,3,2,2,2,3. Ruslan & Katusha Wilder were 4th, Dmitriy Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano were 5th and Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova were 6th.
It was 3 times in a row for Andre & Natalie Paramonov who won the US National Professional S. American Showdance title for the 3rd consecutive year. They received 9 of the 15 first place scores. Only 3 couples contested the event. Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan were 2nd and Tim Polaschek & Katherine Hutchinson were 3rd.
The US National RS Rhythm was also decided tonight and it was a very closely fought race. The winners by 3 dances to 2 were Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov 2,2,1,1,1 over Igor Ustymovich & Briana Santiago 1,1,2,2,3. No couple had the majority of 1st places. Aaron & Iryna DeSoto took the 2nd spot in mambo and 3rd overall with 3,3,3,4,2. Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov were 4th 4,4,4,5,4; Maksym Lototoskyy & Sarah Haworth were 5th 5,5,5,3,6 and Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti were 6th 6,6,6,6,5. This event was danced over 4 rounds with the final taking place close to 2AM this morning.
Running opposite the RS Rhythm was the US National Pro RS Ballroom, an event that did not start until after midnight. Despite the lateness of the hour we thought the couples in this division did a great job. The winners in all dances were Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova. They had the majority of 1st places in all dances. This has to be one of our favorite ladies in this style right now. It was a good night for Cristian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko who were the runners-up with 3,2,2,2,2. This was a few steps up from their position last week at Embassy Ball. 3rd went to Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson 4,3,3,3,3. Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubrowska were 4th 2,4,4,4,4; Evgeniy Mayarov & Olga Lisovskaya were 5th 5,5,5,5,5. Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Karzukhina were 6th 6,7,6,6,6. Victoria injured her ankle early in the final but was able to continue. Anatoli Repliuk & Ruslana Mamaysur were 7th 7,6,7,7,7.
The pro-ams completed their Smooth divisions yesterday and the Open to the World Open Scholarships were particularly strong.
Winning the A1 division was Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa. Melonie won all dances. 2nd in all was Brianna Yadgir w/ Chris Germain and 3rd in all Kat Wagner w/ Sergey Barsukov. 4th in all, Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenco. We thought that these top 4 ladies were clear of the remaining finalists. 5th went to Irene Lee w/ Nick Cheremukhin 6,5,5,5; 6th Madison Striblin w/ Mayo Alanen 5,6,6,6; 7th Rachel Sayotovich w/ Ilya Velednitsky 7,7,7,7; 8th Megan Strong w/ Sergey Smolin 8,8,8,8.
In the A2 Aiyesha Dey w/ Mayo Alanen was the winner in all 4 dances. 2nd went to Elizabeth Rocco w/ Eric Hudson 3,3,2,2 and 3rd to Sirinda Sincharoen w/ Max Sinitsa 2,2,3,3. As you can see a very tight race between these two ladies. 4th went to Patricia Schneider w/ Nick Cheremukhin 4,4,5,4. We were surprised by the 5th place finish of Susan Sidman w/ Gleb Makarov 5,5,4,5 as we expected her to finish much higher than this. 6th was Joanne Tatum w/ Mariusz Zakrzewski 7,6,6,6 and 7th Amanda Levine w/ Morten Jensen 6,7,7,7.
Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet (Canada) was back on top in the B Division taking it with 1,1,3,2. Her close rival throughout this year, Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski was the runner-up, 4,2,1,1. Next is was the battle of the “Lynns!” Lynn Shanahan w/ Darius Mosteika was 3rd 2,5,2,3 and Lynn Murrell w/ Peter Perzhu was 4th 3,3,4,4. Sue Eldred w/ Artem Plakhotnyi took 5th 5,6,5,5; 6th was Robin Kencel w/ Sergey Vasiliev 6T,4,6,6 and 7th Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin 6T,7,7,7.
The C1 category was won by Charlotte Carey w/ Kostadin Bidjourov 2,1,1,1. We have long admired Charlotte’s passionate dancing and today she was really on form. 2nd went to another of our longtime favorites, Elaine Sheresky w/ Victor Russu 3,2,2,2. Also strong today was 3rd placed Pam Olsen w/ Vadim Gazda 1,3,3,3. Pat Luthy w/ Vladimir Popov was 4th 4,5,5,4; Madeleine Chung w/ Evgeny Dyachenko was 5th 5,4,4,5 and Michaela Puno w/ Slava Sergiev was 6th 6,6,6,6.
The Pro-Am 9-Dance divisions were also completed today. In the Open A division Brianna Yadgir w/ Chris Germain was the victor placing 1st in all 4 smooth dances and 2,3,2,2,3 in the Rhythm. 2nd went to Natalie Crandall w/ Decho Karev and she placed 3,3,5,4 in the Smooth and won all 5 Rhythm dances. 3rd was Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer and he was 2nd in all the Smooth dances and placed 5,5,4,4,5 in the Rhythm.
Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin won the Open B 9-Dance placing (Smooth listed first) 4,2,2,2,1,1,1,1,2. The runner-up was Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan 2,3,3,3,2,2,2,2,1 and 3rd was Robin Kencel w/ Sergey Vasilyev 1,1,1,1,4,4,4,3,3.
US Starts with Show Dancing!
The United States Championships in Orlando, Florida had a full day of Pro/Am Rhythm yesterday finishing up two full days of Rhythm dancing but at the professional level it was all about the show dances with the US National titles in the Theatrical and Classic Show Dance up for grabs.
In the US National Professional Theatrical Dance Championship 6 couples took to the floor all at the same time to the same pre-selected music and showcased a combination of dance with lifts. Due to the amount of people on the floor at the same time and some of the death-defying maneuvers (lifts) being performed, this makes this competition one of the most thrilling of the week and we mean “scary like.” However, all couples were very capable and managed to get around without any incident and at the end the US Theatrical title went to Travis & Jaimee Tuft from New Jersey, with almost perfect scores. Only one judge, Lee Wakefield, awarded them a second place. Second was awarded to Shane & Shannon Jensen from Connecticut and they took that one first from Lee and the majority of seconds in this competition. Their lowest mark in this dance came from Iveta Lukosiute who awarded them a whamming 4th place finish, the other low marks came from Wendy Johnson & Gary McDonald who each awarded them third.
Third overall wen to Mikhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko, fourth was Serhii Kovalenko & Kimalee Piedad, leaving fifth position to Kosta Trifunovic & Domante Padleckaite, and sixth to Aaron Stowell & Rebecca Berryhill.
In the US National Professional Classic Show Dance Championships, the title stays in the hands of Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlanta Rudkovskaya, but not with a majority of firsts, they had to depend of 4th or better to acquire this placement. It was so close between first and second that it was down to basically one mark between first and second and the second place overall went to Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blimova. We are quite lucky to have two excellent couples going to represent the USA in this Classic Showdance. Both did what we consider to be quite difficult a bit of comedy in their routines and both won the hearts of the judging panel. We cannot discard the third place finishers, Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egora who also did a phenomenal job and managed to steal 3 first place marks from the two couples just mentioned ahead of them, too bad three couples cannot be sent to represent the USA or we would probably have all three up on top.
Fourth overall on this Classic Show Dance went to Paolo & Liene Di Lorenzo, fifth was Janis Kukainis & Aleksandra Mangileva, and sixth was awarded to Kosta Trifunovic & Domante Padleckaite, and seventh Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova.
Two Professional Rising Star events were also run this evening and the Latin was awarded to Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Schchypilina who took first in all dances but only one dance with the majority of firsts and that was the jive. Second was awarded to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova and they placed second in all dances, leaving third to Sergey Chislov & Dasha Chislova 3,3,4,3,3. Fourth place was awarded to Sasha Altukhov & Cheyenne Murillo 4,5,5,4,4, fifth went to Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova 5,4,3,5,5, and sixth was Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina 6,6,6,6,6. An interesting factor in this event was that two of the finalists turned professional very recently (and we mean in the last couple of days) that was Tarnavskyy/Danilova and Malakhov/Nadezda.
The Professional Rising Star Smooth was also an excellent event and a feature in this second evening of competition. Here, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi took the Rising Star title home by winning three dances and taking second on the VW. Second in those three dances just mentioned and first in the VW, making them a strong runner up was Adrian & Hanna Dydynski. Third was awarded to Mariusz Zakrzewski & Lynnsay Ray 3,3,4,3, fourth went to Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewski 4,4,3,4, fifth was Roman Malkhasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman placing fifth in all dances and sixth in all was awarded to Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow-Stefanov.
Concluding 2 days of pro-am Rhythm competition were the Open to the world Scholarships.
The A1 divisions resulted in a win for last week’s World Champion in this division, Nadia Kireyko w/ Daniel Vasco. Nadia won all dances. 2nd went to Rachel Sayotovich w/ Ilya Velednitsky 2,4,2,2,2. 3rd was Brianna Yadgir w/ Evgenii Grytzak 3,2,4,3,4. Brianna was the winner in this division last year. 4th Chastity Smith w/ Eddie Ares 4,3,3,4,3; 5th Isabella Libertore w/ Charles Cunningham 5,5,5,5,5 and 6th Megan Strong w/ Slash Sharan 6,6,6,6,6.
Defending Champion, Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika successfully defended his A2 title winning 4 dances and placing 2nd in swing. Newly crowned World Champion in the C (at USDC this is the B category) division, Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin was the runner-up 2,2,1,3,3. Susan Sidman w/ Gleb Makarov was 3rd with 4,3,3,2,4. Kia Malone w/ Eddie Rivera took 4th 3,4,4,4,2. As you can see these were close races. 5th went to Elena Cormio w/ Edwin Torres 6,5,5,5,5 and 6th to M’Balia Tagor-Guzman w/ Mariusz Zakrewski 5,6,6,6,6.
Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski won the B (C Division at other competitions) 1,1,1,1,2 having taken 3rd in this division last week at the World Championship. 2nd today fell to Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan 2,2,2,2,1. These top two were well clear in the judges’ scores. 3rd with 4,5,3,3,4 went to Gracelyn Tuoti w/ Andrei Abrashin. Joan Goddard w/ Chris Johnston was 4th 3,3,4,6,5; Quin Bommelje w/ Mikhail Vlasov was 5th 6,4,5,4,3. This was not quite as good a result for Quin who was 2nd in this division at the World Championship. 6th went to Jennifer Marre w/ Plamen Danailov 5,6,6,5,6 and 7th to Renee Kuwahara w/ Ilya Reyzin 7,7,7,7,7.
Susan Miller w/ Hayk Arshakian won the C1 (Senior) category 1,1,1,2,1. Runner-up was Quin w/ Misha 3,2,2,1,2. Penelope Rostad w/ Nikolay Karchev was 3rd 2,3,3,3,3; 4th Sharon Sanchez w/ Sergey Barsukov 5,6,4,4,4; 5th Janet Brutell w/ Michael Neil 4,4,6,5,6; 6th Beverly Marsh w/ Nazar Norov 6,5,5,6,5.