Dance Beat Team
Great Night at Millennium!
Last night was an incredible night, it took us a little to get this to you because we needed to detox from the overwhelming amount of fantastic dancing and emotional rollercoaster of feelings that this night brought to us.
The show was twice as good as the night before with a fiery BYU and incredible transitions from the team to the ballroom stars who were also in incredible mode. Everything was picture perfect from the video screens to the team and lead dancers’ performances. The crowd was as always happy to be there and if you got a vacant seat you were lucky.
The Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 to Lee and Linda Wakefield was deserving and very moving. We believe they were actually surprised! When they were called they stood by one side and they had to be coaxed on to the seats where they watched their life achievements on video. It was a perfect moment, the team had just finished performing a fabulous show and were still on the floor with the stars in the middle and this night they took no prisoners they left everyone wanting more and more.
Earlier in the evening the Millennium Hall of Fame inductees for 2014 were US National Professional Rhythm & Smooth Champions from the 1980’s Joe Lozano & Jan Mattingly.
The two featured finals that started way after midnight kept many of the attendees glued to their seats and it was worth the wait. Both the Rhythm and the Ballroom were excellent finals with boundless attendance and top of the line couples.
Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk were the winners of the Ballroom and they took first in all dances with a huge majority of firsts. However, not all judges felt the same way some awarded them sixth and we will point them out to you in the full article here soon. Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva were not far behind and they were awarded second in all dances and Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova were third, and as you will see this job became harder for the judges as they placed 3,5,3,2,5T. We’re sure the judges were sweating bullets. Fourth in this excellent parade of ballroom dancers went to Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova (6,4,5,3,4), fifth was awarded to Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch (5,3,4,6,5T), and last but not least in sixth position were Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa (4,6,6,5,3).
Watch out for Loraine Barry’s full report in Dance Beat soon.
The Professional Rhythm also had huge attendance and here Andrey & Natalie Paramonov won the night, they took first in all dances but the mambo where they placed third. But here clearly the audience were divided on the results. Just prior to the Parmonovs’ crowning, Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were called for second place and the audience clearly were not pleased many of them stood and screamed for them showing what was clearly some displeasure with the judges’ decision. Andre & Natalie had a different group of supporters also. Nazar & Irina got these marks from the judges - 2,3,2,3,1. In this mix of firsts, seconds and thirds were Peter & Alexandra Perzhu who too got a great reception from the audience. Here are their marks -2,3,2,3,1. The audience were very undecided with these two last couples mentioned and so were the judges as you can see by the marks.
From foruth place down it was a little more routine. Misha Vlasov & Vanda Polakova were fourth in all dances. Shane & Shannon Jensen were fifth, Ilya & Mandy Velednitsky were sixth and Azamat Evgamukov & Kateryna Angelone were seventh.
Watch out for Bob Powers’ opinions on this division.
As you can already tell this was a fully packed evening and the Professional Cabaret took quite abut of time with seven couples called to the final. The title went to Shane & Shannon Jensen with a huge majority of firsts. However, for us it was Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva who placed second who got us moving today. Their unconventional routine made us look more than once especially when she is flying through the air with her head between her legs being “possessed”. Their routine is based on The Exorcist. We were really in doubt here as to what the judges were going to do especially when Travis & Jaimee Tuft who placed third were also looking in excellent form.
Clyde Harris & Summer Black captured fourth overall, Jamie Black & Robin Ray were fifth, Igor Alferov & Alexandra Akimova were sixth and seventh wen to Martin Cardoso & Noelia Guerrero.
Watch for Tommye Giachinno’s report.
The Amateur Open Latin was also an excellent heat and here Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina were the clear winner in all dances. Pasha Pahskov & Daniella Karagach were second and Damir Haluzan & Anna Mashchyts (Slovenia) were third. Ilia Ifraimov will have a full report.
In the Pro-Am Latin Scholarship categories some of our results were totally off compared to the judges’ decisions. Our worst prediction came in the “C” where we had Janet Colleran w/Alex Nashev placing first and she took sixth. The winner here was Marguerite Pinard w/ Nerijus Jasaitus, 2nd was Tammy Knight w/ Oleksii Lytvyn and 3rd Nora Fox w/ Plamen Danailov.
In the A Cheyenne Murillo w/ Sasha Althukov was the easy winner both for us and the judges. 2nd went Vera Xu w/ Jacub Zeglin and 3rd to Callie Chan w/ Dmitri Mikulich.
The B was won by Svetlana Mukhametshina w/ Alexander Chesnokov from Russia. 2nd went to Johanna Komacki w/ Andrei Gavriline and 3rd to Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev.
The Elements Plus!
The Elements finally came together last night at the Millennium Dancesport in an interesting and varied show by BYU, Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva, Emanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova and Mauritzio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite.
It was choreographed by Lee Wakefield from BYU and Rufus Dustin from Miami Beach, Florida. A fifth element was introduced, a ballet dancer from American Ballet Theatre, he wore angel wings and portrayed “Sky.” Choreographically he chained all the elements together making the show run smoothly top to bottom!
The Show was sponsored by Debra Fontaine.
On the competition floor it was a smooth night with excellent couples fighting it out to become the Millennium Smooth Champions. From the very start we knew it would be a tough competition, especially for the judges who would have to make up their mind of only six couples for the final. We are sure it was a tough job but in the end the judges did their job, leaving a number of excellent couples out of the final.
The final was a terrific mix giving us great variety to watch and from the judges’ perspective, a great variety to chose from. Peter & Alexandra Perzhu won all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges. However, they did get a number of thirds and seconds but not enough to affect their standing. Mazan Hamza & Izabella Jundzill placed second in every dance and took a number of the firsts from the Parzhus and the majority of seconds. Third in every dance was awarded to Mikhail & Galina Zharinov who also took a few firsts as well as a huge variety from 6th up. For us it was an excellent competition the top couples were all in great shape for the task. However, from earlier rounds it almost looked clear to us that Perzhus would take the Millennium trophy home. Second and third were less clear to us but we were ready for what ever decision the judges handed down.
The rest of the final was excellent but from looking at the marks and at the competition itself, it was clear that these top six were divided in two divisions, the second part of this final was lead on paper by Travis & Jaimee Tuft who placed fourth in every dance. Travis & Jaimee did get a majority of fourths but also shared in some 5th and 6th. New to the scene, Mikolaj Czarnecki & Victoria Malko placed fifth in every dance and sixth in every dance went to Kris Suakjian & Briana Haft. If is some consolation, we have to say, that this must have really bean a total quick impression for the judges with so much talent and different styles. It must have been hard to compartmentalize and divide these 6 excellent couples. Congratulations to all six of you, you were all terrific!
The Latin was also quite unique, from what we understand there were a few couples that entered on the day and this made for a probable competition rescheduling. However, using a past-used NDCA rule, they were able to go from a 15 semifinal, run in two heats, to what ended up to be an 8-couple final. This seemed fare enough for everyone including the audience who would have had to spend at least another ? hour more in the ballroom and would have taken us to a very late finish. Congratulations to the Chairman of Judges for the efficiency and quick thinking.
Like the Smooth the 8-Couple final was excellent. Roman Kutskyy & Ana Kovalova won every dance with a huge majority of firsts from the judges. From second on it was a completely mixed bag. We are so lucky to have computers because with such variety of marks from 19 judges we would still be there tabulating who got what. Second overall wen to Andrey Tarasov & Julia Kuznetsova and they placed (3,2,2,2,2), This couple were awarded firsts, seconds and on down to a seventh place in every dance but the paso. Third went to Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk from Ukraine (2,3,3,3,3), and they too were awarded from first down, but this time to 8th place. Manuel & Natalie from Ukraine were the only couple noticeably shocked and by their result, it took them quite a pregnant moment to recuperate but that they did and they accepted their award with a big smile. Ivan Mulyavka & Loreta Kriksciukaityte were fourth in every dance, they did not got any firsts but they did get a number of seconds with other marks down to 8th.
Fifth in this marathon of Latin couples wen to Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova but here as you will see the mix is almost liquified they got (5,6,5,5,7). Sixth were Vitalii Proskurin & Eugenia Shatilova (6,5,6,7,5). Seventh went to Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets (8,8,8,6,6) and eighth was awarded to Genya Bartashevich & Yana Mazhnikova (7,7,7,8,8). As you can see the four elements were not the only ones being brought together at this Millennium Championships, great couples from all over were drawn together here and the competition was fierce.
The Amateur Ballroom also had a terrific entry and here before the final Oscar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody had to pull out for medical reasons due to a foot injury (we believe), we wish her a quick recovery. This left the first place easily open for another couple to take and it went to Lucas Balestra & Krizia Balestra (1,1,1,2,1). Second was awarded to Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kacmarski (2,2,3,1,2) and third went to Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Bakhtiarova (3,3,2,4,3).
The Pro/Am Ballroom was run during the afternoon session and here there was also terrific competition in the Open Scholarships with huge entries and excellent dancing.
In the “A” Ballroom Denis Evans w/Artem Plakhotnyi was first overall but not in every dance (1,4,1,2,2). Second went to Melonie Krumer w/Max Sinitsa (2,2,2,1,3), and third was awarded to Julie Zhao w/Denis Kutepov (3,3,3,3,4).
In the “B” Celia Chou w/Erminio Stefano was the crowned champion placing first in every dance and leaving second place open for Lily Chang w/Sergey Kiselev who took all second places. Third overall was awarded to Lisa Berry w/Rauno Ilo (3,3,4,3,3).
The “C” went to Tammy Knight w/Artem Plakhotnyi (1,2,1,1,1). Second was awarded to Hye-Kyong Park w/Linas Korieva (2,1,2,2,2) and third went to Leilani Viney w/Kamil Urbaniak (3,3,4,3,3).
Tonight the fourth element would come together once more for another show and we will see the competition heat up in the professional Rhythm and Ballroom as well as the Amateur Latin witch has a huge entry.
“It’s the first annual ………”
Pro-Am Team Match – at Millennium!
The brand new addition to the 2014 Millennium was the Pro-Am Team Match held last night at the start of the evening session.
4 international teams competed over the 4 styles totaling 16 dances. The teams were from USA, Canada, Russia and the Republic of ROW (Rest of World)! The ladies from each team entered wearing “wings” in their country’s color. We thought this was a great way to make the teams cohesive in a relatively simple fashion and without the necessity of everyone wearing the same style/color dress.
The winning team was USA, captained by Marianne Nicole.
We saw the first two professional events of this year’s Millennium last night – the RS Latin and Smooth. Both began with quarter-final rounds and the standard in both was good.
The Smooth was a tight race for first place, but it was won by Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sidjnova 1,2,1,1 over Kyle & Allie Spinder 2,1,2,2. But to see how close it was you have to look at the judges’ individual placements. Sergey & Maria won the waltz by 9 first places to 7, the foxtrot by 9 to 8 and the Viennese by 9 to 8. Kyle & Allie took the tango, 10 to 7. For those with a keen eye for maths, that remaining 1st place in the waltz went to 3rd placed Adrian & Hannah Dydynski who were 3rd in all dances. 4th in all dances were Sergey Smolin & Anna Tomasini, 5th were Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow 6,5,5,5 and 6th, Marc Short & Alissa Kark 5,6,6,6.
The RS Latin also had a fairly close race for 1st place, but it went to Vitalii Proskurin & Eugenia Shatilova 2,1,1,2,1 over Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets 1,2,2,1,2. The remaining placements were very mixed. All the way from China, Ray Zhang & Ren Yi took 3rd 6,3,3,4,7. From England, Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina were 4th, 3,6,6,3,5; Pavel Balykin & Meagan Mendoza were 5th 7,4,4,5,4; Ryan Lewis & Tessa Maria were 6th 5,5,5,6,3 and closing the final Felipe Gonzalez & Kathleen Ilo 4,7,7,7,6.
For the pro-ams it was Smooth day. The semifinals and finals of the 3 Open Scholarships were run in the evening with qualifying rounds in the afternoon session. All produced great finals.
The A was won by Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa and Melonie won all dances. We felt she was the best overall dancer in the final who produces a lot of power. The only challenge to Melonie came from Brianna Yadgir w/ Chris Germain who has greatly improved in this style and took 2nd in all dances. Brianna was also the winner of the Open Scholarship in 9-Dance and won all 9 dances. Congratulations! 3rd here in the A Smooth went to Christine Diaz w/ Kris Suakjian and she was also 3rd in all dances. In fact all places in all dances were the same for every competitor. 4th went to the only gentleman in any of the finals, Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer, 5th to Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki and 6th to Melissa Dipietro w/ Randy Dias.
In the B we saw an upset to the expected form as Joanne Smith w/ Sharone Levit (Canada) who has won most events in this division lately, lost to Lisa Berry w/ Rauno Ilo. Lisa placed 1,2,1,1 to Joanne’s 2,1,2,2. So was this upset expected? You can find out our opinion in the members’ section of Dance Beat coming up soon. The remaining couples placed in the same position in every dance. Christina Donelson w/ Peter Perzhu was 3rd , Melissa Rodriguez w/ Mayo Alanen took 4th, Monica Broch w/ Kris Suakjian 5th, Darla Davies w/ Jim Maranto 6th and Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki 7th.
It was a return to glory for Sue Eldred as she took 1st in the C division 1,1,1,2. Now dancing with Artem Plakhotnyi, Sue had been a US Champion before taking a break. This was her first major win since returning. 2nd fell to Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza 3,3,2,1 and 3rd to Lynn Murrel w/ Peter Perzhu 2,2,6,3. As you can see, not too much consensus from the judges on these placements! Monica Broch, in her 2nd final of the night, once again placed 4th, 4,4,3,4. Paige Riffle w/ Alex Zagrean was 5th 5,5,4,5; Gracelyn Tuoti w/ Andrei Abrashin was 6th 6,6,5,6 and Marina Sanchez-Torres w/ Max Sinista was 7th.
Stay tuned for the first of the major professional and amateur divisions all happening tonight, plus the Pro-Am Ballroom Scholarships and part 1 of the Millennium “Show of Shows” that features the BYU Formation Team, Emanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova, Victor Fung & Ananstasia Muravyeva and Mauritzio Vescovo & Andra Vaidailaite.
Millennium! It’s “Element-ary!”
Millennium’s theme this year is the 4 Elements and it is “elementary” that Millennium Dancesport remains the “best dressed” competition on the circuit. This year the stage is filled with enormous LED displays that constantly change to reflect the theme or what is happening on the floor. It is stunning! This is only enhanced by the superb lighting and sound that Millennium always provides.
The first 2 days were devoted almost entirely to pro-am Rhythm and the culmination of this was the Open Scholarships run last night. All had good attendance and the level of dancing was high.
The winner of the A was Sasha Woshczn w/ Ilya Reyzin. Sasha won all dances and was a clear winner to us watching from the sidelines. 2nd and 3rd placements appeared closer to us but in the final analysis Briana Yadgir w/ Aaron DeSoto was 2nd in all dances and Chastity w/ Eddie Ares was 3rd in all. Julie Korsog w/ Misha Vlasov, who competed and made the final in the B division also, was 4th (4,4,4,5,4); Laurel Skaggs w/ Ben Ermis was 5th (5,5,5,4,5) and Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer was 6th.
The B and C divisions were very close-fought. Elena Cormio w/ Edwin Torres won the B (1,2,1,1,1) and we loved her feel for the music. Beatriz Higuery w/ Vlad Kosarev took 2nd (3,1,3,4,2) and she had a great look on the floor. 3rd went to Coleen Peac w/ Ben Ermis (2,3,2,3,4) and this was another very talented lady, new to us. 4th was Tracy Hannon w/ Misha Konstantinov (4,5,4,5,3); 5th Julie Korsog w/ Misha Vlasov (5,4,5,2,5) and 6th Regina Ruff w/ Eddie Ares was 6th (6,6,6,6,6).
The C was if anything, even closer. The winner and obviously thrilled, was Dianna Caracciolo w/ Nazar Norov (3,1,1,2,1) – this was probably her best result to date. Congratulations! 2nd went Lynn Murrell w/ Peter Perzhu (2,3,3,1,4) who gave her usual consistent performance and had a great look on the floor. 3rd fell to a lady we really liked tonight, Marguerite Pinard w/ Nerijus Jasaitis (1,2,5,4,3) – those were some mixed scores! Renee Kuwahara w/ Ilya Rezin took 4th (4,4,2,3,2) and in a surprise result, Joan Goddard w/ Chris Johnston, a former winner of this event many times, dropped to 5th (5,5,4,5,5). Marcy Garson w/ Mazen Hamza was 6th (7,6,6,6,7) and Quin Bommeljie w/ Misha Vlasov was 7th (6,7,7,7,6).
Today begins the pro-am Smooth divisions and we look forward to a new International Pro-Am Team Match tonight. Check back tomorrow for the latest scoop!
Bill Morganti, progress after car crash
The following comes from Marc Nocera
As you may have heard, Billy Morganti was in a bad car accident on the 4th of July. He is currently recovering at Boston Medical Center. The outlook is positive but he has a long recovery ahead of him. For information on Billy's condition please visit his Caring Bridge page here. If you would like to donate please use the link below - please do not donate through the Caring Bridge page.
Donate via PayPal here: click to donate
Fundraising events will also be held at the Massachusetts Dancesport Challenge next month.
We have a paypal account and a GoFundMe account set up. The link to GoFundMe is: http://www.gofundme.com/bje0c8
Five Main Reasons to Go to Blackpool Dance Festival
(the perspective of a first timer)
“I loved Blackpool! There was always great time to watch the other dancers. It felt like you earned it when you were called to the next round, even when you didn’t, you still felt great.” Lyubov Morgan