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So the best of the best it was. We all sat waiting for an incredible challenge. However, very little time is given to the couples to get ready and so we presumed they would do impromptu dances. The first one we saw was the American Style Smooth represented by Mazen Hamza & Izabella Judzill. The announcer called it a tango, and yes the music sounded like a tango but it was really what I would call a cabaret with tango music, very interesting but far from being a “Tango.” The next one on was the Rhythm Champions Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakob. They did an American Style Rumba, unfortunately it looked more like an international style rumba with some Bolero moves in it, with some slow music thrown in, nothing resembling an American rumba.
Last but not least Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk, they did a foxtrot and yes as we say here in America “it walked like a foxtrot, looked like a foxtrot, talked like a foxtrot and by golly “jeepers creepers” it was a foxtrot.” I truly believe that the fact that we could all make sense of what was going on helped them become the Tri-State Best of the Best champions for 2016.
The final “Best of the best” was interesting as you just read but what made this night a complete success was the actual four professional events featured on this night. The Rhythm, Ballroom, Smooth and Latin.
The Open Latin was very interesting and you just heard was taken by Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova who won three dances and placed second in the rumba, jive. Artur & Anastasia only won the samba with the majority of firsts the other 2 dances they depended on third or better in order to secure the wins. Second overall went to Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin and they won the other two dances and placed second in the rest. We thought Dmitry & Olena had a wonderful night with clear and precise work, however, at this professional level we are not so sure this is enough for the judges, we want the couples to explore the possibilities and bring to the floor something we have not seen in our “5-year” career (Don’t want to display our age so a fictitious number is being presented), something that says I’m me and you can’t take this away. Third in every dance went to Nikita Malkhov & Nadezda Vlasova, here as well was solid Latin American dancing but once again just a tad slower and no new possibilities. Fourth this time went to a partnership that shows great potential and that is Ilie Bardahan & Bella Gubzheva and they took fourth in every dance. A disappointing fifth place in every dance was given to Stanishlav Savich & Nicole Prosser, we are sure they were slightly disappointed, but here we have the epitome of more of the same - clean cut Latin dancing and in this case I think at times they seemed to give the expression that it is labor intensive, as if they were at work and not a dance floor where they can be creative and expressive. In sixth place were Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak from Canada, once again all power and clarity of work from start to finish. Couples, a word of advice if you go in the kitchen don’t be afraid to mess it up a little and come out with some flower stains, don’t just do what they tell you to do, it’s your turn be creative.
- Nikita Malkhov & Nadezda Vlasova Nikita Malkhov & Nadezda Vlasova
- Stanishlav Savich & Nicole Prosser Stanishlav Savich & Nicole Prosser
- Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak
- Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova
- Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin
- Pro Latin Winners Pro Latin Winners
- Ilie Bardahan & Bella Gubzheva Ilie Bardahan & Bella Gubzheva
- Jean Paul & Lana Rossi Jean Paul & Lana Rossi
- Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov
- Pro Rhythm Winners Pro Rhythm Winners
- Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko
- Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko
Tri-State Owners Lived up to their Game!
Former Latin American sensations Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova lived up to their game (Latin American Dancing) and brought a tremendous Amateur Latin event in numbers and in quality.
We have just attended the United States Amateur Championships in BYU, Utah, and what we saw there was one of the finest Amateur Latin American competition and we figured it would not be replicated so soon. But here at the TriState Challenge a competition purchased just about two years ago by Andrei & Elena, we had as exciting of an event as we did there and although the numbers were not as huge as the US Amateur Championships in Provo, still we had a healthy quarter final round.
- Open Amateur Latin Open Amateur Latin
- Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina
- Alexey & Vlada Karaulov Alexey & Vlada Karaulov
We are sure it must have been a little disappointing for Alexey & Vlada Karaulov who were clearly second overall but managed to tie for first in the rumba, trust us when we say that it was a fantastic competition and although like every event we all had to have a winner, it was super close, in performance and talent. I do have one thing, that bothered me slightly and it made me wonder, if we the judges and the audience in the “peanut” gallery were seeing the same competition. On the first quarter we noticed the audience were very attentive but as the competition went on they got a little bit polite in their applause and distracted. The next day talking to a few people they told me that they wanted to see sparks and challenges but all they got was a lukewarm reception, to what I responded what did you want them to do, “spin on their ear?”
I have to listen to the audience because they are our fan base and if they got lukewarm energy we have a problem, the couples need to entertain and thrill and make the audience “roar,” we did notice their was no “roaring,” going on and we were possibly too distracted with our own difficult tasks to care. However, for the couples, “step it up!!” Blackpool is coming and they are not going to serve it to you on a silver platter, you need to make them roar like “Vernon Brock & Linda Dean, Bobby Medeiros & Sheryn Hawkins, Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova” when these people got on the floor they moved the audience they made them hate or like, but not go to “Bed.”….. Just a thought!
- Alexey Sorokin & Sasha Nissengolts Alexey Sorokin & Sasha Nissengolts
- Ron Garber & Liza Ron Garber & Liza
- Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward
- Allen Rudman & Svetlanta Lesnaya Allen Rudman & Svetlanta Lesnaya
Sixth, possibly one of our favorite couples to watch were Alexey Sorokin & Sasha Nissengolts 6,6,6,6,6, not because they were so much better than the last two mentioned but because for us they were a breath of fresh air, not many (Wham! Bang! Splat) in their routines and we found it a little easy on the eye especially since we already had 3 days of nonstop competition.
The Amateur Standard was also run this evening and that went to another English couple and that was Jack Beale & Natalia Syanko and they placed first in every dance. Second in all dances was awarded to Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova, and third went to Brenton Mitchell & Alexnadra Sevastianova 4,3,3,3,3, and taking the third in the waltz and fourth in the other four dances was Daniel Vesnovskiy & Emily Thorpe 3,4,4,4,4.
It was a terrific evening of Latin American dancing, complemented by some ballroom and the other events just mentioned. Tonight we will see all the open professional events and it should be a night to remember.
Tristate! So far so good!
The Tristate Dancesport Championships are taking place this weekend and so far it has been “so far, so good!” Everything has been running smoothly as always and everything has been right on time giving people a chance to change, eat and enjoy the event without the sometimes “rush and run” of some of the events of today. All the rising stars have taken place and all though there were no quarter-final rounds the events had great attendance and full final rounds in all.
The Rising Star Smooth had a six-couple final and here John Campbell & Jaki Brockman won all dances. Second place went to Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov 2,2,3,3, and third was warded to Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth, 3,4,2,2.
The smallest of the professional Rising Star Events was the Ballroom, it was a five-couple final but it was of good quality. Radu Sterban & Xebia Cletova were first in all dances, Anatolii Repliuk & Ruslana Mamysur were second in all and Manuel Trillo & Anna Belyavtseva placed third 4,3,3,3,4.
- Open C Ballroom Open C Ballroom
- Charlene Proctor w/ Ihar Kisialiou Charlene Proctor w/ Ihar Kisialiou
- Open Senior Ballroom Open Senior Ballroom
- Linda Dillman w/Arturas Misurenkovas Linda Dillman w/Arturas Misurenkovas
The Pro/Am Smooth had also some impressive events and here the Senior was also quite fun to watch and that went to Annette van Ommeren 3,1,1. Second was awarded to Pat Luthy w/ Vladimir Popov 1,3,2 and third went to Felicia Porges w/ Adam Katona.
The “B” was also good and here Sophia D’Angelo won with Ilya Reyzin. Second was Amanda Levine & Morten Jensen 2,2,3,2, leaving third to Jennifer Hoffman & Dave Hannigan 4,4,2,3. We must also point out that Sophia D’Angelo also won the “C” division. The “A” division went to Kaileen Donovan w/ Gunnar Sverrisson who won all dances.