Blackpool Dance Festival 2016

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US Continues to Lead!

US couples continue to lead, but this time in the Ballroom field.

Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova won all dances one more time at this year’s British Open, closely followed by Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva who placed second in every dance. Third place went to the host country Andrea Ghigiarelli & Sara Andracchio representing England and they placed third in every dance.

Fourth place was Domen Krapez & Natahsa Karabey from Germany and they were 4th in the foxtrot, quickstep, tango and waltz. Fifth position was awarded to Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro and they placed fifth in all dances leaving sixth place for Chao Yang & Yiling Tan. We were a little surprised with this couple’s performance, most as usual looked fully composed but, they were in a little disarrayed and you could tell by the amount of perspiration coming out of their bodies. In the end Chao & Yiling said goodbye to dance floor in a touching letter, perhaps dancing might not be their only focus and that might have been the reason for their unusual disheveled performance this week.

The USA had another two couples in these grand semifinals Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk who made semifinals in all dances and to our wonderful surprise, Iaroslav Bieliei & Liliia Gladiuk who made the semis in the quickstep and tango and who also made the quarter in all the other dances.

Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva made it to the quarter final in all dances. Alexandr Voskalchuk & Veronica Egora also made the quarter but only in the tango and foxtrot and Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch from Canada made the quarter in the waltz and quickstep. Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova made the quarter in the tango, and Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa made it in the tango.

There were plenty of US couples in the second featured event the Exhibition but it was not to be, the British Open Exhibition this year went to Belgium’s Kevin Pelette & Salena Badeoux, who did a very interesting number with some moves never seen before and other with a different spin. We must say that the quality of this year’s Exhibition was of the highest standard and that is perhaps why this couple won because they fed us something a little new, something that perhaps has never been seen. Second overall went to Travis & Jaimie Tuft form the USA, their routine was perfection in motion but once again not different enough to shake the judging panel. Third was awarded to Shane & Shannon Jensen who presented something a little different perhaps not our favorite music selection from this so talented couple. They seem to be trying for comedy with the music “Be Italian” and although it caught the hearts of the audience, perhaps the judges thought it was just too cute to go further.

Fourth was Mykhailo Azaron & Tetyana Makarenko from the USA, they presented the “Rise like a Phoenix.” Something about this routine, the level of difficulty is great but once again we have a problem with the storyline, the phoenix never flys, it just goes up and down with huge amount of effort. Fifth were Igor Alferov & Olga Kolesnikova from Russia, we could say that this was perhaps the greenest routine of all with a few issues in transitions making it look all too hard. Sixth were Luka Malacic-Perusina & Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco from Canada, perhaps a little too much jumping for us the audience, but well executed with tremendous effort. Seventh went to Brandon Barker & Chelsea Cherie from the USA, a very different routine but perhaps sometimes to much emphasis on being different might get in the way of clear work. And last but not least Carlos Zapata & Sofia Skvirsky from Canada, we have to say that this was really disappointing, we have seen Carlos do some great work in the past, but not this time, we don’t think anyone got what they were trying to say or do, however, it was better than the time we saw it last.

A few couples canceled due to injury and we extend our support for full recuperation.

And with this the British Open came to a close.

Easy as 1,2,3!

North America took this Latin trifecta as easy as 1,2,3!

First in all dances Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko, second in all dances Maurizio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite and third in all dances here in the Open British Professional Latin was awarded to Stefano Di Filippo & Daria Chesnokova. This was the first time Riccardo & Yulia have won the Open British Latin title. As far as we are concerned this three couples were in a class of their own from beginning to end and although in the past this had been hard to predict we were quite confident from the beginning that this would be the result, 1,2,3.

Fourth overall went to Russia’s Evgeni Smagin & Polina Kazatchenko, placing 6th in the cha cha, 7th in the jive, 5th in the paso, 6th in the rumba, and sixth in the samba, and they were the only other couple apart from our three North Americans to make the finals in all dances. In Blackpool at the British Open the competition after the 48 is per dance.

And so starting from the semifinal, we had Justinas Duknauskas & Anna Kovalova from the USA leading the way making all dances in the semifinal.

In the 24, Manuel Favilla &  Nataliya Maidiuk, Sarunas Geblikas & Viktoria Horeva, Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina all representing the USA made all five dances in the 24. Kamil Studenny & Anna Peliplenko from Canada made 4 dances in the 24 - the paso, rumba, samba, jive. Franchesco Bertini & Sabrina Manzi from the USA made 3 dances - the samba, paso, Jive. And making each one dance were Roman Italiankin, & Aleksandra Bokova from the USA, and Artur Tarnavskiy & Anastasiya Danilova from the USA who both made the jive.

It was a very interesting evening with so many US couples in all rounds with many more in the 48, this made it almost a home coming game! We want to congratulate all the couples that made it so far after starting with 300 couples in the first round.

Go USA and Go Canada and God save North America!


Well Done BYU!

USA scored another win At Blackpool last night.

The BYU Latin Formation Team from Provo, Utah won the Open British Latin Formation Championship from a field of 8 teams. The team is trained by Curt & Sharon Hollman and Andre & Natalie Paramonov.

The feature event of the night was the Open British Amateur Ballroom Championship. This left some of us old timers a bit confused as Wednesday has traditionally been the night for the Professional Latin. That is now moved to Thursday.

USA had 2 couples in the semifinal: Andres & Veronica End and Oscar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody. We had a further couple in the quarter-final, Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli, plus from Canada, James Cutler & Virginie Primeau were also in this round.

There was some comment on the music tempi, in particular the foxtrots that were much faster than the WDC tempo of 28 measures per minute. We had also noted that in the Latin, the new WDC tempi were not being followed especially in paso doble where the tempo was around 60 mpm and the rumba at around 25.


It’s in the Numbers for USA!

Last night in the Open British Amateur Latin, USA once again proved that they have the numbers.

In what was, we believe, one of the most successful years in this particular event for USA, we had 7 couples in the top 24!

Leading that charge were Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina, current US Amateur Champions, who placed 2nd in all dances and had a very good night we thought. Also maintaining their ranking by placing in the semifinal were Pasha Pashkov & Daniela Karagach.

That left us with 5 additional couples in the quarter-final: Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina, Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina, Austin Joson & Nino Dzeladze, Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman and Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriela Sabler. This was a great year for the US Amateur Latin couples.

Also on show last night was the U/21 Ballroom Championship. Going in, we felt that USA had a good shot at the title in Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmarski. However, it was not to be tonight and although finalists, they placed a disappointing 5th. Perhaps this was not their best performance. Making it to the quarter-final were Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova.


US Numbers Dominate RS Pro Ballroom

Although we did not get the winner’s roster, USA totally dominated the Pro RS Ballroom last night at Blackpool. 10 of the top 24 couples were from USA, including 3 couples in the final 6!

Highest placed were Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova in 3rd spot. They were followed in 5th by Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa and in 6th by Andrea Zaramella & Kseniya Sovenko. In the semifinal we had a further 4 couples: Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley, Gianni Caliandro & Arianna Esposito, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija and Igor Mikushov & Ekaterina Romashkina. There were 3 more couples in the quarter-final: Leonid Burlo & Liana Bakhtiarova, Yuri Nartov & Sarika Hudson and Emanuele & Francessca Pappacena.

The other event of the night was the Senior Latin. The highest placed US couple in this was Roger Korsiak & Holli Homlien who made the quarter-final.

USA & Canada Have good Start at Blackpool 2016

North America has kicked off Blackpool 2016 in high gear. Leading that challenge in the Professional Team Match, Team America was once again victorious.

Our congratulations go to teams members – Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko, Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva, Maurizio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite and team captain, John Kimmins. Team America was a hit on the competition floor, but also the next day in the traditional comedy skit at the Mayor’s dinner when they performed a hilarious “synchronized swimming” routine.

North America has also celebrated 3 more wins so far in the festival. First up was Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayeard of Canada who won the U/21 Latin on Friday night. They were the only American couple to finish in the top 24 of this event.

Sunday USA celebrated 2 wins. Pasha Stephanchuk & Gabriella Sabler won the RS Amateur Latin and Xingmin & Katerina Lu won the O/50 Ballroom. North America had other couples in both of these events. Adam & Morgana were 3rd in the Am RS Latin and Kiki Nyemchek & Magda Fialek were 6th. In the semifinal we had Tagyr Mansurov & Alexandra Kondrashova.

In the O/50 Ballroom, Xingmin & Katerina Lu were the winners for the USA. Thomas & Yuko Naululani Yu made the semifinal and Hans & Ans Stork made the quarter-final.

Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmarski placed 2nd in the Amateur Rising Star Ballroom. They were the only couple from North America to place in the top 24.

North America had the most couples in the top 24 of any event so far this year but none in the final. Sasha Althukov & Cheyenne Murillo were the highest placed US couple, making in the semifinal and Ilya Maletin & Polina Mayer from Canada also made this round. In the quarter-final we had: Vassili Anokhine & Kristina Androsenko, Hayek Balasanyan & Emile Pogoshyan, Jake Davies & Oleana Kalinina, Maxim Fromin & Alina Litvak, Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova, Dmitri & Olena Nikishkin, Artur Tarnavsky & Anastasia Danilova.

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