It was an emotional time for them after midnight when the professional final concluded, the awards were given and the announcement was officially known. The spectacular show at the Millennium Danceport earlier in the evening was fully magical complementing and finishing this year’s theme “Do you believe in magic.”
Prime time the conclusion of the show of shows at the Millennium Dancepsort Championships went as planned this time the “magic” was on with the dance magician placing his assistant inside a box then stabbing her down with a number of swords and when the lid was opened she was gone from our sight, to be presented just moments later within the audience at a table across the way. The magician also help set up the world class dance show by placing Yulia Zagoruychenko inside a magical box where he proceeded to divide Yulia in half moving her legs away from her body side to side and when it was all done Ricardo Cocchi and she thrilled the audience with their performance followed by Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova and the comeback performance of Peter & Sasha Perzhu.
While the show was very impressive there was a feature at this competition that made everyone’s head spin. From the start part of this year’s decoration was two Aston Martins one very prominent inside the ballroom and one outside. In the end the car inside the ballroom was moved about 4 feet closer to the ballroom floor to the theme of James Bond. Once there, student Jake Mazhar partnered by Yulia Besarab did an excellent cabaret routine. Later last night, organizer Mr. Chapman announced Aston Martin of Orlando as their feature corporate sponsor for the Millennium 2016.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement award went to one of the most beloved couples in American Style dancing, Bruno Collins & Luane Pulliam. The Award was presented by Rufus Dustin and Michael Chapman.
When it came to dancing, it was a great night for America in the Open Professional Ballroom Championship. Two excellent couples went head to head Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk form the USA versus Zhiratkov & Irina Novozhikova from Russia, although it was all very close, in the end the USA won the competition 3 dances to 2. We must point out that although Marat & Alina won the competition they got at least 1 to 2 sixth place marks in each dance, while on the other hand Aleksandr Zhiratkov & Irina Novozhiva were not awarded a single sixth place and their lowest scores were two fifth place marks, one in the Tango and one in the VW. I think here the safety valve for the USA and Marat & Alina was the strong third place finish of Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva who placed third in every dance but did manage to steal a good number of first place marks from the two just mentioned, enough to help Marat & Alina win the competition for the USA.
Fourth in this great ballroom event were Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova placing 4,5,4,4,4, leaving fifth position to Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya who were awarded 5,4,5,5,5, and sixth in every dance was awarded to Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova.
Although we already know the outcome, the Rhythm final was the last event of the Millennium Dancesport Championships and here as we pointed out earlier Emanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova won the competition with the majority of firsts in every dance. They nearly won the mambo with perfect scores but it was not to be for Emanuel & Liane, judge 16 Alexander Gisher, awarded them the only second place in this dance. Second in all dances was awarded to Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova and from looking at the marks they quite easily took the majority of seconds and even a few firsts from Emanule & Liana. Third overall in every dance was awarded to Andre & Natalie Paramonov, leaving fourth place to Shane & Shannon Jensen who placed fourth in three dances fifth in the bolero and shared fifth in the mambo with Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi who placed fifth in three dances, fourth in the bolero, and were the overall fifth place couple. Sixth in every dance were Ilya Velednitsky & Mariya Ilchenko.
The Pro Cabaret was a huge event that needed a semifinal. Shane & Shannon Jensen were the comfortable winners receiving 11 first places from 19. Travis & Jaimee Tuft were 2nd. Mykhalio Azarov & Tanya Makarenko were 3rd; 4th Clyde Harris & Summer Elkin; 5th Milacic-Pserusina & Saraza-Pacheco; 6th Jamie Black & Robin Ray
The Amateur Latin was one of the best events of the evening, it was great to see an event of this quality be presented at prime time and not in the wee hours of the morning. The couples were all in great form and we the audience were thrilled, fresh and open minded at that early evening schedule. There were over thirty couples when it started with many of them at an excellent level, it was almost sad to see some of them left out of this final and from our perspective some couples could have easily made it as well. The judges’ overall winners were Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach who won all dances, however, when looking at the marks they only had the majority of firsts in the rumba, the other dances they had to share a number of first place marks with the other couples.
Second overall was awarded to Tal Livshitz & Ilona Keselman who placed second in three dances and 4th in the cha cha and 3rd in the rumba. For us this was a terrific competition and one that it was better to see from the sidelines, Tall & Ilana were possibly our favorites of this competition by far, so much energy and character bringing a freshness to the floor. Third in this heat were Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze, another talented couple and they took two seconds in C,R, two thirds in P,J and a fourth in the S. Fourth place went to Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler 3,3,5,5,4, fifth was Sasha Chemositov & Arina Grishanina 5,5,4,4,5, and sixth was Tagar Mansurov & Alexandra Kondrishova who took all sixths.
In the pro/am field it was a turn for Latin to shine with many of the events having quarter-finals or strong semifinal rounds. In the “C” Lisa Lowery w/Roman Malkhasyan placed first in every dance. Second overall went to Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov who placed second in all five dances and third went to Suzanne Saperstein w/ Rickie Bentzen 3,3,3,3,5. Fourth was awarded to Tammy Knight w/ Oleksiyy Lytvyn 5,4,4,4,3, Nora Fox w/Plamen Danailov placed fifth 4,6,5,5,4, and Suzanne Switzer w/ Shandor Shtefiel were sixth overall 6,5,6,6,6.
The “B” Scholarship was also a full quarter and here this competition was awarded to Caroline Howard w/Altukhov who won all dances, second went to Svetlana Mukhametshina w/Alexander Chesnokov, living third to Missy White w/ Genya Bartashevich who placed third in three dances, fourth in the paso and fifth in the rumba. Marina Dzasochova w/Ivan Statsenko were fourth 4,4,4,3,4, fifth was Maria Seragou w/ Dmitrios Damalas 6,6,6,5,5, and sixth was Colette Marotto w/Oleksiyy Lytvyn.
In the “A” division the competition went to Canada’s Sabrina Strasser w/Stanislav Kochergin 1,2,2,1,1. Second was awarded to Vera Xu w/Jakub Zeglen 3,1,1,2,2, and third went to Bobbi Knight w/ Oleksiyy Lytvyn 2,3,3,4,4. Fourth position was awarded the father and daughter team of Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenko 4,5,5,3, fifth was Joanna Wa w/Plamen Danailov 5,4,4,5,5 and sixth in all dances was Sarah Gladish w/Ilya Reyzin.
With this came the conclusion of the Millennium Dancesport Championships 2016, where “do you believe in magic or not,” you were still transported to an unforgettable weekend of dancing. Our congratulations to Michael Chapman and his team for an incredible week of competitions!
Friday at Millennium
Friday definitely had an international flavor here at Millennium.
The pro mas were dancing International Ballroom all day and there were “international” winners in both pro-am and professional divisions.
Let’s start with the Open Pro Latin. Both first and second place couples were from overseas. This was a huge event danced over 4 rounds. Winners were Troels Bager & Inna Jeliazkova from Denmark. They were Blackpool finalists this year and won all dances here with at least 13 of the 25 first places in all dances. They received very few placements lower than 2nd and only judge Corky Ballas seriously dissented on their win placing them 4,4,4,2,6. The runners up were Justinas Duknauskas & Anna Kovalova and they were 2nd in all dances. They took a significant amount of 1st places in all dances and received few scores lower than 3rd. Shirley Ballas was their worst judge scoring them 4th in all dances. We were surprised to note that they were listed from England in the program. Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina were 3rd 3,3,4,3,3 and they were Mr. Ballas’ winning couple. Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova took the 3rd spot in rumba, this is always their best-scored dance, and were 4th overall 4,4,3,4,4. Mykhalio Bilopukov & Anastasiia Schypolina took all the 5’s and Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova all the 6’s.
Points were awarded in the Latin for the Star International Latin Tour although there were no solo divisions danced here. Hyak Balasanyan & Emila Pogosyan remain in the lead overall as they have competed in all 3 events so far. As they only placed in the top 24 here (receiving only 1 point) their lead narrowed. Currently in 2nd place are Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova. Check the full results on the Star Tour Website.
We also saw another chapter in the Professional Smooth saga that is proving so interesting this year. Once again Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzill held off the challengers to win 1,2,1,2. However, the judges’ 1st places were spread widely and no couple came near a majority of 1st places in any dance and that’s how we saw it too. These couples are all so close! Runners-up were Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija placing 2,3,2,1, only 1 point behind the winners. 3rd and 4th places were a tie separated by “Rule 10.” After applying this rule the result went to Mikhail & Galina Zharinov with 3,4,3,3 over Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Selivertsova 4,1,4,4. Travis & Jamie Tuft took all the 5’s, Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smirnova took all the 6's and Kyle & Allie Spinder all the 7’s.
This was also a stop on the Star American Smooth Tour and here we saw a change of leadership on the overall scoreboard. Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Selivertsova scored enough points here to take the overall lead from Kyle & Allie Spinder. Roman Malkhasyan & Kat Wagner who placed in the semifinal here receiving 2 points towards their cumulative total are in 3rd spot. Once again check the Star Tour website for the full table of results.
Millennium is famous for its “Show of Shows” and last night we saw Part I. The shows are sponsored by Debra Fontaine again this year. Keeping with the magic theme highlights of last night’s show were the magic tricks performed in a “dance” style. Even the headliners were involved with Yulia Zagoruychenko appearing out of a cage to begin her samba with Riccardo and Arunas Bizokas getting all “tied up” before his quickstep with Katusha. Also on display, and dancing together once again, were Peter & Alexandra Perzhu. Another highlight were the World Salsa Champions. Stay tuned for Part II tonight!
Millennium also presents a “Lifetime Achievement Award” on Fridays each year. Tonight’s worthy recipient was Victor Kanevsky highlighted for his achievements in promoting and training young dancers. Several of those young dancers were present to salute him including Karina Smirnoff, Eugene Katsevman, Maria Manusova and Beata. Rufus Dustin was the presenter.
At the end of the daytime session were the Open Scholarships for the pro-ams in the Ballroom style and as we reported at the start of this blog, 2 of these had international winners.
The Open A was won by Eva Chen w/ Stanislav Portanenko from Hong Kong. This was actually a Rule 10 tiebreak as Eva placed 3,1,1,2,1. The runner-up was from Russia, Nadezhda Solzhenitsyn w/ Valery Zakharov from Russia who scored 1,2,2,1,2. 3rd was Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenco 2,3,3,3,3. 4th Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Faraci 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Colette Marotto w/ Egor Abashkin 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Lidia Luzhna w/ Dmytro Levita 6,6,6,6,6.
The Open B also went overseas, this time to Russia. Tatyana Martyusheva w/ Dmitry Pleshkov was the winner placing 3,3,1,1,1. Laura Shooks w/ Alexander Voskalchuk was the runner-up 1,1,3,4,3 and Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold was a close 3rd with 2,2,2,3,4. 4th Julie Zhao w/ Denis Kutepov 4,4,4,2,2 another lady who was close in the scores! Michele Peng w/ Mikhail Avdeev took all the 5’s and Bo Chang w/ Giampiero Giannico all the 6’s.
The clearest win came in the Open C where Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano continued here winning streak and took all 5 dances here. 2nd went to Hye-Kyong Park w/ Linas Korieva 3,2,2,2,3 and 3rd to Lynn Murrel w/ Alexander Voskalchuk 2,4,3,3,2. 4th Leilani Veiney w/ Kamil Urbaniak 5,3,5,4,4; 5th Connie Edmunds w/ Samuele Pacchini 4,5,4,5,5; 6th Elena Lee w/ Emanuele Papacena 6,6,6,6,6.
The nighttime session began with some amateur and pro rising star divisions. In the Pro RS Ballroom we had another win for the fast rising Stefano DiBrino & Biana Zubrowska and they won all dances. Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson were the runners-up 4,2,3,2,2. 3rd Leonid Burlo & Bakhtiarova 3,3,2,3,3; 4th Christian Radvan & Kudelko 2,5,4,4,4; 5th Anatoliy Repliuk & Ruslana Mamaysur 5,4,5,5,5; 6th Aleksandr & Aida Skriptsov 6,6,6,6,6.
Another couple who have been doing well recently won the Pro RS Rhythm, Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov and they won all dances. 2nd Maxim Lotottsky & Sarah Haworth 2,3,3,2,2; 3rd Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti 3,2,2,3,3; 4th Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman 4,6,4,4,4; 5th Jonathan Green & Rachel Grumblatt 6,4,5,6,5; 6th Lockovic & Fedosova 5,5,6,5,6.
The Amateur Ballroom only had 3 entries but the winners were once again from overseas, this time from England, Jack Beale & Nataliia Siianko and they won all dances. 2nd went to Marek Klepadlo & Zhiting Yang 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Tyler Alder & Makayla Bezzant 3,3,3,3,3.
Look out for more from Millennium tomorrow!
Continuing Smoothly through 15,000+ Entries
Thursday was the busiest day so far at Millennium. Beginning at 7:00 AM the day continued without a break until after midnight.
The main focus was the pro-am Smooth divisions, danced in their entirety. The Open Scholarships were all filmed for later broadcast on the ASN network and here is how they turned out.
The Open A was won by Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenco. Yulia won all 4 dances and had the majority of 1st places in all – so a pretty comfortable win for her. 2nd fell to Madison Stribling who placed 2,2,3,2 and taking the 2nd in foxtrot and 3rd overall was Natalie Crandall w/ Decho Kraev 3,3,2,3. With all the 4’s Olivia Zettergren w/ Gunnar Sverrisson was 4th overall. 5th and 6th places required a Rule 11 tiebreak that went in favor of Madeline Geiger w/ Enzo Zappia 5,6,6,5 over Brittany Falconer w/ Peter Walker 6,5,5,6. Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer was the only man in the final and he placed 7th in all dances.
In the Open B we saw a similar match up at the top as we did at Emerald Ball and the result was the same. Aiyesha Dey w/ Mayo Alanen was the winner in all dances and here had the majority of 1st places in all dances. 2nd in all was Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano now settling into this new style for her. 3rd went to Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 3,3,4,3 and 4th was Selene Steelman w/ Travis Tuft 4,4,3,4. All the 5’s went to Emily Lozano Kirschbaum w/ Sevrin Shapiachan. 6th Tracy Hannon w/ Misha Konstantinov 7,6,6,6; 7th James Coltharp w/ Olga Chekova 6,7,7,7 - the only man in the final.
It was another good win for Michiko Canton w/ Evgeny Malko in the Open C. Michiko had the majority of 1st places in all dances but mysteriously, at least to us, also picked up some 6th, 7th and even an 8th place? Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin, yesterday’s winner in the Rhythm, was the runner-up today with 2,2,2,2. All the 3’s went to another multi-talented lady, Lynn Magnessen, this time with Thykov Zhykov. Lance Smith w/ Tone Jacobson, one of two gentlemen in the final was 4th in all dances and the other, Schipp w/ Shalene Archer was 5th 6,5,5,5. 6th Hope Huber w/ Eddie Stutts 5,6,6,6; 7th Charlene Proctor w/ Viktor Tkachenko 7,7,7,7; 8th Janet Colleran w/ Martin Cawston 8,8,8,8.
The Open Smooth Scholarship finals were followed by a pro-am team match that was also filmed for broadcast. The winning team was the “Red Team” captained by Marianne Nicole.
Last night we also saw the first of the professional divisions, both the RS Smooth and Latin and both were quarter-final events.
The Latin was a real humdinger with the judges quite divided. No couple received a majority of 1st places in any dance from the 19-member panel and in fact, for the rumba, every couple in the final received at least one 1st place. Winning this melee was the new partnership of Alon Gilin & Maria Shalvarova from Canada and they did win all dances although in some dances they did not have the most 1st places. 2nd in all went to Alexey & Vlada Karaulov. One of our favorites of the night, Igor Maletin & Polina Maier (Can) were 3rd with 5,3,3,4,3. 4th Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova 4,4,4,3,5; 5th Tykhon Zhykov & Anastasiia Kuzieva 3,5,5,6,4; 6th Sergey & Daria Chyslov 6,6,6,5,6.
The result of the RS Smooth was never in doubt. Roman Malkasyan & Kat Wagner received almost all the judges’ 1st places making them easy winners in all 4 dances. 2nd went to John Campbell & Jaki Brockman with 2,2,3,3. Matt Rivers & Maliwan Diemer were 3rd 4,3,2,4. Mykyta Serdyuk & Krasmoshapka were 4th 3,5,5,2; 5th Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov 5,4,4,5; 6th Maxim Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth 6,6,6,6.
Today the big guns are coming out and we can’t wait to see what “Magical Millennium” has in store for us!!
Do You Believe in Magic?
The Millennium Dancesport Championships have moved to Orlando, Florida, just a step away from the Magic Kingdom.
This year with what we think to be a bigger than life ballroom at the Marriott Orlando World Center, the Millennium has a huge floor, big enough to hold two competitions at the same time with full semifinals and even quarterfinals in each. And yes! If you did not believe in Magic, you do now with its incredible two-tier stage and “Magical” decorations.
The last two days we focused on the Pro/Am Rhythm dances, both days starting at 7AM with 2 ballrooms going and as the week moves on, we are stepping it up. Today with the Smooth pro-am categories and tonight with the Professional Rising Star, categories all in the same magical ballroom and new location. Millennium continues to create memories and history as always.
Last night we saw the conclusion of the pro-am Rhythm with the Open Scholarships, all well-attended.
Natalie Crandall w/ Decho Kraev maintained her winning streak in the Open A Rhythm, winning all dances with the majority of 1st places. With 2,2,2,2,3 a gentleman competitor took the runners-up position, Matthew Shimizu w/ Jessica Nicol. Taking that 2nd in mambo, but 3rd overall was Chastity w/ Eddie Ares 3,4,3,3,2. Isabella Libertore w/ Charles Cunnigham was 4th 4,3,4,4,4; Gabriella Devita w/ Maxim Lototskyy was 5th in all dances and Marinda James Heskett w/ Jeremy Pilling was 6th in all.
In the Open B Kia Malone w/ Eddie Rivera had a very impressive win, losing only one 1st place mark in each dance. There was a tie for 2nd, broken by “Rule 10” and that meant that Tracy Hannon w/ Misha Konstantinov got that runner-up spot with 5,5,2,2,2 and Heidy Kellison w/ Sean Tamashiro was 3rd with 3,2,5,3,3. The scores in this heat were very diverse. 4th with 2,3,3,5,5 was Kristin Casella w/ Robert Guillen; 5th Amber Clouse w/ Aleks Nashev 4,4,4,4,4 (that’s a strange one, 4th in all dances and placing 5th!); 6th Ana Capo w/ Luis Lopez 6,6,6,6,6; 7th Shveta Singh w/ Caleb Aleman 7,7,7,7,7.
The Open C was the most tightly contested. The winner was Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin 2,1,1,1,1. No competitor has a majority of 1st places in any dance. With 1,2,3,2,3 Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan was the runner-up and also in the top mix was Quin Bomelje w/ Misha Vlasov placing 3rd with 3,3,2,3,2. All the 4’s went to Diane Caracciolo w/ Nazar Norov. 5th was Janice Gonzalez w/ Vladimir Kosarev 5,5,6,5,5 and Esperanza Blair w/ Andre Paramonov was 6th 6,6,5,6,6.
During the evening there was a touching memorial to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting led my Eddie Rivera and Kia Malone.
Form the sneak peeks and clues we have been getting, we can already see that Friday and Saturday night are going to be “Magical,” who knows what might be in store for us, with the Millennium Dancesport anything can happen, and everything is possible even “Magic.” We look forward to the two-day conclusion to this Magical week of fun and entertainment here at the Marriott Orlando World Center, there is plenty of growth space with three towers of rooms to be filled, two huge pools and lots and lots of convention space.