Twin Cities Open 2016

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Purple Rain!

The Twin Cities Open Ballroom Championships concluded last night with a tribute to “Prince,” a native of Minneapolis who as most of us know became a world mega star.


Everyone was asked to wear purple and a couple of dance numbers were prepared for the occasion including a dance by each one of the Open Professional finalists to a “Prince” song. The tribute made the event colorful with most of the audience really dressing up “purple” for the occasion but what made this event memorable was the dancing and the third leg of the Star American Smooth Tour.

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We must also say that this night also belonged to Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija who not only won this leg of the Star American Smooth Tour but who manged to win on nearly all counts. Early in the evening they won the Open Professional Ballroom by placing first in all the dances, but in the later part of the evening they captured the third leg of these exhilarating Star American Smooth Tour.

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The Smooth group competition started with over 20 professional couples. Nick & Viktorija managed to win every dance with the majority of firsts in all dances. Only a handful of the 13 judge panel dissented but not one of them awarded them less than second place. When it came to their solo, here too the judges all loved what they saw and most of them awarded them scores in the 90’s. , Only two judges gave them scores in the eighties and they were Kimberly Mitchel & Dasha Sushko who both awarded them a score of 88. Their “Achiles” heal continues to be the audience vote or the popular vote, here they only managed to get 2% of the audience vote awarding them 1 point only for this effort.

Overall when all points were counted Nick & Victoria received 119.71 points total just enough to declare them victorious on this the third leg of the tour and to move them up a place in the race. Before this leg started Nick & Vicktorija were in fourth position in the Star American Smooth Tour, now they are in third place overall.

Second position on this tour went to Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova who placed second in all dances in the group competition and captured nearly all the first places Nick & Viktorija lost, with the exception of the foxtrot where they lost one of those firsts to the couple that placed third in the group competition and that was Kyle & Allie Spinder. When it came to the solo Max & Tatiana were here also the second favorite of the judges with a score of 91.57 points total, here also only two judges awarded them less than 90 points and they were Linda Dean who awarded them a 87 and Dasha Sushko who awarded them an 80. When it comes to the judges this is not a reflection of their judgment, some judges as Dasha tend to be more conservative in their markings, if they start too high you might leave very little room to award someone you really like.

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When it came to the audience Max & Tatiana did a lot better than Nick & Viktorija, here they got 13% of the vote or 6.5 extra points to their account. Max & Tatiana were second overall on this leg of the tour with a total of 118.07 just a point or so under Nick & Vicktorija but continue to lead in the overall race. To find out more about the Star Tours, rules prices and more go to and click on the Star Tour icon.

Third overall on this leg went to Kyle & Allie Spinder who placed third in the group competition in all dances. When it came to the solo the judges marked them under 90, with an 87.00 points for their solo routine. One of Kyle & Allie’s strengths continues to be the popular vote where they took second place with 24% of the vote and 12 points for this effort. In the end all this was good enough to place them third on these leg of the tour and good enough marks to maintain them in second position overall.

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Fourth place for this leg of the tour was awarded to Kris Suakjian & Brianna Haft, the most popular couple with the audience watching and participating in the voting last night. Their percentage of the popular vote was a whamming 35% of the viewership, giving them 17.5 extra points towards the final score. They were not as popular with the judges in the group competition they placed fifth overall taking only 8 points for this effort, in their solo performance they judges did a lot better for them with an 86.29 points placing them fourth in this challenge. Overall they captured 111.79 points total placing them fourth in this leg and moving them up from fifth to fourth place in the race.

Fifth place on these leg went to Adrian & Hannah Dydynski. They placed fourth in the group competition and in all dances, got an 81.86 from the judges in their solo performance and like Nick & Vicktorija only mange to get 2% of the audience vote receiving 1 point for this effort. In the end their overall score was 94.86, good enough to place them in fifth position for this leg of the tour, but unfortunately they have missed some of the tour stops and so right now they are in seventh position in the overall race. We must make everyone aware that the Star Tours pay down to 12th place at the end of the race.

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Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka were sixth in this stop of the race. They were sixth in all dances of the group competition and when it came to their solo the judges awarded them a 72.86 points for this effort. When it came to the audience vote they only manage to capture 1% of the vote, receiving a 0.5 in points. Overall they collected 77.36 points total putting them in the overall race in 11th place. They are still in the run to receive part of the over $60.000.00 that will be distributed at the City Lights Ball, January 2017, when this race concludes.

Seventh position went to Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts, they did not participate in the group competition final, they were selected by the audience in the ballroom and at home watching our webcast so when it came to earning points for the single dances they received only the 3 points that the audience wildcard received. Their solo could have improve their standing but they only managed to get a 61.86 for that effort. However, they too were quite popular with the audience that brought them in, they got 22% of the voting placing them in third place for this and earning them 11 extra points. This was still not good enough for Enzo & Stephanie to place higher in this leg, but was great points for the overall race where they stand at sixth position overall.

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The American Smooth Tour was one of the features of the Twin Cities Open but not the only event happening last night. Earlier in the evening we had an excellent Professional Rhythm competition and here seven couples were recalled. Andre & Natalie Paramonov were the winners in all dances with perfect scores from all judges in every dance. Second overall but not in all dances went to Ilya Velednitskiy & Mariya Ilchenko 2,2,3,3,3 and as you will see this was almost a tie with the couple that placed third Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka and they got these scores 3,3,2,2,4, that four was the placement that kept this from being a tie.

Fourth in this terrific Rhythm event was awarded to Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra 4,4,4,4,5, fifth went to Aaron & Irina DeSoto who funnily enough placed fifth in four dances and second in the mambo, we wonder what happened there with the judges? Sixth in all dances were Ronald & Katie Guillen and seventh was Jonathan Chen & Melissa Keller.

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The Professional Ballroom and Latin were the weak links here at the Twin Cities Open. Only five couples participated in the Ballroom and all dances as we mentioned before went to Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija, with perfect scores in the foxtrot, and almost perfect scores in the other four dances, nothing lower than a second was awarded here. Second overall went to Kharyton Khomenko w/Anastasiya Khomenko 3,2,2,2,2, and third position went to Pavel Cherdatsau & Svelanta Rudkovskaya 2,3,3,3,4. Fourth was Michal Towliszew & Tiffany Fung 4,4,4,4,3, and fifth went to Dymytrii Goncharov & Tatyana Lutsenko.

The Open Professional Latin and the smallest entry with only four couples in attendance, the winners here, Aleksandr Skarlato & Loreta Kriksukaite, also won every dance with the majority of firsts and with perfect scores in the cha cha. However, the few judges that did not agree did very strongly, Michael Mead was their worst judge and he awarded them 3, in samba, 4 in rumba, 3 in paso, and 4 in the jive. Second overall went to Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko and they placed second in every dance, third was Dmitrii Chopenko & Valeria Khrapak 3,3,3,4,4, and in fourth place was Dymytrii Goncharov & Tatyana Lutsenko 4,4,4,3,3.

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The ballroom, as every year her in Twin Cities, was completely full and the audience was very enthusiastic until the very end, among all this great events, the audience here enjoy a social moment to dance on the floor an they took every moment, the floor was always pack. Speaking of socializing, they audience and the organizers gave a great departure tribute to one of their own, Nadine Messenger who has been part of this community for a long time and has attended as a professional for many years now. She is due to get married in a couple of weeks and she is then moving to Paris, France for a couple years, everyone congratulated her and tears came to the eye.

I want to congratulate Amy & Scott Anderson for always making this event a special place for everyone to enjoy life while doing what we love best “dance.”

Rising Stars at Twin Cities!

Last night the Twin Cities were rising with all the Professional Rising Star events taking place.

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The Professional Smooth had the most attendance with a first round of competitions but the others were equally good!  The clear winners for us and the majority of the judges in the professional Rising Star Smooth were Mikyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka who won all dances. From the start it was easy to tell they would be in the final and that once there they would secure a good placement. From second place down the results were a little more mixed, Matt Rivers & Maliwan Diemmer took second overall but not in all dances they placed third in the W,T. The closest couple to Matt & Maliwan was Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra who took third overall and placed second in the W,T, and third in the VW, however their “Achiles” heal was their foxtrot where they placed 4th this basically broke what looks like would have been a tie between second and third place.

Fourth place in this Rising Star Smooth was awarded to Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haward 4,4,3,4, fifth in every dance went to Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts and all sixth place in every dance was awarded to Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford.

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The Professional Rising Star Rhythm was also a well-attended event and here Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Hawarth won every dance. Jonathan Chen & Melissa Keller placed second also in every dance and Alexander Zarek & Julia Vaysfeld got all thirds. From fourth place down was also not very clear, Matthew Kusak & Jessica Sartori took fourth in four dances but a fifth in the Rumba, so overall they placed fourth. That fourth position in the rumba went to Dustin Donelan & Rachel Damiani but in the other four dances they were fifth securing them a fifth place finish. Sixth place was Jovi Zhao & Georgie Anderson and they took sixth in every dances and finally in seventh position was Rafael Torres & Sally Guzman and they took seventh in all dances.

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The Open professional Cabaret was run earlier in the night and it was an excellent event with 5 couples entered. After all couples presented their dances here are the judges’ findings, Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlanta Rudkovskaya placed first, Zachary Phl & Ariel Freilich second, and Nick Haklin & Sara Ford third. In fourth position was Dymytrii Goncharov & Tatyana Lutsenko and last in fifth place was Ty Bucek & Brittany Bleggi.

There were only three couples enter in the Professional Rising Star Latin, and the winners were Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko all first place marks in all dances, second in all dances was awarded to Dmitrii Chopenko & Valeria Khrapak, and third in all went to Dymytrii Goncharov & Tatyana Lutsenko.

Tonight the Star American Smooth Tour is on the move again and with over 20 couples enter it should be a very contested heat. We will also see the other Open events in the Latin, Rhythm and Ballroom stay tuned for a live broadcast of the Star American Smooth Tour at 8:30PM Minneapolis, MN time.

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