Champions Ball 2017 - Moscow

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Day 2 Latin at the Champions’ Ball!

Day 2 at the Champions’ Ball is all about the Latin style of dancing, and as the previous day the presentation was first class all the way.

Like the previous evening, the festiveties began with the magnificent light show, showcasing the 2017 Champions’ Ball logo and its sponsors and then the presentation of the pro/am competitors participating but this time it was the open all ages Latin Championship competitors.

This tremendous Latin Pro/Am Championship started with a full quarter final round of three heats and all pro/am ladies and gentlemen looked great, totally fit and ready for the task in hand. It was a very heated final with the top two ladies fighting for first position with everything they had. Both ladies were form Moscow, Russia, the only difference was the amount of experience they each brought to the floor. Svetlanta Mikhametshina partnered by Aleksandr Chesnokov was the defending champion and she had the experience of many pro/am championships under her belt including some in the USA. The second player Daria Pechatnikova w/Mikhail Efimov, seemed new to the scene but she brought to the floor tremendous confidence, musicality and a contagious flair for each dance. The excitement was amplifiede by the audience who participated as much as the competitors by calling their support for their champion, making this the most exiting event of the evening.

In the end for the judges we felt that experience overcame charisma. Svetlanta Mikhamentshina won all dances to become the 2017 Pro/Am Open Latin Champions’ Ball Champion, leaving Daria Pechatnikova as a very strong runner up holding seconds in all dances. In talking to some of the judges after the event some were a little disappointed that Daria did not win considering her charisma and musical interpretation of each dance was to be admired. But, these judges were reminded by the other side that you could not discount the well packaged formula that Svetlanta used to bring this win together. In other words she brought all the elements necessary to get a win, her routines were very organized, she showed light and shade and impact when she had to and her interpretation of each dance was perhaps not as charismatic as Daria’s but, good enough with enough good elements for the majority to chose quality over musicality.

Although we usually do not take a side we can see what the majority of the judges saw. Daria had brilliant musicality and a contagious joy on the floor, in other words you wanted to join her in her performance. However, Svetlanta showed experience, by being very consistent with great elements such as legs and position of the feet, Being collected and calm when she needed to, while at the same time with good enough charisma for us all to see a good interpretation of all dances, and as it has always been said, a complete package on the floor. This seemed to be the only competition on the floor, well no! To add to this very exiting mix the judges also had to look carefully and place the other 5 very talented ladies in this heat, in the order they felt their performance fell.

Speaking of their performance the judges awarded third place to Marina Maksimova w/Kirill Belorukov with the scores of 4,4,3,3,3, Kirill was perhaps the best professional partner anyone could have had in this final and we are sure it was difficult for the judges to ignore his performance and judge Marina on her own merit as they were fully instructed to do by the chairman of judges, Michael Stylianos who even made it a point to bring it up to the audience in one of his speeches and on many occasion continued to reinforce this most important point to the judges. We believe this had to resonate with the judges because Marina could have easily been put up in the mix of the top two, but in looking at her performance she did not have the skill or maneuvering that the two previous ladies had.

Fourth in this excellent competition went to Anastasiia Morales-Eskomilia dancing with Aleksandr Porozov 3,3,5,4,4. Fifth place went to another very seasoned player who also played a very clean hand, her awareness of the different elements also played a part on her inclusion in this impressive final, Marina Dzasokhova w/Ivan Statsenko 5,5,4,5,5. Sixth was Nataliia Sviridenko w/Roman Kovgan 6,6,7,6,6, and seventh position went to Ekaterina Stukova w/Matteo Cossu 7,7,6,7,7. As you can see this was a very impressive Pro/Am Championship final one that we will remember for quite a long time.

As we mentioned in yesterday’s report the Russian people have some dances that they are really passionate about, like the Caribbean Mix, the night before. On this night we have Argentine Tango, this is another dance that really hits the Russian people, as an acquaintance of ours would say, “the vein of desire.” Last night we had a fantastic final in the all ages open competition. Susanna Dzhi Velegova w/Nikolai Fanagin won all three dances waltz, milonga and Argentine tango. Second in this heat went to Bela Eleport w/Sergei Kurkatov taking second in all dances. Third overall went to Jiliia Mets w/Dmitrii Astafev with the scores of 4,3,3, fourth was Olga Mokrushina w/Vadim Kaitukov 3,4,5, and in fifth place was Olga Otchainova w/Ruslan Bektimirov. Tatiana Martiusheva w/Norair Arakelian were sixth in all dances and Marina Omerova w/Aleksandr Sergeev placed seventh in all dances.

During the afternoon we saw the Latin Scholarships as well as other competitions. The “A” Latin scholarship went to the rhythmical Daria Pechatnikova w/Mikhail Efimov winning all dances, second was Marina Maksimova w/Kirill Belorukov who took second in all dances, and third place was awarded to Marina Dzasokhova w/Ivan Statsenko who also took third in all dances. Fourth was Elena Siniakova w/Andrei Kiselev 4,4,5,6,4, fifth went to Anastasiia Morales-Eskomilia w/ Aleksandr Porozov 6,6,4,4,5, sixth was Ekaterina Stukova w/Matteo Cossu 5,5,6,5,7, and seventh place was Olrina Nikolaeva w/Anton Lam-Viri 7,7,7,7,6.

The “B” was also a seven couples final but here is you look at the marks the judges were as we would say all over the place. Svetlanta Mukhametshina w/ Aleksandr Chesnocov won first place overall but not in all dances 1,2,1,1,2, this must have been a good rehearsal for Svetlanta as you recall in the open all ages she won all dances even over the “A” champion. Second place was Elena Volchkova w/Sergei Kolesnikov 2,1,3,3,1, third place was Nataliia Sviridenko w/Roman Kovgan 3,3,2,2,3, fourth was awarded to Natalia Kasumova w/Artem Okhrimenko 4,4,4,5,5, fifth position was Marina Shcherbakova w/Vitalii Didenko 7,6,5,4,4, sixth place went to Anzhela Radion w/Anton Semenov 5,5,6,6,6, and last in seventh place Svetlanta Mishina w/ Vladimir Litvinov 6,7,7,7,7.

The “C” division was the only sixth couple final and here Tatiana Kashina w/Aleksandr Rodygin won all dances, taking second in all dances was Marina Kalchenko w/Kostantine Latsenko. Third overall but once again not third in all dances was Alla Lakusheva w/ Mikhail Borgolyshkinskii 4,3,3,3,3. Elena Nefedova w/Georgii Osadchii placed fourth 3,4,4,4,4, fifth was Irina Tikhonova w/Evgenii Orlov 5,6,6,5,5, and in sixth position was Inessa Chechetkina w/Sergei Salov 6,5,5,6,6.

It was a full day that started at 8:30AM, in at least two Ballrooms with different styles and ages. The main Ballroom had kids, the smaller ballroom downstairs had basic Latin and plenty of Argentine style dancing.

In closing I would like to thank the Champions’ Ball organizing committee for putting together such a fantastic event for Pro/Am dancing, a major force in our industry that keeps us all occupied and working. In the past I said that the setup for the pro/am events was done as if a major star was performing such as “Tina Turner,” well this year it was Jennifer Lopez and it is great to see that you think so highly of our Pro/Am’s to do such a fantastic event with such professionalism and care.

Perfect Scores for the Champions Ball 10+!

Last night in Moscow, Russia, the Champions’ Ball hit perfect scores.

To start, the spectacle of lights was of Olympic proportions, nothing has been seen like this in the Ballroom world in our lifetime. The opening ceremony of the competition left all attendees speechless, with 3D action holograms projected on to the floor, giving us an unforgettable show of lights, such as we have never seen before in a ballroom competition.

The projected scenes on the middle of the floor varied from dancers to their Champions’ Ball logo and we are positively certain that their sponsors were thrilled to see their logos appear on the floor suspended in thin air rotating and teasing you to touch, all done with lighting in full 3D mode no glasses necessary. When the opening ceremony was over the lights went up, the audience roared and you could see all mouths open in amazement as the Pro/Am Open Championships competitors took to the floor, descending down the stairs from the stage and taking position for an unforgettable night of Pro/Am, Professional and Amateur Dancing.

The feature event of the evening was the Pro/Am Championships’ Ball Standard Open event. Here all Pro/Am competitors of every age competed against one another with no age restrictions. Heat after heat the competition went on throughout the evening and in the end seven couples were recalled for this very impressive final. Nadezhda Solzhenitsyna from Moscow Russia, partnered by Sergey Konovaltsev won all dances and was crowned the Champion of the night, second in all dances was awarded to Olga Kichatova w/Evgeny Moshenin also from Moscow, Russia and third also in all dances went to Ekaterina Zhukova w/Artem Terekhov also from Moscow, Russia.

Fourth position in this impressive heat was awarded to Ekaterina Osadchaia w/Evgeny Nikitin from Moscow, Russia taking fourth places in all dances, fifth place went to Irina Agaletskaia w/Aleksandr Zhiratkov from Moscow, Russia, and she took fifth in all dances. Sixth place overall was awarded to Natalia Khalturina w/Aleksandr Sergeev also from Moscow, but this time they tied for 6th place in the waltz, placed sixth in T,VW,F and seventh in the quickstep. Seventh position overall went to Erika Vitkunaite w/Vytautas Viluckis who was the only non Russian competitor to make the final, she was from Vilnius, Lithuania, and she tied for sixth in the waltz, placed seventh in the T,VW,F and placed sixth in the quickstep.

The Open Pro/Am Ballroom Championship was not the only feature event this spectacular Pro/Am evening of dance, the American Smooth Scholarship also took place this evening and here an 8-couple final was called to the floor. The winner in all dances in this American style event was Olga Krasnianskaia w/Eldar Dzhafarov from Moscow Russia, second overall was awarded to Vasilisa Astrakhan w/Vitaly Surma, placing 3rd in the waltz, and 2nd in the other three dances. As you will see with the exception of the winner all the other placements in this heat were very contested and third place here went to Elizaveta Trishina w/Denis Zharkov with this marks 2,3,3,4T. Ekaterina Poliakova w/Ivan Bagaev were foruth 4,4,4,3, Olga Suffi w/Sergey Kurkatov placed fifth 5,5,5,6, Sixth was Olga Maslakova w/Nikolai Fanagin 7,6,6,4T, seventh was awarded to Neda Songin w/Vasily Zarzhetsky 6,7,7,7, and eight position in all dances was given to Tolda Bakircioglu w/Esther Frances.

Tropical dances are a hit here in Russia and so every year there is a Champions’ Ball Caribbean Mix Freestyle Open Championship. The overall winner this year was Olga Kravtsova w/Aleksandr Kuznetsov with the scores of 1,1,2,1, second was Irina Birg w/Sergey Botia 2,2,3,2, leaving third place to Aleksandra Strizhko w/Stanislav Pashtushok 3,3,1,3. Fourth place overall was Nina Obukhova w/Kirill Kirilenko 4,4,5,4, fifth was Elena Potapova w/Dmitry Samonov 5,5,6,5, sixth went to Anastasya Nikanova w/Dmitry astafev 7,6,4,7, and seventh place was awarded to Natalia Vlasova w/Aleksandr Frolov 6,7,7,6.

During the day yesterday the Champions’ Ball had Open Scholarships as well as some single dances competitions in both the Ballroom and the Smooth. The Champion of the night Nadezhada Solzhenitsyna was also the “A” Open Ballroom Scholarship winner, she once again won all five dances as she did in the feature evening competition and once again she was partnered by Sergey Konovaltsev. Second overall was Olga Kichatova w/Evgany Moshenin 2,3,2,2,2, third was awarded to Ekaterina Zhukova w/Artem Terekhov 5,2,3,3,3, fourth place was Irina Agaletskaia w/Aleksandr Zhiratkov 4,4,7,6,5, fifth went to Eva Chen w/Stanishlav Portanenko 6,5,5,4,6 and Eva was the only Pro/Am competitor in this final that was not from Russia, she is from Hong Kong. Sixth place in this same heat was awarded to Ekaterina Osadchaia w/Evgeny Nikitin 7,8,4,5,4, as you can see this was not an easy decision by the judges. Seventh place went to Natalia Khalturina w/Aleksandr Sergeev 3,6,6,7,8, and eighth place was Natalia Kuklina w/ Evgeny Lekh 8,7,8,8,7.

The “B” Open Ballroom Scholarship was a sixth couple final and here Erika Vitkunaite w/Vytautas Viluckis from Vilnius, Lithuania, won all dances. From here down all couples were from Russia and second was Marina Medvedeva w/Pavel Evdeev, with the scores of 2,2,2,3,2, third place went to Anna Kharchenko w/Mikhail Lensky 4,3,5,2,3. Margarita Panteleeva w/Pavel Nepomniashchikh were fourth 3,4,3,4,4, Elena Timofeeva w/Dmitry Khusnutdinov were fifth 5,5,4,6,5, and in sixth place was Elena Aristarjhova w/Matei kral 6,6,6,5,6.

In the “C” category we were back to an 8 -couple final and here Vivien Chen w/Sergey Gladkikh were placed overall 1,1,1,3,4. Irina Tikhnova w/Evgeny Orlov were second 5,2,2,1,1, and third place was awarded to Fedor Gudkov w/Ekaterina Bondareva 2,3,3,2,2. Tatiana Ignateva w/Andrei Volkov was fourth 3,4,4,4,3, Olga Gavrikova w/ Anton Shevchenko was fifth 4,6,5,5,6, sixth was Danute Kavaliauskaite w/Gabrielius Sasnauskas 6,5,6,6,5. There was no variables in the marks for 7th and 8th place, Phatra Putipanpong w/Nurop Chareonsaad was seventh in all dances and Natalia Miachina w/Iaroslav Kildishova took all 8th places.

The evening concluded with the usual confetee coming down from the ceiling and a dinner party followed the competition.

Today we will see the Latin categories as well as some Argentine tango and a few other divisions and we are starting bright and early at 8:30AM using two ballrooms.

Congratulations to the Champions’ Ball organizing committee for an excellent job and an unforgettable evening.

 

  • Good Enough for Tina Turner! Champions Ball 2016

    Good Enough for Tina Turner! Champions Ball 2016

    Report by Didio Barrera

    Portion of photos courtesy to Priyanka Mathew

    The Champions Ball is the largest Pro/Am event outside the United States. With over six thousand entries it also rivals a number of events here in the USA. I have been fortunate to have been asked to officiate at the Champions Ball for a number of years and every year this event has to be judged by a standard of excellence. The staging and focal point is always amazing.  I remember my first time attending the Champions Ball, I thought “Tina Turner” was going to make an appearance with the amount of lighting, smoke and props. This year was no different.  In fact it was the best ever, with the two giant LED screens opening up to present the Pro/Am competitors on the stage and the stairs coming out of a tunnel for them to come down to the floor.


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  • Champions Ball 2016

    Russia Has Rhythm!

    Nearly every year we have been quite fortunate to be able to attend the Champions Ball in Moscow, Russia. This competition is the biggest pro-am event outside the United States with over 6 thousand entries.

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