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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.