With all the open professional divisions scheduled for Saturday night, we knew we were in for an exciting and possibly long night, here at Atlanta Open and we were correct on both counts. AS with the RS divisions, the American style events were the better attended, both beginning with quarter-finals, but the International style also gave us a lot of thrills from their straight finals.
The night began with the Open Rhythm and here we saw some interesting new faces mixed with more established couples although the majority of the USA’s top contenders were not in attendance. The win tonight went to Shane & Shannon Jensen and they won all dances. They had the majority of 1st places in all dances except the mambo and 11 of 12 firsts in bolero. 2nd in all went to Ilya Velednitskiy & Mariya Ilchenko and 3rd went to Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin 3,3,4,3,4. The top 3 couples have very different styles we thought and it somewhat depends on your preference as to which style appeals to your taste. 4th and also very much in this mix were Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyalkova 4,4,3,4,3. We felt that Ivan & Marieta danced perhaps the most “traditional” form of American style in this final. Two newer couples took 5th and 6th places. Toshko Kondov & Kristen Dobson 5,5,5,5,6 and Anton Tregubov & Ashly Sanchez 6,6,6,6,5. We liked both of these couples and feel they have a good future. Again it was great that they both have differing styles. Bree Watson will report on this division in more detail.
Next up was a straight 7-couple final for the Open Ballroom and although short on numbers, the quality was good. Winning all dances were Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova and they lost a total of only 10 first places over all 5 dances. Equally clear in 2nd spot were Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova who were 2nd in all. 3rd in all fell to Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson. These 3 couples were all on form and well clear in our opinion. 4th in all fell to Aleksander & aida Skreiptsov; 5th Alex & Alina Spencer 5,5,5,5,6; 6th Dmitry Solomakha & Gabriella Sevillano 5,5,5,5,6; 7th Brad & Tania Montagnese.
Roman Malkhasyan & Kat Wagner won all dances in the Open Smooth and they had the majority of 1st places in all. New to the American Smooth scene and 2nd in all dances tonight were Sergey Samchynsky & Yulia Besarab. They are an exciting couple to approach the style and with their 10-Dance experience should soon become a force. Adrian & Hanna Dydynsky were 3rd in all dances. In fact all couples in this final finished in the same position in each dance. 4th were Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts, 5th Radek Waitrowski & Mila Popovich and 6th Danill Rostvinschii & Yulia Rudenco. Rosendo Funero will have a report on this division soon.
The International Latin was, like the Ballroom, a straight final of 7. It was a pretty tight race at the top end of the final. Winning tonight were Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova 1,2,1,1,1. They had a majority of 1st places (7 out of 13) in the rumba and jive. 2nd with 2,1,2,2,3 went to Aleksandr Skarlato & Loreta Krikscukaite and they had the 7 first places in samba. 3rd were Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin 3,3,3,3,2. These are 3 of our current favorite couples in the USA so what a diffeicult decision this was! Each of them have very unique style – the oozing sensuality of Artur & Anastasia, the innovation and speed of Aleksandr & Loreta and the energy and passion of Dmitry & Olena! What a contest this was! 4th in all dances went to Aelsei Alekseev & Ekaterina Dereleva; 5th in all to Felipe Gonzalez-Edmiston & Darinka Divijak; 6th in all to Dmitry Solomakha & Gabriella Sevillana; 7th in all to Ruslan Pashayev & Rachel Halverson.
The evening ended with an interesting Cabaret competition that featured 2 couples who will compete at the Open British Invitational later this month. Indeed these two couples finished 1st and 2nd. Winners were Shane & Shannon Jenson who received 10 of the 11 1st places with their high-impact, high-risk performance. Runners-up were Clyde Harris & Summer Black-Elkin whose performance was more lyrical. Both couples had few noticeable flaws and appear ready for their big night in Blackpool. 3rd were Alfred Perratta & Sloan Cobb, 4th Brad & Tania Montagnese and 5th Staz Dawson & Jacklyn Gonyea.
For the pro-ams it was a very long day of International Style, both Ballroom and Latin. The Ballroom Open Scholarships were the more contested with strong divisions in the B, C and Senior.
The B Division was won by Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano 1,1,1,1,1. Grace Wang w/ Giampiero Giannico took 2nd 2,2,2,2,2 and Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold took 3rd 3,3,3,3,3.
Andrea Stefano had a successful afternoon as his student, Janet Simisic also won the Open C, 126.96.36.199.1. 2nd went to Lyn Murrell w/ Alexander Voskalchuk 2,2,1,2,3 and 3rd to Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia was 3rd 4,3,2,3,2.
In the Senior, Sandy Chiu w/ Youriy Nartov was the winner 1,1,1,1. 2nd went to Lydia Raurell w/ Andreas Luetzner 2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Sarah Bohr w/ Pavel Cherdantsau 3,3,3,3.
Dancing Way Downtown
Atlanta Open 2017
Here we are right downtown in one of the South’s great cities, Atlanta Georgia.
It’s the 2017 Atlanta Open organized by Debbie Avalos, Sam Sodano & Sarwat Kaluby. This event is held in the heart of the city at the Hyatt Regency, one of the best venues on the competition circuit with plenty of hotel rooms and a great ballroom. We are 2 days into the competition and so far we’ve seen pro-am divsions in Smooth and Rhythm and all of the Pro Rising Star Events.
The biggest and best of the RS events was the Smooth that began with a 14-couple quarter-final. The winners tonight were Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts and they won all 4 dances with the majority of first places. Runner-up today was the new partnership of Radek Wiatrowski & Mila Popovich and they were 2nd in all. This was not quite as good a result for them as at Emerald Ball last week where they finished above Enzo & Stephanie. All couples in this final placed in the same position for all dances. 3rd went to Danill Rostvinshii & Yulia Rudenco, another new partnership, 4th went to Drew Miller & Krista Humphrey, 5th Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth and 6th Oleksii Zhylenko & partner (unlisted).
The American styles were certainly the stronger here in Atlanta. The Rhythm began with a semifinal and produced a final of 6 mostly new and interesting couples. Placing 1,1,1,3,1 Toshko Kondov & Kirsten Dobson were the winners but had a majority of 1st places only in cha cha. This is a new partnership to us but there is much potential. 2nd went to Anton Tregubov & Ashley Sanchez 2,2,2,1,2. An indication of the judges’ indecision in this final was that Anton & Ashley received only 2 first places in bolero but still won the dance. 3rd were Strahinja Lackovic & Irina Fedosova 3,3,3,2,4; 4th Danill Rostinschii & Yulia Rudenko 4,4,4,4,5; 5th Jonathan Chen & Melissa Keller 5,5,5,5,3; 6th Jhondarr Lopez & Amber Osborn 6,6,6,6,6.
The two international events were both straight finals. Aleksandr & Aida Scriptsov won all dances in the Ballroom and had the majority of 1st places in all. 2nd went to Dmitry Solomakha & Gabriella Sevillano 3,2,2,2,2; 3rd Brad & Tania Montagnese (England) 2,3,4,3,3; 4th Alexey Alekseeva & Ekaterina Dereleva 4,4,3,4,4. In the Latin Alexey & Ekaterina moved up to 1st 1,1,1,1,1, Dmitry & Gabriella were 2nd 2,2,2,2,2 and Ruslan Pashayev & Rachel Halverson were 3rd.
Watch videos by SuperShag of the Pro Rising Star events - click here
The Open Scholarships of the pro-am Smooth took place on Thursday night. The Open B was a strong event with the judges somewhat undecided. With 2,2,2,1 Stacy Tilford w/ Josh Tilford was the winner despite winning only 1 dance. We thought this lady had made great improvement since we last saw her. Winning 2 dances Nichelle Kennedy w/ Alex Nashev was a bit unlucky. Her full placements were 1,1,3T,3. The winner of the foxtrot, Mona Maerz w/ Christjon Batters was 3rd 3,3,1,2. The Open C fell to a gentleman, Mark Gray w/ Maria Sidnjova 1,1,2,1. 2nd went to Sharri Hasseflu w/ Billy King, 2,2,1,2; 3rd Dana Sampaleanu w/ Alex Nashev 3,3,3,3. In the Global Open Senior Scholarship Judi Markell w/ Pavel Cherdantsau was the winner 1,1,2,1. 2nd went to Janet Colleran w/ Martin Cawston 2,2,1,2 and 3rd went to Janet Bruttell w/ Dmitry Zavialov 3,3,3,3.
Watch videos by SuperShag of the Open Pro-Am Smooth Scholarships - click here
Watch videos by Supershag of the Open Pro-Am Rhythm Scholarships - click here