CanAm Dancesport Gala 2017

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Latin Tops the Bill!

The Pro Latin was top of the bill on the last night of the 2017 Can Am Dancesport Gala.

Some of Canada’s best pros turned out on Saturday night for an all-Canadian Professional Latin final. Winning all dances were Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko, the highest ranked couple in attendance. Close behind in our opinion were the fast rising Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier. Both these couples are from Ontario. All the 3’s went to Richard Livshitz & Laura Robinson and all the 4’s to Nurlan Gallyamov & Celeste Bailey, completing an Ontario dominance of this final. Han Ly & Celeste Li from BC were 5th in all dances. Yvan Piwovarov & Irina Khanova (Ont) were 6th 7,6,6,6,6 and Steve Forrest & Bianca Lazo (PQ) were 7th 6,7,7,7,7.

Dmitry Ilyushenov & Kateryna Stytsenko also from Ontario won the Pro Smooth 1,1,1,1. From NY, Viktor Tkachenko & Yuliya Lukina were 2nd in all dances. Ontario won 3rd and 4th Vadim Safonov & Alina Safonova 3,3,3,3 and Ronen Cherniavski & Valerie Casault 4,4,4,4. Mathieu Casavant & Melanie Martin (PQ) were 5th.

For the Amateurs it was Ballroom day and as with the Latin there were Open and 16+ divisions. The Open went to James Cutler & Virginie Primeau-Poirier (PQ) and they easily took all 5 dances. Tony Cooperman & Rickie Taylor (NY) were 2nd 2,3,2,2,2. Brenton Mitchell & Alexandra Sevastianova (Ont) were 3rd 3,2,3,3,3. 4th through 6th were all from Ontario – Alex Maslanka & Christine Budniak 4,4,4,4,4; Simon Richard & Adriana Izzo 5,5,5,5,5; Pierre Legault & Lyne Villeneuve 6,6,6,6,6.

James & Virginie did not compete in the 16+ and Tony & Rickie moved up to 1st place 1,2,1,1,1. Brenton & Alexandra were 2nd 2,1,2,2,2; 3rd Alex & Christine ; 4th Simon & Adrianna and 5th were Anton Truveller & Michelle Somin.

Each year Can Am honors someone for the contribution to dancesport in North America. This year the honoree was Jane Edget, one of the leading figures in Canadian dancing for many years and co-Chairman of judges at Can Am this year.

The evening ended with “Dancing Beyond the Stars” a show produced by Wendy Johnson that featured many of the winners and top contenders from the weekend’s competitions plus the judges often hilarious presentation to Pitbull’s “Don’t Stop the Party.”

Special thanks to organizers, John Karakis, Brigitt Mayer, Ann Harding-Trafford and Lisa MacLaggen.

From Harbor to City

This year the CanAm Dancesport Gala made a move!

The move was from the Lakefront Westin Harbor Castle to the Hilton in the city center of Toronto. Both hotels offered great amenities and services, but it is always nice to have a change and the new location offers an abundance of restaurants, clubs and shopping all within walking distance.

This year’s event has a lot of energy perhaps because the Hilton ballroom is smaller and more intimate than the large space at the Westin.

Last night was the second night of competition and we saw the first of the headline events. For us the best events were the Open Amateur Latin and the 16+ Latin. Many of the same couples entered both events and the top 3 were the same in both. Winning both were Alex Maslanka & Christine Budniak, however the placements were not the same. In the 16+ they placed 3,2,1,1,1 and in the Open, 1,1,2,1,1. Runners-up both times were Tony Cooperman & Rickie Taylor. Their scores in the 16+ were 1,1,3,3,2 and in the Open, 2,2,1,2,2. 3rd in both were Sandu Babira & Alise Dombrovsky 3,3,2,2,3 in the 16+ and all 3’s in the Open. From there the results were different in the 2 events. 4th in the 16+ were Idan Daich & Rumi Dolmaya; 5th Jason Lozin & Lindsay Sevastinova; 6th Brenton Mitchell & Alexandra Sevastianova; 7th Leon Tsebro & Elisa Magliocchetti.

In the Open 4th were Simeon Vassilev & Dimitrina Vassileva; 5th Brenton Mitchell & Alexandra Sevastianova; 6th Leon Tsebro & Elisa Magliocchetti.

We also saw 2 Open Professional divisions last night. The Ballroom was the larger and the is was easily won by Richard Tonizzo & Claire Hansen who won all dances. 2nd in all dances went to Pavel Lebedev & Arina Izkokina and 3rd in all to Yvan Piwovarov & Irina Khanova. With 4,4,4,4,5, Steve Forrest & Bianca Izzo were 4th; 5th Han Ly & Crystal Li 5,5,5,5,4; 6th in all dances, Mathieu Casavant & Melanie Martin.

4 couples contested the Open Rhythm and the winners in all dances were Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin the only winners from USA on this night. Also from USA, the runners-up were Andrei Svirydzenka & Yuliya Zubava, 2,2,2,2,2. 3rd and again from USA were Viktor Tkachenko & Yuliya Likina 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Mathieu Casavant & Melanie Martin.

The Pro-Ams have completed 3 styles at this point and the best of the Open Scholarships has been last night’s Open C Smooth. The winner in all 4 dances was Sherry Dong w/ Dmitry Ilyushenov. 2nd in all went to Keren Brown w/ Brian Torner. Jo Garber w/ Richard Tonizzo took 3rd 4,4,3,3; 4th Faye Mattachione w/ Timor Valdman 3,3,4,5; 5th Lori Greco w/ Patrick Derry 5,5,6,4; 6th Carmen Cornacchia w/ Anastasia Trutneva 6,6,5,6. This event started with a semifinal.

Stay tuned for today’s events from CanAm!

  • Can-Am Welcomes You! Can-Am 2017

    Can-Am Welcomes You!

    After skipping a year due to another commitment, I was so glad to be back at the Can-Am DanceSport Gala in Toronto, Canada and to its friendly people that are always welcoming to their neighbors from the USA.

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  • Can-Am = Closed Canadian!

    Can-Am = Closed Canadian!

    Can-Am Dancesport Gala 2016


    I think it is fair to say that the Can-Am is one of my favorite stops on my yearly dancing calendar. Set in the city of Toronto, in summertime, as the sunshine glistens on Lake Ontario and spotlights the sailboats beating against the breeze, I think this is a competition that can appeal to all North Americans.  This year as an added bonus, the Can Am was also the host event for the closed Canadian Professional Championships.

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