Empire State Championship 2017

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The Empire Strikes a Hit!

The last night of the Empire Dance Championships struck a hit, with a major finale.

All today's photos are by Supershag

Two top notch competitions, the Open Professional Latin and the Open Professional Smooth as well as the now famous show, that was featured before the final of the Latin, keeping the crowd in suspense until the very end.The Professional Latin had some great couples from the USA and around the world The easy win by winning all dances, went to Italy’s Nino Langella dancing now with the Canadian jewell, Andra Vaidalaite. Second position overall wen to Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina but not in all dances, they placed second in three dances and fourth in the rumba, paso. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova placed third overall with these marks 3,4,3,5,3, as you can see they got very varied scores. Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier from Canada took fourth 5,3,5,2,4; Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk were fifth 4,5,2,3,5, as you can see the last three couples had a little bit of everything, making us think that the judges were possibly sweating bullets making these tough decisions. Last but not least in sixth position were Alexey & Vlada Karaulov who took sixth in every dance.

The Open Professional Smooth was won by Nick Cheremukhim & Viktorija, who continue to solidify their ground as US Professional Champions, however, their close competition, Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Selevirstove continue to take a dance or two from time to time, this time it was the tango they won, but not enough to challenge they placed second in the other three dances. The newish partnership of former US Champion Peter Perzhu with former runner-up Izabella Jundzill, continue to wait the opportunity to strike for higher ground and had a third place finish in every dance. Fourth was awarded to Sergey & Maria Barsukov who took these marks from the judges 4,5,5,4. Fifth position wen to Sergi Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab who just recently picked up this style and they took these marks 5,4,4,5, as you can see either rule 11 or rule ten had to be used to break this tie between Sergey & Maria and Sergi & Yulia. A clear 6th place position was awarded to Adrian & Hannah Dydynski.

There were other competitions running this same evening we had a terrific Open Amateur Ballroom that started with a quarter-final round, but in the end six couples were called back to this great final and the winner was Dan Malov & Anna Kaczmarski who won all dances. When they announced their win you could tell by their faces they were completely thrilled to have accomplished such a high goal in their quest to perfection in this style. Second place went to James Cuttler & Virginie Primeau from Canada, who most have been quite disappointed with this position, when you looked at the marks you can tell that it was not close James & Virginie placed second in four dances and third in the tango. Oreste Alitto & Valerie Belozerova from Italy took third, but here the marks were a lot varied 3,2,4,3,4. Fourth place was awarded to Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova 4,4,3,5,3, Tony Cooper & Rickie Taylor took fifth position 5,6,5,4,6, and Florin Vlad & Natalia Linda O’Connor were sixth overall 6,5,6,6,5.

Open Amateur Youth was a six couple final and here Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Spektor won overall by winning 3 dances and placing second in the Paso Jive, second was awarded to Erik Linder & Shelly Meshkausk 2,3,3,1,1, and third was Anthony Spataro & Anastasia Sinyauskaya 3,2,2,3,3. The Under 21 Amateur Ballroom was a five couple final and here Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova won overall 1,2,2,1,2, third went to Gregory Rybakov & Eva Tulchinsky 3,3,4,3,3.

The pro-am Ballroom Scholarships were terrific, all well attended. The largest by far was the “C” division with a quarter-final round and here Lynn Murrell w/Alexander Voskalchuk won overall 1,3,1,3,1. Second went to Paige Riffle w/Iaroslav Bieliei and they placed second in four dances and tied for second in the quickstep. Third went to Annie Chan w/Christian Radvan 3,1,3,1,2T.

The “B” division started with a semifinal round a seven couple final was called and Brynda Insley w/Martin Reinbold won every dance. Second was awarded to Laura Shooks w/Alexander Voskalchuk and they placed second in all dances, third place was Monika Sun w/Iaroslav Bieliei with these scores 4,3,3,4,3.

The “A” division was a five-couple final and this went to Sabine Blyth w/Davide Gozzi winning all dances. Second overall was Rebecca Kuhn w/Andrea Faraci and they took second in every dance leaving Nina Ouzdenova w/Sergei Bezrodnov holding third 3,4,3,3,4.

As usual here the senior scholarships were quite popular and well attended. The Senior I started with a strong semifinal round and a six-couple final was called. Rong Chen w/Oscar Pedrinelli won overall 1,1,3,2. Avi Laarovitz w/Anna Oblakova placed second 3,3,2,1, and Jan Duffy w/Tadas Jonyla was third 2,4,1,3. The Senior II was a six-couple final and this went also to Ron Chen w/Oscar Pedrinelli once again winning all dances, second was Priscilla Dahlen w/Emanuele Pappacena taking second in all dances, and third in all dances was awarded to Maria Fila w/Kamil Urbaniak.

This concludes the Empire Dance Championships in “Times Square” New York, great venue for this fantastic event. We want to congratulate Vibeke, Alan, Giampiero, and Katerina for putting on such a first class affair in such a beautiful location.

Dancing Your Heart on Times Square!

The Empire States Dance Championships continued last night in the ballroom of the Marriott Grand Marquis.

All today's photos are by Supershag

This time we got to see the first open professional and amateur events of the competition and throughout the day the Pro-Am competitors danced from 7AM until in the late afternoon, their Latin Scholarships.

The biggest event by far was the Amateur Latin with a complete first round. Second largest was the Open Professional Ballroom with a full quarter-final round.

The Amateur Latin was won by Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman who won all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges. Their worst marks came from Meryem Pearson who awarded them these marks - 4,4,4,5,3. Second overall went to Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayword, placing second in every dance. Third place was awarded to Sam Shamseili & Liza Lakovitsky with these marks - 3,3,5,3,3, and fourth place went to Tagir Mansurov & Alexandra Kondrashova 4,4,4,4,5. Ewoud Fidon & Melanie Weiler placed fifth 5,5,3,5,6, and Artem Zhychuk & Klaudia Weiler were sixth 6,6,6,6,4.

The Open Professional Ballroom had the second largest entry of the night and here we began from a quarter-final round. The winners were Iaroslav & Liliia Bieliei they won every dance, however, we thought he might have been taken out when in one of the rounds, someone hit him right in the ribs taking the air out of him. We were not sure how he was able to continue after this blow but he did and he won every dance. However, when looking at the marks we noticed they only won the waltz with the majority of firsts. They had to depend on thirds, seconds or better to win the other dances. Second overall was awarded to Vladishlav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova, this couple manage to get a variety of marks from first to sixth depending on the dance. However, in the end they still placed second overall with these marks - 2,3,2,2,2. Third went to Igor Mukushov & Ekaterina Romanishkaya and they placed 4,4,3,3,3. Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were 4th 3,2,4,4,5; Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya were 5th 6,5,5,5,4; Chritian Radvan & Kristina Kudelco were 6th 5,6,6,6,6.

The Professional Rhythm also took place last night and it started with a 13-couple semifinal. 7 couples were called back for the final and the competition went to Andre & Natalie Paramonov, they won every dance with a majority of firsts from the judges and a perfect score for the bolero. Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin took second overall in all dances and Aaron & Iryna DeSoto placed third in all dances. It was a great night for Alberto Cortes & Jessa Mae Briones who placed fourth overall, a great result for this couple, they placed fourth in four dances and fifth in the bolero, passing a good number of couples. Fifth place went to Ilya Velednitsky & Mariya Ilchenko 5,6,5,4,6, Sixth position went to Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov 6,5,6,6,5, and seventh in all dances went to Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti.

The under 21 Latin also started with a strong semifinal and here Tony Cooperman & Rickie Taylor took the trophy home with these scores - 1,1,1,1,2, Michell Itkin & Natasha Shevchenko placed second 2,2,2,2,1,

The Showdance was a three-couple affair and here Ivan Kudasnov & Ksenia Sokoiova won, Richard Lifshitz & Laura Robinson were second and Piotr Kiszka & Aleksandra placed third.

In the Pro-am Latin all competitions were packed. There was a very strong semifinal round in the “A” division and here Sabrina Strasser w/ Stanishlav Kochergin took first in all dances. Vera Xu w/Jakub Zeglen placed second 3,2,2,2,2, and Emily Takhtarov w/Nikkita Malakhov were third 2,3,3,3,3.

The “B” division was a quarter-final round and this went to Isabel Deich w/Maxim Fomin wining all dances. Second was awarded to Maria Sergou w/Dimitrios Damalas and she placed second in every dance. Jelena Sevaljevic w/Richard Lifshitz was third in all dances.

The “C” division was also a 7-couple final and here Marina Svyatets w/Aleksandar Vukosavljevic won overall, however, they only won two dances outright here are their scores 2,2,1,2,1. Ada Fung w/Andrei Kazlouski was second and they placed 1,1,2,3,2, leaving third place for Lorraine Peoples w/Genya Bartashevich 3,3,3,1,3.

The Senior I was a packed semifinal round and six were called back. Here we had Nora Fox w/Plamen Danailov wining all dances. Second was Alice Lekht w/Igor Derimov placed second in four dances and third in the jive. Third position in this excellent Senior final went to Fifi Wang w/Delyan Terziev.

The Senior II was no different, great ladies took to the floor and here Rica Zamora w/Sinisa Vasic was the winner 1,1,1,2. Second overall was Toni Mullis w/Tomasz Wlodarski 2,2,2,1; 3rd, Susan Gillespie w/Andrzej Przybyl 3,5,3,5.

Be sure to watch video updates from Empire on our Video Page and check back soon for the incredibly popular "Approach the Bar" segments with judges and experts discussing the competitions.

Rising Stars at the Empire!

Last night at the Empire Dance Championships, it was a night of Rising Stars.

All the professional Rising Star Categories were run this evening, and throughout the day starting at 7AM the Pro-Am Rhythm categories were fought hard.

Here is how the judges saw it for all the Rising Stars last night. In the Rhythm, Alberto Cortez & Jessa Mae Briones won all five dances. Second overall was awarded to Kristian Sese & Mae Lozada and they took four seconds and third in the swing. Third went to Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker placing third in four dances and second in the swing. Fourth was awarded to Alexander Zarek & Julia Vaysfeld 5,4,4,4,5, fifth were Sergio Sanchez & Rachel Sayotovich 4,5,5,5,4, and sixth went to Joe Hasson & Natalie Honkonen.

The Professional Rising Star Smooth was also a 6-couple final and here Slava Kostaniets & Valeriia Kostaniets also took all first places in all four dances. Second went to Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts and they took second in all dances, leaving third to Radek Wiatrowski & Mila Popovich but here things varied a little, take a look 3,4,5,5. Obviously the judges were not very certain with their performance. Fourth were Morten Jensen & Ashley Mokris 4,5,4,4, fifth went to Dmitry Ilyushenov & Kateryna Stytsenko 6,6,3,3 and sixth were Jang & Adele Don 5,3,6,6.

The Professional International Rising Star the Latin was won by Sasha Altukhov & Cheyenne Murillo and they won all dances. Second went to Andrii Voloshko & Katerina Kyrylenko placing second in all dances and third was awarded to Ivan Kudasnov & Ksenia Sokoiova and they took third in every dance. The scores got a little more varied starting with fourth place, Vlad Astafiev & Annie He Xiao placed fourth overall with these marks - 4,4,4,5,4; fifth place went to Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker 6,5,5,4,5, and sixth were Maxim Fomin & Jessie Mineau from Canada.

In the Professional Rising Star Ballroom first went to Rabu Sterban & Xenia Cletova who took first in all dances. Second was awarded to Anatolii Repliuk & Ruslana Mamaysur but this category began to vary right away when it came to the scores 2,2,3,3,2. Third went to Lukas Chockuba & Angelina Oh 3,3,2,2,3. Slava Kostianets & Valeria Kostianets were fourth overall 5,4,4,4,5; Aleksandr & Aida Skriptsov placed fifth 4,5,5,5,6, and Daniel Vesnovskiy & Emily Thope took sixth 6,6,6,6,4.

The Pro-Am Rhythm Scholarships were run late in the afternoon session and here once again the seniors were quite strong. In the Senior 1 the winners in a rule 11 decision were Lois Fein w/ Aleksandar Vukosavljevic placing 1,1,2,2, second in a rule 11 decision went to Susan Miller w/ Hayk Arshakian 2,2,1,1, and third was awarded to Alinda Lewris w/ Sinisa Vasic 3,3,3,4 only four dances are done here for the senior categories.

The “C” division was also quite strong Marcy Garson w/Ilya Reyzin won overall 1,2,1,1,1. Second went to Jennifer Marre w/Plamen Danailov 3,1,2,2,2, and third was Joan Goddard & Aaron Talbert.

There were only four couples entered in the “B” category and here Kelly Wain w/Vlad Astafiev won every dance. Second was awarded to Vita Vygovska w/Evgeny Dyachenko and they took second in every dance leaving third to Lana Lusher w/Jose DeCamps 3,4,3,3,3.

The “A” was the smaller scholarship with only three couples entered and this was awarded to Salma Hamich w/Sharon Levit placing first in all dances. Jennifer Crown w/Matthew Shimizu was second 2,2,3,2,2 and third went to Lauren Albert w/Jose DeCamps.

The Senior 2 was also well attended and contested, here the winner once again was Lois Fein w/ Aleksandar Vukosavljevic winning all dances second went to Judy Sargent w/Steve Mcferran placing second in all dances and third was awarded to Jo Anne Fisher w/Kakha Turiashvili 4,3,4,3.

The Open Professional Events will Start tonight and we will bring it all to you tomorrow morning.

Shower! Dance! Ends with Gala!

Yesterday was the first day of the Empire Dance Championships.

They began with the Pro/Am Smooth categories, followed by a lavish gala dinner dance complete with a show.

The Smooth competition started promptly at 7AM. This allowed for the competition to finish early enough so everyone could shower, fluff and buff and attend this glamorous affair. When I say “shower” I mean a real shower, not the empire shower we were all taking throughout the day to refresh ourselves and be ready to watch dance or work. Katrina Marks would come up to the podium with a group of people, get everyone up and with upbeat music make everyone move up down and around on the spot. This was very welcomed by many, especially if you were there just to spectate.

The gala dinner dance was a who’s who of the dance world. We could spot quite a few World Champions and very prominent people of the industry at a glance. Nearly everyone was dressed to the nines with the exception of a few, that decided to be casual chic for the night. The tables were completely set up for a upscale affair and it was great to see how much the attendees enjoyed themselves dancing eating and talking with their friends in a very social atmosphere.

Through the night there were a few presentations. They began with Samuel Stopford, Barbara McCall & Sammy Stopford’s son, who is now a quite accomplished opera singer. This was then followed by shows presented by various students dancing with a group of teachers. Amy danced with Artem “Sometimes when it Rains;” Kelly with Dimitryi did a “paso;” Annalia with Igor did “Faded,” and Rita with Tal did “Uptown Funk.”

The daytime session as we mentioned was also packed with Smooth dancers. The open scholarships were a feature and worth a mention. The “SR1” was packed and the winner of this category went to a man Mark Eberli w/Alyssa Kark first in all dances; Annette van Ommeren w/Charles Roberst took second also in all dances and third place went to Kathy Hoffman w/Darius Mosteika.

The “C” division had a big entry but in the end it came to a six-couple final, Lynn Shanahan w/Darius Mosteika won every dance, Sherry Dong w/Dmitry Ilyushenov took second in all dances and Sophia D’Angelo w/Max Sinitsa took all thirds.

The “B” was also a good event and in this 6-couple final Suki Kramer w/Gunnar Sverrisson won by placing first in 3 dances and second in the tango, Angela Morris w/Peter Santiago was second with the scores of 2,1,3,3, as you can see this division was really fought, and third went to Mary Lemmer w/Tomas Mielnicki with these marks 3,3,2,2.

The “A” category was the smallest here 2 ladies battled it out but Kailee Donovan w/Kakha Turiashvili won all dances leaving all seconds to Veronica Maoli w/Greg Fidurski.

Today we continue with the Rhythm dances, and it is one of the longest sessions scheduled. We started at 7AM and it is expected to finish at 7PM. We will report to you about this tomorrow.

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