Embassy Ball 2017

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Last night at Embassy Ballroom Championships was a perfect night once again for Riccardo & Yulia!

Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko received 13 first places in every dance of the Open Professional Latin last night – every first place available. The often reserved California audience rose as one to their feet for the last 30 seconds of jive when asked to show their support for the couples by MC, Mark Brock.

Runners-up, Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova were almost perfect in second place taking 2nd in all dances and loosing very few 2nd places. From there down the placements were a little less clearly determined. Massimo Arcolin & Laura Zmajkovicova from Italy took 3rd in all dances but had the majority of “2nd or better” in only 3 of them. 4th in all went to Andre Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir and they had scores ranging from 3 to 6 in all dances. Mykhalio Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina were 5th with 5,5,6,6,5 and Manuel Favila & Natalia Maiduk were 6th 6,6,5,5,6. The semifinal was also a very strong round. Next into this final were Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier from Canada.

This was the only open professional division of the night but we did see the final RS division, the Smooth. Easy winners were Slava & Valeriia Kostaniets who had large majorities of 1st places in all dances. 2nd were Stephen McCann & Elisa Seja 2,3,2,2 and 3rd Jan & Adele Don 5,2,3,3. A rule 10 tiebreak separated 4th and 5th places with 4th going to Matt Rivers & Maliwan Diemer 4,4,5,4 and 5th to Ilia Abdulin & Tara Barakov 3,5,4,5. Drew Miller & Krista Humphrey were 6th in all dances.

The U/21 Latin was won by Tony Cooperman & Rickie Taylor 1,2,2,1,1. They did not have a majority of 1st places in any dance. In fact most couples were picking up 1st places from some judges in all dances. 2nd went to Mitchel Itkin & Natasha Shevchenko 2,1,1,2,2. 3rd and 4th were separated by a Rule 10 tiebreak – 3rd Alex Maslanka & Christine Budniak (Canada) 3,3,4,5,3 and 4th Nathan Murstein & Alina Odintsova 4,4,3,3,4. 5th were Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets 5,6,5,4,5 and 6th Erik Linder & Shelly Meshkausk 6,5,6,6,6.

The final event of the night was the O/35 Ballroom. Xingmin & Katerina Lu were the winners 1,1,2,1,1. They had the majority of 1st places in the 4 dances they won and tied the winners of the VW for 1st places. It was Dan Manea & Mia Hu who won that VW and placed 2nd overall 2,2,1,2,2. 3rd Turtle Brennen & Citabria Ozzuna 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Michael Chen and Ling Ma 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Benjamin Lin & Jennifer Wong 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Miguel Heraclio & Rieko Ota 6,6,6,6,6.

Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina, longtime professional Latin finalists, chose last night to announce their formal retirement from competition and in a well-scripted performance that included a letter and video as well as a dramatic final dance, the supportive audience was able to show their love for this couple.

Another member of the dance community was honored by receiving the annual Marguerite Hanlon & John Ford Award and this year it went to John Nyemchek for his services to US ballroom dancing.

For our continuing reports from Embassy Ballroom Championships become a member of Dance Beat and read expert reports on most divisions. There will also be expert commentary and video of the couples in our video segments Approach the Bar with Dance Beat coming up very soon on our video page.

World Vs. British!

For the first time in almost 50 years we believe the World Champions danced against the Open British (Blackpool) Champions last night!

Not since the days of Eggleton/Irvine has it come to pass that the current World Pro Ballroom Champions competed against the current Open British Pro Ballroom Champions. This came about last night because Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, the current World Champions took on Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva, the current Open British Champions. (You may remember Arunas & Katusha withdrew from this year’s Open British due to illness).

The result, as it turned out, was not close. Arunas & Katusha won all dances losing very few first places and scoring a perfect 15 first places in VW. Victor & Anastasia, of course, clearly took the 2nd spot taking a few 1st places and every other judges’ 2nd place. Cleanly 3rd in all dances were Alexander Zhiratkov & Irina Novozhilova (Russia). Equally clear with all the 4’s were Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova. 5th in all dances went to Iaroslav & Lilia Bieliei and 6th in all to Vlad Shahov & Ekaterina Popova. We would also like to mention that Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova missed this final by 1 mark.

As in the World Smooth, the defending World Pro Rhythm Champions retained their title and won all 5 dances with the majority of 1st places. This is Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova. They only received one mark lower than 2nd and that was a 3rd in bolero. Andre & Natalie Paramonov took some 1st places in all dances and had most of the 2nd place scores in all dances. Vard Margaryan & Inga Demetryan were 3rd in all - again clearly. Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin, in their first full year in the Rhythm division, made their first world final and placed 4th in all dances. Danas Jaksevicious & Yuki Haraguchi were 5th with 5,5,5,5,6 and Aaron & Iryna DeSotto were 6th 6,6,6,6,5. The DeSottos were the only couple to receive a 1st place other than the top 2 couples and that was in bolero from judge Tony Dovolani.

The largest event of the night and perhaps the most exciting was the Open Amateur Latin, danced over 4 rounds. Austin Joson & Nino Dzeladze continued their great form and easily won all dances and had perfect scores in cha cha and jive. We thought this was the most confident we had seen this couple. The other placements were closer. 2nd went to Tal Livshitz & Ilona Keselman 2,2,3,2,2 and the individual judges’ scores between them and 3rd placed Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler were fairly close. Pasha & Gabriella placed 3,3,2,3,3. Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward (Canada) took 4th in all dances but also picked up 3rd and higher placements in all dances. Tagir Mansurov & Sasha Kondrashova were 5th in all dances but they also had some higher placements in all dances. 6th in all went to Aleksandr Ivanov & Mariia Usarina.

The pro-ams danced their Latin World Championships yesterday. In the Open A it was quite a tight race that went to Emily Takhtarov w/ Nikita Malakov 1,1,2,3,1. This was an 8-couple final and no couple had anything near a majority of 1st places in any dance. 2nd went to Ekaterina Vitoshinskaya w/ Troels Bager 3,2,1,1,2 and 3rd to Vera Xu w/ Jakob Zeglen 2,3,5,2,4. Olga Gladysheva w/ Ilya Sizov (Russia) placed 4th 5,5,3,4,3. Interestingly this lady had the most first place in a dance of the competition and that was 4 firsts in jive. 5th Veronica Vozna w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov 4,4,4,5,5; 6th Liang Ying w/ Yegor Novikov 7,7,6,6,6; 7th Jamie Colonna w/ Nikita Tsernov 6,6,7,7,7; 8th Sydney Swanson w/ Marcus Johnson 8,8,8,8,8.

The result in the Open B was a little clearer. Svetlana Mukhametshina w/ Alexander Chesnokov (Russia) won all dances and had a majority of 1st places in jive and samba. With 2,2,3,2,3, Hennrieta Zagozdzon w/ Massimo Arcolin took 2nd. Catherine Howard w/ Sasha Althukov took 3rd 4,3,4,3,2; 4th Marina Dzasokhova w/ Ivan Statsenko (Russia) 3,4,2,4,4; 5th Natalia Levashova w/ Denis Medvedev 5,5,6,5,5; 6th Svetlana Van Tassel w/ Kirill Nikitin 6,6,5,6,6.

Yet still clearer was the win for Deborah Wright w/ Nikolai Voronovich in the Open C who won all dances with the majority of 1st places. 2nd place went to Rhonda Lynch w/ Stephen McCann 2,3,2,2,2. 4,2,4,3,3 gave Lisa Lowery w/ Roman Malkasyan her 3rd top 3 spot of the weekend. Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov was 4th 3,4,3,4,4. 5th Sophia D’Angelo w/ Nikolai Pilipenchuk 5,5,5,6,7; 6th Loraine Peoples w/ Genya Bartashevich 7,6,7,5,5; 7th Kim Luu w/ Andrei Tarasov 6,7,6,7,6.

There was actually a tie for first in the Open S1 that was broken by Rule 11. The winner today was Iris Chiang w/ Evegeny Nazarov 2,2,1,1 over Vera Gutierrez-Clellan w/ Danas Jaksevicius 1,1,2,2. 3rd was Luna Viva w/ Kristjian Burazer 3,3,3,3. 4th Evelyn Lamden w/ Daniel Vasco 4,4,6,4; 5th Phillipa Zemelman w/ Marcus Johnson 5,5,4,5; 6th Judy Pedersen w/ Petr Polak 6,6,5,7; 7th Georgeann Nicol w/ Nikolai Voronovich 7,7,7,6.

Finally the Open S2 went to Susanne Binder w/ Daniele Cavallo 1,1,1,1. 2nd and 3rd were separated by a Rule 11. 2nd Rita Lonergan w/ Pavlo Barsuk 2,2,3,3; 3rd Cathy Chang w/ Dmitry Kurakin 3,3,2,2; 4th Josie Lee w/ Vard Margaryan 4,4,4,4.

Students from the BYU University are here. Two formation teams under the direction of Curt & Sharon Holman were the uncontested winners in both the US Ballroom and US Latin Formation Championships and BYU students also dominated the Open Amateur American Smooth.

The Amateur Smooth resulted in a Rule 11 tiebreak for 1st place. Taking the day were Tanner Cole w/ Serena Keck 1,1,2,2 over Brandon Keck and Kaylee Christensen 2,2,1,1.

Nick & Viktorija Retain World Title

Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija retained their World Smooth title last night here at Embassy Ball.

The result was not unexpected as they have won every major event this year. Last night they won all dances with the majority of 1st places from the judges. Waltz was their best scored with 12 of the available 13 1st places.

The runner-up position went to Travis & Jaimee Tuft who placed 2,3,2,2. They had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in the 3 dances where they placed 2nd. However, as all the couples except the winners, they had scores ranging from 2nd and 1st all the way to 6th in most dances. We felt that Travis & Jaimee gave a very determined performance last night, certainly one of the best we have seen from them. With 3,2,3,3, Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova placed 3rd. They had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in tango. A disappointing finish for them tonight, but we found them a touch subdued from their normal firey approach. 4th spot went to Peter Perzhu & Izabella Jundzil 4,4,5,4 and 5th to Yegor Novikov & Alexandria Smirnova 5,5,4,5. Both of these couples performed well although we were a little unsure of Alexandria’s loose hairstyle. 6th spot in this great final went to Kyle & Allie Spinder and we felt that they also had a really strong night and ensured their spot in this final that could have been in doubt. The audience really seemed to enjoy this division and for us it was certainly the highlight of the day.

The second major event of the night was the Open Amateur Ballroom Championship that began with a quarter-final. It was a true international event with 4 countries represented in the final, however, the judges found little consensus. No couple had a majority of 1st places in any dance, but the overall winners were Jianan Peng & Jiaci Zhong (China) 1,1,2,1,1. This couple placed 8th at the Open British this year but failed to really stamp their mark on this event we felt. Nevertheless, on aggregate we felt they should win. 2nd spot went to Dan Malov & Anna Kaczmarski 2,4,5,2,2. This was an incredible result for them considering they placed 3rd in the U/21 just the day before – a huge improvement! Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli placed 3rd 3,2,3,5,3. They were also semifinalists at Blackpool this year and so must have considered themselves in with a chance tonight and we thought they did dance extremely well. The 5th in foxtrot especially seemed unwarranted to us. Italy took the 4th place and that elusive 1st place in VW – Oleksandr Kalenyuk & Olina Ablitsova 5,5,1,3,4. They are a neat and tidy couple who stood out from the first round. James Cutler & Virginie Primeau (Canada) were 5th 4,3,4,4,5. As you can see from their scores, they were unlucky to place 5th. Marek Klepadlo & Nina Zhiting Yang closed this final 6,6,6,6,6.

In the Pro-Am World Championship it was Ballroom day and we saw some good international competitions with the wins eventually going to Lithuania (1), Russia (1) and USA (3).

The Open A division was a two-way Russian battle with two Russian ladies vying for the win. In the end 1st place went to Nadezda Solzhenitsyn & Sergey Konovaltsev. Nadezda won all 5 dances, 3 with the majority of firsts. This meant Irina Agaletskaya w/ Alexander Zhiratkov was 2nd and again in all dances. This was a reverse from Manhattna a few weeks ago when Irina was the winner. 3rd spot went to Natalie Rezai w/ Sergey Kiselev 4,3,4,3,3. 4th was Sabine Blyth w/ Davide Gozzi 3,4,3,4,5; 5th Eva Chen w/ Stanislav Portanenko (China) 5,5,6,5,4; 6th Vinnie Miller w/ Denis Kutepov 6,6,5,6,6; 7th Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Faraci 7,7,7,7,7.

The Open B was a very close finish but it ultimately fell to Erika Vitkunaite w/ Vytautas Viluckis (Lithuania) 2,1,1,2,2. Behind by just 1 point was Rebecca Wang w/ Giampiero Giannico 1,2,2,1,3. The 1st place in the QS went to Sarah Shooks w/ Aleksander Voskalchuk who was 3rd overall 3,3,3,3,1. Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold was 4th 4,4,5,4,4; 5th Alexandra Michel w/ Victor Veyrasset 5,5,6,5,5; 6th Carole Simmons w/ Sergei Pogonet (Canada) 6,6,4,6,6.

Lynn Murrel w/ Alexander Voskalchuk was the winner of the Open C taking all dances but only the waltz with the majority of 1st places. 2nd went to Ans Stork w/ Oleksiy Pigotskyy 2,2,3,4,3. We thought Ans a little unlucky with some of those scores. Jenny Du w/ Dariusz Michalski was 3rd 3,3,4,2,4; Hye-kyong Park w/ Linas Korieva was 4th 5,4,2,3,6; 5th Lisa Dryer w/ Mikhail Avdeev 4,5,5,6,5; 6th Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia 7,6,6,5,2; 7th Leila DeNotaristefani w/ Igor Mikushov 6,7,7,7,7.

In the Open S1 Susan Jen w/ Mikhail Avdeev was the winner 1,1,1,2. Second went to Canada, Barbara Ng w/ Federico DiToro 2,2,2,3. The winner of the QS was also from Canada, Margaret Loo w/ Joel Marasigan 3,3,5,1. 4th Kayoko Suzuki w/ Sergey Kiselev 4,4,3,5; 5th Lita Wen w/ Leonid Burlo 5,5,6,4; 6th Rosy Tsai w/ Karlis Trejis 6,6,4,6.

The Open S2 went to Margaret Wang w/ Victor Yusin 3,1,1,1. With 4,2,2,2 Maria Fila w/ Kamil Urbaniak was 2nd and with 2,3,3,3 Noriko Ide w/ Dariusz Michalski took 3rd. With the unusual scores of 1,6,4,6, Diane Dean w/ Slava Stefanov was 4th. 5th Keiko Fukami w/ Denis Kutepov 5,4,5,4; 6th Ili Moon w/ Christian Radvan 6,5,6,5.

There was also a very close-fought Pro RS Latin event. The winners were Sasha Althukov & Cheyenne Murillo 1,1,2,1,1. They had the majority of 1st places in only jive. 2nd went to Andrey Voloshko & Kateryna Krylenko 2,2,1,2,2. Seergiy & Daria Chyslov were 3rd 4,3,3,3,3; 4th Lukas Alisaukas & Simona Grubeviciute 3,4,4,4,4; 5th Roman Drobotov & Natella Devitskaya 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker 6,6,6,7,6; 7th Nikita Tsernov & Anna Oblakova 7,7,7,6,7.

Smoothly Done!

Last night it was the turn of the pro-am Smooth style dancers to determine who would be the World Champions.

In the Open Categories we saw 5 champions crowned – 4 from the USA and 1 from Australia.

The largest of the divisions was the C and that began with a quarter-final round. Wining tonight was Lisa Lowery w/ Roman Malkhasyan. Lisa won all dances but only in the tango and foxtrot did she have the majority of 1st places. 2nd in all dances went to Sophia D’Angelo w/ Max Sinitsa. The judges’ scores in this final were not consistent for any couple and Sophia received scores up and down the final 7. With 3,3,4,4, Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhykov took the 3rd spot and with 5,5,3,5 Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza was 4th. Michiko Cantor w/ Evgeny Malko was 5th 4,4,5,7 and this lady really had a mix of scores with 1st to 7th place awarded in all dances. In the VW Michiko received 3 first places, just 1 less than the winner, yet she placed 7th in that dance! Lance Smith w/ Tone Jacobson was 6th 7,7,6,3 and 7th place went to Olga Krasyanskaya w/ Eldor Dzhaforov 6,6,7,6 (Russia).

As we mentioned, the first world’s to go outside of the USA occurred tonight and this was in the Open S1. Sue Swain w/ Mark Perkovich from Australia took this division. This was also a tightly fought race but Sue did win all 4 dances, although only the VW with the majority of 1st places. Diana Best w/ Alyosha Anatoliy took 2nd in all dances and received almost as many 1st places as the winner. 3rd went to Canada – Josee Duduc w/ Chriopher Panasuk 4,3,3,3. Linda Duncan w/ Slava Stefanov was 4th 3,5,4,5; 5th Yiru Sethavanish w/ Kris Suakjian 5,4,5,4 and 6th to Robert Gorelick w/ Viktorija 6,6,6,6.

The Open A gave a win to Olivia Zettergren w/ Gunnar Sverisson 1,1,1,1. Once again there were some erratic scores in this division but Olivia did have the majority of 1st places in the 2 waltzes. There were 2 Rule 11 ties in this final, one of them for 2nd place. 2nd ultimately fell to Natasha Namen w/ Aleksandr Skriptsov 3,2,2,4. On the other side of the tie and placing 3rd was TJ Kyle w/ Jaimee Tuft 2,3,4,2. TJ was the highest placed gentleman student so far. Hanna Weiss w/ Salwek Sochacki was 4th 4,4,3,3. 5th went to Zlata Clark w/ David Moon 5,5,5,5; 6th Nadia Sicilia w/ Christopher Panasuk (Canada) 6,6,6,6. 7th and 8th places were also decided by a Rule 11. 7th Elena Costin w/ Marshall Strife 8,7,8,7; 8th Samantha Swart w/ Louis Bar 7,8,7,8. This was a straight 8-couple final.

The clearest win of the night went to Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano in the Open B. Celia won all dances with clear majorities of 1st places. 2nd in all went to Selene Steelman w/ Travis Tuft and 3rd in all to Sirinda Sincharoen w/ Max Sinitsa. The scoring was pretty tight between these 2 except in VW where Selene was clearly ahead. Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki took 4th 4,4,4,5; Olga Krasnyanskaya w/ Eldar Dzhaforov (Russia) was 5th 5,5,5,4; 6th Beatriz Colon w/ Roman Malkhasyan 6,6,6,6 and 7th Nadia Sicilia w/ Christopher Panasuk 7,7,7,7.

Diane Dean w/ Slava Stefanov won all dances in the Open S1. This was a clear win for Diane with majorities of 1st places all dances. 2nd went to Miko Fuke w/ Scott Ruddick (Canada) 2,3,2,2T. 3rd Jackie Siegel w/ Daniel Vasco 3,2,3,4; 4th Doreen Marchak w/ Youriy Pavloc 4,4,4,2T; 5th James Yonemoto w/ Monika Dowd 5,6,5,5; 6th Yuan Jen w/ Slava Kostianets 6,5,6,6; 7th Josie Lee w/ Vard Margaryan 7,7,7,7.

Last night we also saw the first of the professional divisions with the RS categories in Rhythm and Ballroom. The Rhythm was the larger, danced over 3 rounds.

Winning the Rhythm was Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker. They won all dances with the majority of 1st places and looked very much on form to us as well. 2nd went to Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman 3,2,2,2,2. 3rd spot fell to Kristijian Burazer & Anja Imamovic 2,3,3,3,3. This was a new couple to us that showed much promise. The new partnership of Tomas Vasicek & Vitalija Tyrnova was 4th 4,4,4,5,5; 5th Jang & Adele Don 5,5,5,4,4; 6th Daniele Cavall0 & Leela Fazzuoli 6,6,6,6,6.

The RS Pro Ballroom began with a semifinal. The winners were Andrii Mykhailov & Anna Bohachova 1,1,2,1,1. They had the majority of 1st places in the dances they won. With 3,2,1,2,2, Radu Sterban & Ksenia Cletova were the runners-up. 3rd went to Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna 2,4,3,3,4. In 4th place were Earle Williamson & Liana Bakhtiarova 5,3,4,4,3. These are 2 experienced dancers in a new partnership. Earle was several times a USA Dance National Champion. 5th Anatoliy Repiuk & Ruslana Mamaysur 6,5,5,6,5; 6th Slava & Valeriia Kostaniets 4,6,6,5,6.

The U/21 Ballroom was a great contest, mainly between 3 couples who took almost all the 1stb places between them. The winners tonight were Glenn-Richard Boyce & Caroly Janes (England) 1,2,2,1,1. No couple had a majority of 1st in any dance. 2nd tonight went to Tony Cooperman & Rickie Taylor 3,1,1,2,2 and 3rd to Dan Malov & Anna Kaczmarski 2,3,3,3,3,3. Gregory Rybakov & Eva Tulchinsky were 4th 4,5,4,4,5; 5th Alex Maslanka & Christine Budniak (Canada) 5,4,5,5,4; 6th Brandon Keck & Kaylee Christensen 6,6,6,6,6.

The World of Pro-Am

The NDCA World Pro-Am Championships started yesterday at the Embassy Ballroom Championships with the Rhythm Category.

With the exception of the Senior 2 World Championship, all heats were packed and well attended.

The “A” division turned out o be an eight-couple final and here winning all dances was Mengqi Huang with teacher Emmanuel Pierre Antoine. Second in all dances but the mambo was awarded to Marinda James-Heskett who was dancing with Jeremy Pilling and she placds third in the mambo. Third went to Katia Diamond w/Danas Jaksevicius but here as you will see, things got a little murkier when it came to the marks 3,4,3,3,4, the challenger for third was Sophia Montanez w/Daniel Vasco who had some very interesting marks 4,3,4,4,2, as you can see she placed second in the mambo. From here down things got a little less problematic Samantha Swart w/Louis Bar placed fifth in all the dances, Elena Costin w/Marshal Strife was sixth 6,6,7,6,6, leaving seventh place to Carolyn Steinberg w/Stefan Trandafirescu with mixed scores 7,8,6,8,7, and in eighth place was Jennifer Crown w/Matthew Shimizu 8,7,8,7,8.

The “B” Pro-Am NDCA Worlds was also a packed eight-couple final. Here Beatriz Colon w/Roman Malakhasyan placed first overall by winning 3 dances and placing second in the cha cha and mambo. The two first places missing from the winner went to Laura Paoletti w/Roman Drobotov who took 3 second places and first in the cha cha, mambo. Angela Morrison w/Peter Santiago placed third overall with these marks 3,3,3,3,4, Sharon Powers w/Jason Daly took fourth overall 5,5,4,4,3, Tiffany Miller w/Daniel Vasco was fifth 4,4,5,5,5, Melissa Loble w/David Moon took sixth 7,6,6,6,6, Tamile w/Sterling Burroughs was seventh 6,8,7,7,7, and Paula Darlas w/Sean Brunell placed eighth 8,7,8,8,8.

The “C” Category was the biggest event in this year’s Pro-am World Championships and this clearly went to Lynn Magnesen w/Vard Margaryan who won all dances. Second in all dances went to Lisa Lowery w/Roman Malakhasyan, and third was awarded to Renee Kuwahara w/Ilya Reyzin and she took third in four dances and fourth in the rumba. The rest of the placements were quite mixed with the marks. Monica Broch w/Kris Suakjian took fourth overall with these marks 5,3,5,4,6, Yuriko Shimamoto w/Steve Vasco was fifth 4,6,4,5,5, leaving Nancy Lam w/Sean Tamashiro 6,5,6,6,4.

The Senior 1 category was also well attended and here we had a seven-couple final. Diana Best w/Alosha Anatoliy was the Champion overall by winning three dances and placing 3rd in the rumba, as you will see the thirds were very divided. Luna Viva w/Kristijan Burazer was second overall, placing second in three dances and here the third place mark was awarded in the mambo. Evelyn Lamden w/Daniel Vasco was third by placing third in the cha cha first in the rumba fourth in the swing and second in the mambo, as you could see Evelyn took different placements in all the dances. What this tells us is that the judges were really looking and where not too sure as to where to place her. Sue Swain & Mark Perkovich was fourth overall 4,4,3,4. Rose Wherry w/Alexander Novikov took fifth in all dances, Earl Shimaoka w/Joanna Skorupa was sixth in all and seventh in all was Laura Waters w/Lowell Fox.

As we mentioned earlier, the Senior 2 World Pro-am was the smallest but very mighty. Diana Dean w/Slava Stefanov took first overall 1,1,1,4, that was interesting to see a fourth place marks in the mambo after placing first in all the other dances. Second went to Shirley Lien w/Daniel Lee Tran, she took third in the cha cha, and second in the other three dances. Third was awarded to Josie Lee w/Vard Margaryan with these marks 2,3,3,1, interesting to see a first place be awarded in the mambo after awarding her lower marks in the other three dances. In fourth place was Jackie Siegel w/Daniel Vasco, they took fourth in three dances and third in the mambo.

The evening concluded with a very exciting NDCA World Pro-Am Cabaret Championship, this was a competition between a lady Natasha Namen and a gentleman student Jake Mazhar. This two pro-am competitors were very accomplished and it must have been an agonizing decision for the judges. In the end Natasha partnered by Craig Smith won leaving second place to Jake w/Yulia Besarab. Congratulations to these very accomplished pro-am couples! It’s moments like this where you are glad not to be making a decision.


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