And while many ran for cover, others stayed to cash in especially in the US National Professional Championships with a number of the upper tier missing. Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir became our new United States Professional Latin American Champions, witnessed by those few still standing and our own very “brave” SuperShag Photographer Erik Pali!
By Friday night with the threat of Hurricane Irma, on our US scene the biggest casualties were in our Professional Latin division where a number of excellent couples were not able to make it. This, as we mentioned, gave advantage to some that were present including our newly crowned US National Professional Latin Champions. Here is how the deck was drawn at the end of Friday night. Andrei & Asta won all dances.
Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina were the runners up by placing second in four dances and third in the rumba. Third was awarded to Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach who placed second in the rumba and third in the other four dances. Fourth overall in this unprecedented Latin final was awarded to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova 4,4,4,5,5; Aleksandr Skarlato & Loreta Kriksciukaityte placed fifth 5,5,5,4,4, and Ivan Mulyavka & Karin Rooba took sixth in all dances.
The US National Professional Smooth Championships was not as affected as the Latin with most of the upper tier in attendance. Nick Cheremukhim & Viktorija solidified their current US title by winning this division for the second time in a row and we should mention that they won all dances with a majority of first in every dance.
Second place overall went to Travis & Jaimee Tuft with these marks 2,3,2,2, but we must mention that this couple’s marks were quite varied with judges marking them in all dances from first down to sixth place. There were about three judges that felt they were closer to last place than first Garry Gekhman 4,4,6,6, Jonathan Roberts 5,5,6,5, but their absolute worst marks came from Marzena Stachura who felt they should be sixth in every dance.
Peter Perzhu & Izabella Jundzill placed fourth overall. Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova were fifth and Kyle & Allie Spinder placed sixth in every dance. We must also mention that Kyle & Allie took this opportunity to exit the dance floor with grace and announced their retirement from competition dancing.
There were two very important awards given this evening of dance first the John Monte Award and this was given to Cher Rutherford the second important award given this evening was a “Hall of Fame” Award given to Brian & Kristi McDonald for all their accomplishments in our ballroom dance industry.
The last and important result we should mention is the US Open to the World Ballroom Championship that was won by Alexander & Veronica Voskalchuk, with a majority of first in every dance and nearly perfect scores in the VW with only one second awarded to them on that dance by Nadia Eftedal. Second place overall went to Iaroslav & Liliia Bieliei, taking second in all dances, and third place was Vladislav Shalhov & Ekaterina Popova.
With this the 2017 United States Dance Championships came to a close, we want to say thank you to the director Wayne Eng, the President of ABC Mr. Martin Chiang and everyone that made this Championship possible for our couples and all that love US Ballroom dancing in the USA.
Just look to the rainbow!
“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
As most of you know by now a threat to our USDC is brewing in the Caribbean and as most tracking systems, have it coming our way. However, when things get tough you must look to the future and to the best of times and see the other side of the rainbow and it should all be clear soon enough.
Almost from the moment we arrived in Orlando and the US Dance Championships, the organizers have been battling with this terrible shadow that is now pointing our way, with cancellations, people wanting to leave, changing schedules, trying to fullfill everyone’s dreams of becoming a US Champion, an honor greater than any for US dancers. Yesterday late afternoon after working for hours on their schedule, it was announced that they have managed to combine and fit most competitions to Friday and to Saturday daytime session making it possible for many of us to leave early ahead of the biggest storm ever recorded. Please check the website for your new heatsheet list for any cancellations or changes. In conclusion Saturday daytime session will end at 4PM.
Yesterday the 2017 US National Professional Ballroom and Rhythm Championships were decided. The competitions were tough but well attended. A six-couple final was called for the Rhythm Championship and after all was danced and done Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were crowned the 2017 US National Professional Rhythm Champions by winning all dances all with the majority of firsts.
This was their second successive title. Second in every dance was awarded to Andre & Natalie Paramonov and third went to Vard Margaryan & Inga Demetryan placing third in all dances. From fourth down the situation was a little more varied. Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi took fourth in four dances and fifth in the mambo, Aaron & Iryna DeSoto placed fifth with these marks - 5,6,5,6,4, leaving sixth to Shane & Shannon Jensen 6,5,6,5,6.
The US National Professional Ballroom was terrific and all couples looked great and ready to go. Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova the defending Champions retained their US title and won all dances with a majority of firsts.
Second in this heat went to Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva also with a huge majority of seconds and picking up some firsts from Arunas & Katusha, 3 in the waltz, 4 in the tango, 4 in the VW, 5 in the foxtrot and 8 in the quickstep. Third place was also very clear with Alexander & Veronica Voskalchuk taking third places in all dances. Fourth place was also secure to Iaroslav & Liliia Bieliei with them picking up all fourth places in every dance. Things were slightly different for fifth and sixth position, Vladishlav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova were fifth overall placing fifth in five dances and sixth in the waltz. Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya were sixth 6,5,5,5,5.
The final national professional championship decided yesterday was the Mambo. The winners were Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti. They received 12 of the 15 first places. Runners-up were Juan Martinez & Elayna Bottinelli; 3rd Jose Perez & Aliska Burkina and 4th Julius Solano & Lauren Stephenson.
The US Open Pro/Am Latin Championships ran through the day and like all the other styles the couples all looked fit and ready to go. The “A” division of the Latin was the smallest of all championships witnessed with only five couples entered. Angelina Evseeva dancing with Aleksandr Skarlato placed first in all dances. Second went to Vera Xu w/Jakub Zeglen, and Valeria Vasilchenko w/Dmitriy Zavialov took third. Fourth went to June Lin w/Pasha Pashkov, and Samantha Swart w/Louis Bar placed fifth.
The US Pro/Am Open to the World “B” was also a five-couple final, but when it came to the win, it came down to a rule “10” decision between Christine Stanko w/Jean Paul and Isabel Deich w/Maxim Fomin. Christine placed 3,3,1,1,1, and Isabel placed 1,2,2,2,2, both tabulating to 9 points each when you add the points, so the decision was awarded to the highest number of first places and so first place went to Christine, leaving Isabel holding second place. Third overall was awarded to Maria Seragou w/Dimitrios Damalas with the scores of 2,1,3,3,3, fourth in all dances went to Irma Tan w/Aleks Nashev and in fifth position was Wendy Liang w/Ryan Xu taking fifth in all dances.
The “C” US Open to the World Latin was possibly the biggest of all the scholarships this year and a 8-couple final was called. Deborah Wright w/ Nikolai Voronovich won the competition overall wining 4 dances and placing 2nd in the paso doble. Second position was not as clear overall but this went to Rhonda Lynch w/Stephen McCann with these marks - 2,3,3,1,2. Third and fourth placements were decided by another rule (10) with both couples earning 17 points each, but in the end third place overall went to Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov with these marks - 4,5,2,3,3, and fourth place to Rhonda Lee w/Daniele Gozzi with these marks - 3,2,4,4,4. As you just saw it was the third place marks that helped Lynn earn third place position overall. Fifth place overall was awarded to Lisa Lowery w/Roman Malakhasyan 5,4,5,5,5, as you can see things got a little more clear from here and totally clear for Marina Svyatets w/Aleksandar Vukosavljevic who placed sixth in all dances. Sophia D’Angelo w/Nikolai Pilipenchuk placed seventh in all dances and eighth in all dances went to Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet.
The Senior 1 US Open to the World Championship was also an excellent event when an 8 couple final was called, and here Susan Miller w/Ricky Bentzen won every dance. Second in all dances in this championship went to Nora Fox w/Plamen Danailov, and third in all was awarded to Astrid Rush w/Ivan Mulyavka. Evelyn Lamden w/ Daniel Vasco placed fourth 4,6,4,4,4. Jan McElroy w/ Andriy Velychko took fifth 6,5,5,6,5, and sixth went to Phillipa Zemelman w/ Marcus Johnson 7,4,6,5,6, seventh was Ibis Wu w/Mykhailo Bilopukhov 5,7,7,7,7, and in eighth place was Sheila Tuck w/ Tommy Radon and she took 8th in all dances.
The Senior 2 US Open was also a good competition and this championship went to Rica Zamora w/ Sinisa Vasic placing first in all three dances. Second place overall went to Toni Mullins w/ Tomasz Wlodarski with these scores 3,2,2, and third place was awarded to Jackie Siegel w/ Daniel Vasco 2,3,4. Joan Endres w/ Gene Bersten placed fourth 4,4,3; Susan Sordoni w/ Francesco Arieta were fifth in all dances, Haru Wladyka w/ Alex Senko took all sixths and Ram Viswanathan w/ Sarika Hudson took seventh
The Turn of the “All-Rounders!”
Last night was day 2 for the “all-rounders,” the 10-dancers and the 9-dancers.
The International 10-Dance division and the American 9-Dance division are danced over two nights and they both concluded last night.
In the 10-Dance it was Ballroom first and Latin last night. We saw new champions in the 10-Dance, Jonas Kazlauskas & Kathleen Ilo. They were the winners of the Latin section finishing 1,2,1,1,1 in the Ballroom they were 2nd in all dances. Simeon & Kora Stoynov placed second overall - they were third in 8 dances and second in the paso doble and jive. Igor Coloc & Roxane Milotti were third overall and it is a little sad that although Igor & Roxane won all the Ballroom dances would they could only mange fifth in the Latin dances. From fourth place down as you will see the marks got very varied. Dymytrii Goncharov & Tetiana Lutsenko took 4th placement with these marks, in the Ballroom 6,7,5,6,6, and in the Latin 4,1,2,4,3. Aleksei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva were fifth, Dmytriy Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano were sixth, leaving seventh position to Daniel Buhala & Natalie Bekker.
The US National Professional American 9-Dance Championships was down to a 10-couple final result. The clear winners of this interesting event were Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka and they won 6 out of their nine dances and placed second in the waltz, tango and third in their VW. Clearly second overall in this heat were Maksyn Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth. They won both waltzes, placed second in all the Rhythm dances and third in the tango, foxtrot. Third place went to Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov. They placed third in all the Rhythm dances, and fifth in the waltz and foxtrot, and sixth in the tango,VW. Fourth overall were Daniil Rostvinschii & Yulia Rudenco with these marks 3,1,2,2 in the Smooth. Their weakness is their Rhythm dances they placed 7th in all these dances. Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov place fifth overall with very mixed marks 6,5,6,5,4,4,5,4,4. Sixth place Jan & Adele Don had a little les cluttered marks 4,4,4,4,6,6,6,5,6. Seventh was awarded to Viktor Tkchenko & Yuliya Lukina 7,7,7,7,5,5,4,6,5. Leo Mora & Christina Garced placed eighth in every dance. 9th place went to Juan Martinez & Elayna Bottinelli, 10th place went to Vincent McLain & Natalie Cardenas.
The US National Professional Cabaret Championships was excellent and very exciting. Taking first place with a majority of first places from the judges were Shane & Shannon Jensen. As we just mentioned this couple got the majority of firsts and they only had one mark lower than second and this was 4th place, awarded to them by Armando Martin. Also securing a comfortable second place with a majority of second places was Travis & Jaimee Tuft. Third place overall was awarded to Mykhalio Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko. Fourth place went to Clyde Harris & Summer Elkin; fifth were Clifton Sepulveda & Mar Martinez; sixth were Alleynendrov Tsorokean & Maria Wheeler; seventh position went to Zacharry Pohl & Ariel Freilich and eighth position went to Israel Lobo & Olivia Williams.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that the US National Professional Latin Showdance Championship moved from the afternoon to primetime. Most of these routines are quite entertaining and great for the audience to see and enjoy. Winning this with a majority of firsts were Andre & Natalie Paramonov, the only low mark awarded to them came from Forrest Vance who gave them a third place. Second overall went to Pasha Pashkov & Daniela Karagach, and third place was awarded to Ivan Kudashev & Ksenia Sokolova.
The US Open to the World National Pro/Am Smooth Championships were great and very challenging, the “A” division went to Whitney Myers with professional partner Evgeny Malko, they placed first in every dance with a majority of firsts in every dance. Second overall and in every dance was awarded to Brittany Falconer w/ Peter Walker. Third went to Alina Sakura w/ Adrian Dydynski and they placed 3,4,3,3T. Fourth place was awarded to Natasha Namen w/ Alexandr Skriptsov 4,3,6,3T. There was a tie between fifth and sixth place that had to be broken with a Rule (10), after this rule was applied Kailee Donovan w/ Gunnar Sverrisson was fifth 6,5,5,5, and Jessica Mancini w/ Golden Parker was sixth 5,6,4,6.
As you will see the “B” category was hard fought and in the end it came down to a tie that had to be broken by a Rule (11) decision. Karen Angell w/ Gleb Makarov won overall after that rule (11) decision, here are her marks 2,1,2,1. Elizabeth Rocco w/ Eric Hudson placed second after that rule (11) decision and here are her marks 1,2,1,2. However, third place was very clear and this went to Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Sochacki 3,3,3,5; fourth place Mariana Lyoff w/ Vlad Kosarev 4,4,4,3; fifth went to Selene Steelman w/ Travis Tuft 6,5,5,4, and sixth was awarded to Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev 5,6,6,6.
There was a full semifinal round in the “C” and it is amazing how prepared everyone looked right from the start. Lisa Lowery w/ Roman Malkhasyan won overall by placing first in three dances and second in the waltz. Lynn Shanahan w/ Darius Mosteika was second overall and she won the waltz and placed second in the other three dances. Third place went to Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov 3,3,4,5; fourth was Sophia D’Angelo w/ Max Sinitsa 5,5,3,3; fifth place was awarded to Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet 4,4,5,4; sixth went to Alla Neyshtadt w/ Sergey Vasilyev 6,7,6,6, and in seventh place was Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza 7,6,7,7.
The Senior I had a tie for first place between two competitors, this tie had to be broken with a rule (11) decision and when it was over Paul Duhaime w/ Daryll Sverrisson took first place here are his scores 1,2,2,1. Second then went to Judi Markell w/ Pavel Cherdantsau with these marks 2,1,1,2. In third place was Marianne Helleberg w/ Andrea Marta taking third in every dance. Fourth was Gloria Baker w/ Nazar Norov; fifth went to Martha Sethavanish w/ Kris Suakjian 6,5,5,5, and sixth was Pat Luthy w/ Vladimir Popov 5,6,6,6.
The Senior II was also an excellent event and here a seven couple was called. Marianne Helleberg w/ Andrea Marta moved up to first in every dance. Second place was awarded to Georganna Beuerman w/ Max Sinitsa 3,2,2,2. Third went to Jane Dippong w/ Tony Scheppler 4,3,3,4; fourth was Joan Page w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 2,5,4,5. Fifth was awarded to Buck Lindsay w/ Yulia Besarab. There was a tie for sixth place that once again had to be broken with a rule (11) decision. In the end Feminia Mac w/ Vladimir Popov was sixth 7,6,6,7, and Nati Ross w/ Pavel Volynskiy was seventh 6,7,7,6.
There were two US National Professional Rising Star Events, the most interesting of the two in volume and quality was the Smooth. It began with a huge first round and six couples made the final. The overall winners by winning every dance with a huge majority of first were Slava & Valeriia Kostianets, but from here down we could see that it was a difficult decision for the judges to make, their marks were all over the place for the rest of the couples. Second place overall by placing second in every dance were Danil Eostvinschii & Yulia Rudenko. Third place went to Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts and they placed third in the W,T and fourth in the F,VW. Maksim Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth were fourth 4,5,3,3; Morten Jensen & Ashley Mokris were fifth 5,4,6,5; Matt Rivers & Maliwan Diemer were sixth 6,6,5,6.
The second Professional US National Rising Star event was the Latin. This event started with a full semifinal round and seven couples were called back for the final. The winners were Sergey & Daria Chyslov placing second in three dances and first in the rumba and paso. In looking at the marks the only dance that was won with a majority of firsts was the paso doble and this dance was taken by the winners. This result was very interesting as you see the winners won by wining just two first places, they then really on the second or better to win the title. The second place couple, Sasha Altukhov & Cheyenne Murillo also took first in 2 dances in the cha cha and jive, and two second places in the rumba and paso, the one mark that brought there hopes down for the top placement was the samba, here they took 3rd. Clearly in third place by wining the samba and placing third in the other four dances were Andrii Voloshko & Kateryna Krylenko. Fourth in all dances went to Ivan Kudashev & Ksenia Sokolova, fifth was awarded to Vlad Astafiev & Annie He-Xiao 6,6,5,5,5; sixth went to Oleksy Kozhukhar & Olecksa Kharchenko 5,5,6,6,6 and Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker were 7th in all.
Tonight we are expecting to see the US National Professional Rhythm & Ballroom Championships as well as the US Mambo as well as US Open to the world and national Pro/Am Championships
So “Scary,” but Delightfully Entertaining and Exciting!
The US National Theatrical Dance Championship was one of the first events yesterday night here in Orlando, Florida, home of our US Dance Championships.
This division is the only division where the couples dance and perform “lifts” all at the same time. They are totally professional and we know there won’t be an issue, but it is still a little scary even to us.
5 couples took to the floor all ready and prepared. The chosen dance this year was the Viennese Waltz, but couples were also allowed to do Paso Doble if they wished, and that is because the song was the theme from “Pirates of the Caribbean” and you could easily do both dances. At first it was okay because the couples all spaced themselves far from one another, but by the end they were nearly all bunched up in the middle and our hearts began to pump faster than usual. However, we worried for nothing, the couples all performed well and no one nicked anyone and there were no “fender benders” for the number of minutes that it went on. The clear winners of this US title were Shane & Shannon Jensen who won with the majority of firsts from the judges, 10 out of the 15 judges awarded them first place marks the rest had them second.
Second in this very exiting Theater Arts Championship went to Travis & Jamie Tuft who took 10 second places and 5 firsts from the judges. Third was awarded to Clyde Harris & Summer Elkin, fourth went to Alyenendrov Tsorokean & Maria Wheeler and fifth went to Zachary Pohl & Ariel Freilich.
Another great event to warm us up for what it is to come later in the week was the US National Professional Classic Showdance. This event like the Theater Arts was small but “mighty,” with four couples entered. Here Alexander & Veronica Voskalchuk took the majority of firsts with nine judges awarding them first place marks and 5 second place marks and a 3rd. Second overall went to previous US Classic Showdance Champions, Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlanta Rudkovskaya. Their marks were a little more varied but they still managed to take 6 first place marks away from the new crowned champions. Third place was awarded to Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova and in fourth place were Jonas Kazlauskas & Kathleen Ilo
The biggest event of the night with huge entries was the Rising Star Rhythm. This started with about 40 couples and it must have been a difficult job for the judges, because in the final not one couple had a majority of firsts in any dance. The winners overall took first in four dances and placed second in the rumba, Alberto Cortes & Jessa Mae Briones. Second overall was awarded to Kristijan Burazer & Anja Imamovic 2,1,2,2,2, and third went to Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker with these scores - 5,4,3,4,5. As you can see it got a little tougher for the judges as they went down. Fourth was awarded to Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman 3,3,6,6,4; fifth went to Matthew Hauer & Jerjomina 6,6,5,5,3; sixth were Toshko Kondov & Kristen Dobson 4,5,4,7,6, and in seventh position were Jang & Adele Don.
The US National Professional Rising Star International Ballroom had a full semifinal round and here a 7 couples was called for the final. The easy winners were Radu Sterva & Xenia Cletova who one all dances and managed to take the Quickstep with a clear majority of firsts. Second in this heat overall was awarded to Earle Williamson & Liana Bakhtiarova with these marks 4,2,2,3,2, and third went to Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna 2,4,3,2,4. Slava Kostianets & Valerii Kostianets placed fourth 5,3,4,5,3, Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson were fifth 3,5,5,4,5; Anatolii Repliuk & Ruslana Mamaysur were sixth in all dances and Aleksandr Skriptsov & Aida Skriptsova were seventh in all dances.
The US Open To The World Pro/Am Rhythm Scholarships also took place last night and they were all very well attended, in fact this year two full days of Rhythm competition took place here at the US Championships. The “B” category continues to be dominated by a gentleman, Giovanni Fortezza dancing with Jolanta Mostika and he won all dances with a full majority of firsts in all dances. Second in this heat went to Karen Angel w/ Gleb Makarov and she placed third in the cha cha and second in the other four dances. Third was awarded to Mariana Lvoff w/ Vlad Kosarev 2,3,4,3,3. Kelly Wain w/ Vlad Astafiev was fourth 4,4,3,4,4; fifth went to Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev taking fifth in all dances; Nataliya Avila w/ Todd Travis was sixth 6,7,6,6,6, and Irene Wong w/ John Campbell placed seventh 7,6,7,7,8, leaving eighth place to Kristin Casella w/ Ronald Guillen 8,8,8,8,7.
The “C” division went to Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan and she won all dances with a full majority of firsts and a perfect score from all the judges in the swing, Lynn could have easily had perfect scores in the cha cha, rumba, but Victoria Regan awarded her second in these two dances. Second overall in this heat was awarded to Lisa Lowery w/ Roman Malakhasyan taking second in all dances. Third in all dances went to Maria Green w/ Toshko Kondov; Ceci Torres w/ Eddie Rivera was fourth also in all dances. Fifth was Ingrid Pessa w/ Jean-Michele Erole and she took all fifths and in sixth position was Scott Magnesen w/ Yana Zhyvkov.
Mengqi Huang w/ Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine won the Open A Rhythm, but it was a closely fought division. Mengqi placed 1,3,1,1,1 but had the majority of first places in only cha cha. Close to her in all dances was the runner-up, Marinda James-Hesket w/ Jeremy Pilling 2,1,2,2,2. Marinda had first places in all dances. Gabrielle Devita w/ Maksim Lototskyy took 3rd 3,4,3,3,3. Taking that 2nd place in rumba and 5,4,4,4 in the others for a 4th place overall was Alina Sakura w/ Aaron DeSoto. 5th Katia Diamond w/ Danas Jaksevicius 4,5,5,5,5; 6th Sophia Montanez w/ Daniel Vasco 6,6,6,6,6; 7th Ivy Kaplin w/ Francesco Arietta.
Quin Bommelje w/ Mikhail Vlasov won the Open S2, defending a title she won last year. Quin won all dances with clear majorities of 1st places. Susan Miller w/ Hayk Arshakian was the runner-up 2,2,2,4,2. 3rd and 4th places were determined by a Rule 11 tiebreak. Leslie McLeode w/ Melbin De La Cruz got the nod, 3,3,3T,3,4 over Lois Fein w/ Aleksandr Vukosavljevic 4,4,3T2,3. 5th in all dances went to Janet Bruttell w/ Dmitry Zavialov; 6th Nidia Chediak w/ Kyrylo Khytrov 6,7,6,6,6; 7th Lynn Hayes w/ Tim Pennenga 7,6,7,7,7.
We saw our 2nd gentleman winner in the S2 division, Buck Lindsay w/ Yulia Besarab 2,1,1. 2nd went to Nati Ross w/ Pavel Volynskiy 1,3,2; 3rd Anne Goldstein w/ Andre Gergel 4,2,3; 4th Sheila Tuck w/ Tommy Radon 3,4,4; 5th Jane McCarthy w/ Melbin DeLa Cruz 5,5,5; 6th Sylvia Gulley w/ Fonzi Zapata 6,6,6,6; Ram Viswanathan w/ Sarika Hudson 7,7,7.