Holiday Classic 2017 - Back at the Luxor

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Last Day at the Holiday!

Yesterday was the last day of the Holiday, during the day we had the silver, gold and Open Ballroom pro/am competitions and the evening concluded with only two professional events, the Professional Smooth and the Professional Latin.

Out of the two professional events the smooth ended up having a surprise ending to this packed year of competitions.

When looking at the program for most of the attendees the obvious winners of the Smooth division would have been Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova, this of course was due to the absence of the US Champions, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija and the Travis & Jaimiee Tuft. However, when the results were announced we were told there was a complete tie and it was left to an Rule 11 decision between Max & Tatiana who placed 2,1,1,2, and Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smirnova 1,2,2,1.

So after counting every single mark, it seems that Yegor & Alexandra were the winners with 40 marks “second or better,” leaving Max & Tatiana holding second with 38 marks “second or better” and getting further and further from their dream to be the best of the best in the land of the Smooth anytime soon. Had it been on the days of the pencil and pen, this might have delayed the result until every mark was counted but nowadays with the help of the computer the Rule 11 decision was tabulated instantly by the computer. For us, in this heat I think we could have gone with Max & Tatiana, but obviously their waltzes are not having a positive affect with the majority of the judges, and forget counting the marks this is where their problem lays.

We could go on about other alternative reasons for the interesting result but we most continue with the couple that was perhaps overshadowed by this result and that is Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina who placed third in every dance and who were good enough to steal four first place marks from the last two couples mentioned, 1 in the waltz and 3 in the Viennese Waltz. If our predictions are accurate, we think also that the top two couples will soon have more to be concerned about than a rule 11 decision. Roman, for a few of the onlookers in this competition, was the best gentleman on the floor and Galina brings her experience, her cool attitude and her amazing talent that made her a runner-up in the US Championships.

Fourth in the parade of talent went to Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarb placing fourth in all dances, and we must also mention the new kids on the block, Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Natalie Crandal who placed fifth overall with these marks 6,5,5,5. We think they too have a complete package and one that will soon be also challenging for very high ground. Like Roman Malhasyan, Olkesiy is a fantastic gentleman partner who not only has power but finesse in his moves and lots of talent to be explored. We seem to be getting lots of incredible man nowadays in the Smooth, so is the move in the Smooth gearing up to be where the man actually shines and the lady supports? And we most conclude this Smooth review with the couple that placed sixth overall and that is Slava Kostianets & Valeria Kostianiest who placed sixth overall with these marks 5,6,6,6. We think they were possibly a little disappointed with this position but we most point out that they are a couple that dances two styles and so they have to work twice as much as the other couples doing just four dances. Yes, it must have been a little disappointing but all we can say is, “you have the toold, you must now make Smooth your own and start showing us what you can do with these four dances, you have the opportunity to bring us to another level, take it!”

The Professional Latin was an excellent competition here at the Holiday but did not manage to generate as much drama as the Smooth. However, the competition started with a full semifinal round and it had some excellent players in it. The winners in all dances, all with a majority of firsts from the judges, were Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina. This couple nearly got perfect scores in the cha cha had it not been for Ron Montez who awarded them a third place in this dance, and come to think of it in every dance. For us in the peanut gallery there was no competition, the only challenge that perhaps might have been presented for them was that of Artur Tarnaskyy & Anastasia Danilova who placed second in every dance and who took a number of firsts from this couple in the rumba, 4 to be exact.

Ivan Mulyavka & Karin Rooba placed third overall with these marks 4,3,3,4,3, Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova were fourth overall 3,4,4,3,4, and fifth overall went to Lukas & Simona Alisauskas from Luthuania 5,5,5,5,6 and in sixth position were Andrii Voloshko & Kateyrna Kyrylenko 6,6,6,6,5.

The show presented by the Brooklyn Dancesport Academy and directed by Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova and featuring the recently retired Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk, was worthy of a standing ovation. All numbers were beautifully executed and brilliantly choreographed and totally worthy of the top billing at this Holiday Dance Classic, always known for their evening shows.  One very seasoned observer commented that it was "the best show he had ever seen!"

The Open Pro-Am Ballroom Scholarships were especially difficult to judge.

The Open A was won by Sabine Blyth w/ Davide Gozzi 2,1,1,1,1.  The winner of the waltz was Miwa Rifu w/ Peter Walker and she was 2nd overall 1,2,3,2,2.  3rd was Charlotte Marotto w/ Egor Abshkin 3,3,2,4,3.  4th and 5th was a tie sorted out by Rule 10.  Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Faraci was 4th 5,4,4,5,4 and Irene Lee w/ Egor Bezukladinova was 5th 4,5,5,3,5.  6th went to Brenda Dalzell w/ Eveny Mayorov took 6th in all dances.

Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold won the Open B.  She won all dances but only VW and quickstep with the majority of 1st places.  Sabrina Zagolin w/ Yuriy Kravets was 2nd in all and Laura Shooks w/ Alexander Voskalchuk was 3rd in all.  Julia Zhou w/ Denis Kutepov took 4th 4,5,4,4,4; 5th Donna Hung w/ Christian Radvan 5,4,5,5,5; 6th Julie Chang w/ Oscar Pedrinelli 7,6,6,7,6; 7th Susana Yu w/ Igor Mikushov 6,7,7,6,7.

The Open C went to Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano and she won all dances with a majority of firsts in all.  Jenny Du w/ Dariusz Michalski took 2nd in all dances.  Lynn Murrel w/ Alexander Voskalchuk was 3rd in all dances - perhaps she could have expected better.  Charlene Proctor w/ Igor Kiselev finished strongly with 4th overall 4,5,4,4,6.  5th Valerie Arias w/ Yevgeny Klyukin 7,4,5,5,4; 6th Paige Riffle w/ Iarslav Bieliei 6,6,7,6,5; 7th Leila DeNotaristefani w/ Igor Mikushov 5,7,6,7,7.

The Open Senior1 went to Canada - Deborah Leibow w/ Alon Gilin 1,2,1,1; 2nd Connie Lam w/ Evgeny Mayorov 2,1,3,2; 3rd Rosie Tsai w/ Karlis Trejis 3,3,2,3.

Our congratulations to Wendy Johnson, Sam Sodano & Mary Murphy for always giving us this terrific competition to conclude the year on the highest note possible.

To Mark or not to Mark?

Last night the competitions at the Holiday Classic were fierce, and prior to the announcement of the marks we were left wondering how the judges would mark these couples.

The Professional Rhythm was a perfect example of that, once the competition was over, the chatter around was about who might take first second and even third spot, and who they marked and who they did not mark?

The clear winners overall by winning four dances and placing second in the mambo were Andre & Natalie Paramonov, and we must point out that even though the chatter after the competition was that it was not their best performance they still won four dances with a majority of firsts from the judges in these four dances. We totally have to agree with the chatter, this performance was not their best considering they just came from an excellent performance at the Ohio Star Ball. To us their performance was a little shy and careful almost as if their confidence level had been hit hard, and they were preparing for the worst. However, the chatter did not match the result with the exception of the mambo where they took second overall, they only lost 3 marks in the cha cha, 4 marks in the rumba, swing, and bolero, and the lowest mark in these dances were 3rd places. The only mark to get anything lower than a third was the mambo where they took 3 seconds, 2 thirds, 2 fourths, and one fifth.

The one couple that for us had an explosive performance and perhaps to explosive for their own good was Vard Margarian & Inga Demetryan, who placed second overall with these marks 2,2,2,3,1. We have to say that in energy alone you could not miss this couple and as we sometimes say, the energy was so that you could see them from a plane. The judges did award them a few of the firsts that the Paramonovs lost but they also took some very low marks and even a sixth in the rumba from Mr. John Nyemcheck and a fifth in the mambo from Linda Dean. From the sidelines we thought their performance was good enough to placed second or even win, but as we earlier said, some energy was wasted with unnecessary bursts that might have caused them some lower marks in the process.

Third overall went to Shane & Shannon Jensen, placing third in 3 dances, second in the bolero and fourth in the mambo. For us this was a very strong performance for this couple, even though when looking, the marks were very varied from first to sixth place in many of their dances. A perfect example of the judges’ indecision was the rumba where they took an impressive 4 first place marks, but next to this were also two eye-opening sixth place marks.

From here down things got a little more calm for the judges. Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin took fourth overall, by placing fourth in four dances and third in the mambo. As you must notice the judges were all over the place when it comes to this truly American style dance, not one of the couples got a form mark on this illusive mambo. Personally we truly enjoyed this couple’s performance last night and they could possibly have placed one spot higher, this might have been expected by Dymitri & Olena. When the awards were announced we could tell the disappointment in their faces, something that it is very unusual from this young professional couple.

Two excellent new couples, hit this floor at this competition and they placed fifth and sixth. Toshko Kondov & Kristen Dobson took fifth overall with these marks 5,5,5,5,6 and Anton Tregubov & Ashley Sanchez took sixth with these marks 6,6,6,6,5. For us it was like a tennis game we had to keep looking back and fourth between these two couples, but in the marks the judges went to Rising Star winners of this Holiday Classic for the fifth placed Toshko & Kristen who took fifth on form.

The Professional Ballroom also took place on this night and it should have been a fantastic final with perhaps some of the best couples in the nation on the floor. However, for us it took nearly four dances before they engaged our enthusiasm. When looking around for an answer during this heat, it seemed that the audience and the couples were all comatose, with the audience sitting there with their mouths open and not giving much encouragement to this terrific Ballroom group, and the dancers in return, not inspired to give their very best that we have seen many times in the near past. In the end for us and for the sake of leaving us with something, and as if it was coordinated, they all really gave us a terrific foxtrot and quickstep, something we were glad to see considering we had been waiting for more as we saw them take the floor.

The winners here in this ballroom final were Aleksander & Veronika Voskalchuck, and they won all dances with a majority of firsts in all dances. The only two judges to award them nothing but third and fourth place marks in all dances were Mr. Dennis Rogers and Mr. Eddie Simon. Aleksander & Veronika are usually very consistent in their performance and we totally agreed with this placement but we would have loved to see them really go for it. However, we felt that perhaps as we just mentioned earlier they were not really challenged from the bottom up, and so a good enough performance is just what we got, for a good enough audience.

Iaroslav & Lilia Bieliei placed second overall, we say overall because they took third in the waltz, once again a little unexpected since this couple is usually very correct in their movements and their body positions are nearly perfect. As you can see from the marks this couple had a rough start in this final, they did not get a single first place mark in this waltz but did accumulate a couple of fifth place marks from the judges. Things got a little better from the waltz on and they did steal a number of first place marks from Aleksander & Veronika, especially in the foxtrot where they were awarded 6 first place marks, the exact amount of firsts Aleksander & Veronika got in this dance.

Vladishlav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova took second in the waltz and third in the other four dances, placing them in third position overall. Vladishlav & Ekaterina also took a couple of first place marks from the top couple, 2 in each of the waltzes, and one in the tango. However, here to we wanted to see some sparks, action and inspiration but basically like with the other couples we got instead some perspiration in the first three dances.

Just about when we were about to go back to our seats and stop looking, Igor Mikushov & Ekaterina Romanskina were the first to catch our eye in the foxtrot with their musical interpretation of this dance. Then the fever spread out and all the couples were finally giving us something to chew on. Like a set of lights from an Xmas tree, all the couples turn on like a bright holiday string of lights and we then lost count as to who to look at. Like Santa, the couples finally delivered and we have very little to say except we just enjoyed and went out to celebrate. Igor & Ekaterina took these marks 4,5,4,4,5,.

Fifth overall went to Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcokova 5,4,5,5,4, who by the way brought the house down later in the show with their “Blue Man” routine, where they cleverly played with a light at the end of their fingers, while dancing to an excellent and very appropriate piece of music. Last but not least placing sixth in all dances were Andrii Mykhailov & Anna Bohachova.

The Professional Exhibition/Cabaret competition was interesting to say the least. As nearly always Shane & Shannon Jensen stole the night and brought the house down with their interpretation of “You Konw How it Feels” that by the way was perfection in motion to us and for all the judges who awarded them perfect score in this performance. Second in this professional heat was awarded to Nathan Brouwer & Dena Geiger Weiner, here the word scary comes to mind. The gentleman seemed on the verge of dropping her on the head or on the judges’ head. The one great thing here is the lady had absolutely no awareness of this and we think this saved their performance Third went to Staz Dawson & Jacklyn Gonyea with a very appropriate Christmas flavored routine, “When You Wish Upon a Star.” We wish we could have said this was our second favorite but it was not, their work was excellently executed and the lady looked beautiful. The gentleman on the other hand looked a little disheveled by the end of their performance, as if he had worked super hard building a wall or something. Couples you must remember the performance has to look right from beginning to end. In fourth place was a well put together Michael & Janet Jackson routine performed by Piero della Santini & Alessandra Gonzalez. We thought it could have been placed a little higher on the fact that, “A” it was not scary, “B” it was well put together and “C” their feet never left the floor.

There was a also a good Amateur Latin division that began with a semifinal. Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler were the easy winners taking all dances with a strong majority of 1st places. Nikolai Tarasov & Sarah Nolan were 2nd 2T,2,2,2,2,. They had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in the 4 dances they were 2nd. With 2T,3,3,3,3 Silvio-Antonio Anselmi & Eleonora Riccardi were 3rd. Allen Rudman & Svetlana Lisna were 4th in all, Casey & Kayci Treu were 5th in all and Nathan Murstein & Alina Odintsova were 6th.

The show was short and sweet with five great numbers and also the judges dancing together.  The featured acts were a jazzy opening by Russel Jackson, Marcus Johnson & Peter Walker.  Three couples reprised their showdance routines from Ohio - Oscar & Lenka, Iarosalv & Lillia (their gender bending number) and Danus Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi (their 80's workout number) and Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlana Rudkovskaya performed their comedy showdance. It was great to see Hanna Karttunen & Ron Montez take to the floor after their amazing recovery from their hip replacements, Eddie Simon & Sarwat Kaluby do their Egyptian routine serpent head dress and all, Marat Gimaev & Maria Manusova’s energetic cha cha, Jackie Rogers the Chairman with Mr. Rogers doing a swing of swings, and just to mention one more, our MC and judge Mark Brock, hustling a very freaky reindeer! Oh dear! It was all quite fun for all and especially for the judges to get out there and have some fun.

Today we have the continuation of the pro/am Ballroom and some very exciting evening events - the Professional Latin and Smooth are on the schedule and we look forward to the night.

Holiday Rising!

Last night at the Holiday Dance Classic, the day concluded with the Professional Rising Star events and we saw four terrific competitions.

The four events were well set up in quality and in quantity and the night ended with a stellar Smooth competition.

The Professional Smooth had 3 rounds, but in the end the 6-couple final was excellent and this is how we saw it. First place went to Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Natalie Crandel who placed second in the waltz and first in the remaining 3 dances. For us this was almost a forgone conclusion, Oleksiy & Natalie stuck out from beginning to end and unlike many of the men on the final Oleksiy, tends to not just support his partner but he truly performs giving his partner a great set up for her skill to also shine. It was very surprising for us to see them lose a dance and truly surprising to see they only won the foxtrot with a majority of first. This is a true example that the judges’ impression is usually a lot different from the audience’s. They have analysed each couple within the minute thirty and we as audience do not, we are there to enjoy and see the competition develop and not have to pass judgment on all couples.

Second overall and wining the waltz were Jan & Adele Don with these marks 1,3,2,3, it is obvious by the variety of the marks from here down that besides Oleksiy & Natalie the judges were very divided in what they liked. Looking slightly shocked by the result and placing third overall were David Estrada & Megan Mendoza 4,2,3,2, as you can see the waltz really weighted them down. For us the second place could have gone either way and I think for most judges as well with the exception of the waltz. We must really compliment David & Megan on their look, we loved the loose hair with bright flowers on top, in our opinion not many ladies can get away with this loose hair but for us you did last night. Since we last saw them Megan has lost a few pounds and that beautiful dress really fitted like a glove and complimented her look. Perhaps more attention should be placed on the waltz, a 4th in this dance sends a signal that you really need to look at this very important dance.

Fourth in this Smooth heat went to Stephan McCann & Elisa Seja 3,4,4,4; fifth were Jason Rivers & Meghan McNash placing fifth in all dances and sixth were Przemek Fokt & Katt Baumgartner.

The smallest of all the Rising Star events last night and losing a round due to couples withdrawing, was the Rising Star Latin. Here a seven-couple final was called and when looking at the marks from the judges it too was not an easy decision to make. The winners overall by placing 4th in the cha cha and first in the other 4 dances were Lukas & Simona Aliksauskas from Lithuania. We have to confess we did not see this coming but we must point out that this couple won the rumba, paso and jive with a majority of firsts from the judges. Second overall was awarded to Sergey Savelyev & Kristina Cheremnykh 1,3,2,3,2, Third went to Felipe Edmiston & Darinka Divljak 3,2,3,2,3; fourth were Danny Arbour & Justine Rainville from Canada, who placed fourth in all dances. Dmitriy Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano were fifth in all, Richard Peters & Olya Peters placed sixth with these marks 6,7,6,6,7, and to conclude seventh position was awarded to Peter & Pascui Krajewski 7,6,7,7,6.

The Professional Rising Star Rhythm was a three-round affair and here Toshko Kondov & Kristen Dobson won all dances but we must mention that only the swing they won with a majority of firsts from the judges. We have to say that here we thought the judges and the audience were very much in accord, there was a lot of enthusiasm around us for this couple and both the judges and audience got their way in the end. Second was awarded to Kristijan Burazer & Anja Imamovic 2,3,2,2,3, as you will see things got a little more indecisive here from the judges perspective, Kristijan & Anja were second literally by one dance, while Anton Tregubov & Ashley Sanches were third overall by one dance 3,2,3,3,2. From here down things got more relaxed Jan & Adele Don were fourth in all dances, Johnny Bryant & Ksenia Stavrica placed fifth in all and Daniele Cavallo & Leela Fazzuoli were sixth.

The Professional Rising Star Ballroom went to Andrii Mikhailov & Anna Bohachova who won all dances, the waltz was the only dance they did not win with a majority of firsts from the judges. From the sidelines they were the comfortable winners, we have to mention that it was nice to see them also feel and emote the music a lot more on this outing. In the past we have admired their technical skills but felt that they lacked more passion and musicality, but last night was a different performance. Second went to Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna 2,3,2,2,2; third were Slava Kostianets & Valeriia Kostaniets placing third in the tango and second in the other four dances. Fourth in all went to Sergey Izyumov & Oksana Zaver who took all fourths; fifth in all was awarded to Dmitriy Solomakha & Gabriella Sevillano and sixth were Ira Pollock & Noelle Sun.

The Amateur Ballroom was a very exiting competition with three very accomplished front-runners. The winner was Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli With these marks 2,1,1,1,1, but we most point out that although they were very correct in their technical skill and perhaps very deserving of this position, the two right behind gave them a run for their first place in creativity and musicality. They narrowly lost the waltz and had the majority of 1st places in the other dances. Mikhail Vorobiev & Natalia Kozhevnikova placed second overall, 1,2,2,2,2 but from the sidelines for us they could have easily won more dances. Third placed Artur Nabok & Michelle Yiu was a little careless sometimes with their maneuvers but their heart and soul were totally in their performance, they felt the music and they danced the music. They placed 3rd in all. Fourth was awarded to Stefan Badea & Madalina Varlam; fifth went to Casey & Kayci Treu and sixth were Jaren Hopkin & Carli Treu-Ralph. The last 3 placed in the same position in all dances.

The competition started at 7AM with the pro/am Latin competition and it was a tough day of rounds and great pro/am performances. The Open Scholarships ended the afternoon and were the best of the competition so far with large and high-quality entries.

The Open A was returned as an 8-couple final (from 16) and the judges appeared extremely divided on the outcome. No competitor received more than 3 first places in any dance (from a panel of 7). The winner was Vera Xu w/ Jakub Zeglin 2,2,1,1,1. We thought Vera was the most consistent and yet this did not stop a couple of 8th place marks. In fact, like most competitors, Vera received probably every placement. 2nd 1,1,2,2,2, went to Liang Ying w/ Yegor Novikov – another strong performer but who also drew some 6th and 7th placements from some judges. From here down the placements were really scattered. 3rd, Estefania Papadopulous w/ Paul Richardson 5,3,3,3,4; 4th Shiori Yagishita w/ Vladyslav Bohdanov 4,5,4,5,5; 5th Romina Brignardello w/ Jesse Valvasori 3,6,5,8,3; 6th Katerina Constatinou w/ Ivan Mulyavka 6,4,6,4,6T; 7th Yingna Nam w/ Yiri Kosydar 8,7,7,6,6T; 8th KJ Mills w/ Hope Jackson 7,8,8,7,8. We must say we felt KJ would place higher and a couple of judges did place him in the top 3.

Missy White w/ Genya Bartashevich won the Open B and although there were also some scattered scoring from the judges, Missy won all dances and had the majority of firsts in the last 2. With 2,2,2,3,2, Diane Lane w/ Oleg Astakov took 2nd but 3rd and 4th places were separated by a Rule 10 tiebreak with the nod going to Sabrina Nirchi w/ Danny Arbour (Canada) 4,3,3,4,3 over Colette Marotto w/ Oleksiy Lytvyn 3,4,4,2,4. 5th Carrie Strinmetz w/ Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine 5,6,6,5,5; 6th Cecilla Che w/ Dmitri Mikulich 6,5,5,6,6.

In keeping with the other divisions, the Open C was also hotly contested. Winning today was Rhonda Lynch w/ Stephen McCann 2,1,1,2,1. Rhonda had the majority of 1st places in samba. Close behind in 2nd place was Sophia D’Angleo w/ Nikolai Pilipenchuk 1,2,2,1,2. Sophia had the majority of 1st places in paso. With 3,3,4,3,3, Tasha Romero w/ Myhailo Bilopukhov was 3rd and 4,4,3,4,5 gave Deborah Leibow w/ Alon Gilin (Canada) 4th. Andrea Bennington w/ Ivan Mulyavka was 5th 5,5T5,5,4. We thought she could have been higher. 6th went to Shelly Dony w/ Dmitry Ilyushenov 6,5T,6,6,6.

Today in the ballroom was “ugly Christmas sweater” day. You can see the judges got into it!

Holiday Classic 2017 Back at the Luxor

Have you been naughty or nice?

Ask JT Thomas & Brandy Gillin-Bangs if they’re on the “naughty or nice” list! The two ladies helped out in the “on-deck” area in their favorite Christmas sweaters yesterday.  Holiday Classic is always a nice balance between the Holidays and the last competition of the year.

The Holiday Classic is back at The Luxor Resort for 2017 and once again it is breaking the 10,000 entry mark, making it one of the largest competitions in the USA. Organizers are Wendy Johnson, Mary Murphy & Sam Sodano.

Over the first 2 days we saw all of the American Style pro-am divisions – both were long days from early morning to late at night. We began with the Rhythm divisions.

Mengqui Huang w/ Emmanuel Pierre Antoine continued her winning streak in the Open A Rhythm winning 3 of the 5 dances this time. The other 2 dances were won by 2 different competitors. Sophia Montanez w/ Steve Vasco won the mambo and placed 2nd overall 3,2,2,3,1. Levina Kasmara w/ Daniel Vasco won the bolero and finished 3rd overall 2,3,3,1,3. Michelle Young w/ Scott Koogle was 4th in all dances.

Karen Angell w/ Gleb Makarov won all dances in the Open B and had the majority of 1st places in all dances. All competitors in this division finished in the same position in every dance. 2nd was Tina Musico w/ Marcio DeSouza; 3rd Joanna Tatem w/ Mariusz Zakrzewski; 4th Thara Salamone w/ Jim Maranto; 5th Gylnn Selesnick w/ Peter Edwards; 6th Steve Takata w/ Harmony Munroe.

The Open C had the most mixed results overall although the winner, Kathie Castro w/ Adrian Lomeli won 4 dances and was 2nd in rumba. With 3,1,2,2,4, Nancy Rapoport w/ Sergey Shapoval was 2nd. Darla Davies w/ Jim Maranto was 3rd with 2,2,3,3,3. Renee Kuwahara w/ Ilya Reyzin was 2nd in mambo but 4th overall 4,4,4,5,2. 5th Susan Haynes w/ Sergey Nekrasov 5,5,5,4,5; 6th Radhika Unithan w/ Yusemi Cruz 6,6,6,6,6.

The largest of the Open Rhythm Scholarships was the Senior 1 and this was won by Sharyn Mathieu w/ Decho Kraev 1,1,1,1. 2nd in all dances was Diana Best w/ Alosha Anatoliy and 3rd Yuiko Shimamoto w/ Steve Vasco 3,3,4,3T. Once again the Vasco brothers were neck and neck as Evelyn Lamden w/ Daniel Vasco was 4th 4,4,5,3T. Leslie McLeod w/ Melbin DeLaCruz was 5th 5,5,3,5 and Penelope Parmes w/ Mikal Watkins was 6th in all.

Last night finished with the Open Scholarships in Smooth. Only 2 couples entered the Open A but both were strong. Hanna Weiss w/ Slawek Souchaki won all dances. Francesca Scalise w/ Enzo Zappia was 2nd.

Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano was the easy winner of the Open B, taking all dances and losing only one 1st place in each. The Rhythm winner, Karen Angell w/ Gleb Makarov was 2nd in all. Karen had the majority of “2nd or better” in W and T but had a few 3rd and 4th place marks. 3rd in all went to Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki. Miller w/ Daniel Vasco was 4th in all; Thara Salomone w/ Jim Maranto was 5th in all and Donni Burch w/ Kosta Trifunovic was 5th.

Shelly Dong w/ Dmitry Ilyushenov (Canada) won the Open C, taking all dances and all but foxtrot with the majority of 1st places. With 2,2,3,2, Darla Davies w/ Jim Maranto was the runner-up and Deborah Hoag w/ Rudy Homm was 3rd 3,3,2,3. Ben Ow w/ Lynnsay Ray was the only gentleman in this final and he was 4th in all dances. 5th Edna Breit w/ Mazen Hamza 5,5,5,5; 6th Daneen Shelton w/ Robert Nardoza 6,7,6,6; 7th Nancy Rapoport w/ Sergey Shapoval 7,8,7,7; 8th Dana Sampaleanu w/ Alex Nashev 8,6,8,8.

Diana Best w/ Alosha Anatoliy moved up a spot from the Rhythm to win the Open Senior Smooth, taking all dances. With the vagaries of the Skating System, Elizabeth Cramer w/ Yuriy Kravets placed 2nd overall despite placing 3rd in all 4 dances. Evelyn Lambden w/ Daniel Vasco was actually 2nd in 3 dances, but placed 7th in waltz. Edna Breit w/ Mazen Hamza was 4th 5,4,4,5; 5th Claudia Robbs w/ Simeon Stoynov 6,5,5,4; 6th Lucille Chapnick w/ Charles Roberts 2,7,6,6; 7th Corliss Nettles w/ Rabih Timani 4,6,7,7.

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