The World & US Champions performed brilliantly last night in their 5-dance show. As we had just seen this show less than a week before, we at Dance Beat were a bit “ho-hum” about seeing it again so soon. But we were once again amazed by this show! After 8 years as Word Champions, Riccardo & Yulia just keep getting better and better!
On the competition front, the Open Pro Ballroom was quite strong with some highly-ranked couples in attendance. Once again 21 judges were used so it was tough to get a majority of 1st places. The winners were Iaroslav & Lilia Bielei and they placed 1,2,1,1,1. They had the majority of 1st places in W,VW,F. To us they looked clean and confident and were the worthy winners.
The winners of the tango were Rudy Homm & Katya Kanevskaya and they placed 2,1,2,2,2 overall. They received 10 first places in tango. As onlookers, we at Dance Beat were very impressed with their tango that was wonderfully danced “to the music being played.” We were glad that they were rewarded. 3rd spot fell to Christian Radvan & Christina Kudelko 4,3,3,3,3 in a fairly close battle with Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova 3,4,4,4,4. The remaining 3 places were very tightly contested. 5th Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley 5,6,5,7,5; 6th David Klar &Denise Yaghi (Australia) 6,5,7,5,6; 7th Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenko 7,7,6,6,7.
Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin had a strong showing in the Open Pro Rhythm winning all dances and all except the mambo with a majority of 1st places.
2nd & 3rd spots went to two couples from the Fred Astaire organization and it was a close one. Aaron & Iryna DeSoto got the better of it taking 2nd with 2,2,3,3,2 leaving 3,3,2,2,3 to Ilya Abdulin & Tara Barakov. 2 local couples took 4th and 5th. Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker were 4th in all dances and Thomas Vasicek & Vitailja Tyrnova were 5th in all. Mykhailo Azerov & Tetyana Makarenko were 6th in all dances and 7th went to Zachary Germain & Jenna Caskie.
The Open Amateur Ballroom produced a very unique result. In a 6-couple final there was a 3-way tie for 1st place and a tie for 4th and 5th places. We don’t remember an event this closely contested ever!
So pulling free from being “tied up” and winning the event were Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova and their scores were 3,2,3,1,1. The 2nd and 3rd place couples were both from Poland. In the Rule 11 with the winners and taking 2nd were Bartosz Lech & Kornelia Kopaczynska and their scores were 1,3,1,3,2. The 3rd place couple were in a Rule 10 tie with the 2 couples above them as they scored 2,1,2,2,3and they are Maciej Kadlubowski & Maja Kopacz.
The 4th and 5th place was a Rule 11 tie and it went to Fedor Voronov & Alexandra Dubinsky 5,4,4,5,4T over Florin Vlad & Natalia O’Connor 4,5,5,4,4T. We did feel Florin & Natalia were a little unlucky with this placement. 6th spot went to Alec Zhiwei Zhang & Zhuoshi Xie.
A Latin Fiesta!
Not surprisingly with World Latin Champions Riccardo & Yulia now part of the organizational team, last night was mostly about Latin, here at Eastern.
To begin with we had Latin greats and former US Champions, Slavik Kryklyvyy & Karina Smirnoff in cabaret. They danced 5 wonderfully received numbers dispersed throughout the evening.
As a fundraiser for Dance for the Cure, there was a silent auction and the prize was a showcase performance with Slavic & Karina.
We also saw the Open Amateur and Open Professional Latin Championships.
We felt the Amateur division had a little more punch tonight. 17 judges officiated in this event which meant 9 first places were needed to win a dance outright. Only in 1 dance did this occur. The first places were mainly shared between 2 couples, but with a third couple capturing quite a number of 2nd places.
So how did it pan out. Placing 2,1,1,1,2, the winners tonight were Alexander Chernossitov & Arina Grishina. They had 10 first places in the rumba, the only majority. With 1,2,2,2,1, Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler took the runner-up placement. An interesting observation was that Alexander & Arina received 2 sixth places in the rumba, the dance they won outright. These were the worst marks they received. Pasha & Gabriella received nothing less than 4th in any dance. We felt both of these couples were exceptional on this night and it was a very difficult task to choose between them. Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward (Canada) were 3rd in all dances and did receive a few 1st places. However, they took quite a few 2nd places away from the top 2 couples.
There were 2 Polish couples in the final and one of them, Tomasz Jaszewski & Alicja Kotarba were 4th – 4,4,4,5,5, in a close race with Giovanni D’Arpino & Francesca Vari, 5,5,5,4,4. The second Polish couple, Bartosz Lorek & Natalie Karpinska were 6th in all dances.
21 judges evaluated the Professional Latin and no couple received the required 11 first places to win a dance outright. In fact, in 3 of the dances every couple in the final received at least 1 first place!
However, in the long run experience counted and the winners were Roman Italyankin & Aleksandra Bokova and they placed 1,1,2,2,1. This actually placed them well clear of the field and you will see why.
2nd and 3rd places were decided by a Rule 11 tiebreak. Each couple had some wildly spaced scores. Taking 2nd with 2,3,1,4,5 were Dymytrii Goncharov & Tetiana Lutsenko and 3rd with 4,4,4,1,2 were Ivan Kudashev & Ksusha. These are very diverse scores for a professional division. A lot of the judging panel here at Eastern is from overseas. We wonder if this is the reason for the lack of consensus?
Just 1 point away in the final tally, but in 4th place were Vlad Astafiev & Annie He Xiao – 3,2,3,5,3. Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker were 5th 5,5,6,3,4 and Alexey Alexeev & Ekaterina Dereleva were 6th 6,6,5,6,6.
The Open Pro Smooth was also on tonight and here too we had some erratic scoring from the judges. Again 21 judges were used and again there was no majority of first places in any dance. 3 couples shared those 21 first places in all 4 dances. But the result was a strange one from a scrutineering perspective. The judges first place scores broke down as follows over 4 dances. 34 to Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov; 31 to Adrian & Hanna Dydynsky; 19 to Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth. The result may surprise you, but Aaron & Maggie were 1st, Ilya & Tara 2nd and Adrian & Hanna 3rd.
Not only were Aaron & Maggie first but they won fairly easily, taking 3 dances 1,1,1,2. Purely from the dance perspective, we thought that Aaron & Maggie had a really good night and were the most musical and relaxed couple on the floor. Ilya & Tara placed 2,2,2,1 and Adrian & Hanna had to be content with 3rd in all dances. Mykhailo Azerov & Tetyana Makarenko were 4th in all dances. They had won the Cabaret earlier in the evening. 5th were Jani Bogre & Danielle McCrathy 6,5,5,5; 6th Ryan & Laura Kenner 5,6,6,6 and 7th Anthony Scalizi & Zhenia Gilda.
Stay tuned for the last night with a show by Riccardo & Yulia and all the remaining championships!
Eastern Has That International Flair
The Eastern US Dancesport Championships began Thursday night with the nightclub session and continued yesterday with some very interesting Amateur divisions that attracted several overseas couples.
The highlight of last night was the Amateur Team Match that had 6 Teams, 4 from regions of the USA, 1 from Poland and 1 combined team Iceland/South Africa. We saw some good dancing plus as always with team matches, there was a lot of good-natured fun. The winning team was USA Brooklyn, captained by Marat Gimaev. Poland was 2nd.
Many of the young couples from the team match also competed in a variety of Amateur divisions from Rising Star, Youth and U/21. There were winners from several countries.
The Amateur Rising Star Ballroom was won by Bartosz Lech & Kornelia Kapaczynska (Poland) 1,1,1,1,1. 2nd went to Daniel Sverrir Gudbjornssin & Soley Osk Hilmarsdottir (Iceland) 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd were Christopher Anslow & Sarah Chen 4,3,3,4,3. The Latin also went to Poland, this time Tomasz Jaszewski & Alicja Katarba 1,1,1,1,1. Louis Myburgh & Tatyana Grippaldi (S. Africa) were 2nd 2,2,2,2,2 and Max Greenhouse & Elisha Machado were 3rd 3,3,3,3,3.
In the U/21 Ballroom, Daniel & Soley were once again the winners 2,2,1,1,1. 2nd went to Fedor Voronov & Alexandra Dubinsky 1,1,3,2,2 and 3rd Gylfi Mar Hrafnsson & Maria Tina Hauksdottir 3,3,2,3,3. USA took the U/21 Latin, Aleksandr Mitronin & Oliva Agranovich 1,1,1,1,1. Poland took 2nd, Bartosz Lorek & Natalia Karpinska 2,2,2,2,2 and Ariel Milshteyn & Somona Vogodna were 3rd 3,3,3,3,3.
The Youth divisions were the largest of the night and both went to the USA. Erik Linder & Shelly Meshkausk won the Ballroom 1,1,1,1,1. Bartosz & Kornelia (Poland) were 2nd this time 2,2,2,3,3 and Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Spektor were 3rd 3,3,3,2,2. Yusif & Naomi moved up to 1st in the Latin 2,1,1,1,2, and Erik & Shelly were 2nd 1,2,2,2,3. Gylfi & Maria from Iceland were 3rd 3,3,3,3,1.
We also saw the Professional RS divisions last night, all 4 were straight finals. The Ballroom also had some international involvement as the winners in all dances were David Klar & Denise Yaghi from Australia. Newly turned professionals, Daniel Vesnovskiy & Emily Thorp took 2nd in all dances and 10-Dancers, Aleksei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva were 3rd in all.
The Pro RS Rhythm was a Boston battle that went ultimately to Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker 1,2,1,1,1 over hometown competitors, Tomas Vasicek & Vitalija Tyrnova 2,1,2,2,2. Mykhalio Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko were 3rd in all dances.
Dymytrii Goncharov & Tetiana Lutsenko won the Pro RS Latin 1,1,2,1,1. Ivan Kudashev & Ksusha were 2nd 2,3,1,2,2 and Aleksei & Ekaterina were 3rd 3,2,3,3,3.
9-Dancers, Mykhalio & Tetyana moved up to 1st in the Smooth, 3,1,1,1. Jani Bogre & Danielle McCarthy were 2nd 1,3,2,2 and Ryan & Laura Kenner took 3rd 2,3,3,3.
The Pro-Ams completed all their International Style divisions yesterday during the daytime session.
This is the first year that World Latin Champions, Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko have joined Mark & Dawna Nocera on the organizational team of the Eastern and Sunday night they will be performing a show. Tonight Slavik Kryklyvyy & Karina Smirnoff are set to end the night with their show.
Also I would like to mention Rumba Na’ Ma’ a great salsa band who provided some of the music for the Nightclub Session and also percussion for much of the Pro-Am Latin during the day and the Latin divisions at night.