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Philadelphia Dancesport Championships 2018

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A Great “Gatsby” night!

The final night of the Philadelphia DanceSport Championships as always finished on a Gatsby note.

Many of the attendees came ready for the Roaring Twenties in their Gatsby wear and it was a night of excellent dancing, fun and entertainment. All five open professional events took place this night and they were excellent and interesting.

The Open Professional Ballroom and Rhythm were the first to go on and they were excellent heats, the Ballroom ended up with a 6 couple final but with the exception of first place that went to Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova with a majority of firsts in all dances, all other places were strongly challenged and you can see this by the variety of marks each couple got in all dances.

Second in all dances ended up with Emanuele & Francesca Pappaccena, who did get a good number of second places but if you look at their column you will see that they got from first to sixth places, their worst marks came from Sid Pocius who awarded them 6,4,6,6,6. Artem Belmaha & Anna Shevchen took third in all dances, once again with a variety of marks. Aleksei Minaev & Elena Minaeva took all fourths, Mykhailo Anufriiev & Anna Vietrynska were fifth with these marks 5T,6,5,5,6, and Dmitriy Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano were sixth but in an unclear decision since they too tied for fifth position with these marks 5T,5,6,6,5, they used rule 11 in order to break the tie.

In the Open Professional Rhythm we ended up having a five couple final and in an unprecedented decision Dmitri & Olena Nikishkin won by taking four dances and placing second in the mambo. US finalists Aaron & Iryna DeSoto took second in four dances and first in the mambo. We have to say that we have not seen Aaron & Iryna dance so well and confidently, but perhaps it might have been a little to late to avert this push from Dmitri & Olena. We do think they are on the right track but they must make the work they are doing their own and “feel” not just “do” what they are producing.

Jang & Adele Don secure a third place in all dances with a very clean performance, Joe Hasson & Natalie Hokonen were fourth, and fifth place was awarded to Juan Ramirez & Darya Gidaspova.

Jang & Adele Don won the Open Professional Smooth also with a very clear performance, we are glad to see that they are starting to figure out their own interpretation of every dance, we still want to see them channel and communicate to us what they are trying to do in each dance, when it comes to their musicality and interpretation. We must point out that they won every dance with a majority of firsts especially in the waltz where they missed a perfect score by one mark, a second that came from Colin James.

David Estrada & Meagan Mendoza took second in all dances and we think that had their work been as clean and clear as Jan & Adele’s they might have won this competition, they do seem to understand what they are trying to accomplish emotionally in every dance but they lack some of the technical merit and even some of the basic skills like better swing in the swing dances. Pavel Lebedev & Dinara Khayrulina took third in every dance and at times their skills are good enough that we would have not been surprise if they had taken a dance or two from David & Meagan, it is great to see a Canadian couple do so well and I think Smooth dancing is now a full part of our Canadian neighbors.

Fourth place went to Christian Lange & Anastasia Barhatova with these marks 4,5,4,4, fifth were Jani Bogre & Danielle McCarthy 5,4,5,5, it is interesting that this talented couple did not make it to the final in the Rising Star final yet did so well in this final. We think this couple had a wonderful night and have very interesting interpretations of all dances, we look forward to seeing more from them in future outings. Sixth was awarded to Christian Lightner & Kia Kenney and they took sixth in every dance.

The Professional Latin was excellent and here we also had some terrific dancing. The clear winners were Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir taking all dances. However, when looking at the marks, yes, they did get a majority of firsts in every dance but lost quite a number of firsts to other couples in this final. One couple that took some of these firsst from Andrei & Asta was Aleksandr Skarlato & Loretta K who placed second overall and with a little more effort in their partnership could have easily challenged the top. Third was awarded to Ivan Kudashov & Ksusha who for us looked quite comfortable in this position and on paper as well. Fourth was Vladimir Velev & Phoenix LinSong with these marks 4,4,5,5,4T, fifth went to Dmitriy Solomankha & Gabriela Sevillano 5,6,4,4,6, and sixth were Howard Wang & Doris Hsieh 6,5,6,6,4T. I have to say this was an interesting competition due to the many different levels between the couples.

There was one couple in the Professional ShowDance, Kevin & Michelle Camarata, but it is hard to explain this routine all we can say is that their performance did very little to impress the judges, Mr. Didio Barrera even awarded them a second in an uncontested event, and we can say that from their dancing choreography and down to their costuming it left a lot to be desired. We think that perhaps this was not the best light for them prior to the Smooth competition, just the night before Kevin & Michelle made the final quite easily on this night they were left out, even though just a handfull of new couples entered the final and at least one couple left out the night before were brought in.

As we mentioned the evening was quite fun there was a photo booth where all could come in and take a photo with their friends using guns, drinks, etc. The evening was followed by a fantastic party with as usual a fantastic Latin orchestra and all got on the floor even the judges. Our congratulations to Mr. Chuck Danza for running such a terrific event.

The First Capital!

After the American Revolution the city of Philadelphia was chosen to be the temporary capital of the United States.

Philadelphia is no longer the seat of our government but continues to be a fantastic city to visit, with great history, great sites and fantastic food. For those of you that like to dance and vacation it can be a perfect vacation spot to do both, with the Philadelphia DanceSport Championships in the heart of the city and only minutes from all attractions.

The first night of the Philadelphia Championship we had a terrific Nightclub evening with the majority of the dances played by a Latin band that kept us all moving in our seat or on the floor. This terrific night was followed by a full day of pro/am Rhythm and Ballroom dancing. Last night it was all about the Stars Rising with all Professional Rising Star competitions on, and they were truly rising with nearly all events starting with a full semifinal round.

The Professional Rising Star Smooth ended up with a 6 couple final and this competition went to Jan & Adele Don who won all dances. Second was awarded to David Estrada & Meagan Mendoza who took second in all and third was awarded to Pavel Lebedev & Dinara Khayrulina and they also took third in all dances. Fourth was Kevin & Michelle Camarata, fifth was not as clear here Jarrod Clark & Angela Maughan placed fifth with these marks 6,5,5,6, and sixth followed with Christian Lightner & Kia Kenney placing sixth with these marks 5,6,6,5.

In the Professional Rising Star Rhythm we also had a six couple final and this competition went to Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker with these marks 1,1,1,1,2. The Mambo was won by Matthew Hauer & Anastasia and they placed second overall with these marks 2,2,2,3,1. Third went to Jan & Adele Don 3,3,3,2,3, fourth in every dance were Joe Hasson & Natalie Honkonen, fifth in all were Dragan Strukelj & Alexandra Kopelovich, leaving sixth to Roberto Veljanouski & Esther Frances in all dances.

The Professional Rising Star Ballroom competition was terrific with some terrific dancing and here Sergey Izyumov & Oksana Zaver placed first in all dances. Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenko took second in all dances and third overall was awarded to Ivan Levin & Anna Sivakova with these marks 3,3,3,4,4. Aleksei Minaev & Elena Minaeva placed fourth overall 5,4,4,3,3, fifth went to Mykhailo Anufriiev & Anna Vietrynska 4,5,6,5,5, sixth were Manuel Trillo & Tatyana Larina 6,6,5,6,6, and seventh were Sergey Bolotnikov & Catherine Edgar placing seventh in all dances.

In the Professional Rising Star International Latin, first overall was awarded to Ivan Kudashov & Ksusha with these marks 1,1,2,2,1. Second went to Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker 2,2,1,1,2, leaving third to Bozhidar Elkin & Elena Dumanova who placed third in all dances. Fourth went to Rhett Grant & Shelby Wadsworth 4,4,4,5,6, fifth were Dmitriy Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano 6,5,5,4,5, and finishing this final in sixth place overall were Howard Wang & Doris Hsieh 5,6,6,6,4.
As you can see it was a packed evening of dance. Tonight the open professional events will conclude and we will have all the information for you here on so stay tuned for more and we leave you with this quote from Frank McCourt “You look at passers-by in Rome and think, “Do they know what they have here?” You can say the same about Philadelphia. Do people know what went on were?”

We always think of this when we come to Philadelphia and we are always able to discover something wonderful in this “City of Love”


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