All 5 of the Open Professional Championships took place last night at Yankee Classic with the Open Latin and Ballroom offering the additional title of World Masters. 3 of the divisions began with semifinal rounds. The Ballroom was a straight final and there were 6 entries in the Cabaret.
Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova became the Yankee Classic and World Masters Champions for 2018 in the Ballroom. They won all dances with a majority of 1st places, although the quickstep was a tight race. Andrey & Anna are producing lighter dancing than they have in the past year and their results have improved. We also really enjoyed the dancing of the runners-up, Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley who were 2nd in all dances and took 1st places in all dances but particularly in the quickstep where they had 8 to the winners’ 9. We enjoy their innovative choreography and free movement. These were the only 2 additions to the Rising Star division from the night before and these couples mirrored their results from the Rising Star. 3rd Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenko 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Mykhailo Anufriev & Anna Vietrynska 4,5,5,4,4; 5th Anton Bilozorov & Samanta Filip 5,4,4,5,5; 6th Sergey Bolotnikov & Catherine Edgar 6,6,6,6,6.
The World Masters Latin brought out some of the Northeast’s best talent. All couples finished in the same position in all 5 dances, but the judges’ scores did show some variety. The winners were Artur Tarnavsky & Anastasia Danilova and they had the majority of 1st places in all dances. They did receive scores from 1st to 3rd in all dances and one notable 5th in the jive from judge, Bruce Hasson. The runners-up were Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova. We thought they definitely provided a strong challenge to the winners and they received a healthy number of first places from the judges in all dances. Ivan Kudashev & Kshusha were 3rd, Vlad Astafiev & Annie He-Xiao were 4th and Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker were 5th.
Although the American Style divisions did not offer World Masters titles they were the best supported. Travis & Jaimee Tuft won the Smooth very easily, receiving every 1st place except 2 seconds from judge Inessa Strelnikova in foxtrot and waltz. 2nd fell to Aleksandr Vukosalvejiv & Nevina. They took a majority of “2nd or better” scores in all dances and really seemed to build on their great success in Blackpool where they made the top 6. 3rd in all went to Jang & Adele Don and we felt they were certainly in contention for that runners-up spot. The remaining 3 places were almost a second competition and fairly closely scored. 4th went to Slawek Roszak & Denise Sobiewski 5,4,5,4. They had been 2nd in the RS the night before so this was an improvement for them as the winners from that division placed 6th tonight. 5th went to Maxim Lotototsky & Sarah Haworth 4,6,4,5 and 6th to Vitalii Kaliuzhnyi & Talia Barrington 6,5,6,6.
Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin easily won the Rhythm winning cha cha and rumba with perfect scores of 17 first places and huge majorities in the other 3 as well. The runners-up were Juan Cortes & Jessa Mae Briones and they were 2nd in all dances and took a few 1st places from the winners, including 3 in the mambo. We thought they had a good showing tonight. With 3,4,3,5,3, Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker, the RS winners took 3rd. These 2 have great and spontaneous personalities on the floor and need to really turn this to their advantage. Ryan Lewis & Vanda Polakova took 4th, 5,3,4,4,4. This is a relatively new partnership for Vanda who is a former US finalist. They have not quite found their relative strengths yet, but this was the best showing we’ve seen from them so far. With 4,5,5,3,5, Max Lototsky & Sarah Haworth took 5th and were one of two couples to make both the Smooth and Rhythm final. Tonight we preferred them in this style. Kristian Sese & Mae Lozado took 6th 6,6,6,7,6, and the other 9-dancers, Jang & Adele Don took 7th, 7,7,7,6,7. Interestingly they were the only other couple to score a 1st place – in bolero for them.
There were 6 couples in the Cabaret. All 17 judges placed Travis & Jaimee Tuft to win and 16 of the 17 placed Ivan Kudashev & Ksusha 2nd. Travis & Jaimee performed in their classic cabaret style and Ivan & Kshusha did a Latin showdance but in a lighthearted style dressed in powdered wigs. 3rd were Paul Pudney & Massey Turpin with a cabaret style performance.
There was a World Masters title up for grabs in the Amateur Latin and it attracted a semifinal of very evenly matched talent. The winners were Misha Finkelstein & Yulia Ishchak (Canada). They won all dances, the first 3 with a majority of 1st places. 2nd and 3rd were separated by a Rule 11. With 3, 2T,3,2,2, 2nd place went to Giovanni D’Arpina & Francesca Vari and with 2,2T,3,2,2, Yevgeni Orlov & Marina Yerina were 3rd. All 4’s gave Vlad Krupskii & Valerie Dubinsky 4th place overall, all 5’s went to Andriy Vitenko & Karolina Iouknikov and 6th were D’Angelo Castro & Kyla Dzhaniashvilli were 6th and also won the U/21 earlier in the evening.
Sunday at Yankee Classic is filled with junior divisions.
Yankee Classic – First 2 Days!
2 days have already gone by at this year’s Yankee Classic Championships in Cambridge, MA.
These championships also incorporate World Masters titles.
Closing the program last night were the Professional Rising Star Divisions. Both American styles began with a semifinal round.
First on was the Smooth. This gave a very easy win to Jang & Adele Don who won all dances and lost very few 1st place marks. The only judge not to place them 1st overall was Wendy Johnson. 2nd and 3rd was a close race that results in a Rule 10 tiebreak. Getting the nod were Vitalii Kaliuzhnyi & Talia Barrington who scored 2,5,2,4. This is a new couple, at least to us, and they definitely showed their potential. 3rd fell to Slawek Roszak & Denise Sobiewski 5,2,3,3. As you can see there was little consensus among the judges after the winners. Another new partnership took the last of the 2nd places and 4th overall 4,4,4,2 and this was Dave Hannigan & Yulia Koshleva. 5th went to Evgeny Rozenfeld & Mariia Shumakher 3,3,5,5 and 6th to Dmitry Savchenko & Tania Nunez 6,6,6,6.
There was also an easy winner in the Rhythm and this was Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker who also took almost every 1st place. They had perfect 9 first places in swing. Jang & Adele, proving their 9-dance skills took 2nd in all dances and had the majority of “2nd or better” in 4 of the 5 dances. With 3,3,3,4,4, Joe Hasson & Natalie Honkonen were 3rd. Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth were 4th and this was the first time we have seen this duo compete in the Rhythm category, obviously they are now experimenting with the 9-dance division. Their scores tonight were 4,4,5,3,3. The new partnership of Andrie Gavrilov and former pro-am champion, Mengqi Huang were 5th 5,5,4,5,5 and Marko Urosevic & Michelle Montanez-Fox were 6th in all dances.
The International divisions were both straight finals. The Latin was won by Ivan Kudashev & Khusha 2,1,2,2,1. They had the majority of 1st places in the dances they won although cha cha was a 5 to 4 victory over the runners-up, Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker who scored 2,1,2,2,1. They also had the majority of 1st places in the dances they won. Aleksei Shipilov & Iulia Buraeva were 3rd in all dances, Manuel Trillo & Tatyana Larina were 4th in all and Artsiom Chapialou & Volha Chapialiova were 5th.
The Ballroom had a clear winner, Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenko won all dances with large majorities and a perfect 9 first places in quickstep. Scores for the other couples were somewhat mixed, but Mykhailo Anufriev & Anna Vietrynska (Ukraine) took 2nd in all dances. Anton Bilozorov & Samanta Filip were 3rd 3,4,4,3,3; 4th Sergey Bolotnikov & Catherine Edgar 4,3,3,4,5; 5th Manuel Trillo & Ttyana Larina 5,5,5,4.
Over the first 2 days the pro-ams completed 3 styles – Rhythm, Smooth and Latin. Some of the highlights came in the Open Scholarships. The best were:
Open A Smooth Scholarship – 1. Olivia Zettergen w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 1,1,1,1; 2. Meg Gibber w/ Aaron Talbert 2,3,2,2; 3. Melissa Jensik w/ Dave Hannigan 3,2,3,3.
Open C Smooth – 1. Gail Komar w/ Serhiy Komar 1,1,1,2; 2. Leila Zukovsky w/ Dave Hannigan 2,2,2,1; 3. Lydia Raurell w/ Andreas Luetzner 3,3,3,3.
Open S Smooth Scholarship – 1. Lydia Raurell w/ Andreas Luetzner 1,2,1,1; Julia Wang w/ Aaron Talbert 2,1,2,2; Ellin Miller w/ Andrey Abrashin 3,3,3,3.
Open A Latin Scholarship – 1. Sabrina Strasser w/ Stanislav Kochergin (Canada) 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Lilly Maude Payette w/ Tony Santana (Canada)2T,2,2,2,2; 3. Valerie Abelis w/ Thomas Shiloshvili 4,3,4,3,3.