Always a popular destination, this year it attracted many teams who came to receive awards and glory at the finale of the Global Tour.
The results in all the Pro events were pretty clear cut, for once making the job of deciding where to put the marks a little easier. A semifinal in the Open Rhythm led to an easy win for the Paramonovs, always on top of their game they were not challenged for the top spot. Second place went to Kristen Dobson & Tochno Kondov, this couple won the RS and came second in all dances in the Open. They are well rehearsed, rhythmical and fun to watch. Third place went to Aleksei Shipilov & Luliia Buraeva, both strong dancers, I am guessing newer dancing in the Rhythm, their leg action was not always in line with this category and their mambo not as strong as other dances. With the proper guidance they can be successful in this category. 4th place went to Senzo Marhave & Agnieszka Strojek, 5th to Christopher Wayne & Mallory Evan and 6th to Tomas Vasicek & Vitalija Tyrnova .
The Open Ballroom was a 3-couple final, Aleksei Minaev & Elena Minaeva dominated this category, not only were they the tallest couple but the better technicians. A little tripping incident in the QS cost them a placement but they won all other dances. Second place went to Aleksandr & Aida Skripsov. Great energy, but I find their dance position to be overly stretched which can give some distortion in their lines. Coming in 3rd place was Brogen & Katherine Davis.
In the Open Smooth the top three couple were in a class of their own, and within this group, Sergiy Samchinsky & Yuliya Besarab were the absolute best. They were beautiful to watch, in control and showing great fluidity of movement, they easily won all 4 dances. Igor Algonkin & Meghan Anderson came in second in all dances. Both great dancers and Meghan is gorgeous on the floor but I don’t yet feel that they interpret the music the same way. Meghan takes a “no prisoner“ approach to her dancing. I feel she could relax a bit for softer transitions. Third place was awarded to Stephen & Elisa McCann. They were the clear winners of the RS on the previous night and danced just as well for the Open. I was not familiar with them but enjoyed their dancing. The last 4 couples were in respective order Kyle Johnson & Cassandra Eden , Aaron Greer & Victoria Anderson, Anthony Parks & Sophia Blunt and Michael Hartman & Laura Karasek.
In the Pro Latin the winners were Arthur Tarnavsky & Anastasia Danilova, showing a nice combination of speed, control and softness, they were everyone’s favorites. Aleksei Shipilov & Luliia Buraeva were second in all dances. I’m not sure how long they will keep dancing both Rhythm and Latin it can be difficult in the same night but they managed and did well. The ten-dance coupe that won the Ballroom, Aleksei & Elena Minaev, were placed third here, they are not as comfortable in this style, but had a very successful weekend. Fourth place went to Lurii Kora & Alisa Hryn.
I would like to end by mentioning two pros who really impressed not just me but the whole judging panel with their professionalism and full out dancing from the first to the last heat, never showing anything but a positive attitude as they were both dancing tons of entries. Tommie Radon and Josh Tilford, thank you! Your hard work, dedication and professionalism are appreciated.
Global Series Finale at Volunteer State 2017/18
The Global Dancesport Series just had its grand finale in Nashville this weekend at the Loews Hotel, the venue for the Volunteer State Challenge, the last stop for this tour.
Lots of money was given, making a lot of dancers very happy. Happiest of them all, and taking $10,000 all the way to the bank, was Josh Tilford, crowned top teacher for this whole circuit. Gone are the days when female teacher needed their own category in order to be running for top awards, second place and third place in this order went to Izabella Orlowska and Kelly Bartlet.
Students were also recognized for their achievements, top lady was Elaine Fieldman, and top man, both received $2,000 vouchers to be used at Global events. Top studio went to Birmingham Ballroom.
Congratulations to all for a great year of dancing and fun!