From the start you could tell by the reception from the Californian audience towards this talented couple as they danced on each side of the dance floor that it would be a sure thing, had they not won a single dance there might have been a riot!
Ricardo & Yulia were great but they were not the only couple getting the attention from the attendees, Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova also gave a phenomenal performance usually on the opposite side of the floor and they too got some of California’s love, and that is very hard to get. It is said that it takes an earthquake to make the Orange County move and this was it! Troels & Ina managed to secure a comfortable second place overall with a majority of seconds in every dance. Too bad the judges had to make a decision because these two couples last night were amazing, dancing to some very difficult ethnic and rhythmic pieces of pure traditional Latin sounds.
Only two judges awarded Troels & Ina less than the second place the majority assigned them and they were Alain Doucet from Canada who awarded them 5,4,4,3,4, and Bob Powers who awarded them 5,5,5,5,5. Another fabulous couple placed third overall with these marks 3,3,5,4,3, and they were Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina, who also gave a stellar performance.
A slight disappointment was spotted from Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir as the picked up their fourth place, this is completely understood due to the fact that they too were trying hard to get to the top of this very special group. Andrei & Asta placed fourth with these marks 4,4,4,3,4. Canada took fifth place, with Ilya Maletin & Polina Mayer scoring 5,5,6,5,5. This couple always showed great technical skill but are now adding a more emotional approach. In sixth place and looking stunning as always were Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk, we are sure that by looks alone this couple deserve to be in this final, but it was not just that last night they had a fire that made you look them twice over. Manuel & Natalia placed sixth with these marks 6,6,3,6,6.
This was a phenomenal competition and we were a little disappointed in a few of the couples that had to be cut out of the final in particular Artur Tarnavsky & Anastasia Danilova who dance exquisitly in the semifinal and could have easily also made this impressive final. Another outstanding couple missing in action were Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach who we saw earlier on but who did not compete in this evening’s Professional Latin Championship, we wonder if they have danced, how the competition might have been affected or the result might have changed? As we sit here on the plane heading for our United States Dance Championships, we cannot wait to see all these couples go once again head to head within a period of a week and what we will see and witness next?
It was almost a Latin night only at the Embassy with the Under 21 Latin also being run this evening. When looking at the marks it was interesting to see an “enigma” of marks on the first dance, looking as if the judges could not make up their mind as to who to award this Embassy trophy to? The winners for example, Danil Tymoshenko & Mariia Lukoverts from the Ukraine, had only 5 firsts out of the 13 adjudicators. They litterally had to rely on “4th or better” placements to win this dance. But, we must also point out that as hard as it might have been for the judges, Danil & Mariia won all dances and the Paso, Jive with a majority of firsts. Second in all dances went to Nikita Grygorchuk & Vlada Vursalova, also from the Ukraine and third overall was awarded to Max Firestein & Nicole Renee with these marks 3,3,4,3,3. Nikolas Costantine & Kennedy Eaton placed fourth overall 4,4,5,4,4, Taras Slisorenko & Anastasia Konieva (Ukraine) placed fifth 5,5,3,6,6, and Erik Linder & Shelly Meshkausk took sixth 6,6,6,5,5.
The Professional Rising Star Smooth also took place on this final night and the winners Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Natalie Crandall won all dances, three of these dances they won with a majority of firsts from the judges and the Viennese they won with second or better marks. It is almost incredible that this young lady can dance so well with an injured foot, it has been reported to us that Natalie has an injured foot and they hope to keep it all together for the coming US Championships. We certainly wish them a fast recovery and advise them to take good care of that injury, you only have “2 feet.” Second in this heat went to Adele & Jang Don who placed second in all dances, leaving third to Ilya Abdulin & Tara who took third in all dances. Fourth in all dances was awarded to Elisa & Stephen McCann, fifth overall went to Drew Miller & Krista Humphrey with these marks 5,5,5,6, and sixth went to Pavel Lebedev & Dinara Khayrulina (Canada) 6,6,6,5.
The last event that happened on this night was the O35 Ballroom and this was won by Xingmin & Katerina Lu.
During the evening the annual Marguerite Hanlon Award was presented to Allan & Hazel Fletcher.
With this competition the 2018 Embassy Ball Championships concluded, our congratulations to Gary, Jason, Kristi and Brian McDonald for as always an outstanding job with this monster of an event that this year, the largest to date for Embassy Dance Championships.
Watch the videos from Embassy Ball by SuperShag here
The Rhythm of the World!
Last night at the Embassy Ballroom Championships the Rhythm peeps got their World 2018 Champions crowned and Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova won all dances with nearly perfect scores from the judges, making them the current World Professional Rhythm Champions once again for the 3rd time in a row.
It is interesting to see that in all dances Nazar & Irina missed the perfect score by one or two marks. In the cha cha, Mazem Hamza awarded them a second place, in the swing Alan Fletcher from England awarded them a second, In the bolero Robert Long awarded them a second, and the rest of the second place marks came from Diana McDonald who awarded them a first in the cha cha and second on the other four dances.
Second in all dances was awarded to Andre & Natalie Paramonov who were the recipients of all four first place marks from Diana, and the two single first places one from Alan Fletcher and one from Robert Long. The rest of their marks were quite varied from second to sixth place, their worst marks came from Mark Weiss who awarded them these marks 6,3,6,4,3. From here down the judges really had to earn their money although the placements looked quite consistent, the marks were quite varied in some cases. Third place in all dances was awarded to Danas Jaksevisius & Yuki Haraguchi who were also the recipients of Mazen Hamza’s first place in the cha cha. Fourth in all went to Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin, fifth was a lot more varied and here the recipients were Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Natalie Crandall with these marks 5,5,6,5,6, leaving sixth to Aaron & Irina DeSoto with 6,6,5,6,5.
The Professional Ballroom Championship was not a World Championship title here at the Embassy Ball, but it was nothing to be sniffed at. This competition began with over a first round and six brilliant, talented couples were called back for this terrific final. This was perhaps the first time in a very long time that WDC World Professional Ballroom Champions, Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova did not compete for this Championship title, and so the honor of being the 2018 Embassy Ball Champions went almost unchallenged to Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva, who received perfect scores from all judges in four dances and missed the tango by one first place mark from Giampiero Giannico who awarded them second in this dance.
In a surprising turn of events even to the couples, Iaroslav & Liliia Bieliei placed second over World & British Open (Blackpool) finalists Alexander Zhiratko & Irina Novozhilova from Russia. When it was announced you could see the incredible shock on Alexander’s face who immediately turned it into a slight somber sigh and accepted the prize as graciously as possible. Iaroslav & Liliia were completely ecstatic with joy, but at the same time realizing the difference in their world status, with a smile and an almost apologetic graciousness action towards their colleagues, they enjoyed their win. Iaroslav & Liliia took these marks to place second overall 2,2,2,2,3, and Alexander & Irina placed third with these marks 3,3,3,3,2. In looking at the marks there was a couple of judges that awarded Alexander & Irina sixth place in a few dances, but there was a consistency of 6th from Alain Doucet from Canada and Maria Hansen who awarded them all sixth place marks.
Fourth place in all dances went to Rudy Homm & Katya Kanevskaya who from our perspective had a wonderful night, for us they were totally the incarnation of music on the floor, and although they placed fourth we were pleasantly surprised to see that a few adjudicators awarded them second in a number of dances. Fifth place in the wonderful heat went to Oskar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody 5,5,5,6,5, and sixth overall was awarded to Igor Mikushov & Ekaterina Romashkina 6,6,6,5,6.
The Amateur Latin at the Embassy Ball was a huge hit in talent and attendances with a huge first round of competition. In the end six very capable couples took to the floor and here there was a tug-of-war for first place between Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina and Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman. In the end the win went to Tal & Ilana 2,1,2,1,1, and we have to say that we totally agree with the judges’ in this decision. Tal & Ilana displayed some excellent rhythm in this style with a very sharp and to the point precision. On this night second overall, but as you will see not on all dances went to Alexander & Arina with these marks 1,2,1,2,3. You notice that Alexander & Arina won two of the dances and although we really enjoyed Tal & Ilana’s performance we can honestly see how the judges could have been totally undecided.
Another couple giving a great performance last night was Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos Hayward from Canada who placed third overall 3,3,3,3,2. Adam was sporting a new look with a luxurious mustache. Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina took 4th 4,4,4,5,5. They had perhaps the greatest range of marks in the final with scores literally from 1st to 6th in all dances. This is perhaps easy to understand as they are the most experimental couple in this division. As observers only, we really enjoyed their work tonight. But as a judge, under pressure, some of their subtleties were probably easy to miss. Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler placed 5th 5,6,5,4,4 and must be wondering what they have to do to regain the position they enjoyed not so very long ago. We think this is only a temporary bad phase for them, as they are both super-talented dancers. Closing the final with 6,5,6,6,6 were Danil Tymoshenko & Mariia Lukoverts from Ukraine.
The same 2 college teams contested the US National Formation Championship, this time in the Latin style and the result was the same – BYU was the winner and UVU the runner-up.
Many of the BYU team also competed in the Amateur American Smooth and it resulted in an all-Utah final. The result was 1st Williams & Francia 1,1,2,2; 2nd Anderson & Gasinki 3,2,1,1; 3rd McSinsky & Keck 2,4,4,4; 4th Stevenson & Harding 7,3,3,6; 5th Nugent & Zenger 4,5,5,5; 6th Holden & Holden 5,6,6,3; 7th Rallison & Rallison 6,7,7,7.
For the pro-ams it was a VERY full day of Latin and the finals of the 5 Open World Championships were held at the very beginning of the evening session. They were all of a very high quality and gave us the only overseas wins this year. Dancers from Russia took both the A and B age divisions.
The A was an extremely close race at the top. The winner was Daria Pechatnikova w/ Mikhail Efimov who scored 2,1,1,3,2. She had placed 2nd in the A smooth 2 days ago. Delighted with her runner-up spot was Alina Golubchik w/ Sergiy Kvashyn 1,4,3,2,1. 3rd went to Sabrina Strasser w/ Stanislav Kochergin (Canada) 3,2,2,1,3. This was probably a disappointing result for Sabrina who has been on top of this division for some time. She was the only dancer to win a dance in this division with a majority of 1st places. It was a Rule 10 between 2nd and 3rd. 4th Vera Xu w/ Jakub Zeglin 4,3,4,4,4; 5th Frida w/ Maxim Kapitanchuk 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Nicole Pierzchalski w/ Vlad Astafiev 6,6,6,6,6.
The winner of the B was Svetlana Mukhametshina w/ Alexander Chesnokov and she won all dances, 4 of them with a majority of 1st places. The runner-up was Hennrietta Zagozdzon w/ Massimo Arcolin (Hong Kong) 2,2,2,2,2. Christine Stanko w/ Jean Paul took all the 3’s; 4th Tina Broccole w/ Andrei Kazlouski 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Carolyn Howard w/ Sasha Althukov 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Brijet Whitney w/ Damir Karaman 6,6,6,6,6.
Debra Wright w/ Nikolay Voronovich won all dances in the Open C, all except the paso with a majority of 1st places from the judges. 2nd in all went to Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov. Lynn was the only competitor to place in 3 world finals. Mariana Svyatets w/ Aleksandr Vukosalyevic took 3rd with 3,3,3,5,5. 4th Tasha Romero w/ Mykahilo Bilopukhov 4,5,6,3,3; 5th Rhonda Lynch w/ Stephen McCann 5,4,5,4,4; 6th Sophia D’Angelo w/ Nikolay Pilipenchuk 6,6,4,6,6.
Jackie Wang Dojiri w/ Vitalii Proskurin won all dances in the S1. The runner-up was Bonnie Loftspring w/ Brian McNamee 2,3,2,4; 3rd Joan Goddard w/ Andrew Escolme 4,2,3,3; 4th Georgeann Nicol w/ Nikolay Voronovich 3,4,4,2; 5th Judy Pedersen w/ Petr Polak 5,5,5,5; 6th Phillipa Zemelman w/ Marcus Johnson 6,6,7,6; 7th Cynthia Shiang w/ Maksim Kapitanchuk 7,7,6,7.
In the S2, Rica Zamora w/ Sinisa Vasic was a comfortable winner in all 4 dances. The Runner-up, also in all dances was Toni Mullins w/ Tomasz Wlodarski. 3rd Lili Teng w/ Maxim Kapitanikov 3,5,3,4; 4th Susanne Binder w/ Roberto Cavallo 4,4,5,3; 5th Kazuko Miyazaki w/ Maksim Leonov 5,3,4,5; 6th Yili Moon w/ Illie Bardahan 6,6,6,6.
It’s a Smooth World after all!
Last night at the Embassy Ball Championships we crowned the World Professional Smooth Champions and once again this honor went to Nick Cheremukhim & Viktorija by winning all dances.
We also saw a terrific Amateur Ballroom Championship and the Rising Star Latin Professional Competition.
All competitions were excellent for the fans and viewers, but the best heat of them all was the final for the Professional Smooth Championship, where so much talent was displayed on one floor. As was mentioned earlier Nick & Viktorija won the Championships by taking all dances with the majority of firsts in both waltzes and the tango, it is interesting also to point out that they just missed the majority of firsts in the foxtrot by one mark but that dance they won also. In looking at the marks we could see that the fight was not for the top placement, the fight was very intense for second position. Two candidates were totally at their best to the point where they were both tied for this position - Travis & Jaimee Tuft and Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova. They were tied with these marks 3,2,3,2, for Max & Tatiana and 2,3,2,3, for Travis & Jaimee. As you can appreciate it took a Rule 11 in order to brake this impressive tie. At the end of the day after the use of this rule Max & Tatiana were given second position and Travis & Jaimee were left with third place.
As you can see by the marks this was a very impressive heat and one that was talked about after the fact for hours, Nick & Viktorija won all dances but they were still awarded some lower marks, their worst came from Mazen Hamza who awarded them 3,3,3,4. From our perspective we though Nick & Viktorija gave a clear untouched performance no frills or thrills just good solid work from beginning to end. This cannot be said for second and third place, those two were working hard at impressing the audience and especially the judges and perhaps a little too hard in some places, allowing a clear consistent performance to surpass them both. It was interesting to see the value these top three put on each other’s work, when announcing third to second position it was announced that second and third were decided by rule 11, and we could see a glimpse of uncertainty and discomfort from all three couples, and we have to agree these top three are amazing to say the least.
Fourth placement overall was awarded to Roman Malkhasian & Galina Detkina with these marks 4,4,4,5 – and they also got some appreciative comments when we all “approached the bar” later in the evening. Fifth went to Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova 5,5,5,4, and sixth in all dances went to Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yulia Besarab.
The Amateur Ballroom Championship was huge with a full first round of competition, but in the end only six couples were called for the final. This was also a hard fought competition with 4 of the finalists tied for their positions. The first tie was for first place between Oleksandr Kalenyuk & Olena Ablitsova and Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli with both couples’ placements amounting to 9 points each. However, this tie was not hard to break it only took rule 10 in order to have a winner and in the end Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa were declared the overall winners with these marks 1,1,3,3,1, leaving second to Oleksandr & Olena with these marks 2,3,1,1,2. Third place went to another favorite couple of ours and that was Dan Malov & Stephanie Noon with these marks 4,2,2,2,3. As you could appreciate it must have been a very difficult decision for the judges on this one. For us it was very impressive to see three of the top couples we have in the USA go head to head, and we can only say praises to all, who are all very unique and different in their style. Each of the top three couples in this final for us have something to offer and we are sure that in last night’s decision all judges had to consider all these facts and their preferences before putting down their ultimate decisions. There was no majority of firsts given to any of the couples and we have to mention that in this heat Dan & Stephanie also took away some of the first place marks.
There was another tie between two couples in this Ballroom heat for the 4th and 5th place, the couples in question were, Artur Nabor & Michelle Yiu and Mikhail Vorobiev & Natalia Kozhevnikova. In the end Artur & Michelle took fourth 5,5,4,4,4, and fifth went to Mikhail & Natalia 3,4,5,5,5, possibly another very difficult decision for this illustrious panel of adjudicators. Sixth in all was awarded to Oreste Alitto & Valeriia Belozerova.
The World Ballroom Pro/Am categories were quite impressive with huge entries in most categories but best was the quality of them all.
The A gave us a new World Champion, Julia Shen w/ Vlad Shakhov who won all dances, 3 of them with the majority of 1st places. A deserving win in our estimation. 2nd went to Jennifer Lin w/ Radu Sterban 2,2,2,2T,2. Vinnie Miller w/ Treijis was 3rd 3,3,3,2T,3. 4th Borui Chen w/ Olga Tsikalyuk 5,4,4,5,4; 5th Wanwan Yang w/ Igor Colac 6,5,5,4,5; 6th Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Feraci 4,6,6,6,6. There was an unfortunate collision in an early round of this event. Natalie Rezai w/ Sergey Kiselev was forced to retire and Rebecca broke a finger but was able to continue.
The “B” category was excellent and in the end six excellent Pro/Am competitors were brought back. The overall World Pro/Am winner by winning four dances and placing second in the Viennese Waltz was Julie Zhao w/ Denis Kutepov, second overall was awarded to Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold 2,2,3,2,3, and third went to Carol Simmons w/ Serghei Pogonet (Canada) 5,3,1,3,2. Fourth overall was Ivi Sun w/ Iaroslav Bieliei, fifth went to Vinie Miller w/ Davide Gozzi and sixth was awarded to Alexandra Michel w/ Victor Veyrasset.
The World C went to Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano. Jill had a great day and as a result lot only 2 first places out of 45. 2nd in all and also with a good performance was Jenny Du w/ Dariusz Michalski. 3,3,3,4,5 gave Sheila Zou w/ Denis Kutepov 3rd place. 4th Sybyl Yang w/ Rudy Homm 4,5,4T,3,7; 5th Ans Stork w/ Oleksiy Pigotskyy 5,4,6,7,3; 6th Annie Chan w/ Christian Radvan 6,6,4T,5,4; 7th Janice Smith w/ Davide Gozzi 7,7,7,6,6.
Ans Stork moved up to 1st place in the S1 and won all dances with a majority of 1st places. Although we were very surprised to see a few marks for her in the lower half of the final. 2nd and 3rd were decided by a Rule 11 with the nod going to Connie Lam w/ Evgeniy Mayorov 2,2,5,3 over Chan Cheng w/ Iaroslav Bieliei 4,4,2,2. 4th Jacqueline Hu w/ Stefano DiBrino 5,3,3,4; 5th Laura Solomon w/ Oscar Pedrinelli 3,5,6,5; 6th Susan Walter w/ Samuele Pacchini 6,6,4,6.
The winner of the S2 was Linda Huntress w/ Andrea Stefano 1,1,2,1. This was Andrea’s second win of the day. 2nd was Susan Jen w/ Mikhail Avdeev 2,2,1,2. 3rd and 4th was once again a Rule 11 tie and the higher place went to Vivien Chen w/ Samuele Pacchini 3,4,4,3 over Keiko Fukami w/ Denis Kutepov 4,3,3,4. 5th Maria Fila w/ Kamil Urbaniak 5,5,5,5; 6th Noriko Ide w/ Dariusz Michalski 6,6,6,6.
The Embassy also host the US National Formation Championships in both styles. Last night it was the Ballroom and the BYU team was the winner. The team from UVU was second.
The Pro RS Latin was highly unpredictable, in fact in 2 dances all 7 finalist couples received at least 1 first place! In the end, however, Oleksandr Kamniev & Kateryna Kamnieva managed to win all dances, but only the paso with a majority of 1st places. Alon Gillin & Anna Oblakova (Canada) were 2nd 3,2,2,2,2 and Vlad Astafiev & Annie He Xiao were 3rd 2,3,3,3,3. 4th Roman Drobotov & Liya Kazbekova 4,4,4,6,4; 5th Umario Diallo & Tessa Marie 6,5,6,4,5; 6th Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker 7,6,5,5,6T; 7th Dymytry Dmytrenko & Yelyzaveta Hyzhko 5,7,7,7,6T.
Oh What A (Smooth) Night!
The second day at Embassy was all about the Smooth – the World Pro-Am Smooth Championships to be exact!
It was a long daytime session of pro-am smooth and then the nighttime began with the World Championships in all levels. It took until 10:30 PM to find out who the new World Open Pro-Am Smooth Champions were, and as in the Rhythm, all 5 divisions fell to the USA, although there were a couple of finalists from Russia and Canada.
All the divisions were strong, but tonight we were particularly impressed with the Open A. Hanna Weiss w/ Slawek Souchaki won all dances but it was a tight race at the top. Hanna had the majority of 1st places only in waltz, the other 3 were won by a majority of “2nd or better” scores. The runner-up was Daria Pechatnikova w/ Mikhail Efimov from Russia and she placed 2,2,2,3. Daria had her supporters on the panel and actually had more 1st places than Hanna in the tango, but not enough for a majority. With 3,3,3,2, the only gentleman in this final, TJ Kyle, placed 3rd dancing with Jaimee Tuft. TJ also picked up 1st places in all four dances and tied Hanna with 4 in the VW. Irene Lee w/ Egor Bezukladnikov placed in 2 world finals and in this one she placed 4th 4,4,4,5. Alicia Hawryluk w/ Dmytro Gurkov (Canada) also placed in 2 finals and took 5th in this one, 5,6,5,4. Closing the final, and a little unlucky we thought, was Ani Mkrtchyan w/ Max Sinitsa 6,5,6,6.
It was a different story in the Open B Smooth. Here Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano also won all dances, but whereas the A was close, Celia lost only 2 first place marks out of 36. Also very clearly in 2nd place was Selene Steelman w/ Travis Tuft who was 2nd in all dances and received very few marks lower than 2nd place from the judges. Sirinda Sincharoen w/ Max Sinitsa was also a clear 3rd with 3rd place in all dances. 4th Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki 4,4,4,5. Irene Lee took 5th this time 5,5,5,6 and Alicia Hawryluk was 6th 6,6,6,4.
In the Open C, the judges were once again not quite to decided and they did not award a majority of 1st places to any couple in any dance. However, the winner was Sophia D’Angelo w/ Max Sinitsa 1,2,1,1 with the runner–up spot going to Sue Eldred w/ Oleksiy Pigotskyy 2,1,2,3. Both of these ladies were in great form and the competition was a pleasure to watch. Coming in 3rd overall but taking 2nd in VW (4,3,3,2) was Olga Krasnyanskaya w/ Eldar Dzhaforov from Russia, great improvement from this lady. The winner of the Rhythm in this category, Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov was 4th 3,4,4,4; 5th Charlene Proctor w/ Mikhail Zharinov 5,5,5,5; 6th Hope Huber w/ Eddie Stutts 6,6,6,6.
Some of the ladies from the C division also entered the Open S1 and one of these was the winner, Sue Eldred, who moved up to 1st and won all dances. Kristi Nadvornik w/ Mayo Alanen was 2nd 2,2,3,2 – interesting because we thought foxtrot was her best dance. Hope Huber moved up to 3rd in this division 4,3,2,4. 4th Diana Best w/ Alosha Anatoliy 5,4,4,3; 5th Audria Hill-Mitchell w/ Peter Perzhu 3,5,5,5; 6th Pat Luthy w/ Vladimir Popov 6,6,6,6.
The Open S2 Smooth went to Diana Dean w/ Slava Stefanov 1,1,1,2. Runner-up, Lois Gochnauer w/ Serhiy Averkov 2,3,3,3. Winning the VW but placing 3rd overall was Teiko Yamada w/ Max Sinitsa 4,2,4,1. 4th Robert Gorelick w/ Viktorija 3,4,3,4; 5th Jackie Siegel w/ Daniel Vasco 5,5,5,5; 6th Doreen Marchak w/ Youriy Pavlov 6,6,6,6.
Credit to professional Max Sinitsa who had a student in all 5 finals.
The World Pro-Am Cabaret was also held tonight but unfortunately drew only 1 entry – but what an entry it was! Jake Mazhar w/ Shannon Jensen, wowed the audience with his Goldeneye routine.
After the national anthem of the USA had played for these winners, the night was not over! In fact there were some amateur events and evening concluded with 2 professional rising star divisions, both starting with a semifinal.
7 couples (from 14) were returned to the RS Rhythm final and the easy winners were Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Natalie Crandall who won all dances with the majority of 1st places in each. Runner-Up position tonight went to Anton Tregubov & Ashley Sanchez. They were 2nd in all dances. Their best scored dance was bolero where they took 4 first places to the 6 awarded to the winners. Tomas Vasicek & Vitalija Tyrnova were 3rd 3,3,3,4,4 anad Jang & Adele Don were 4th 4,4,4,3,3. 5th Slash Sharon & Rebecca Vincitore 5,5,5,6,6T; 6th Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth 6,6,6,5,5; 7th Andrei Gavrilov & Mengqi Huang 7,7,7,7,6T.
Perhaps the closest event of the night was the Pro RS Ballroom. In this final several couples were sharing in the judges’ first places. The overall winners were Marek Klepadlo & Nina Zhiting Yang 1,2,2,1,1. They did not have the majority of 1st places in any dance, however. The runners-up, and perhaps the favorites going into the event, were Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova 2,1,1,2,2. Also picking up a significant number of 1st places but placing 3rd in all dances were Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna. 4th Stephen Arnold & Yasmin Priestnall (England) 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenco 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Tyrone Thiara & Anna Hsu (England).
Today we will see the Pro World Championship in Smooth and all the Pro-Am World Championships in Ballroom. So stay tuned!
The World is at Irvine!
Yesterday August 29, was the first day of competition at the Embassy Ballroom Championships in Irvine, California.
And as most of you know the World Pro/Am Championships are held here as well as the NDCA World Professional Smooth and World Professional Rhythm.
Last night we had our first World Pro/Am Championships in the Rhythm divisions and some were well attended with an overall total of entries for the Embassy Ball of about 7 thousand and counting.
The Pro/Am Senior divisions were hugely attended and the winners of the Senior 1 World Pro/Am Rhythm Dance Championship was Joan Goddard dancing with Aaron Talbert and winning all dances. Second was awarded to Hope Huber w/ Eddie Stutts, but things here were not as clear as with the last contender mentioned, here are their marks 2,2,3,4. Kelly Akoi w/ Jeremy Pilling placed third overall 3,3,2,5, leaving Leslie McLead w/ Melbin De La Cruz holding fourth 4,4,5,2. Fifth place went to Diana Best w/ Alosha Anatolly 5,5,4,3, sixth in all was Evelyn Landen w/ Daniel Vasco and sixth was awarded to Julia Wang w/ Andrew Escolme.
The Senior 2 was not as populated as the Senior 1, but great quality of talent was showcased. A tie was presented between first and second place one that perhaps had to be broken with a rule 10 or eleven but in the end Andrea Wishnow w/ Felipe Telona Jr placed first overall 2,2,1,1, second went to Diana Dean w/ Slava Stefanov 1,1,2,2, and third place was awarded to Shirley Lien w/ Daniel Lee Tran who took third in all dances. Fourth place overall went to Sheila Ragan w/ Sid Pocius 5,4,4,4; Jackie Siegel w/ Daniel Vasco was fifth 4,5,5,5, and sixth in all went to Tom Brisco w/ Symphony Runnells.
In the regular divisions the “B” category was the most populated and here this win overall went to Mytia McNeal w/ Damir Karaman with these marks 2,1,1,1,1. As you can see she only lost the cha cha, but from here down things got harder for the judges and you can see it by their marks. Second was awarded to Laura Paoletti w/ Roman Drobotov with these marks 1,3,2,4,2, as you can see Laura got quite a variety of marks on her score card. Third went to Thara Salamone w/ Jim Morento 3,2,3,2,3; fourth was Sharon Powers w/ Jason Daly 4,4,4,3,4 and fifth was awarded to Andi Wolf w/ John Holzworth 6,5,5,5,5. Chirstina Rossetti w/ Francesco Arietta wase sixth 5,7,6,6,6, and Victoria Romm w/ Daniel Vasco, seventh 7,6,7,7,7.
Six couples went head to head for the “A” division that was very contested, but in the end this win went to Marinda James-Heskett w/ Jeremy Pilling who took first in all dances. Second in all dances went to Chasity w/ Eddie Ares, leaving third overall to Levina Kasmara w/ Gleb Makarov with these marks 3,3,3,3,4. Sophia Montez w/ Daniel Vasco was fourth overall 4,4,4,4,3, Gabriella Puno w/ Steven McGrath took fifth in all dances and Ryan Romero w/ Danielle Jenkins was sixth.
The “C” was also a six-couple final and this World Championship went to Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov and she placed first in all dances. Second was awarded to Joan Goddard w/ Aaron Talbertand she too placed second in all dances. Third overall was awarded to Heidy Keilison w/ Sean Tamashiro with these marks 3,3,3,4,3. Hope Huber w/ Eddie Stutts took fourth 4,5,4,3,4; Darla Davies w/ Jim Maranto 5,6,5,5,5, and Monica Broch w/ Kris Suakjian was sixth 6,4,6,6,6.
We must also point out that all World Pro/Am Rhythm Champions were from the USA.
It is also quite worthy to note that the Nightclub session was moved to a venue outside the Ballroom and it went magnificently with many of the attendees having a fantastic time while doing their Salsas, Merengues, and Argentine Tangos, it was a very appropriate venue for all the nightclub attendies.