The DBDC 2018

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A Legendary Celebration!

Last night at the DBDC we celebrated a living “Icon” a person who dedicated nearly her entire life to the promotion and development of ballroom dancing in North America, Ms. Meryem Pearson from Canada.

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Starting at the age of 3 until she was 15, Meryem was involved in ballet at the Canadian LES GRANDS BALLETS CANADIENS (Montreal), training in classical ballet, jazz and modern dance.

Méryem started figure skating at the age of 4 and continued until 16, becoming a member of the Olympic Canadian Training Team. She studied ballroom dancing in England and the United States competing in Ballroom and Latin as a professional and danced in the Blackpool TEAM MATCH as a competitor and also as the North American TEAM MATCH CAPTAIN.

She is a coach for career dance couples of Canada, USA and Europe. Ballroom dancing has been her PASSION for the last 40 years, she is still coaching couples every day.

Méryem is a world qualified championships adjudicator.  She has also been an adjudicator at the Blackpool Dance Festival. She is also a Dual Fellow in Ballroom, Latin, Smooth, Rhythm and Cabaret of the I.S.T.D and CDF and an Examiner for the Canadian DanceSport Federation. She has served as an adjudicator at no less than 40 World Championships in Europe, Asia, USA and Canada.

Meryem is a recipient of the ``CARL ALLAN AWARD`` from the Royal Family in London, England, for outstanding contribution to Ballroom dancing.

Méryem assisted the famous film director MARTIN SCORCESE for his movie “THE AVIATOR’’as well as being an MC and Choreographer for movies and national TV working with stars such as; LEONARDO DI CAPRIO, KATE BLANCHET, ALEX BALDWIN, GWEEN STEFANI, JUDE LAW and many more…

She has cast talent for Cirque du Soleil, and acted as Organizer of the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR on National TV

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Ms. Pearson was received by many of her friends, colleagues and supporters, in the Georgian Room of the Park Plaza hotel in Boston, MA, with the celebration going for about two hours. The presentation was so touching that there was not one dry eye in the room after the video where her friends talked about her and gave her best wishes. When all was said and done the celebration moved to the ballroom where the 2018, DBDC competition awaited.

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Meryem’s celebration was a focal point of yesterday’s presentation, but the DBDC had some very interesting competitions through the night in the main ballroom. The “Peter Eggleton Professional Ballroom Cup” was one of these events and we are happy to report that a new recipient was crowned last night, Vladislav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova with these marks 1,3,2,1,1. As you can see by the marks you just read it was an uphill battle for Vladislav & Ekaterina, and although they did receive a number of firsts, the 3 dances they won they relied on “third or better mark.s” Just to go over the first place marks in the waltz and quickstep they got 2 first places in each, the most firsts were in the foxtrot where they were awarded 4 first places.

Second in this excellent Ballroom competition went to Oskar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody, with these marks - 2,4,3,2,2. As you can see Oskar & Karolina did not win any dances in this match, as some of us would say they came right through the middle in order to obtain this second placement. It is interesting to note that with the exception of the tango Oskar & Karolina took a few more first place marks in the other four dances than the wining couple, but unfortunately they also got more lower marks than Vladishlav & Ekaterina.

Third and fourth place were also quite questionable and the balance between these two hung on one higher mark. In the end Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova placed third overall with 4,2,1,3,4, and Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were fourth with 3,1,4,4,3. As you can see both of these couples won a dance outright, this gives you the feeling of how close all this couples were in talent and skillfulness. Fifth and sixth were a little bit clearer - all fifth places were awarded to Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley and sixth was awarded to Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova in all dances.

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The Professional Rhythm also took place this evening and here the couples were also of excellent caliber, and last year’s Professional Rhythm winners, Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin, defended their position well by winning all dances. But we must also note that Dmitry & Olena only won three dances with a majority of firsts, the cha cha, swing and bolero, in the other two dances they had to rely on “3rd or better” marks in order to win. Second overall was awarded to Alberto Cortes & Jessa Mae Briones 3,2,2,2,2. On the second tier balconies were we were stationed, the crowds went wild with this couple especially with Jessa the envy of all the women on our balcony, unfortunately for them the judges did not see them the same way.

Third overall was awarded to Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker, and they placed second in the Cha Cha and third in the other four dances. Fourth in all dances was awarded to Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti placing fourth in all dances, and fifth in all was awarded to Antonio Nunes & Ksenia Kashkina, leaving sixth in every dance to Nicolas Rodriguez & Paulina Struk.

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The Open Amateur Latin competition was a very important event at the DBDC this year with the “Dance Beat Dance Off”as the top four couples competed for a purse of $10,000.00. The semifinal, final of this spectacular event was held during the afternoon session and here seven couples of incredible talent and skill went head to head in the final from a 14-couple semi. The winner of the group competition overall were Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman, who won four dances and placed second in the rumba. We most also point out that out of the four dances they won only in the paso doble and Jive they had a majority of firsts, in the other three dances they had to rely on second or better marks in order to win this dances.

Second in this terrific heat went to Alexander Chermositov & Arina Grishanina and they were the winners of the rumba, in the other four dances they placed second in all. Third across the board was awarded to Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina and fourth went to Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler. These top four went on to compete in the “Dance Beat Dance Off” that was broadcast over the internet later that evening.

The next three couples did not make the “Dance off” part but here it is how they faired. In fifth position by placing fifth in all dances were Andriy & Amanda Besyedin, sixth in four dances and seventh in the rumba went to Artem Zhychuk & Anna Shevchenko, leaving seventh position to Michael Finkelshtein & Yulia Ishchak from Canada and they placed sixth in the rumba and seventh in the other four dances.

In the “Dance Beat Dance Off” portion of the event that evening, the judges stayed out of the equation and the it was up to the people to speak. The broadcast was quite a success and we a massive group engaged and waiting to vote at the end of the three challenges the couples had to face. The 4 couples competed in 2 semifinal, head to head, matches with the winners of each semifinal proceeding to the final. Each round consisted of a 1-minute segment where the couples danced against each other, 45 seconds where they changed partners and danced (with the audience voting for their favorite dancer) and a 1-minute solo dance each. The audience voted 3 times on each round.

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Here’s how it went down. In the first of the semfinals, Chernositov/Grishanina were the winners over Drozdyuk/Skobina and in the second, Stepanchuk/Sabler were the winners over Livshitz/Keselman. In the final Stepanchuk/Sabler were the winners. This was an interesting result as in the afternoon Stepanchuk/Sabler were the 4th place couple. Audience voting is always unpredictable and the voting was quite tight. The top 4 couples shared a purse of $10,000 – we believe the largest cash purse ever offered to amateurs in the USA.

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The Amateur Ballroom was smaller in entries, but 2 of the USA's top couples were competing. The win today, as in other recent events, went to Oleksandr Kalenyuk & Olena Ablitsova and they placed 1,1,2,1,1. They had the majority of 1st places in the dances they won. Winning tango, also with a majority of 1st places and placing 2nd in the other dances were Dan Malov & Stephanie Noon. Another prominent US couple took 3rd in all dances and this was Florin Vlad & Natalia O'Connor. All the 4's went tp Alec Zhang & Zhuoshi Xie, all the 5's to Kevin Lu & Yun-Han Huang and all the 6's to Matthew Harkins & Shannon Julian.

There were also 2 very good U/21 events. Erik Linda & Shelly Meshkausk won the Ballroom and Nikita Vasilenko & Olivia Agranovich took the Latin.

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There were 2 Professional RS Divisions also danced yesterday evening and the winners were Slawek Roszak & Denise Sobiewski (Smooth) and Daniils Kutuzovs & Olga Cherepkova (Latin)

For the pro-ams it was Smooth Day and the results of the Open Scholarships were:

Open A – 1st Jennifer Hoffman w/ Dave Hannigan 1,1,1,1; 2nd Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev 2,2,2,2; 3rd Nadia Sicilia w/ Christopher Panasuk 3,3,5,4.

Open B – 1st Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano 1,1,1,1; 2nd Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev 2,3,2,3; 3rd Jennifer Hoffman w/ Dave Hannigan 3,2,3,2.

Open C – 1st Shelly Dong w/ Dmitry Illushenov 2,2,1,1; 2nd Alla Neystadt w/ Aaron Talbert 1,1,2,2; 3rd Andrea Flink w/ Val Grebenin 4,3,3,3.

Open C1 – 1st Yu Lan Lin w/ Anton Gorolevici 1,1,1,1; 2nd Julia Wang w/ Aaron Talbert 2,2,2,2; 3rd Sheila Cosby w/ Gabor Seres 4,3,3,3.

Living up to his name!

Last night at the DBDC, the Professional Latin Competition, where the “Bob Medeiros Professional Latin Medal” is presented, was amazing with some of the best dancers from across North America on the floor.

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The final alone totally lived up to this world-class icon’s name, making this a very exciting heat to witness!

The Professional Smooth, the second featured event, also had tremendous quality with two World and US finalists in attendance. This and more made this a very special evening indeed!

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After a very contested heat the current US medalists, Mykhailov Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina, retained The Bob Medeiros Medal that they first won in 2017 and continue to reign as the DBDC Professional Latin medal winners for 2018. As we mentioned before it was not an easy comp for anyone, Mykhailov & Anastasiia won the medal four to one, by placing first in four dances and second in the cha cha, and out of those four dances only two with the full majority of firsts, the other two with “second or better” marks. Second in this exciting heat went to Canada’s Ilya Maletin & Polina Mayer who won the cha cha and placed second in the other four dances. We must also point out that they did not win the cha cha with a majority of firsts, like Mikhailov & Anastasiia, they won with nearly a majority needing one mark to make it a majority, so as you can see it was a close fought race and not an easy race for anyone.

Third position was a little clearer but still had its twists and turns. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova placed third in every dance, but we must also point out that they too managed to steal a few firsts in some dances from the top - two in the cha cha and one in the samba, rumba and jive. Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova took fourth with these marks 4,4,5,4,4; Alon Gilin & Anna Oblakova were fifth 5,5,4,5,5 and Evgeny Likhachev & Maria Levina were sixth in all dances.

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The Professional Smooth was also a terrific heat and all couples were fully ready for this task. In looking at the marks from the judges it was a clear cut between first and second place. Travis & Jaimee Tuft won all dances with the majority of firsts in every dance losing just two to four first marks per dance. In the waltz they lost 4, 3 in the tango, 2 in the foxtrot and four in the Viennese Waltz. The couple that stole these first place marks from Travis & Jaimee were Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova who placed second in every dance and with all second place marks awarded to them. We have to mention that these are two or our World and US professional finalists and they were on fire.

Third and fourth place in this excellent Smooth final was a more difficult situation down to a rule 10 to break a tie for third place. In the end third place went to Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth 5,3,3,4, and fourth was awarded to Pavel Lebedev & Dinara Khayrulina 4,4,4,3. Fifth position was awarded to Slawek Roszak & Denises Sobiewski 3,5,5,5, and sixth went to Dave Hannigan & Yulia Koshleva 6,6,6,6.

We also saw 2 rising star divisions last night. Making it a great night for them Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth also won the RS Rhythm 1,1,1,1,1. Runners-up were Antonio Nunez & Ksenia Kashkina 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd were Karol Kalinowski & Rosa Paredes4,3,4,3,3.

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The RS Ballroom went to Anton Bilozorov & Samanta Filip 3,1,1,2,4. 2nd Mykhailo Annufriev & Anna Vietrynska 2,2,3,3,2; 3rd Ivan Levin & Sasha Basko 1,3,4,4,1.

For the pro-am competitors it was a long day that covered 2 styles – Rhythm and Latin with some good open scholarships in both.

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The results in Rhythm were: Open A – 1 Maria Fuentes w/ Kummar Bennett 1,1,1,1,1; 2 Almond w/ Andrew Escolme 2,2,2,2,2. Open B – 1. Louise Shah w/ Andrew Escolme 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev 2,2,2,2,2. Open C – 1. Joan Goddard w/ Aaron Talbert 1,1,2,1,1; 2. Gail Komar w/ Serhiy Komar 2,2,1,2,2. Open C1 – 1. Julia Wang w/ Andrew Escolme 1,1T,3,1; 2. Ibis Wu w/ Riccardo Papi 2,1T,2,3; 3. Martin Rooney w/ Sharone Levit 3,3,1,2.

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In the Latin: Open A – 1. Liang Ying w/ Yegor Novikov 1,1,1,1,3; 2. Joanne Smith w/ Richard Livshitz 2,2,3,2,4; 3. Jerry Magiera w/ Vanda Polakova 3,3,2,3,2. Open B – 1. Mirra Blinova-Thorp w/ Clement Joly 1,1,1,2,2; 2. Joanne Smith w/ Richard Livshitz 2,2,2,1,1; 3. Shelley Dong w/ Dmitry Illushenov 4,4,3,3,3. Open C – 1. Lorraine Peoples w/ Genya Bartashevich 1,1,1,1,2; 2. Shelly Dong w/ Dmitry Illushenov 2,2,2,2,1; 3. Joan Goddard w/ Andrew Escolme 3,3,3,3,3. Open C1 – 1.Sue Ikai w/ Yegor Novikov 1,1,1,1; 2. Fifi Wang w/ Delyan Terziev 2,2,3,2; 3. Ibis Wu w/ Mykhailo Bilopukhov 3,3,2,3.

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There were 2 special solo performances 1 from Frank Yen w/ Amy Baker and the other from Linda Miller w/ Carlos Zapata.

You can tune in live tonight for the Open Professional Rhythm and Ballroom Finals and the first ever Amateur Latin Dance Beat Dance Off where the audience vote will determine the winners with $10,000 up for grabs. Tune into the the DBDC Website and vote!

Here’s the direct link:


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