Chicago Harvest Moon Ball 2018

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And the bar was open……….

Forgive us starting with this, but we’ve never before been to a competition where it was open bar in the ballroom all night!

Go Chicago Harvest Moon Ball!

Now we’ve got that out of the way, yesterday night was a festive night of dancing headlined by Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova in show mode. This innovative duo presented their 18 minute continuous show, “Love in Paris” that cleverly weaves the Smooth dances into a continuous story. The audience was issued with wrist bands that changed color automatically to enhance the show’s ambiance. They received a lengthy standing ovation!

On the competitive side, the featured events were in the American Style and of the two, we felt the Rhythm had the edge although both started with a semifinal.

Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin won the Rhythm, taking all dances with a majority of 1st places (perfect scores in the bolero). Swing was the closest scored dance as the Nikishkins won it by 6 first places to 5 over the runners-up, Aaron & Iryna DeSoto who were comfortably 2nd in all dances although 2 judges placed the in the lower half of the final – Delyan Terziev and Darina Jeleva. For there down the results were a little more mixed. Kristijan & Anja Burazer took 3rd with 3,4,3,3,4. 4th were Toshko Kondov & Kristen Dobson 4,3,4,5,3; 5th Jang & Adele Don 5,5,5,4,6; 6th Senzo Makhaye & Agnieszka Strojek 6,6,6,6,5.

Jang & Adele Don dominated the Pro Smooth winning all four dances with a perfect 11 first places. Congratulations! After them the results very much followed that of the rising star. The winners of that, Vladyslav & Brianna Nalyvaychuk, were 2nd in all dances (slightly better than they did in the RS). Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford were 3rd in all; 4th Aleksander Bonev & Olga Ailasheva; 5th David Elser & Elizabeth Krug; 6th Charles Leonard & Kamila Mirzaliev. Each couple finished in the same position in every dance.

Yesterday it was Latin and Smooth day for the pro-ams and the the best of the open scholarships produced the following winners. A Latin – Meera Mehta w/ Kristijan Burazer; B. Latin Carrie Steinmetz w/ Emanuel Pierre Antoine; C Latin Luna Viva w/ Kristijan Burazer.

B Smooth – Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev; C Smooth – Charlene Proctor w/ Mikhail Zharinov.

Today is a huge day of junior events here in Chicago.

73 Years and Counting!

The USA’s oldest ballroom dance competition, the Harvest Moon Ball is underway in Oak Brook, outside Chicago.

Begun in New York in 1945, the Harvest Moon Ball – now the Chicago Harvest Moon Ball is in full swing. Yesterday and Thursday, the pro-ams completed 2 styles, Rhythm and Ballroom.

Last night we saw two Rising Star Professional divisions and an interesting Open Cabaret that had 3 very different entries. The winners in this style, by a unanimous vote from the adjudicators were Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlana Rudkovskaya who gave a near faultless performance of their humorous Ballroom showdance. On the 2nd and 3rd placements the judges were almost evenly split, but by a 4 to 5 decision, 2nd place went to Marc Mariboe & Benita Buenger who danced an adagio style piece over Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford who presented another humorous routine with Nick portraying a ventriloquist dummy.

The largest of the RS divisions was the Smooth and that began with a semifinal of mostly local area competitors. The winners were Vladyslav & Brianna Nalyvaychuk 1,2,1,1. They had the majority of 1st places in the dances they won. Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford won the tango and placed 2nd in the other dances for a 2nd spot overall. 3rd in all went to Dmitry & Oksana Volodko; 4th in all to Aleksander Bonev & Olga Ailasheva; 5th in all to David Elser & Elizabeth Krug and 6th in all to Charles Leonard & Kamila Mirzaliev.

Senzo Makhaye & Agnieszka Stojek won all dances in the Rhythm and lost a total of only 1 first place mark – in the bolero. With 2,2,2,2,3, Nicholas Rodriguez & Paulina Struk were the runners-up. The couple to take that 1 first place, Caleb Aleman & Jamie Hinds, were 3rd overall 3,3,3,3,2. 4th Cody Arndtson & Paris Becker 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Andrew Belbin & Erin Scully 5,5,5,5,5.

We thought the best of the Open Scholarships came in the Rhythm. Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev was the winner of the Open B and took every available first place. Scott Magnesen w/ Jaana Lilliemagi won the Open C, placing 1,2,1,1,2.

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