And there were a few that we could have easily seen winning the competition, something that should just be as “organic” as the style itself.
For us the performance of Alberto Cortez & Jessa Briones and Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker last night was very “Organic,” with so much rhythm and fresh and unique elements, that was almost contagious. We know that it’s very hard to move up the ladder in this business or should we say (move the judges in either direction), but on last night’s performance Andrew & Amy moved the judges enough with their excellent “organic” performance and were placed second in every dance, something that was a total shock to Alberto & Jessa who placed third in every dance. Alberto & Jessa were a little surprised as they were called for this position in the final during the awards and we don’t really blame them, as we mentioned before, it usually takes an act of Congress to get the judges to react beyond the status quo.
Having said all that this, Dmitry & Olena won the competition and yes they too had some “organic” moments especially in the swing, where they exceled and in the bolero. Most of you might not know, but this is a dance that is always passed from generation to generation and is still being done today at “Latin” weddings and dances when most have gone home and the “tango” and boleros come out along with the rancheras and singing. LOL
Speaking of a non organic performance fourth place was awarded to possibly the most non “organic” couple in this final Aleksei Shipilov & Julia Mitina who took all fourths. Had their work not been so well organized, we totally believe they would have been placed last in this final. But, once again that was not to be, fifth place in all dances went to Senso Makhaye & Agniezka Strojek, a clinical performance for us with a touch of organic feel. A total organic couple in this final was Kemar Bennett & Jessica Nicol who placed sixth in all dances. Unfortunately, their work was not clean enough to get any higher, judges always prefer clean easy work you can read to messy and strange.
In the Professional American Smooth the top three couples are definitely worth a mention Marcio & Saori DeSouza who were 3rd, Christian Lightner & Kia Kenny who placed second and Aleksandr Vokusavljevic & Neveda Urosevic who were first in every dance.
The “World Masters Amateur International Latin Championships” also took place and here it was a good quality heat with some terrific dancing, but when it came to their paso doble it looked more like war than a bullfight arena. People! Like a prominent coach told me, I know things have progressed beyond the basic dance, but the where has the “organic” part of the paso doble gone? Where has the bullfight gone? In place there is only sad carnage after the second and first highlight, the feeling of a bullfight even on the basic promenade from step to step is out of it and replaced with a sore! Think about it, you must keep the essence of a dance no matter what and some of the “organic” movements that makes it a dance. And what about the footwork, especially on the ladies? Do you just step on any part of the foot available!! People!!
In the Pro/Am ballroom the winners of the “A” were Sabryna Zhang w/ Nazar Batih, in the “B” Monika Ruszkowski w/ Gunnar Sverrisson, the Senior went to Kyle Brown w/ Aregey Bondarenko and the “C” was Kako Matsumoto w/ Basil Issaev.
Congratulations to the organizers, John & Cathie Nyemchek, for keeping the Yankee Classic an act of its own.
Rising Stars at the Yankee!
Last night was all about the Professional Rising Stars competitions and all four of the styles were contested.
The Professional Smooth was a good heat and here Christian Lighter & Kia Kenney won all dances. Second place was awarded to Marcio & Saori DeSouza 2,3,2,2, leaving third place to Michael Roberts & Skylor Sansing.
The Professional Rising Star Rhythm was also very well attended and here Tomas Vasicek & Vitalija Tymova placed first overall 2,2,1,1,1. Second was awarded to Senzo Makhave & Agnieska Strojek 1,1,2,3,2 and third went to Kemar Bennett & Jessica Nicol 3,3,3,2,3.
We’ve had two full days of Pro/Am competition and most of the Open Scholarships are finished. The Rhythm “A” open went to Maria Fuentes w/ Kemar Bennett. In the “C” Division the winner was Jennifer Marre w/ Delyan Terziev and the “B” division went to Irene Wong w/ John Campbell, leaving the Senior to Vivian Shah w/ Andrew Escolme.
In the Pro/Am Smooth the “B” went to Kako Matsumoto w/ Dave Hannigan. The Senior was awarded to Alla Neyshtadt w/ Dave Hannigan winning all dances. The “C” went to Angela Morrison w/ Evgeny Dyachenko also winning all dances.
In the Open Latin, the “A” went to Caroline Nunberg & Tomas Vasicek winning all dances. The “C” winners were Jennifer Marre w/ Delyan Terzeiv they also won all dances. The “B” was awarded to Christina Lyon w/ Evgeny Nazarov winning all dances. The Senior winners were Sherry Tucker w/ Vlad Astafiev 1,1,2,2,1.