3 good Open Pro events plus part II of the Show of Shows made Saturday night one to remember from Millennium Dancesport.
Iaroslav & Lilia Bieliei easily won the Open Ballroom, winning all dances with a large majority of 1st places from the judges. They received nothing lower than 3rd place from any judge. With 2,2,2,2,3, Alexander & Veronica Voskalchuk cemented 2nd spot and they had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in the first 4 dances. Their best scored dance was Viennese Waltz. Vladislav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova were 3rd 3,3,3,3,2. They had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in the quickstep and that included 5 first places. These 3 couples were well clear of the rest of the final. Taking 4th in all dances were Stefano & Bianca DiBrino. This was a strong performance and good result for this couple who appear to be back on form. The last 3 places were less settled. 5th were Oreste Alitto & Valeria Belozerova, the Rising Star winners, 7,5,5,5,5. 6th Sergiy Averkov & Olena Barna 5,7,6,6,6 and 7th Artem Belmega & Anna Shevchenko 6,6,7,7,7.
The Open Rhythm pitched the 2 currently highest rated couples against each other. Andre & Natalie Paramonov were easily the winners here, taking large majorities of 1st place marks in all dances. Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi, similarly 2ook 2nd in all dances and had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in all. Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin substantiated their claim to be in the nation’s top 3, taking a strong 3rd in all dances. The other couple vying to be in this top 3 are the resurgent Ilya Velednitsky & Mariya Ilchenko and they took 4th in all dances, although the 4th in mambo was a tied dance. 5th and 6th spots were the closest fought and in fact only 0.5 of a point separated them. 5th were Shane & Shannon Jense, 5,5,6,5,6 (27) and 6th were Aaron & Iryna DeSotto 6,6,5,6,4T (27.5).
9 couple entered the Pro Cabaret, meaning a semifinal was held in a separate ballroom during the afternoon. 6 couples were recalled and danced their final in the evening. Shane & Shannon Jensen were the winners, taking 13 of the 17 first places. They danced their “Footprints in the Sand” routine. The 2nd and 3rd placed couples each took 2 first places. The runners up were Craig Smith & Andrea Harvey. They had 13 “2nd or better” scores. 3rd were Tsorokean & Wheeler and all 17 judges placed them at least 3rd, whereas Craig & Andrea did receive 2 fourth placements. 4th Jamie Black & Samantha Elliott; 5th Zachary Pohl & Ariel Freilich; 6th Gerard Gore & Ellie Grohoske.
On this final day, the pro-ams danced Latin and once again the finals of the Open Scholarships were danced at night.
The Open B was won by Missy White w/ Genya Bartashevich and she won all dances with a majority of 1st places. 2nd in all went to Marina Dzasokhova w/ Ivan Statsenko 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd went to Soccodato & Delyan Terziev 3,3,3,3,3. Sabrine Strasser w/ Stanislav Kochergin won the Open A - 2,2,1,1,1. 2nd was Vera Xu w/ Vitalii Proskurin 1,1,2,2,2 and 3rd Pierzchalski w/ Vlad Astafiev 3,3,3,4,3. Deborah Wright w/ Nikolai Voronovich won the Open C 1,1,1,1,1. Deborah had a perfect 9 first places in paso doble. 2nd went to Sophia D’Angelo w/ Nikolai Pilipenchuk 3,2,2,2,3 and 3rd the Mariana Svyatets w/ Aleksandr Vukosavljevic 2,3,3,3,2.
Part II of the Show of Shows was very exciting with the same guest performers and cast members performing new routines. Star performers were Kirill Belorukov & Polina Teleshova, Andrea & Sara Ghigiarelli, Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova and Peter & Alexandra Perzhu.
The BYU Formation team was once again performing. They danced another 2 numbers including their Blackpool winning "Carmen" Latin formation.
Congratulations to Michael Chapman and his organizational team on yet another super Millennium Championships.
The Show of Shows! – Part I
Millennium is known for its Décor and for its shows – last night we saw Part I
In another packed day of competition, at around 10PM, Part I of the Show of Shows hit the floor, introduced in voice over by organizer, Michael Chapman. Each year the audience is anxious to see who will perform and this year we got 2 couples who may be new to the US audience, although not to the world. Featured overseas performers this year are Kirill Belorukov & Polina Teleshova, Russian Latin Champions, and Andrea & Sara Ghigiarelli from England who recently won the Open British Ballroom Championship in Blackpool.
It is always interesting to see what couples you have seen only in competition mode will do when placed in a show setting. We were especially impressed with Kirill & Polina whose rather severe competition demeanor was softened and showcased Kirill’s humorous side – something we had not known about or expected from this young man who we have seen dance since he was a youth competitor. He gave us a Michael Jackson lead into a paso doble as well as a solo mime segment. It was great stuff.
Andrea & Sara’s offerings were more traditional in nature and in part I we saw their tango and foxtrot. (Both couples will dance again tonight).
Joining these guest performers were two homegrown couples, both in the Smooth style. Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova were right at home in this show setting and gave us a firey tango and sultry waltz. It was also great to see past US Champions, Peter & Alexandra Perzhu back together and they gave us one number last night. Again, both couples will dance again tonight.
All the solo routines are stitched together by the Millennium Cast into a cohesive show.
Also in the show format last night were 2 performances from the BYU Formation Team. These were not their competitive routines, but from their touring show repertoire. As always, they were almost faultless!
Of course, it wasn’t all about shows, there was some serious competition spearheaded by the Open Professional Divisions in Smooth and Latin.
The Smooth began with a quarter-final and was won by US Champions, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija. They won all dances with a majority of 1st places from he judges, a good result considering they have not competed as heavily so far this year. The runners-up were Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina, and they were the only couple to take any first places from the winners, and they took a significant number – 4 in waltz, 8 in tango, 6 in foxtrot and 7 in Viennese. This from a judging panel of 19. We thought the large floor really suited them, giving them room to show off their impressive movement.
Sergey Samchynskyy & Yulia Besarab were 3rd in all dances, but had to work for it as they did not have the majority of “3rd or better” scores in waltz nor foxtrot. The waltz was in fact decided by a tiebreak. The couple pushing them were Slava & Valeriia Kostianets and they were 4th in all dances. The last 2 couples in this great final were Aleksandr Vukosavljevic & Nevena who were 5th in all dances and Nikolai Pilipenchuk & Sarika Hudson who were 6th in all. The tango was the closest between these two couples and again a tiebreak was needed.
The Open Latin was smaller, as some deletions made it an 8-couple semifinal. The winners, in all dances, were Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir. They had the majority of 1st places in all dances except the jive. Two other couples did take a significant amount of 1st places and they were Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Schypilina who were 2nd in all dances and Artur Tarnavsky & Anastasia Danilova who were 3rd in all. 4th in all went to the RS Champions, Pasha Stepnachuk & Gabriella Sabler; 5th in all were Ivan Kudashev & Kshusha Sokolova and 6th Maksim Kapitanikov & Elena Nesterova.
The Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award was given this year to David & Esther Don.
The pro-am competitions were in the Ballroom style today and as is customary here at Millennium, the finals of the Open Scholarships were danced at night.
The B age group was once again a very strong division. The judging panel was highly undecided on this one, and nobody received a majority of 1st places in any dance. However, the overall winner was Janet Simsic w/ Andrea Stefano who placed 2,1,4,1,2 for a total of 10 points. Just 1 point behind, in 2nd spot was Natasha Laura Janey w/ Vladislav Shakhov 3,2,2,3,1 and just 1 more point behind, Shooks w/ Alexander Voskalchuk was 3rd 1,3,3,2,3. The other lady to win a dance was Sabrina Zagolin w/ Yuriy Kravets who was 4th 4,4,1,4,4. As you can see, it was tight at the top! 5th place went to Carley Chik w/ Fabrizio Cravero 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Faraci 6T,6,6,6,6 and 7th Arta Stare w/ Marek Klepadlo 6T,7,7,7,7.
The Open A went to Russia. Irina Agaletskaya w/ Alexander Zhiratkov won all dances, but only the VW and QS with a majority of 1st places. However, by the judges’ scores she was clearly ahead as the 2nd and 3rd place ladies shared dances. In 2nd spot was Eva Chen w/ Christian Radvan 2,3,3,2,2 and in 3rd, just 1 point behind, was Natalie Rezai w/ Sergey Kiselev 3,2,2,3,3. Denise Evans w/ Martin Reinbold was 4th in all dances; 5th Colette Marotto w/ Egor Abashkin 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Jenn Mo w/ Stephano DiBrino 6,6,6,6,6; 7th Paula Cowpland w/ Yuriy Shelkovyy 7,7,7,7,7.
The Open C had a clear winner and that was Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano who won all dances and lost very few 1st place marks. The only judge to seriously dissent was Esther Don who scored her 3,3,3,3,2. The runner-up placed 2nd in all dances and this was Annie Chan w/ Christian Radvan. Elena Lee w/ Emanuele Pappacena was 3rd in all dances and incidentally received all of judge Esther Don’s 1st place marks. 4th Debra Hoag w/ Rudy Homm 4,5,5,5,4; 5th Laura White w/ Andrea Faraci 5,4,6,4,5; 6th Lucy Sha w/ Marek Gabor 6,6,4,6,6.
We also saw 2 very good Rising Star events tonight, the Ballroom and Rhythm. The winners were Oreste Alito & Valeria Belozerova (Ballroom) and Kristian Sese & Mae Lozado (Rhythm)
So Much Smooth!
Yesterday was a huge day of Smooth here at Millennium Dancesport!
There was literally no break yesterday in the pro-am Smooth day. As the afternoon session ended, the evening began – no time to clear the ballroom. Organizer, Michael Chapman, vowed to add a day to the event next year, to accommodate this much Smooth dancing.
The level of dancing was quite high all day, culminating with some really good Open Scholarships in the evening session with many of the nation’s top contenders in attendance. Nowhere was this more true than in the Open B, where the number 1 lady in the division, Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano, won all dances with comfortable majorities of 1st places. We were pleased to see Elizabeth Rocco back on the floor. Elizabeth was a successful competitor in this style a few years ago and placed 2nd here, now dancing with Igor Afonkin. Her scores were 2,2,2,3. Close behind was Olivia Whiteside w/ Sergey Barsukov, 3,3,3,2, another very strong competitor. 2nd place in all 4 dances was decided by “3rd or better” majorities. Placing 4,4,4,5, Joanne Smith w/ Anton Lebedev (Canada) was another strong presence in this final. This was an 8-couple final. 5th Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki 5,5,5,4; 6th Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev 6,6,6,6. Nichelle was also the winner of the Open 9-Dance. 7th Mariana Lvoff w/ Vladimir Kosarev 7,7,7,7; 8th Amy Brewer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 8,8,8,8.
The Open A was another 8-couple final. The clear winner was Natasha Namen w/ Misha Vlasov and she won all dances with a majority of 1st places. Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki fared better in this division, taking the runner-up position in all dances. 3rd and 4th places were separated by a Rule 10 tiebreak that gave the edge to Alina Sakura w/ Adrian Dydynsky 3,3,6,3 over Ariel Mayer w/ Mayo Alanen 4,4,3,4. 5th Dulcinea Thompson w/ Kyle Spender 5,6,4,5; 6th Kailee Donovan w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 6,5,5,6; 7th Nadia Sicilia w/ Christopher Panasuk (Canada) 7,7,7,7; 8th Cassidy Johnson w/ Christopher Wayne 8,8,8,8.
Sue Eldred w/ Oleksiy Pigotskyy had a great night winning both the Open C and Open D Scholarships. In the C, Sue won all dances but did had the majority of 1st places only in the foxtrot. With 2,2,3,2, Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia was the judges’ clear 2nd place as she was 6 points ahead of 3rd placed Meredith Kaplan w/ Sergey Vasyliev who scored 6,3,2,4. 4th spot went to Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza 5,4,4,5; 5th Debra Hoagg w/ Rudy Homm 4,5,5,6; 6th Angela Morrison w/ Evgeny Dyachenko 7,6,6,3; 7th Michelle Kirby w/ Radek Wiatrowski 3,7,7,7; 8th Anna Capo w/ Luis Lopez 8,8,8,8.
In the D, Sue Eldred was the winner by 3 dances to 1, placing 1,2,1,1. Winning the tango and taking 2nd in the other 3 dances was Linda Gill w/ Roman Malkhasyan. Both ladies had the majority of 1st places in the dances they won. Connie Caruso w/ Kamil Urbaniak was 3rd 3,3,4,4; 4th Diana Best w/ Alyosha Anatoliy 5,5,3,3; 5th Kathy Stewart w/ Mayo Alanen 4,4,5,6; 6th Sue Gershowitz w/ Mayo Alanen 6,6,6,5.
We also saw the first of the professional events yesterday, the RS Smooth and Latin took place. The Smooth was by far the larger, beginning with a quarter-final round. Igor Afonkin & Meghan Anderson were the winners, placing 1,1,2,1. The 17 judges’ first places were quite spread around in this heat, although Igor & Meghan did receive the majority of them in VW (10). For the other dances, all were won with a majority of “2nd or better” although there were ties even here for waltz and foxtrot. The couple pushing the winners the hardest were Tykhon & Yana Zhyvkov 2,2,1,2. Stephen & Eliza McCann also found favor with the judges, picking up 1st places in all dances and scoring 4,3,3,3. The other couple who picked up a lot of 1st places (more than Stephen & Eliza) was Dmitry Zavialov & Katt Baumgartner and they ended 4th 3,4,4,4. 5th Maksim Leonov & Anastasia Zhuchenko 5,5,5,6; 6th Ilya Abdulin & Anastajia 6,6,6,5.
The Latin was a straight 6-couple final dominated by Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler who recently migrated from the Amateur division. They won all dances and had perfect scores (17 first places) in the samba and jive. The runners-up were Maksim Kapitanikov & Elena Nesterova 2,2,2,2,3 and 3rd were Bozhidar Elkin & Elena Dumanova 3,3,3,3,2.
Since the BYU Formation Team is in the house, it meant we had a strong Amateur Smooth division, all the participants were from Utah. The winners were Brandon & Serena Keck and they won all dances. Landon Anderson & Hannah Gasinki were 2nd 3,2,2,2 and Nate Stevenson & Rachel Harding were 3rd 4,3,3,3.
Stay tuned for more from Millennium Dancesport tomorrow.
Back to the “Magic” City!
After a 1-year hiatus, Millennium Dancesport is back to the city of Orlando, FL!
Close to all the area attractions, this year’s Millennium Dancesport is back at the Hyatt Regency - a massive and modern hotel. The hotel has huge convention facilities and the Millennium, with its lavish décor is using a considerable amount!
This year’s theme is “The Big Top” and the competition area, not just the ballroom, is spectacularly dressed with huge animals, tents and all the paraphernalia of the circus. There’s even a cage of lions that growl at you as you walk past (not real ones, of course). We all await this year’s Show of Shows, that we’re sure will continue this circus theme.
Entries are huge, of course, and so far there have been 2 days of pro-am Rhythm and solo exhibitions. The Rhythm heats concluded last night with the Open Scholarships, 3 of which had semifinal rounds.
The Open C was particularly strong. The winner was Janice Gonzalez w/ Aleksandr Vukosavljevic. Janice won all dances, and all except the bolero with a majority of 1st places, putting her clearly ahead. Placing 2,2,3,3,3, but nonetheless becoming the runner-up was Michelle Loeb w/ Aleko Khutsidze. Michelle was 2 points in front of Tracy Hannon w/ Iurii Kora who was also 2nd in 2 dances – 4,3,2,2,4. The remaining 2nd place in mambo went to Anna Capo w/ Luis Lopez who was 4th overall 3,4,4,4,2. Gail Komar w/ Serhiy Komar was 5th in all and Beth Waltz w/ Stephen Davis was 6th in all.
The Open A was won by a gentleman, Marko Namen w/ Marina Vlasova and he won all dances, and all with a majority of 1st places except the mambo. The runner-up, again in all dances, was Pooja Mehta Himovich w/ Kristjan Burazer and 3rd in all was Aliina Sakura w/ Adrian Dydynski. 4th and 5th places were separated by a Rule 11 tiebreak. Joanna Gorski w/ Vlad Astafiev took the 4th spot 4T,5,4,4,5 over Sara Sharpe w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 4T,4,5,5,4. 6th in all dances fell to Ariel Mayer w/ Mayo Alanen.
The clearest win in these open scholarships came in the D where Shari Oxman w/ Hayk Balasanyan won all dances losing a total of only 4 first place marks in total. The runner-up in all dances was Luna Viva w/ Kristjan Burazar and 3rd in all was Julie Parkinson w/ Maksim Lototskyy. 4th, 5th and 6th places were much tighter. 4th Sandy Buckholz w/ Jonathan Green 4,6,5,5,4; 5th Mimi Feliciano w/ Ivan Kudashev 6,4,4,6,5; 6th Janel Bruttell w/ Dmitry Zavialov 5,5,6,4,6. Only 1 point separated 4th from 5th and 5th from 6th,
The Open B was a straight final. The winner was Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev 1,1,2,1,1. Mariana Lvoff w/ Vlad Kosarev was the runner-up 2,2,1,2,2 and Andi Wolff w/ John Holzworth was 3rd 4,3,3,3,3. 4th Kristin Buettner w/ Ivan Markelov 3,4,4,4,4; 5th Tonya Fitzgerald w/ Iurii Kora 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Stephen Kough w/ Samamtha Elliott 6,6,6,6,6.
This year the Millennium is supporting the charity “Give Kids The World” which sponsors vacations for seriously ill children and their families. Contestants in all styles are asked to enter special events where 100% of the entry fees go to the charity. https://www.gktw.org/