In all the open professional events combined it was hard to find a US finalist but what we did find was great competitions to judge and to watch, so full of energy and enthusiasm, making the job for the judges a difficult one!
All categories were well attended, but the Open Professional Ballroom only had a final. Like the night before the Smooth and Rhythm, as at most events nowadays, were very prominent here also on the Northcoast.
Nevertheless, Toshko & Kriste were for certain terrific in their cha cha only losing two first place marks a second from Linda Jackson and a fifth from Jolan Sniegocki from Canada, these two judges continued awarding them low marks in the rest of the dances, and were join by Mr. Barrera who awarded them these marks 1,3,3,2,3, and Ms. Rozana Sweeney who awarded them 1,1,2,2,1. We have to say their dancing was very correct and some on the panel said to us during the after party, that they were the only ones doing “American Style”, making us wonder what they meant by that? We must remember this terrific answer for later, because it sounds like a good “copout,” when a question as to why you marked the couple to win. Nevertheless, we do have to agree that their work was very organized and easy to read and follow, but for us it lacked the energy and power of freshness required for this terrific night.
Although their dancing is not the most usual you will see because they for sure grab your attention at every corner, stop and dance - Artem & Ginny Ray Shiller for us had something in the content of their Rhythm that makes them special, is it “American Style?” That we don’t know because we think this is still being debated in some quarters, but they do have what we look for - a uniqueness to express what they are hearing and it is not like anyone else. From the marks you can see that that uniqueness made the judges go up on their marks in the last true American Style dances the bolero, and the mambo. For us American style like Bob Powers, former World and US American Style champion once said “should be the epitome of self expression, there is nothing right or wrong just give us what you want us to see, as if you’re in a nightclub feeling it out.” I think with Artem & Ginny we have a perfect example of this, we do feel her hip action could be a little more as my teacher “Bobby Medeiros” used to say more “Down, Deep, and Dirty,” yes the three D’s to not be so internal, but a little more external and South American. Here were their marks 3,3,3,2,2.
Fourth to sixth seemed to get easier to mark for the judges Enoch Evans & Anastasia Gordeeva were fourth in all dances, Dustin Donelan & Georgietta Anderson placed fifth in all and Ernesto Olivas & Megan Strong took all sixths.
Third place in this excellent Smooth heat went to Martin Pickering & Natalie Botes placing third in all dances. Here I think the dancing is very correct but there is little effort to break from the pack and be brilliant. Hair is perhaps flowing way out control at times not helping their cause. Dmitro Krasnyanskiy & Esther Frances took all fourths; Aleksandar Bonev & Olga Aidasheva took all fifths and Dustin Donelan & Georgietta Anderson were sixth.
Bozhier Elkin & Elena Dumanova took third overall 3,3,4,4,3; Aleksei Shipilov & Julia Mitina were fourth 4,4,3,3,4; Dmitrii Chopenko & Valeria Khrapak were fifth in all dances and Malachi Osai & Freda Chan were sixth.
We have to say that Marielle & Carlos Pabon outdid themselves with the service to all participants and attendees. The quality as expected in this Northcoast City of Cleveland was great and we were busy day and night in the ballroom with great atmosphere from guest and participants alike.
Dancing on the Northcoast!
Last night at the Northcoast, it was Rising Star time, with all the professional Rising Star competitions taking place.
The Professional Rising Star Rhythm also had a full final and here Artem Shiller & Ginny Ray Shiller won all dances. Second was awarded at Enoch Evans & Anastasia Gordeeva and they placed second in all dances, leaving all third places to Dustin Donelan & Georgitta Anderson. Fourth went to Ernesto Olivas & Megan Strong 4,4,4,4,5; fifth were Julius Solano & Emely Tang 5,5,5,5,4, leaving sixth to Dwight David & Uttara Vaidya.
In the Professional Rising Star Latin we had four excellent couples and here Bozhidar Elkin & Elena Dumanova were first overall with these marks 1,2,2,1,1. Second was awarded to Malachi Osai & Freda Chan; third went to Daniele Fulvi & Veronika Criscione and they took all third in all dances and finally fourth in all went to Rusland Pashayev & Rachel Hakversen.
Tonight we should see all the Open events so stay tuned for how all fare at the Northcoast this excellent weekend of dance.