Two people who helped propel ballroom dancing to the higher levels within the junior, youth, and amateur divisions in the USA. They also competed and won some of the most prestigious titles the world had to offer in the “Cabaret” field. They have also educated and shaped so many of the finest people we know in our industry, hard to mention everything and everyone they have influenced and accomplished and done for our industry. We just want to say a big “Thank You” to Lee and Linda Wakefield from all of us, last night was just a small token of what you guys deserve!
The expected “Dance Beat Dance Off” came to a head between the top amateurs in the Ballroom and Latin field, Oleksandr Kalenyuk & Olena Ablitsova won the Open Amateur Ballroom by placing first in all dances and Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina won the Latin with first in all dances as well. When it came to the “Dance Beat Dance Off” the two couples showcased their expertise in both fields, they managed to impress the audience in both styles Ballroom and Latin, dancing together and when they changed partners. It looks easy and fantastic even though we know how hard it is to switch partners and still look the part. In the end, the judges and the audience had their vote and Alexander & Arina captured the “Dance Beat Dance Off” title and the substantial reward.
Although Oleksandr & Olena, and Alexander & Arina were the best in their field and took to the floor for the “Dance Beat Dance Of,f” the finals of each amateur category were fantastic.
In the Latin, Misha Finkelshtein & Yulia Ishchak from Canada took second overall with these marks: 2,2,2,2,3. Max Firestein & Nicole Renee were third 3,3,3,3,2; Yevgenii Orlov & Marina Yerina placed fourth 4,4,4,5,6; Sandu Babira & Alice Dombrovsky from Canada were fifth 5,5,5,4,4; Eric Groysman & Alice Muraru placed sixth 6,6,6,6,5, and Eric Linder & Shelly Meshkausk were seventh in all dances.
In the Open Amateur Ballroom Vladislav Komieldov & Alexandra Sevastianova from Canada took second 3,2,2,2,2. Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova were third with 2,3,3,3,3; Eric Linder & Shelly Meshkausk placed fourth 4,5,4,4,5; Alec Zhiwel Zhang & Zhuoshi Xie were fifth 5,4,5,5,4; Jonathan Test & Sarah-Eve Roberge from Canada took all 6’s, Keith Claeys & Shen Ning were seventh 7,7,7,7,8, and Danny Vazquez & Marissa Pioso were eighth 8,8,8,8,7.
Another major occurrence at this year’s DBDC was the changing of the “guard” for the perpetual Peter Eggleton Cup. After a very tough fight on the floor the cup returned to the hands of Alexander & Veronika Voskalchuk who have won it two times in the past, they won four dances and took second in the tango. Last year’s winners, Vladislav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova won the tango and placed second in the other four dances. Third in all dances was awarded to Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova. From third place down, the marks were very fuzzy. Cristian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko were fourth 4,4,5,5,4; Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna placed fifth 5,6,4,4,5 and Radu Sterban & Xenia Cletova took sixth overall 6,5,6,6,6.
The Open Professional Rhythm was a five-couple final that went to Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi. They won 4 dances with a majority of firsts from the judges and placed 2nd in mambo. Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker won the mambo and were the recipients of all the first places that Danas & Yuki lost. They took four first places in the cha-cha, three in the rumba, six in swing, and five in the bolero. Zachary Germain & Jenna Caskie took third in all dances, Maxim Arkhipenko & Zahara Diego-Moffitt were fourth overall 5,4,4,4,4, and Matthew Shimizu & Eva Yueh Hsiu Luo were fifth 4,5,5,5,5.
In the Rising Star events the Professional Smooth went to Igor Afonkin & Meghan Anderson winning all dances, second was awarded to Christian Lightner & Kia Kenney 2,3,2,3, and third went to Jarrod Clark & Angela Maughan 3,2,3,4. In the Rising Star Latin first place went to Stanislav Savich & Nicole Prosser and they won all dances, second in all dances went to Daniel Hustiuc & Jess Li and third overall was awarded to Aleksei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevieva 3,3,4,4,3.
The Pro-Am Smooth competitions were terrific with some excellent talent on the floor. The Open 1 “C” Scholarship ended up as an eight-couple final and the winner was Angela Morrison w/ Evgeny Dyachenko winning all dances, second was awarded to Robin Kencel w/ Mayo Alanen with these scores 2,3,2,2, and third overall went to Gail Komar w/ Serhiy Komar 3,2,3,3. In the Open 1 “C1”, first place was awarded to Alla Neyshtadt w/ Dave Hannigan 2,1,1,2, second went to Linda Gill w/ Roman Malkhasyan 1,2,2,1, and third in all dances was Robin Kencel w/ Mayo Alanen. In the Open 2 “C1”, Linda Gill w/ Roman Malkhasyan took first overall 1,1,2,1, second was awarded to Alla Neyshtadt w/ Dave Hannigan 2,2,1,2, and Audria Hill-Mitchell w/ Peter Perzhu took third in all dances
The Open 2 “B” Scholarship in these smooth divisions went to Selene Steelman w/ Travis Tuft, with these marks 1,1,2,1, second went to Jennifer Hoffman w/ Dave Hannigan 2,2,1,2, and third in all dances was awarded to Careen Friedlnad w/ Slava Kostianets. The Open 1 “B”, went to Careen Friedland w/ Slava Kostianets with these scores 1,1,1,2, second was awarded to Kristine Riemer w/ Erik Pali 2,2,2,1, third was Leyanis Guevara w/ Alex Sharov and they took third in all dances.
The “A” division was the smallest of the scholarships and this went to Olivia Samia w/ Erik Pali winning all dances, second in all dances was awarded to Molly Pinto Madigan w/ Michael Odikadze. The Open 2 “A”, went to Olivia Zettergren w/ Mazen Hamza and second went to Melissa Jensik w/ Dave Hannigan. In the Open 2 C Angela Morrison w/ Evgeny Dyachenko was the winner 1,1,1,1; 2nd Kaiko Matsumoto w/ Dave Hannigan 2,2,2,2; 3rd Andrea Flink w/ Val Grebenin 3,3,3,3.
In the Open International Ballroom Scholarships, danced on Sunday the Pro-Am “C” , winner was Sibyl Yang w/ Rudy Homm, in all dances. In the second place overall Paula Sullivan w/ Erik Pali 2,2,2,3,2, and in third place overall Kako Matsumoto w/ Basil Issaev 4,3,3,2,3.
In the Open International Ballroom Scholarship “B” the first place overall went to Kristine Riemer w/ Erik Pali 1,1,2T,1,1, the second place overall went to Careen Friedland w/ Slava Kostianets 3,3,1,2,2, and third place overall went to Bo Chang w/ Andril Mykhailov 2,2,2T,3,3.
In the Open International Ballroom Scholarship “A” the first place overall winner was Natalie Rezai w/ Sergey Kiselev 1,1,1,1,3, the second place overall went to Jennifer Lin w/ Radu Sterban 3,2,2,2,1, and third place overall to Courtney Delmonico w/ Erik Pali 2,3,3,3,2. In the C1, Linda Gill w/ Roman Malkhasyan was the winner 1,1,1,1; 2nd Vicki SAto w/ Nazar Batih; 3rd Audria Hill-Mitchell w/ Peter Perzhu 5,3,3,4.
The meaning of greatness: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” (Zig Ziglar)
A few years back, the DBDC started as a competition that would embody tradition and innovation. Yesterday was a perfect example at the DBDC - beautiful ballroom, incredible dancing, great socializing, and best of all, fantastic participation.
The three-day event with over 7,500 entries started with the incarnation of what ballroom dancing is all about, a crazy social affair featuring the most popular dances but the least showcased (merengue, salsa, bachata, west coast swing, etc.), done with great smiles, humor and with interesting costumes and body parts to the theme of “Grease”.
The Thursday affair commenced in the morning with a casual yet educational trip to the historic Boston Public Library followed by a high tea at its exclusive parlor and ending in the basement of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel where Didio’s hideaway got in full swing including some amazing “high school” choreographies from different local area studios one of them featuring John Revolting and Olivia Neutron Bomb.
The next day followed with a full day of Rhythm and Latin pro/am dancing and a great sit down dinner in the transformed basement of the Park Plaza now featuring pianist extraordinaire Victor Valdez accompanied by the vocals Olivia McAleenan and our own competition MC, Daniel Tackett. Dinner was delicious but the entertainment was even better with a great tribute and happy birthday to one of the greatest icons in US Ballroom history and a past DBDC Honoree, Mr. Ken Sloan. Victor began by singing a sultry Marilyn Monroe styled “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Sloan bringing the house down with laughter and roar and followed by a touching rendition of Irish traditional song “Danny Boy” but this time it was “Kenny Boy.”
After supper, we all moved to the iconic ballroom of the Park Plaza where we were treated to some of the best dancing we have seen in 2019 in Latin and Smooth dancing. The Smooth had great participation and a number of US and world finalists and so did the Latin. In the Latin current 9 times undefeated World Latin Champions Ricardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko, along with last year’s “Bobby Medeiros” medal winners Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina plus Nino Langella & Andra Vaidilaite from Italy were in attendance. In the Smooth, current World and US Champion in the style, Nick Cheremukhin and Viktorija and nearly everyone in the US and World final participated.
The Latin was fantastic and so was the audience that gave the couples incredible encouragement and support. In the end, World Latin and US Champions Riccardo and Yulia won all five dances with perfect scores from all judges. In the VIP gallery upstairs some of the attendees might have a disagreement with the judges some of the boxes were rooting for Nino & Andra. Awards were immediately given and we were all extremely thankful that a scuffle never happened in the boxes. We must make clear that Nino & Andra took second places in all dances. Third in all dances, went to Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina we must say that all three couples were outstanding causing the audience to clap and cheer from top to bottom, all around.
From fourth down in this exciting Latin, things got a little more varied Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova placed fourth with a variety of marks 4,4,5,4,5. Fifth place went to the newest professional addition, Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler 5,5,4,5,4 and we must point out that Pasha & Gabriella were last year’s winners of the “Dance Beat Dance Off” at the DBDC. This year’s Dance Beat Dance Off will also include the Ballroom style competing head to head with the Latin style in the amateur field. Sixth place in this amazing Professional Latin final went to Stanislav Savich & Nicole Prosser 6,6,6,6,6, they too were perfectly fitted in this final the only complaint from the peanut gallery was their light colored outfits which by the end were sweat stained. Dance Beat suggestion for Stanislav & Nicole’s - “clever idea but perhaps needs to be developed to fans’ expectations.”
The Open Professional Smooth ended up being a seven-couple final and Nick Cheremukhin and Viktorija, won all dances with a huge majority of firsts from the judges, apparently like in the Latin some of the peanut gallery totally agreed with the judges. It would be expected that the runners up, Travis and Jaimee Tuft would steal the majority of first places from Nick and Viktorija, but not in this case. Roman Malhasyan & Galina Detkina were in attendance and they too managed to steal some of the firsts from Nick and Viktorija, but in the end all seconds went to Travis and Jaimee and all third places was awarded to Roman & Galina.
Another excellent performance was that of Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova whose beautiful “outreach” looked tremendous from the balconies making it all look as if Aleksandra was floating or flying. All fourth places in all four dances were awarded to them. Another terrific performance was by Segiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab who placed fifth in all dances. It was a great to see Slava Kostianets & Valeriia Kostianets back on the DBDC ballroom and floor and this time this brother and sister team placed sixth in three dances and seventh in the Foxtrot. Seventh overall was awarded to Nikolai Pilipenchuk & Sarika Hudson with 7,7,6,7.
In the Open Scholarships for Rhythm the results were:
A Open 1 – 1. Eliza DiNoia w/ Dave Hannigan 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Jennifer Crown w/ Matthew Shimizu 4,3,2,2,2; 3. Chase Rhinesmith w/ Samantha Gendreau 2,2,3T,3,4.
B Open 1 – 1. Jennifer Hoffman w/ Dave Hannigan 1,2,2,1,1; 2. Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika 2,1,1,2,2; 3. Jill Winters-Bougard w/ Matt Hauer 3,3,3,3,3.
B Open 2 – 1. Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Jill Winters-Bougard w/ Matt Hauer 2,2,2,2,2; 3. Krista Hughes w/ Michael Petr 3,3,3,3,3.
C Open 1 – 1. Louise Shah w/ Andrew Escolme 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Joan Hayner w/ Grey Masko 2,2,2,2,2; 3. Mary Jane Sibayan w/ Matt Hauer 4,3,3,3,3.
C Open 2 – 1. Joan Goddard w/ Andrew Escolme 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Gail Komar w/ Sergiy Komar 2,2,2,2,2; 3. Krista Hughes w/ Michael Petr 3,3,3,3,3.
C1 Open 1 – 1. Faye Mattachione w/ Timor Valdman 1,2,1,1; 2. Leslie McLeod w/ Melbin De La Cruz 2,1,2,2; 3. Vivian Zamel w/ Marcio Desouza 5,3,3,4.
C1 Open 2 – 1. Leslie McLeod w/ Melbin de la Cruz 1,2,1,1; 2. Faye Mattachione w/ Timor Valdman 2,1,2,2; 3. Larry Scott w/ Carolina Vasco 3,3,3,3.
And here are the Open Latin results:
A Open – 1. Celene Parragh w/ Joseph Paragh 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Katrinka Geslani w/ Nikita Malakhov 2,2,2,2,2; 3. Anvelyn Pi w/ Pasha Stepanchuk
B Open – 1. Mira Blinova-Thorpe w/ Clement Joly 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Vanessa DiCicco w/ Vlad Astafiev 2,2,2,4,2; 3. Bethanie Picerno w/ Andrew Escolme 3,3,3,2,3.
C Open – 1. Loraine Peoples w/ Genya Bartashevich 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Joan Goddard w/ Andrew Escolme 2,3,2,3,3; 3. Jelena Jevaljevic w/ Danillis Kutuzovs 4,4,3,2,2.
Sr. Open – 1. Bonnie Loftspring w/ Brian McNamee 1,1,1,2; 2. Olga Bassett w/ Petr Dubovsky 3,3,2,1; 3. Doreen Dressel w/ Alexey Gavrilov 2,2,3,3.