The Open Professional Ballroom went to Iaroslav & Liliia Bieliei and they did not disappoint. The audience enjoyed their performance and so did the judges who awarded them a majority of firsts in all dances. There was a few dissentsers here and there but their worst marks came from Amy Anderson who awarded them these marks 3,6,6,6,5. Second place went to Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova but not in all dances 2,3,2,2,2. Oscar & Lenka were always as playful as ever and the audience also took to them and their performance. Third overall and placing second in the tango were Cristian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko 3,2,3,3,3, they too had a wonderful night with a number of the judges, sometimes up to three judges, awarding them first place marks. We must point out that Oscar & Lenka also go a few firsts here and there, 6 in total between all dances. Cristian & Kristina got a total of 10 firsts between all dances.
One of our favorites of the night were Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley who have a wonderful theatrical approach to the style of Ballroom, entertaining you right away with some unique work, and who placed fourth overall 4,4,4,5,4. Fifth place was awarded to Aleksei & Elena Minaev 5,5,5,4,5, and in sixth place was Sergey & Oksana Izyumov.
The Amateur Latin is always an excellent competition here at the Paragon Open with plenty of couples competing for this Championship, but this year’s top honor wen to Nikita Vasilenko & Olivia Agranovich winning four dances and placing third in the rumba. Max Firestein & Nicole Renee placed second 2,2,2,3,2, and third was awarded to Andriy & Amanda Besyedin 3,3,1,2,3, leaving fourth to Misa Randelovic & Dakota Pizzi 5,6,4,4,4, Ryan Raffloer & Bethany Howard were fifth 4,5,6,5,6, and sixth were Andriy Vitenko & Karolina Loukhnikov 6,4,5,6,5.
The Professional Cabaret was very entertaining and here Travis & Jaimee Tuft won with perfect scores from all the judges and we have to second that position. Second was awarded Nikita Zhukovskyi & Angelina, and third were Miljan Nojic & Ana Jurenec.
The Professional Rhythm was a small but excellent affair with Alberto Cortez & Jessa Mae Briones taking all firsts, Aleksei Shipilov & Julia Mitina placing second and Ilya Abdullin & Anastasia taking third and fourth went to Kristian Sese & Mae Lozada.The Amateur Ballroom as always is a terrific competition at the Paragon Open and this time was no different, first place in every dance wen to Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova, second place was awarded to Eric Newbury & Evgeniya Gorobets, and third in all were Simon Richard & Adriana Izzo. Xingming Lu & Katerina Lu were fourth, Zheng Lu & Angelina Guo took fifth 5,5,6,6,5, Jonathan Lu & Jennifer Guo took sixth 6,6,5,5,6, and seventh position was Ming & Kin Chiang.
It was also great to see the judges get into the spirit of the competition - Halloween with its beautiful Mexican “Dia De los Muertos” décor, many of them getting a kick out of getting dressed. As always Paragon concluded with the full party mode in a separate ballroom with mounds and mounds of treats and food and drinks, their hospitality is always the best a competition can offer especially with the full “doughnut” truck siting outside preparing you that mouth watering shake with doughnut to go, to finish your calorie count.
My congratulations as always to Andrei Gavriline & Elena Kryuchkova for an incredibly run event, your hospitality from start to finish is nothing but the best one can offer, and also a huge hug to Luda Conti for all the little extras and help she provides to all of us doing the competition. We are so lucky to have this kind, great organizing group and as always if invited we’re always looking forward to next year.
Two Styles! Great Dancing!
Last night at Paragon Open, two open professional styles were the feature of the night and they did not disappoint.
Both the Open Professional Latin and Smooth had wonderful quality and energy, especially the Latin where it must have been difficult for the judges to bring back seven couples. We said difficult because with the exception of 1 or 2 couples, for us the majority were of excellent quality, but nearly equal in skill.
Francesco & Sabrina Bertini, were for us and the judges the easy winners who awarded them perfect scores in the samba and jive and nearly perfect scores in the other three dances. Only three judges dissented from this decision one on each dance - Inessa Streinikova who awarded them a second in the cha cha, Igor Pilipenchuk gave them one in the samba, and Colin James awarded them one on the paso doble. For us we felt they were in a category of their own and embodied the art of Latin dancing quite easily.
Another couple that was quite easy to spot were Ivan Kudashev & Ksusha who placed second in all dances, and although they did not have as clear a sweep in their second place win from the judges, we have to agree with the majority, they looked confident and for us easy to place second. Only one judge awarded them two sixth place marks and that was Katia Kuznetsova in the samba and rumba. But to Katia’s defense they also got a number of fourth place marks in their column.
From here down things got a little murky for us and for the judges as well. Third went to Richard Lifshitz & Laura Robinson and they took third in all dances, fourth in all went to Stanishlav Savich & Nicole Prosser, fifth overall went to Daniel Hustiuc & Jess Li 6,5,5,5,6, Giovanni D’Arpino & Francesca Vari were fifth 5,6,6,6,5, and in seventh position Oleg Lakushev & Viktoria with all seventh places.
Another easy winner for us was Travis & Jaimee Tuft who took a sweep of all dances with perfect scores in every dance from every judge in the Pro Smooth. This is the first time after the US Nationals where we have witnessed this couple dance and we can say they have returned stronger than ever and we are pleased to report that from the way they are dancing their Smooth, with such determination and energy, it’s a great way to move closer to the US Professional target, congratulations! Second in all dances was awarded to Igor Afonkin & Meghan Anderson, they did get the majority of second of better in at least three dances, but they also got some lower marks especially in the tango where Zilvinas Vaidila thought they should have placed sixth.
Tykhon & Yana Zhyvkon were third in all dances, Michael Choi & Viktoriya Kleymen placed fourth overall 4,5,4,4, Ilya Abdulin & Anastasia took fifth 5,4,5,6, Vitalii Kaliuzhnyi & Talia Barrington were sixth 6,6,6,5, and seventh in all dances went to Benjamin Welch & Rae Lyons.
As always this competition welcomed us with great decorations, this year was a “Los Muertos” theme with beautiful Mexican skulls decorated very festively with flowers and all bright colors, all very festive and welcoming. The dancing as we just mentioned was also of excellent quality and from pro/am to amateur dancing it was all great to witness. Their hospitality with candy and food at tables including the after parties surpasses many other events and it kindly shows us all how pleased they are for us to be here attending the Paragon Open.
We look forward to tonight’s festivities where the focus will be the Professional Ballroom and Rhythm as well as the Amateur Latin.