Both in numbers and quality the Open Professional and Open Amateur Latin divisions were the crowd-pleasers. The Open Pro began with a quarter-final round. The very easy winners were Artur Tarnavsky & Anastasia Danilova who won all dances and lost very few first place marks. They missed perfect scores in 3 dances with the loss of only 1 first place in each dance. Overall, the judge who favored them the least was Justinas Duknauskas who placed them 3,2,3,3,1. Congratulations to them on a fine performance. The runners-up were Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova and they were 2nd in all dances and had the lion’s share of 2nd place scores from the judges in all dances. We thought they were especially strong last night and could possibly have seen them taking a few more 1st places from some undecided judges.
Ivan Kudashev & Kshusha were comfortably 3rd in all dances and also had a good night, we thought. One judge did not agree, Chuck Danza placed them 7th in all dances. With 4,4,5,5,6, Jonas Kazlauskas & Kathleen Ilo took 4th and were also the 10-Dance Champions. 5th Stanislav Savich & Nicole Prosser 6,5,6,4,5; 6th Umario Diallo & Tessa Marie 7,6,4,6,4; 7th Alexandr Nabiullin & Valeriya Ryabova 5,7,7,7,7. As you can see, the scores between 4th and 7th were relatively close.
In the Open Amateur Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze were the winners 1,1,1,2,1. This was a good weekend for them as they also had won the Open Rhythm the night before. They had the majority of 1st places in the dances they won. This young couple have really been moving up the ranks of late. The result for 2nd and 3rd was decided by a tie break with the benefit going to Ron Garber & Kaludia Petriti who placed 4,3,4,1,2 (total 14) over Taras Savistky & Yulia Koshkina 2,2,3,4,3 (total 14). Just 2 points behind them came Misha Finkelstein & Yulia Ishchak 3,4,2,3,4. As you can imagine, the judges’ individual scores for these 3 couples with each receiving from 1st to 5th placements in all dances.
With 5th in all dances, Vladislav Krupskii & Valerie Dubinsky took that place and Andriy Vitenko & Karolina Ioukhnikov took 6th, again in all dances.
Another highlight of the night, a tradition at the Eastern, was the Amateur Teams Match. 5 teams in total contested the lighthearted competition and it was genuinely a close competition. In the end the New York team won by 0.1 points! The other teams came from BYU, Canada and 2 teams from Boston. Although we are not always the greatest fans of teams matches, this particular one always seems to generate a lot of excitement.
The Open Pro Smooth was almost a copy of the RS. One main difference was the winner. On this night Ilya Abdulin & Anastasia were the winners scoring 1,1,1,2. They had placed 2nd in the RS. The RS Winners, Kharyton Khomenko & Anastasiya Khomenko, took the runner-up spot tonight 2,2,2,1. Obviously this was a tightly scored competition, but Ilya & Anastasia did take the majority of 1st places in waltz and tango. The remaining finalists finished in the same position in all dances. 3rd Ivan Sovetov/Valeria Mkrtchian; 4th Evgenii Rozenfeld/Mariia Shumakher; 5th Nunez/Kashkina; 6th Christian Lightner/Kia Kenney.
3 couples contested the Pro Cabaret and all were of a very high standard. The winners were Ivan Kudashev & Kshusha who took 8 of the 11 first places. They have really developed a niche for cabaret/showdance performances and we always enjoy their selections. 2nd spot went to a new couple to us, Nikita Zhukovskyi & Angelina Boiko. They danced a more traditional adagio and the level of execution was high. 3rd were Valerii Golubev & Margarita Golubeva who danced more in the musical comedy style, but were also quite accomplished.
Earlier in the evening Kristian Sese & Mae Lozado won the large Pro RS Rhythm, Erik & Shelly Linder placed 1st in a strong U/21 Latin and Steve Torres & Nicole Barron won the Open Amateur Smooth.
For those of us who have been around the competition scene for some time it was great to see a Special Achievement award given to pro-am student, Joan Udes. Joan has won almost every major pro-am championship in her long competitive reign. It was great to see her.
The Eastern continues today with the pro-am ballroom divisions and closes with collegiate and junior divisions. Congratulations to Mark Nocera and his team!
Clear and Cool!
The Boston weather is clear and cool here at the Long Wharf Marriott and the Eastern US Championships and so is the dancing!
The atmosphere has the cool vibe of its organizer, Mark Nocera, and the results – at least in the feature events of yesterday, were pretty clear.
The Open Pro Ballroom began with a semifinal and the “clear” winners were Iaroslav & Lilia Bieliei, now living in New Jersey. They won all 4 dances with the majority of 1st places. That’s not to say that there were not a couple of dissenting judges. Most notable was Kasia Kozak who awarded them 4,6,6,5,6 and some other judges gave them marks in the lower part of the final in some dances. Clear runners-up and with 2nd in all dances were Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova. They had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in the first 3 dances, but also had some judges scoring them in the lower half of the final. The 3rd and 4th places were brokered positions meaning the dances were split. Stefano & Bianca DiBrino did the better, placing 3,3,3,4,4 to take 3rd spot over Gianni Caliandro & Ariana Esposito 4,4,4,3,3. 5th in all dances went to Emanuele & Francesca Papacena and 6th in all were Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley.
On a general note – we must compliment the professional dancers in this division. The floor was not particularly large, but all showed great floorcraft and were able to produce noteworthy performances. A little politeness goes a long way!
The Open Pro Rhythm also began with a semi. Although not quite as “clear” as the result in the Ballroom, there was still a strong winner – Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin who won 4 dances with a majority of 1st places and were 2nd in the mambo. Andrew Esclome & Amy Baker were the runners-up and placed 2nd in 4 dances and won the mambo. These couples were, in our opinion, clear of the remainder of the contestants. The judges seemed to agree as neither received a score lower than 3rd in any dance.
3rd in all dances went to 9-dancers, Ilya Abdulin & Anastasia who had just competed in the RS Smooth. 4,4,4,4,5 gave Artem & Ginny Rae Shiller 4th place. With 4th in mambo and 5th in the other 4 dances, Antonio Nunez & Ksenia Kashkina were 5th. Kemar Bennet & Jessica Nicole took 6th in all dances.
The other featured event of the night was the Open Amateur Ballroom and this also drew a semifinal. This division fell to Canadians, Nikita Druzhynin & Virginie Primeau. They won all dances and had the clear majority of 1st places in all dances. Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermaova were the runners-up. They were 2nd in all dances and did take some first places from the winners in all dances. Again, we thought these two couples were well clear from the remainder of the final although we did note great improvement in the couple who were third, Alec Zhiwei Zhang & Zhuoshi Xie. They were 3rd in all dances. 4th Wyatt Jennings & Serena Keck 5,4,4,5,4; 5th Jonathan Test & Sarah-Eve Roberge 4,5,5,4,6; 6th TJ Kyle & Liesel Bramwell 6,6,6,6,4.
The Open Amateur Rhythm was a stronger event than we have seen in this division for some time. The current US Champions in this division were in attendance and were the winners, Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze. They won all dances and had perfect scores in 3 of them. Andrew Malyava & Nicole Shtern were 2nd in all dances; 3rd Aniket Gad/Electra Carzis 3,4,3,4,3; 4th Stanislav Gelzhinsky/Cecilie Pope 4,3,4,3,4; 5th Fahmil Shah/Tanzeem Alam 6,5,5,5,5; 6th Daniel Spencer/Emily Calobrisi 7,6,6,6,7; 7th Alex Jones/Katie Fiallo 5,7,7,7,7.
The Professional Showdance had only 3 entries. Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley were the winners, Antonio Nunez & Ksenia Kashkina 2nd and Simone Spadoni & Simona Caporali 3rd.
We also saw 2 Pro RS divisions last night. The winners were Stanislav Savich & Nicole Prosser (Latin); Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko (Smooth).
It was also great to see the BYU Formation Team performing and they will be back tonight, so tune in for more news from Eastern!