The pro-am ballroom was quite well supported and produced some large and highly contested heats. The Open B Scholarship was won by Laura Shooks w/ Alexander Voskalchuk who won all dances losing very few 1st place marks and actually with perfect scores in tango and quickstep. Careen Friedland w/ Slava Kostianets was the runner-up 2,2,3,2,2, Kristine Riemer w/ Erik Pali took 3rd 3,3,2,3,3; 4th Patricia Chai w/ Sergey Bolotnikov 5,4,5,4,4; 5th Laura Boniello w/ Igor Gayenko 4,5,4,5,5.
Also with instructor, Alexander Voskalchuk, Kathy Stetler won the Open C1, scoring 1,1,1,3. This was a 8-couple final and the runner-up was Susan Cruikshank w/ Aleksandr Skriptsov 2,2,2,1. Vikki Sato w/ Nazar Batih took the 3rd spot 3,3,3,2. With 4th in all dances, Linda Covino w/ Anatolii Gorolevici took that placement overall; 5th Beverly Holt w/ Mihail Lacusta 5,5,5,6; 6th Clare Rabinow w/ Ronen Zinshtein 6,7,6,5; 7th Ibis Wu w/ Serhey Averkov 8,6,7,8; 8th Sheila Cosby w/ Gabor Seres 7,8,8,7.
The Open A Ballroom Scholarship had only 2 entrants, but both were very accomplished. The winner was Courtney Delmonico w/ Erik Pali 2,1,1,1,1, the runner-up, Lydia Mae Barress w/ Basil Issaev 1,2,2,2,2.
In the Open C Scholarship, Patricia Chai w/ Segey Bolotnikov moved up to the winner’s spot and won all dances. 2nd in all was Paula Sullivan w/ Erik Pali; 3rd James Chen w/ Liene Apale; 4th Sainah Rahardja w/ Ronen Zinshtein 4,4,4,4,4.
Following the completion of the pro-am divisions, the amateurs took to the floor. The standard of dance in the Youth and U/21 was especially high in both ballroom and Latin styles. Interestingly both styles had the same winners in both age groups.
In the ballroom Nickolas Bleykhman & Alissa Joly won all dances in the U/21 and followed that to take the Fordney Foundation Youth Ballroom as well where they tied for first in waltz and won the other 4 dances.
In the Latin style this was duplicated by Vadym Pidhoretskyy & Ruby Castro. They won all dances in the U/21 and 3 of the 5 in the Youth. The scoring in the Latin finals was especially close in all dances.
It Takes a Village!
Before we report on the goings on from last night and the Smooth Pro/Am day here at the DBDC, we must first thank the entire team that makes the DBDC a tremendous success from the runners, judges, chairman of judges and even to the bartenders in the hospitality suites.
But rather than composing a note with a bunch of thanks and forgetting half the crew, we give you a message the organizers received yesterday from a prominent Pro/Am competitor who had this to say.
“In case I don’t see you I wanted you to know that this comp should be top of everyone’s list. The ballroom is beautiful, the hotel is wonderful it has a bar and food, also Starbucks and it’s clean and serviced. It’s in the heart of the best part of Boston as someone who lived here. The music was fabulous! We will hope to return next year doing all 3 styles! Cheers to you!”
Last night was the last evening session at the DBDC and the atmosphere as well as the competitors were out of this world. The usual gala dinner honoring a prominent person of our industry took place but this time because the organizers did not have enough time to honor a particular person we did a recap of the DBDC and its honorees from the beginning. It was an emotional video that perhaps touched us all more than usual, because this was a celebration of life itself.
The Open Professional Ballroom was a major success with the “Peter Eggleton Cup” going to Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya, they won it with a majority of firsts from the judges. From the balcony one of the ladies admired Katia’s softness and ease of movement, and we must agree from the balcony you can appreciate the reaction and movement of the ladies in this style a lot more than from ground level. Second in this excellent heat and in all dances was awarded to Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna, and they were on form. Another couple having a wonderful night in our opinion was Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley who also delighted many in the box and here are the marks they were awarded 3,3,4,3T,3 as you can see from the marks, from here down the couples were all very close in talent making the judges sweat a little figuring out their likes and dislikes.
Fourth overall was awarded to Florin Vlad & Natalia O’Connor 4,4,3,3T,4, fifth went to Riccardo Conte & Eleonora Filippi 5,5,6,5,5, and in sixth place were Yuriy Nartov & Enxhi Fundo 6,6,5,6,6. The event began with a semifinal.
The Professional Rhythm was also a terrific event and was a walk in the park for the US Rhythm Champions, Andre & Natalie Paramonov, who won all the dances with a huge majority of firsts, and it was almost perfect scores for them in the cha cha and rumba where they only lost one mark to the runners-up, Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker who placed second in all dances. Both these couples had a wonderful night and they started the semifinal looking almost even. However, in the final from the balcony we could see Andre & Natalie really turning it on and passing Andrew & Amy easily. But we must point out that any first that Andre & Natalie lost went to Andrew & Amy.
Another favorite in the balcony box was Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti who placed third in all dances. We were slightly disappointed with the new partnership of Ryan Lewis & Meagan Mendoza who took fourth in all dances and who in the recent past gave an incredible performance at the Desert Classic, raising our hopes for an incredible performance here at the DBDC, but it was not to be, they were quite good last night, but not as fabulous as they were last time we saw them. Ryan & Meagen have what it takes to push a lot forward with a unique Rhythm style, but they must not let any mental doubts affect their performance and need to stay totally focused, and true to what they want to do.
Fifth in this Rhythm final was awarded to Artem Shiller & Ginny Ray Shiller, another couple with great potential but consistency of work needs to be a little more apparent. Sixth went to Nicolas Rodriguez & Paulina Struk in all dances. We also feel that this couple has made significant improvement over the last year.
The Amateur Latin as well as the Amateur Ballroom, was also of a fantastic caliber here at the DBDC. In the Latin the easy winners for us and the judges were Alexander Chermositov & Arina Grishanina who won all dances with a majority of firsts in four dances and perfect scores from the judges in the cha cha. Alexander & Arina were one of the favorites up in the box and for us there was no hesitation as to who would win this contest. They were focused, the work was executed without fault and were totally playful to the judges. Second in this heat and in all dances were Tagir Mansurov & Liza Lakovitsky, we have to tip our hat to this couple, in the last outing where we saw then this couple looked totally detached from each other and from their surroundings, we are happy to report that they have made a complete change and their performance last night was fantastic, everything was totally together and they even looked as if they totally enjoyed their experience. Tagir & Liza took second in all dances.
Third place in all dances was awarded to Max Firestein & Nicole Renee, fourth in all went to Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets, fifth overall went to Oskar Krimus & Shayna McDonald with these marks 5,5,6,5,6, and sixth were Sean Lama & Goda Simaityte 6,6,5,6,5.
The Amateur Ballroom was another heat that was on fire last night and from above as I mentioned, this style is fantastic to see. Our favorites and that of the judges were Oleksandr Kalenyuk & Olena Ablitsova who also won four dances with a majority of firsts and got perfect scores in their foxtrot. Second but not in all dances was awarded to Parley Ford & Elisabeth Thomson 4,2,3,2,2. Third were Jonathan Liu & Oleksandra Basko 2,4,2,3,3; Matthew Matusovskiy & Nicole Klavansky were fourth 3,3,5,5,5; Eric Newbury & Evgeniya Gorobets placed fifth overall 5,5,4,4,4, and sixth in all dances was awarded to Jonathan & Stratton DeWitt.
Two Pro Rising Star divisions took place. The winners were Dmitry Zavialov & Arina Sokolova (Smooth) and Amanda Besyedin & Andriy Besyedin (Latin)
For the pro-ams it was a full day of Smooth heats that culminated with some good competitions in the Open Scholarships.
Sophia D’Angelo w/ Max Sinitsa won the Open C Scholarship, winning all dances with clear majorities in 3 dances and a perfect score in Viennese Waltz. Also strong in this division was Gail Komar w/ Serhiy Komar who was 2nd in all dances and took the few firsts from the judges not given to Sophia. 3rd in all dances was Adi Djerassi w/ Francesco Arietta and 4th went to Susan Hlebinsky w/ Dmitry Demidov.
Also winning all dances, this time in the Open A, was Amanda Hurd w/ Mazen Hamza. Amanda had the majority of 1st places in all dances except waltz. Melissa Jensik w/ Dave Hannigan was 2nd in all dances and received some 1st places in all dances. Also getting the winning nod from some judges was 3rd placed Molly Pinto Madigan w/ Michael Odikadze who ended up 3rd in all dances. Courtney Delmonico w/ Donovan Kirrane was 4th.
Robin Kencel w/ Mayo Alanen was the victor in the Open C1 and once again took all 4 dances, also with the majority of 1st places in all. With 2,2,2,3, Beverly Holt w/ Mihail Lacusta was the runner-up. The highest placed gentleman Paul Duhaime w/ Daryll Sverrisson, was 3rd and scored 5,3,3,2. 4th Sheila Cosby w/ Gabor Seres 3,5,4,4; 5th Susan Sordoni w/ Francesco Arietta 4,4,5,5; 6th Mark McKinnon w/ Christopher Muise 6,6,6,6.
Completing this winning run and again winning 3 of the 4 dances was Jennifer Hoffman w/ Dave Hannigan. Jennifer also received the majority of 1st places in the dances she won. The winner of the waltz was Careen Friedland w/ Slava Kostianets. Her final scores were 1,2,2,2. 3rd fell to Lila Winiarski w/ Vlad Astafiev 3,3,3,3; 4th Karen Robb w/ Dmitry Demidov 4,4,4,4; 5th Colleen Herskovits w/ James Williard 5,5,6,5; 6th Mary Jane Sibayan w/ Matt Hauer 6,6,5,6.
The Competition & the INN at the DBDC!
The DBDC got its kick off this year in Lexington, Massachusetts where the first shots were fired for the independence of the United States of America.
The “Inn At Hastings Park” was the perfect setting to relax, center and gather your strength for the Iconic DBDC held at the Boston Park Plaza commencing Thursday, July the 29, 2021!
While at the “Inn” everyone was treated and pampered to the 5-Star accommodations. The Inn At Hastings Park is part of the “Relais & Chateaux” an exclusive brand of hotels, known for their perfect accommodations and hosting. We experienced wonderful “suites” to rest and prepare as well as many activities with incredible walks, town and country shopping, wine tasting with some of the best bubbles on the planet and always finishing up with a lavish tasty dinners and a little dance to keep you on your toes for the competition!
Thursday morning we were all ready for the Boston Park Plaza, the nightclub extravaganza and the most beautiful ballroom for dancing.
The Thursday nightclub session at “Didio’s Hideaway” with the theme “Arabian Nights” was as successful as ever with 80% of attendees in full costume. This year the men overtook the women with all the maharaja, with feathered turbans climbing up into the ceiling and the many ladies some with covered faces and others with sparkles that moved and shone to the rhythm of the dances. Mr. Didio Barrera and his sidekick Heriberto Sanchez, as usual led the troops in an indescribable ensembles that made everyone’s head spin at first sight. Down to the last hour and Caribbean mix challenges the audience enjoyed and had fun dancing to the many nightclub dances such as merengue, salsa, Argentine tangos, west coast swing and even a polka!
Friday we got underway with the Rhythm and Latin competitions for pro-ams and it was fully packed day of Pro/Am dancing. At night the professional events began and the professional Latin had the most interesting challenges among some of the best Latin dancers in the USA.
In the end Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina won all dances with a majority of firsts in every dance recapturing the Bob Medeiros memorial medal award. With the exception of only one judge who awarded them 3 sixth place marks a fourth and a fifth, all the other adjudicators thought they should either win or be second or in the least, third. For the audience the competition was like a tennis match everywhere you looked the heads swung from side to side looking at all the players in this wonderful final.
Second in this excellent heat went to Canada’s Valentin Voronov & Anna Pelypenko who took second in all dances and also had many onlookers captured by their performance. Third in all dances was awarded to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova who also shared some of the audience’s love. Fourth in all dances went to Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler who wore a very interesting costume with rainbow beads running across the body and making many of the ladies around us crave that dress. Fifth in all dances went to Amanda Besyedin & Andriy Besyedin and sixth was awarded to Dmitry Demidov & Joanna Meller. The even began with a semifinal.
The excitement continued with the Open Professional Smooth and here the majority of firsts went to the new partnership of Aleksandar Vukosavljevic & Aleksandra Smirnova. The partnership did not disappoint and from many perspectives, it looks like it has a fine future on the way. Second in this terrific final went to Tykhon Zhyvkov & Yana Zhyvkov, third place in all dances was awarded to Dmitrii Zavialov & Arina Sokolova and fourth place in all went to Vlad Nalyvaychuk & Brianna Nalyvaychuk. Fifth place had to be broken from a tie by a rule 11, and it was a fight between Steven Torres & Nicole Barron and Christian Lightner & Trisha Kennedy, in the end this placement went to Christian & Trisha, leaving Steven & Nicole holding sixth.
There were also two RS Pro divisions danced this evening, the Ballroom and the Rhythm. Winners in the Ballroom were Florin Vlad & Natalia O'Connor Vlad and in the Rhythm it was Artem & Ginny Rae Shiller
For the pro-ams Friday was a very busy day of competition with two styles of dance – Rhythm & Latin. Rhythm was up first with some keenly contested Open Scholarships.
The Open B was probably the best of all the divisions and the winner was Gwen Bourque w/ Andrew Escolme. Gwen won all 5 dances and had a small majority of 1st place marks in 4 dances and took 6 of the 7 firsts in bolero. We haven’t seen this lady compete much of late and it was good to see her back on the floor. Another highly respected competitor in this division took the runner-up position, Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika who was 2nd in all 5 dances. 3rd fell to Jill Winters-Bougard w/ Grigol Kranz 3T,3,4,3,3 – this lady improves with each outing. With 3T,4,3,4,4 Winiaski w/ Vlad Astafiev was 4th and Colleen Herskovits w/ James Williard was 5th in all dances.
Jill w/ Grigol was the winner in the Open A that had only 2 entrants. Jill won 4 dances and was 2nd in cha cha. Winning the cha and placing 2nd in the other dances was Joanna Gorski w/ Vlad Astafiev.
Joan Goddard w/ Andrew Escolme had a strong win in the Open C1 taking all dances with clear majorities of first places. 2nd and 3rd places were decided by a Rule 11 tiebreak. The result went to Debbie Clyne w/ Jeremy Gatlin 2,3,2,3 over Susan Sordoni w/ Francesco Arietta 3,2,3,2. 4th went to Cindy Cindy Lindsay w/ Sergey Samchynskyy.
Joan w/ Andrew was also the winner in the Open C division, this time a 5-dance event, placing 2,1,1,1,1. Joan Hayner w/ Grey Masko won the cha cha and was 2nd in the other dances to take the runner-up spot overall. Debbie Clyne w/ Jeremy Gatlin took 3rd in all dances and Susan D’Agati w/ Francesco Arietta was 4th in all.
In the Latin Divisions we also saw some strong open scholarship divisions.
Loraine Peoples w/ Genya Bartashevich won the Open C, taking all dances with clear majorities of first place marks. The runner-up was Cheryl Cabral w/ Igor Volkov, once again taking the 2nd position in all dances. 3rd Karen Robb w/ Dmitry Demidov 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Carlton Young w/ Tatiana Banko 4,4,4,4,4.
Joan Goddard w/ Andrew Escolme continued her successful day winning the Open C1 Latin, a 7-couple final. Joan placed 1,2,1,1. She had the majority of 1st places in the dances she won. Winning the samba and placing 2nd overall was Doreen Dressler w/ Genya Bartashevich. Her placements were 2,1,3,2. Bonnie Loftspring w/ Brian McNamee was 3rd 3,3,2,4; 4th Esperanza Blair w/ Andre Paramonov 4,4,4,3; 5th Susan Sordoni w/ Francesco Arietta 5,5T,5,5; 6th Ibis Wu w/ Myhailo Bilapukhov 6,5T,7,6; 7th Clair Rabinow w/ Ronen Zinshtein 7,7,6,7.
The Open A went to Celene Parragh w/ Josef Parragh 1,1,1,1,2. The winner of the jive was Anvelyn Pi w/ Pasha Stepanchuk who was 2nd overall 2,2,2,2,1. 3rd was Molly Pinto Madigan w/ Michael Odikadze 3,3,3,3,3.
Melissa Putnam w/ Jani Bogre took the Open B Latin Scholarship.