The 4 Open Professional divisions were the feature of the night and in our opinion the first was also the most entertaining. This was the Rhythm. US finalists Andre & Natalie Paramonov were easily able to secure the win with comfortable majorities of 1st places in all dances and a perfect score of 11 first places in bolero. Easily 2nd were Andrei Abrashin & Mariia Gavrylova, and they had the majority of ‘2nd or better’ in all dances. 3rd and 4th spots were separated by a Rule 10 tiebreak and the beneficiaries were Stephen Smythe & Viktorija Kleyman 3,3,4,3,5 over Tomas Kardos & Mariya-Kristina Shurupova with 4,4,3,4,3. 5th spot went to Eddie Rivera & Meg McNash with 5,5,5,5,4. Meg chose to wear white knee length “socks.” We found this an odd fashion choice and I’m not sure that it enhanced their positioning. Closing the final were Napoleon & Glenn.
Watch out for a report on this division by Shirley Johnson.
Next up was the Ballroom with only 3 contestants. Again we had US finalists in the house and Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova won all dances. They had the majority of 1st places in all dances, but it was a little tighter than we expected, especially in waltz and Qstep that they won 8 firsts to 3. Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova took some 1st places in all dances but finished 2nd in all. 3rd place went to Sergey Izyumov & Ellen Porter.
Mikhail & Galina Zharinov scored the only perfect run of the night, winning all dances in the Smooth with 11 firsts in all. They were never in doubt. Mirroring the RS of the night before, Andrei & Elena Rudenco were 2nd, in all dances this time, Stephen & Viktorija were 3rd but tonight 3rd and 4th places were separated by a Rule 11. They placed 4,3,4,3 to Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes’ 3,4,3,4.
Rita Algarra will report on this division for Dance Beat soon.
The Latin was a straight repeat of the RS from the night before with the same result. 1st Alexei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva who scored 1,1,1,1,1 tonight. Jonas Kazlouskas & Kathleen Ilo were 2nd in all dances. 3rd were Dimitrii Zavialov & Ashley Sanchez.
The evening competitions ended with a Showdance division that attracted 3 varied entries. The Paramonovs were the winners with their “Don’t Rain on My Parade” Latin showdance. 2nd went to Panakshev & Cebotaru with a more adagio styled piece and 3rd were Cardoso & Guerrero who performed an Argentine Tango with great precision and style.
The most contested of the Open Scholarships for pro-ams today was the C Smooth. This was won by Carolyn Woodruff w/ Alosha Anatoyliy. 2md went to Lydia Rauwell w/ Andreas Luetzner and 3rd to Richard Weinberg w/ Tommye Giacchino.
If you are looking to escape the winter chills, February and the Platinum Dancesport make an excellent stop on your Dancesport Calendar. Give them a try next year.
Only in Miami, Baby!
Well the sun is certainly shining on Igor & Polina Pilipenchuk’s Platinum Dancesport – literally. It’s a balmy 76 degrees here in Miami at the Hilton Hotel, right on Biscayne Bay.
The competition is coinciding with the Miami Boat Show, so there are grand yachts moored just across from our hotel. The hotel ballrooms have been renovated since the event was here 2 years ago and are now very modern and attractive and the organizers have added giant TV screens and lighting to enhance them further.
So far the pro-ams have danced Rhythm and Ballroom and last night the evening was given over to the Rising Star Professional events that gave us 4 interesting finals.
The 2 American styles were the larger and it was a good night for Stephen Smythe & Viktorija Kleyman who won the Rhythm and placed 2nd in the Smooth. In the Rhythm they placed 1,1,2,1,2. They had the majority of 1st places in rumba and bolero. Splitting those 1st places and taking 2,2,1,2,1 were Tomas Kardos & Mariya-Kristina Shurupova. For us this was a close call. 3rd in all dances fell to Eddie Rivera & Meg McNash. We thought they were also close to the two above especially in mambo and they did receive 3 first places in that dance.
In the Smooth it was a Rule 11 that decided 1st place with the tiebreak going in favor of Andrei & Elena Rudenko 1,2,1,2. We often think this couple is underrated. Stephen & Viktorija, of course, placed 2,1,2,1. 3rd in all dances went to Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes.
The International styles were smaller with 3 couples in each, including a brand new 10-Dance team, Jonas Kazlauskas & Kathleen Ilo, listed from England. They were the runners up in both styles and look very appealing together. Winning all dances in the Ballroom were Vladislav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova – never in doubt in our opinion. They received perfect scores in tango. 3rd were Sergey Izyumov & Ellen Porter.
The winners of the Latin were Alexei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva who scored 1,1,2,1,1. Jonas & Kathleen won the rumba and were 2nd in the other dances. 3rd were Dimitrii Zavialov & Ashley Sanchez.
The best of the Open Scholarships so far was the C Ballroom. The winner here was April Haims w/ Ruslan Meshkov 1,2,2,1,1. Close behind was Denise Layfield w/ Emanuele Pappacena 2,1,1,2,2. 3rd place fell to Lydia Raurell w/ Andreas Luetzner 3,3T,3,4,3.
Tonight are all the open pro divisions plus a special Valentines Day Gala.