The Professional Latin started with healthy semifinal round and had the most interesting results and competition. The winner overall in every dance was Evgeny Likhachev & Maria Lievina. However, in a few of the dances like the cha cha and jive, Evgeny & Maria only managed to get a handful of first place marks. In the cha cha they got 4 firsts from the 15 judges and in the jive they got 3 firsts. It’s important to point out that only in the rumba Evgeny & Maria got the majority of firsts, by taking 8 firsts out of the fifteen judges, in the rest of the dances they were close but no majority, 7 in the paso, and 6 in the samba. For us the competition was very close between second overall, Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova, but on paper it was not so close they placed second in the cha cha, samba and jive but came in third in the rumba!
In looking at the marks Roman & Alexandra did manage to get at least four firsts in all dances and sometimes five but it was not enough to place them over their strong opponents. Although on paper it might look different, for us it was very close, Roman & Alexandra looked quite strong and very correct but perhaps they needed a stronger presentation when it came to enhancing their performance like their costumes, etc. Speaking of costumes Roman & Alexandra’s opponents Evgeny & Maria did tend to make a statement with some of their extras and perhaps this helped their results, his plastic looking hair totally separates him from the group and her sexy and provocative outfit left her left cheek nearly 90% exposed, was this a positive look for the judges? I suppose it might have separated them from the crowd but it left a few of us wondering where Latin dancing is heading. On the other hand their opponents Roman & Alexandra’s outfits tended to be more covered and at times a little heavy looking. The small hat on the lady did not seem to balance the lady’s heavier quarter silver decorations. Was this also the reason why they judges could not make a clear choice.
Third overall went to Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastacia Shchypilina 3,3,4,2,4. Here is also a very talented couple with great potential but their extras could have cost them perhaps a placement or two. The lady’s plunging neckline nearly came down to her waist and a few women around us were glad to see that nothing snapped or came out. We totally enjoyed this couple’s characterization of the Latin and in a few dances could have easily seen them in a higher position. In the cha cha this couple got more firsts than the first and second position couples, however, some of the other marks from some of the judges did not help their cause and so they had to settle for third place overall.
Fourth was perhaps one of our favorite couples of the night Sergi Kvashyn & Olga Ginzburg 4,4,2,4,3. We loved this couple’s dancing last night - they had soul, they had charisma and they were very solid and clear in what they were trying to do. Speaking of costumes, Olga’s gold dress was a little heavy looking with lots of panels and stuff but she managed it well, but we cannot help but wonder whether some of their lower marks might have to do with their appearance not helping some of their beautiful lines. Speaking of appearance not helping, the best example of this was Pavel Balykin & Meagen Mendoza 5,5,5,5T,5, who wore a rhinestone skin tone pant suit that had fringe down the hips to the bottom of the boot, we really think that this was not complimentary at all for this lady’s product. Whenever they stopped for anything, the fringe kept moving and vice versa. We know it is hard to please everyone but perhaps asking some honest bystanders before their performance might be a good idea. We all think that costumes should not have anything to do with the results but unfortunately they do it either enhances the performance or not. Last but not least in this great final were Maksim Kapitannikov & Natalia Fridmanovich 6,6,6,5T,6.
The Open Professional Smooth was also excellent and here by far the winner was for all of us Nick Cheremukin & Viktorija. This couple is brilliant and their performance keeps getting better and better with each outing we see. They won every dance. Second in this style went to Kyle & Allie Spinder, who took second overall and who danced quite strongly. We were not surprised to see this couple get such solid marks as well. Third overall were Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow, fourth went to Slava & Valeriia Kostianets. We must pause here to mention that here was another costume who had some ladies and gents speaking. Seeing somebody’s underwear is not very appealing and this lady had a fabulous dress but her bra showed more than any one of us would have loved to see. Her outfit was sheer black but the white underwear was not helping the elegance of the costume! However we think this is an excellent couple that could easily place higher with a little more attention to American Smooth transitions. Fifth overall was awarded to Peter Hahn & Jude Coraldi 5,6,5,5 and sixth went to Drew Miller & Kristina Humphrey 6,5,6,6.
The Professional Rhythm was also fun to watch and here the obvious winners were Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova who easily placed first in all dances. This couple is really comfortable in this style and with every outing that we see they keep getting better and better. What we like most about it is the connection this couple has with their audience, they manage to draw you and make you feel their every move, totally taken by this couple’s Rhythm interpretation. Second in this heat was awarded also easily to Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi. This was the first time seeing Danas & Yuki in a very long time, with the exception of being a little clinical I have to say that their quality of dance was very deserving of this placement and with a little more work they would soon manage to touch us all emotionally as well.
Third in every dance went to Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyalkova. This is a great couple. Their performance was solid, however, from speaking to a number of people their look at the moment made them seem very mature and outdated. Ivan & Marieta have been competing in this style for quite a long time now and it is easy for us to look somewhere else for something new. We have to say that although we totally enjoyed their performance, we understand the concern of the some of the viewers in this case. A little care most be placed so that they stay fresh in our minds like new kids on the block and not a couple that we always know what to expect from them. Fourth in this Rhythm heat went to Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman, fifth was Tudor Alexander & Sonya Petkova 5,5,5,6,6, and sixth overall went to Jeremy Babagay & Carolyn Barreno 6,6,6,5,5.
The Ballroom was a 7 couple final but this heat also made us stay on the edge of our seat. Here Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva took the Beach Bash cup home by placing first in all dances. Second overall was awarded to Stefano Di Brino & Bianka Zubrowska and they took third in the waltz and second in the other four dances. Third overall went to Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti 2,3,3,3,3, and fourth was awarded to Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija and they placed fourth in every dance. Fifth was Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya, sixth was Michael Towlishzew & Tiffany Fung 7,7,6,6,6, and seventh went to Alexey Pigotskyy & Talsiia Babiuk 6,6,7,7,7.
With this the San Diego Beach Bash came to a close. We want to congratulate Toni, Jonathan, and Michael for making their first a tremendous success and for making everyone feel at ease and comfortable. Today they are planning a Volleyball tournament right on the beach and we are sure everyone will have a blast. We know the competition is only going to get better and better with every year and we hope to see it with our own eyes and hope many will come and take part in this fabulous bash.
The Beach Bash Continues!
The Beach Bash Continued yesterday here in San Diego, but it was Smooth sailing through the Smooth categories and the rising stars yesterday evening!
Camp and fun continues to be the theme here at the San Diego Beach Bash, every one seems to be settling into having a bash and who can blame them with such relaxing and beautiful surroundings in and out of the ballroom. The rising star Rhythm, Ballroom, Latin and Smooth were the feature events and all four events were well attended.
The Rhythm was won by Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman they placed first in all dances and from where we stood very deservedly to. Second was awarded to Tutor Alexander & Sonya Petkova 3,2,2,3,3, and third was Ty Desus & Carolina McClarity 2,3,3,2,4.
In the Ballroom the Rising Star wen to Stefano Di Brino & Bianka Zubrowska and they too won all dances, second in all dances was awarded to Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya and third was Alexey Pigotskyy & Talsiia Babiuk.
The Rising Star Latin went to Mykhail Bilopukho & Ansastasiia Shchypilina winning every dance, second was Maksim Kapitannikov & Natalia Fridmanovich 4,2,2,2,2, leaving third to Oleksii & Carly Lytvyn 3,3,3,3,3.
In the Smooth Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow-Stefanov were the overall winners 1,2,1,1, second was awarded to Slava & Valeriia Kostianets 2,1,2,2, leaving third to Kyle & Christina Campbell 4,3,3,4.
In the afternoon the Pro/Am Smooth Scholarships took place and the “A” was awarded to Sirinda Sincharoen w/ Max Sinitsa and they won every dance, second wen to Irene Lee w/Nick Cheremukhin 3,3,2,3, and third was Natalie Rezai w/Slawek Sochacki.
The “B” was awarded to Joanne Kay Smith from Canada dancing with Sharon Levit they won every dance, second wen to Elizabeth Rocco w/Eric Hudson placing second in every dance and third was Rick Shaw w/Tina Myer.
The “C” was also excellent and here Sue Eldred w/Artem Plakhotnyi were first overall 1,3,1,1, second was Chalene Proctor w/Michael Choi 2,1,2,3, and third went to David Schmit w/Michelle Hudson 3,4,3,2.
As you can see it was another fun day inside and outside the ballroom, many people enjoy the amenities these fun resort has to offer, other explore this beautiful city with its’ hills and valleys. We look forward to today with a full packed day of Ballroom Latin and children.
The Beach Bash!
The first day here in San Diego was packed with dancing and Rhythm as we began the first ever San Diego Beach Bash at the comfortable and scenic Hilton San Diego Resort. The Hilton property sits five minutes from downtown on the beach area of the bay, and it is a perfect place for relaxation and doing what you like best, ballroom dancing.
Inside the ballroom the well known hosts, Toni Redpath, Michael Mead and Jonathan Roberts manage to keep a carefree atmosphere with everyone dressed for a “California Dreaming” beach party. As you can see by the photos, the organizers managed to dress the ballroom for the occasion with floats and surfing gear and throughout the sessions lucky couples were selected to have the “cabana” treatment where massages, refreshment fruit and basically the royal treatment was provided. This cabana feature was quite campy and fun and if you look at some of the FaceBook videos you will see everyone had a great time.
The organizers did their best to maintain a “beach bash” inside and out of the ballroom, but on the floor the competition was also fierce with some excellent well-filled heats. The Rhythm Scholarships were well attended especially the “B” and “C” categories.
The “B” ended up being an eight couple final and Jacqueline Bequette w/Daniel Lee Tran won overall by placing first in four dances and second in the bolero. Second overall in this same heat went to Sonia Lee w/Ty Desus and they placed first in the bolero and second in the other three dances. Third was awarded to Arlene Austria w/Peter Edwards 3,3,4,4,3.
There were three couples in the Rhythm “A” and this one wen to Nadia Kireyko w/Daniel Vasco, second was awarded to Natalie Cradall w/Decho Kraev and third was awarded to Ann Shaw w/Daniel Lee Tran.
The “C” division went to Dianne Caracciolo w/Nazar Norov and she placed first in all dances. Second overall was awarded to Olivia Hudson w/Danas Jaksevicius, and third went to Roseann Wherry w/Germain Lewis 3,3,3,3,6.
Today is Smooth day and as yesterday it promises to be as campy inside as outside. We ourselves have scheduled a power walk around the bay and we hope to explore this resort and enjoy as much as everyone else here for the Beach Bash. So far the Smooth events seemed packed and they looked as if the competition will be fierce again, we will have all that for you.