Capital Dancesport 2015
Fame and Fortune come to Capital!
This year with over 8,000 entries, it was the most successful year for the Capital Dancesport, but it was not all about the entries, some of the most prominent couples in America’s dancing were in attendance and so combined with great attendance and a fabulous audience it was a very special year for the Capital Dancesport.
World and US champions, Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, competed in the Professional Ballroom. As expected they won almost every dance with perfect scores and thrilled the audience with an outstanding performance separating them from the pack. However, their perfect record was spoiled by Glenis Dee-Creger who awarded them two seconds, one in the tango and one in the quickstep. Second in every dance was awarded to Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva, but here it was a different story. The judges’ marks varied from second to fifth position and as I mentioned only two firsts from Ms. Dee-Creger. Their worst marks came from Rickey Geiger and Didio Barrera. Rickey awarded them 5,5,5,5,4 and Didio 4,5,4,5,3, but we must point out that even though they got a variety of marks from all the judges they did obtain the majority of seconds in all dances but the foxtrot.
Third in this excellent heat was awarded to Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova who placed third in every dance. Alexander & Veronika were the recipients of the majority of seconds taken away from Artem & Inna. From here down the marks were even more varied giving every dance almost a different result as you will see, Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova took fourth overall 5,4,6,4,4. Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova took fifth 4,5,4,6,5, and sixth in every dance went to Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa. There will be a full write up here by Alan Dixon, so keep checking.
The Professional Smooth was also great and exciting. Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija won every dance and were clearly the favorite for the majority of the judges and the audience. When looking at the marks closely they only got a handful of second or less on their scorecard. To be precise only five or four judges dissented from marking them first nearly every time the same judges. The majority of low marks were mostly seconds and a few thirds, but there were three low marks that made a strong impression of disapproval by two judges. Rickey Geiger who awarded them a 6th in the waltz and a seventh in the foxtrot, and a sixth in the tango from Pat Traymore. Second place in every dance was awarded to Travis & Jaimee Tuft. They also were able to take the majority of second places and as mentioned before some firsts from Nick & Victoria. Travis & Jaimee also had some anomalies to their scorecard from a couple of judges, a sixth in the VW from Bruno Collins and two sixths from Dan Messenger in their tango and foxtrot.
Third in every dance went to a couple that just recently got together for the second time in a row, Mikolay Czarnecki & Victoria Malko. I think everyone was happy to see such a promising couple back on the floor. Fourth was also a surprise with a new couple moving up to a leading position in this field, Michael Choi & Erin Marie who just months back did their first event together. Fifth went to Kris Suakjian & Briana Haft also a couple that has been out of the East Coast scene for a little while and they placed 5,5,6,5. Sixth was awarded to a brand new partnership for this style that is quickly climbing up the charts, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi with 7,6,5,7, and finally this was a seven-couple final and this position went to Adrian & Hannah Dydynski 6,7,7,6. We must point out that there were some excellent couples that in the past have made some excellent finals of their own but were left out this time, we are sure this was a disappointing result for Vlad & Vera Kozarev. Watch out for Diana McDonald's review!
The Professional Latin went to a couple from the Ukraine, Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk and they won with a clear majority of firsts in every dance in particular the rumba where they only lost two first place marks, a second from Bill Sparks and a fourth from Pat Traymore. The majority of firsts taken away from Manuel & Natalia went to the second place couple, who placed second in every dance, Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir. We have to agree with the judges in the rumba, Emanuel & Natalia did an incredible job on this dance and you could have heard a pin drop by the end of their performance. However, in the other four dances we had to disagree with the majority we felt on this occasion their dancing was a little too casual as if they knew they would have it in the bag and decided to walk through it. We are major fans of this very talented couple, but on this occasion we must say that it looked almost to close to call. Clearly in third place in every dance and even taking a few firsts in a couple of dances from Manuel & Natalia, were Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin.
Fourth and giving and outstanding performance were Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab placing fourth in all dances. Riccardo Pacini & Sonia Spadoni were fifth 6,5,5,5,5. Looking not very thrilled with the result and placing sixth were Stanislav Savich & Nicole Prosser 5,6,7,6,7. We said not very thrilled because there was a hint of confusion when taking a bow, we in America have become very complacent and as an audience expect for couples to be gracious acknowledging their result with a slight bow and continuing no matter the result, but we also notice that in other customs they perhaps do not do this, so in the couple’s defense we most tell the audience that we here in America continue to be culturally diverse and anything could happen no matter what. In seventh position were Pavel Balykin & Meagen Mendoza 7,7,6,7,6. Melanie Lapatin will review this style for Dance Beat.
The Rhythm had a huge entry, possibly the biggest of all four styles, but in the end with the exception of Andrei & Natalie Paramonov rated third in the country overall not being present it was a competition with great dancing but not many changes. Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liane Churilova won all dances with a huge majority of firsts in all dances. Most of the lower marks were seconds with the exception of Pat Traymore who awarded them a 4th in rumba, and a third in mambo. Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were second in all dances. Their worst marks also came from Pat Traymore who awarded them 4,3,5,2,5. Third went to Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova, but here their marks were varied in all dances 3,4,3,4,3, fourth went to Shane & Shannon Jensen 5,3,4,3,4. Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi were fifth overall 4,5,5,5,5, and sixth were Ilya Velednitski & Mariya Ilchenko 6,6,6,6,6. See Bill Sparks' review of this division soon.
There was also a fun Amateur Latin event. This was a seven-couple final but the majority of the couples were terrific. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danikova placed first in every dance, Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasov were second and Alexey & Vlada Karaulov were third.
The evening concluded with a “champion of champions” show choreographed by Wendy Johnson, and added to this show were a few extra numbers performed by some pro/am competitors of the week. One interesting number to mention was the Isadora Duncan number performed by Carolyn Woodruff with Pro/Am teacher Alosha Antatoliy. We want to extend huge congratulations on an excellent job to Marianne Nicole & John DePalma for their success at this year’s competition, it was possibly the best so far and one of the best this year in the country.
Capital the Biggest Ever!
With over 8,000 entries this has been the biggest Capital Dancesport Championships we have ever attended. So far there have been two and three quarter days packed with competitions, and all events so far have been well attended with many quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.
The Professional Rising Star Rhythm has been the most attended so far with over 24 couples to begin in the first quarter-final of the competition. In the end there were some very interesting results. Six couples were called for the final and as you will see the marks from the judges were all over the place. Aaron & Iryra DeSoto won the competition overall but not all dances, they placed third in the cha cha, second in the rumba, bolero and first in the swing and mambo. From our perspective we think Aaron & Iryna have improved tremendously in the last few months and are becoming a major challenge in the style. Second overall was awarded to Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov, possibly one of our favorite couples of the night. Unfortunately, we think it was a very difficult decision for the judges since Aaron & Iryna have made such great improvement. Shandor & Alekandra won the rumba, placed second in the cha cha, third in the bolero and mambo and fifth in the swing.
Third were Igor Ustymovich & Briana Santiago and they also stole a dance from the winners they won the cha cha. In the other dancers they placed 3,6,4,2. Maksyn Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth were awarded fourth overall 5,4,2,1,4, possibly a very disappointing result for this couple who were possibly expecting to climb higher. Fifth were Jean Paul & Lana Rossi. This couple goes up and down, they win some they lose some, and we must say that they are very hard to place - great control and actions but perhaps lacking a little in the soul department. They placed 4,5,4,5,6. Last but not least were Erwin Rybczynska & Iwona Rybczynskaya 6,6,3,6,5. The Open Rhythm tonight should be huge and possibly the best competition of the weekend with many of the top couples in attendance.
The Professional Showdance took place early in the evening and here four couples took to the floor to showcase their routines. Shane & Shannon Jensen won, leaving second place to Travis & Jaimee Tuft. Third was awarded to Dmitriy Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn, fourth were Kosta Trifunovic & Domante Padleckaite. We must also mention that Shane & Shannon Jensen won the Compulsory Theater Arts and like in the showdance Travis & Jaimee Tuft were second.
Thursday night we had two good Rising Star events, but this time it was the Professional Ballroom and the Latin. The Professional Ballroom was won by Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Katzukhina, second went to Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya and third was awarded to Dmitry Sviridov & Mariya Vysotskaya. The Professional Rising Star Latin was won by Jake Davis & Alyona Kalinina, second went to Riccardo Pacini & Sonia Spadoni, and third was awarded to Leon Turetsky & Kim Le.
The Amateur Ballroom was also a fun competition to see. Here Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova took first in all dances. Daniel Vesnovskiy & Emily Thorpe were second and third was awarded to Zhiwei Zhang & Ersi Nie.
So as you can see this was an excellent competition in one of my favorite ballrooms in America. The acoustics are so great that the music makes you want to dance. Tonight all the professional open events and a special show, stay tuned for more.