Didio Barrera

Didio Barrera

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Good Enough for Tina Turner! Champions Ball 2016

Report by Didio Barrera

Portion of photos courtesy to Priyanka Mathew

The Champions Ball is the largest Pro/Am event outside the United States. With over six thousand entries it also rivals a number of events here in the USA. I have been fortunate to have been asked to officiate at the Champions Ball for a number of years and every year this event has to be judged by a standard of excellence. The staging and focal point is always amazing.  I remember my first time attending the Champions Ball, I thought “Tina Turner” was going to make an appearance with the amount of lighting, smoke and props. This year was no different.  In fact it was the best ever, with the two giant LED screens opening up to present the Pro/Am competitors on the stage and the stairs coming out of a tunnel for them to come down to the floor.


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SFO New Face! New Competition!

Report by Didio Barrera

Photography by Charles Ryder 

It has been a few years since I last attended the San Francisco Open! San Francisco is my favorite city after Miami Beach, Florida where I live and so any time I get an invitation to an event in this city I immediately jump at the chance. The San Francisco Open continues to be run by Stephan and Denise Krauel, good, steady and consistent organizers, but this year added to the picture was Mr. Colin James. I noticed some a big changes in the atmosphere and running of the event.


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There is a Heaven! Heritage Classic 2016

Report by Didio Barrera

Photography by Park West

I have now attended the Heritage Classic for a number of years and I’m always amazed at the elegance and beauty of the “Grove Park Inn,” inside and out. To top it all, the competitions in the spacious ballroom are usually of good quality but this year it was even more special with the finishing touch of perhaps some of the best Latin dancing I have seen in recent times. The Show by Slavik Kryklyvyy & Karina Smirnoff was totally heavenly, beautiful and an awesome experience that I will never forget.  


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Andrei & Elena, not just Trying they are the Tri-State Championships!

Report by Didio Barrera

Photography by Ryan Kenner

A year ago Andrei & Elena bought the Tri-State Championships, it was and still is a well-attended competition in the north east of the USA.  With the USA being the melting pot of all countries and races, it is reassuring to see Andrei & Elena, who came to the USA from Russia with the hope of attaining a better life able to be among other things, the organizers of a successful competition here.


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Hitting 40! La Classique 2016 

Report by Didio Barrera

Photography by GSR Studio Inc. 

La Classique Du Quebec hit the 40 year mark this year in Montreal, Canada and it seems like only yesterday we were all lining up in the “on deck” to dance at this incredible and fabulous event that still plays the most incredible music with terrific lighting and a fantastic atmosphere. I know some of you wonder why I refer to the past when talking about “La Classique” as we all call it now with love. I refer to the past because without a strong past there is no future and while most competitions are struggling to create it, “La Classique Du Quebec” has the most history of any event I know and it continues to create history with every year that passes.


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The Art of Seduction!Maryland Dancesport 2016

Report by Didio Barrera

Photography by Timeline Media

As I mentioned on our blog, the art of seduction, “You either have it or you don’t.” When it comes to Ballroom dancing some couples have the art of seduction down, drawing you to them and making you, if you’re a judge, bring them back over and over and if you are the audience keep looking at them nonstop. There are many components to this art, it is not just about looking good and proper and pretty.


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The Ballroom, the Rhythm and the Money!

Report by Didio Barrera

Photography by Charles Ryder Photography

Thursday, January 28th I arrived in beautiful, historical San Jose, California for the City Lights Ball, sponsors of the Star Professional Tours where over $100,000.00 was awarded to our Ballroom and Rhythm Professional competitors.


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Back to One!

Report by Didio Barrera

Photography byTanuja Tharani

Back to one is the expression used when you’re filming something and you want to do it again! This past December I was asked by our local Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Coral Gables, Florida to judge their winter showcase. It’s been quite a while since I had an opportunity to do something as simple as a showcase and so I was very excited when asked.


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