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Great Night of Dance at Twin Cities!

The last night at Twin Cities Open Ballroom Championships was filled with the celebration of dance.

The four Open Professional Dance Events took place and at the end of the night there was a showcase of champions and highlights from this excellent weekend of dance. The Professional Smooth and Ballroom were the most attended events of the evening and possibly the most entertaining for all.

TCO-ProSmooth lineup

TTCO-Mazenhe Professional Smooth started with a quarter but in the end as always came down to six couples.  This time Mazen Hamza & Izabella were in the mix and it was clear to most of us that they would take the night. In the end Mazen & Izabella won every dance with a huge majority of firsts and perfect scores in the foxtrot where every judge awarded them first. Their few seconds came in the Waltz  and VW from Linda Dean, a second in the tango from Izabella Lewandowski, and so only a total of 3 seconds stood between them and having perfect scores. Second place overall with a huge majority of seconds in every dance went to Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sindnjova, their worst judge on this occasion was Didio Barrera who awarded them 2 thirds, one in tango and one in foxtrot.

Andrian & Hannah Dydynski took third overall and fourth overall but not in every dance went to Mark Short & Alyssa Kark (4,4,5,4). We were a little surprised by such a low position we felt that although this was not a traffic stop performance it was still good enough for them to place higher.  We will discuss how we saw it here in the full article from the Twin Cities Open Ballroom Championships soon. But for now just know that Sergey Smolin & Anna Tomasini were fifth (5,5,4,5) and Ben Sefert & Cheryl Seifert were sixth in every dance.

TCO-Rhythm Lineup

The Professional Rhythm was also a hit especially when competitors Andre & Natalie Paramonov graced us with their presence.  We felt that in this performance their quality was brilliant where it would have been strange to flaw them over their execution of movement - but as everyone was discussing at the bar, “was it Rhythm we saw or an extension of international style?” To be fair to the couple it is unjust to judge them by the fact that they did quite a number of years in that style and it was nice to see that none of the judges fell for this trap they rewarded them in our opinion on the quality of movement, rhythm or not. All these extras continue to give this American category drama and excitement and one that all enjoy from beginning to end.

Seocnd in this heat fell to the Rising Star champions from the night before and that was Slash Sharan & Meghan Anderson (2,3,2,2,3). Not far behind and picking up those two second places were Jonathan Chen & Nadine Messanger (3,2,3,3,2). This was also very exciting to see both couples are very close in quality and technique and both get the fans going.

The Professional Latin had only three entries and this went to Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka  and the Ballroom had four and this open title wen to TCO-LevededAnton Lebedev & Anna Borshch from Canada who won every dance with perfect scores from all the judges.

The show that followed these two excellent competitions was terrific. It showcased some past and new champions and the numbers were excellent. The tap performance by the two male artists was fantastic and very unique for that venue.

My congratulations to Amy & Scott Anderson on to their success.     

Twins Again!

It’s been along time since we have attended the Twin Cities Open, owned and managed by Scott & Amy Anderson. I did not realize how much we miss this wonderful group of people, it’s been a great experience for us as always.

TCO-ballroom

Last night the competition was all about the Professional Rising Star events and with the exception of the Cabaret where only three couples entered, they were well supported and attended.

TCO-RSSmooth

TTCO-Sergeyhe Professional Smooth in particular had a huge entry with a healthy quarter final round. In the end six couples were called back and we all agreed on a winning couple, Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sindnjova took first from all judges with a perfect run, not one second was awarded to this couple. They totally took control of the floor from the beginning and we agreed there was no competition here. Second in this Rising Star Smooth went to Adrian & Hannah Dydynski and they took second in all dances, but here it was not as clear.  They got a few thirds and even a fourth in one of their dances. Third was awarded to Sergey Smolin & Anna Tomasini and they placed third in every dance, also with not as clear marks as the top couple.

TCO-RSRhyth

The RTCO-Slashhythm Professional Rising Star category was awarded to Slash Sharan & Meghan Anderson winning four dances and placing second in the Mambo. Second place overall went to Jonathan Chen & Nadine Messenger and here we have to say it was a very tough decision for the judges. When looking at the marks Jonathan & Nadine managed to steal a few firsts but not enough to win any other dances but the Mambo from Slash & Meghan. For us it could have been a toss up between these two talented up and coming couples. Third overall by placing fourth in cha and third in the other four dances were Jhondar Lopes & Amber Osborn.

As I mentioneTCO-Cabd earlier the Professional Showdance took place as well but with only three couples, first place was awarded to Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka .

There has been three days of full pro/am competition and there were some Open Scholarships worth a mention.  

Firstly the Pro/Am “B” Rhythm.  Here it was a seven-couple final and Renee Kuwahara with teacher Ilya Reyzin took the cup home. In the Open Smooth the “B” Category was also very exciting and here Elizabeth Rocco w/ Eric Hudson was the victor. The “B” Latin was also quite nice last night and here Elizabeth Rocco also took the prize home.

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SmaDS-Artemll but Mighty!

The Professional Ballroom last night at Desert Classic was a straight final of 7 couples, but what a final it was!  Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva ran away with the title, losing a total of only 8 first place marks from a total of 75. 

Easily 2nd in all dances were Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa although the majority of judges did nDS-Denisot feel that they challenged the winners.  (More about this in the full report in the members’ section soon).  For 3rd place the judges were faced with a choice of two disparate (not desperate!) couples  - the new partnership of Iaroslav Bieliel & Olga Tsikalyuk, tall and stately, or the lively and free-flowing Emanuel & Francesca Pappacena.  It was very close in all dances but Iaroslav & Olga took all dances in 3rd position leaving Emanuel & Francesca with 4th in all dances.  Igor Colac & Roxanne Milotti were 5th in all dances;  Evgeny Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya were 6th in all and Slava & Lara Kostianets were 7th in all.

DS-Ballroom

DS-Rhythm

The Rhythm began with a semifinal.  Peter & Alexandra Perzhu made it a double, winning all dances to take this title quite easily and add it to the Smooth title from the day before.  The clean and readable dancing of Ivan Dishliev & ?? Nedyalkova gave them a comfortable 2nd in all dances.  The closest race for us came in the choice for 3rd and 4th between Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov and Vicente Martinez and Meaghan Murphy, who incidentally are similar in appearance and style.  It was very close in every dance but when the chips were down, Donovan and Rose took it 4 dances to 1 (3,3,3,4,3).  5th in all dances went to Tommy Belmontez & Jessica Holty and 6th to Jim Clark & Jennifer Chegini.  Watch out for Bill Sparks’ report in Dance Beat soon.

ADS-AmLatnother double win of the weekend went to Dmytry Dymytrenko & Cheyenne Murillo who won the Amateur Latin, a straight final.  They had also won the U/21 Latin the night before.  They placed 1,1,1,2,1.  2nd were Telercyk Iankiev & Natella Devitskaya (2,3,3,1,2) and 3rd Nikolai Tarasov & Egle Straleckaite (3,2,2,3,3).

Hans & Ann Stork won al dances in the Senior II Ballroom and Aaron & Katelyn Holmes took all dances in the Amateur Smooth.

The pro-ams danced Rhythm all day and although the freestyle heats were full and exciting the Open Scholarships drew small entries.  Nadiya Kireyko w. Daniel Vasco was uncontested in the A division.  Sue Putzier w/ Radomir Pashev won all dances in the B and Monica Broch w/ Kris Suakjian won all dances in the C.

This was the 15th anniversary of the Desert Classic and to celebrate, Igor & Irina commissioned a show to close the evening’s event.  Wendy Johnson was in charge of staging the performers that included some high-energy formation numbers from the kids of Center Stage Ballroom as well as feature performances by some of the amateur and professional couples in attendance.  This was followed by the now traditional “Breakfast under the Stars” for competitors and package holders.

Today is junior day and it is a full day of competition that does not conclude until 8 PM.

Smooth Heads the Bill!
Friday at Desert Classic

There were 2 Open Professional Championships at Desert Classic last night, both began with a semifinal and both were strong events.  Of the 2, we felt the Smooth held the most interest as many of the nation’s best were here and as there is an open throne at the top of this division right now – every competition is important.

DC-Smooth

PeDC-Smooth1-2ter & Alexandra Perzhu once again proved up to the task, winning all dances with the majority of 1st place marks – but it was by no means unanimous.  2nd place Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija took 2nd in all dances but had 1st places in all dances. The foxtrot and Viennese were the closest going to Perzhus 8 first places to Nick & Viktorija’s 6 first places.  This is an interesting result indeed!  The newbies, Mikolay Czarnecki & Victoria Malko were comfortably 3rd in all dances.  We felt the next 3 places were the hardest to decide and the judges giving very mixed individual marks.  With their best performance in some time, David & Natalie Shulz were 4th (5,4,4,4);  Kyle & Alle Spinder were 5th (4,5,5,6) and Kri Suakjian & Brianna Haft were 6th (6,6,6,5).  Winners of the RS took 7th – David Estrada & Stephanie Betts.  In Dance Beat soon find out which couple could maybe have placed better with better floorcraft and just how much the overseas judges impacted this event.  Plus watch out for Wendy Johnson’s commentary.

DC-Latin

Nikolai VorDC-Nikolaionovich & Maria Nikolishina won all dances to take the Professional Latin Championship.  They won 4 dances comfortably but were taken to ‘2nd or better’ scores in the rumba as they had 7 first places to the 6 of the runners-up. (not a majority).  Those runners-up were Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova who were 2nd in all dances.  With 4,3,3,3,3, Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova were 3rd.  We thought this was certainly the best performance we have sen so far from this couple.  Alexandra looked much more confident.  Evgeny Likachev & Maria Levina were 4th (3,4,4,4,4).  Another new partnership, Sergiy Kvashyn & Olga Ginzberg were 5th, 5,6,6,5,5, and Oleg Astakhov & Olivia Wesolowska were 6th (6,5,5,6,6).  Armando Martin will have a full commentary on this division in Dance Beat soon.

Only 3 couples contested the Cabaret and it went to Ivan Berkovic & Dena Anne Weiner.

DC-AmBall

TherDC-Andrese was a very good Amateur Ballroom and this began with a semifinal.  The winners were Andres & Veronika End who won all dances with the majority of 1st places.  2nd in all dances were the always appealing Ruslan Kalyuzhny & Kseniya Sovenko.  Showing great promise in this style were 10-dancers, Nikolai Tarasov & new partner, Egle Straleckaite (DC-Dmytry3,3,4,3,3).  3rd went to Alex & Grace Wang (4,4,3,4,4), 5th in all dances were Tyler Wilson & Annie Seeley and 6th were Dan Manea & Mia Hu, who had won the Senior Ballroom earlier in the evening.

There was also a strong U/21 Latin this evening and Dmytry Dmytrenko & Cheyenne Murillo were the winners in all dances.  2nd were Umar Diallo & Natalya Zrazhevskaya (2,2,2,3,2) and 3rd, Eric Ascione & Grace Anderson (3,3,3,2,3).

For the pro-am dancers it was a day of international Ballroom that ended with very high level Open Scholarships.  Our congratulations to Julie Zhao w/ Denis Kutepov who won 2 of the Open Scholarships - the B and the C.  She won all 10 dances!  2nd in the B was Lilly Chang w/ Sergey Kiselev (3,2,4,2,2) and 3rd was Michelle Peng w/ Mikhail Avdeev (2,3,3,3,3).  The missing 2nd place in the Viennese went to Alexandra Michel w/ Victor Veyrasset who was 5th overall.

DC-BBall

2nd in the C was Tammy Knight w/ Artem Plakhotnyi, 2nd in all dances and 3rd was Deborah Erico w/ Dariusz Michalski (3,4,4,3,3T).

DV-CBall

The A was the smallest division and it was won by Grace Wang w/ Mikhail Avdeev shoo won all dances.  2nd went to Irene Lee w/ Mick Cheremukhin again in all dances and 3rd was Andreas Mantius w/ Jenny Rozhkova

DeDes-view1sert Classic on the Move

This year, but for 1 year only, Desert Classic has relocated from the JW Marriott in Palm Desert to the Renaissance, Indian Wells – a short distance away.  Organizers, Igor & Irina Suvorov, assured Dance Beat that this was just for 1 year and involved scheduling problems at the iconic JW where Desert Classic has been held since its inception 15 years ago.

That’s not to say that the Renaissance is a slouch by any standards.  It offers world-class golf (a favorite of so many dancers), spa, pools and all the amenities of a 5-star resort.  The ballroom is spacious and contemporary and happily is right by most of the guest rooms.  We are all certainly happy to be here.

Des-view2

The competitions started with a bang yesterday.  The pro-ams competed in 2 styles – Smooth and Latin and all 4 of the Rising Star divisions were danced in the evening session.

Two of the RS divisions began with semifinal rounds, the other 2 were straight finals.

ThDes-Estradae Smooth had a semifinal and was won by a couple competing in their first competition together – David Estrada & Stephanie Betts.  We thought they looked strong considering the brevity of their time together.  The judges seemed to agree, awarding them the majority of 1st places in all 4 dances and very few placements less than 2nd.  With 2,2,2,3, the tall Slava & Lara Kostianets placed 2nd  (incidentally they also competed in the Ballroom tonight).  3rd went to Nicholas & Laura Manzo 4,4,3,2.

TheDes-Likachev Latin was the other semifinal and this offered, we thought, the highest standard of the 4 divisions overall.  The winners were Evgeny Likachev & Maria Levina and they won all dances with the majority of 1st places except the jive.  2nd were Oleg Astahov & Olivia Weslowska who were 2nd in all dances and closest to the winners in jive.  3rd spot fell to Ryan Lewis & Tessa Marie with 3,4,4,3,3.  We felt their final round was so much stronger than their semi.

In the Ballroom Nick Cheremukhin & Victorija turned their attention to the ballroom style – the first time we have seen them compete in this.  They were the winners taking all 5 dances with a strong majority of 1st places.  This is an interesting development.  2nd place went to Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya. The Kostianets were 3rd overall with scores of   2,3,3,2,3.

Des-RSRhyth

Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov easily won the Rhythm taking all dances with the majority of 1sp place marks including a perfect ‘9’ in the cha cha.  2nd in all dances went to Tommy Belmontez & Jessica Holty and 3rd to Pietro Della Santini & Allesandra Gonzalez (3,4,3,3,3).

Unusually, the Latin Open Pro-Am Scholarships were larger than the Smooth all 3 beginning with semifinals.

Des-ALat

The A divisions went to the unstoppable Cheyenne Murillo w/ Sasha Althukov who won all dances.  (We did note that se lost a couple of single dances in the afternoon to her runner-up tonight).  That runner-up was the highest placed gentleman of tonight’s pro-am scholarships, Sam Burekhovich w/ Natia Kuprava – 2nd in all dances.  Nadia Kireyko w/ Daniel Vasco took 3rd place 4,4,3,3,3.

Des-BLat

In the B Division Oksana Kalimuka w/ Denis Podolskiy was the winner with 2,1,2,1,1.  Rhonda Lee w/ Daniele Gozzi took 2nd place 1,3,1,3,2 and Svetlana Van Tassel w/ Andrey Tarasov was 3rd 3,2,3,2,3.

Des-CLat

Rhonda Lynch w/ Stephan McCann won the C division taking 1st in 4 dances and 2nd in paso.  Winning that paso and taking 2nd in the remaining dances was Tammy Knight w/ Oleksii Lytvyn.  3rd went to Iris Chang w/ Evgeny Nazarov 3,4,4,3,3.

Des-CSmooth

The best of the Smooth Op[en Scholarships we thought was the C Division.  This was won by Sue Eldred w/ Artem Plakhotnyi who won all dances.  2nd in all went to Marina Sanchez-Torres with Max Sinitsa and 3rd fell to Paige Riffle w/ Alex Zagrean 3,3,4,3T.

The A and B divisions had only 1 and 2 competitors respectively.  Cato Seets & Jim Maranto in the A and Iene Lee w/ Nick Chermukhin who won all dances in the B and Elena Eroshkin w/ Daniel Vasco.

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The Morning After!

Check the videos by SuperShag

The morning after the biggest celebration in America the 4th of July (US freedom of Independence), the ballroom dance celebrations continued at the Manhattan DanceSport this time with the Pro/Am Latin Categories during the day and at night with the Open Professional Ballroom and Rhythm. Both evening and daytime sessions were packed with excellent dancing and nail-biting competition.

Man-Ballroom

TheMan-Arunas Professional Ballroom Championship had some of the world’s best competing for the Manhattan title, with Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, WDC World Professioanl Ballroom Champions in the lead and this was an easy win for them with perfect scores from all the judges in every dance. Second in this parade of world stars went to Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk and almost as if it had been rehearsed most of the judges followed in line awarding them a huge majority of seconds, but not without some dissent - one third in the waltz, another in the tango, one fourth and a few thirds in the VW, and even a sixth in the foxtrot. Man-MaratThis unprecedented 6th was awarded by Marina Tarsinov who most have not gotten the “memo,” because she also awarded them a fourth in the quickstep.

In some ways we too tend to agree with Marina Tarsinov, the spark in this world class final did not came from the top it was the bottom half that thrilled and excited us, beginning with Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa who placed sixth overall 6,6,6,5,6, but who were incredibly musical, and in this case we have to agree with the secretary of the WDC, Hannes Emrich, who awarded them third in three dances. The second couple that for us basically stole the show but placed fourth overall was Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova and they were awarded 4,4,3,4,4. What presence and what command of the skill this gentleman has!  And the lady was totally there complimenting and selling their goods like butter. We have to wonder what competition Ms. Meryem Pearson from Canada was looking at when she awarded them sixth in every dance, however, in her justification beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we here at Dance Beat are known for having inexplicable taste when it comes to ballroom dancing. In our defense there were quite a few judges who awarded them thirds and even a second in the VW that came from Mr. Brian McDonald.

Man-EgorContinuing with this impressive final Artem Plakhotniy & Inna Berlizyeva were third overall 3,3,4,3,3 and Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova placed fifth 5,5,5,5,6.

After the final, it was announced that Egor Abashkin & Katya Kanevskaya were announcing their retirement from competition.  This well-loved couple danced a farewell waltz and then many of their fellow competitors joined them on the floor in celebration.  (Egor was actually hoisted and thrown into the air!!)

In the Professional Rhythm for us and for what we think was the majority in the audience two couples stole the show.  Firstly Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova who placed first overall with perfect scores Man-Emanuelin the cha cha and nearly perfect scores in all the other dances. Funnily enough, that near perfect accomplishment was spoiled in the other four dances by the judge from England, Lorna Lee, who awarded them thirds in R,SW,M and a second in bolero.  Joining her in one dance was Mr. Mark Weiss who awarded them also third in the swing. The second couple that people were raving about and who placed second in every dance was Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova. I think the majority will agree that it is a breath of fresh air watching this couple dance Rhythm.  Firstly they have a lot of that special element “Rhythm!” Secondly, with their smiles and their emotional performance you cannot help but be drawn to them. But when you look at the marks, you can tell the judges are not totally convinced. They Man-Nazargot marks from fifth to second place with Mr. Allan Tornsberg being their worst judge.  He awarded them three fifths, a third and a sixth in the mambo. Perhaps he was watching the same competition as Ms. Pearson from Canada earlier on. (lol). Towards Allan & Meryem’s vindication this is what makes our competition dancing so unique from other competitions, the variety of opinions in style and philosophy, and the freedom to get them across.  Without this we would not grow and we would not progress.

Third in this Rhythm Championship went to Peter & Alexandra Perzhu, and they took third in every dance. From here down we believe things got a little less clear - the pool became a little murkier, with some of the couples making some excellent runs but them pulling back to where any mark could have been awarded. Fourth overall went to Azamat Evgamuko & Kateryna Angelone, here is a perfect example of a couple that at any moment shows a different story every time, when looking at the marks you can see this clearly and we totally agreed. Ms. Lorna Lee from England, awarded them four first place marks and a second in the cha cha, on the other hand this couple got quite number of sixth place marks in their run as well.

Fifth place overall was awarded to Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova 5,4,4,5,5. Here we totally agreed with the judges that awarded them seconds and thirds. This couple were totally together from the beginning and were possibly the most consistent of all. Sixth overall went to Vard Margaryan & Sofya Fil, and they took sixth in every dance. In our opinion this couple’s work is well organized and put together, what we hope to see in future outings is an understanding of the where it all came from - it’s not just about being able to do a “startle split” to music.

TheMan-Shane professional Cabaret had also a very robust entry but for us at least half of the 8 couples entered were more perspiration than inspiration. The top three routines had the most vision, story and creativity especially the winners, Shane & Shannon Jensen. The second place routine by Travis & Jaimee Tuft was not far behind, they too showcased a routine with some sort of pattern or idea and as you can see it was rewarded. The third place couple, Jungie Zamora & Sheena Daminar, had some nice lift work but we began to lose storyline, (and at some point the grip, the lady was nearly dropped from an overhead). We are sure this did not help their cause even though the majority of their lifts were well-executed.

TMan-Mortenhe Amateur Latin also took place this night and gave us the biggest upset of the weekend.  USA’s Ferdinando Iannccone & Yulia Musikhina (NDCA Sanctioned US Champions) lost to Denmark’s Morten Lowe & Roselina Doneva of Denmark.  Here we have 2 of the DB Team’s favorite ladies in this style and we have to say, whichever of them won tonight was OK with us!  The judges were fairly evenly split.  Morten & Roselina won it 4 dances to 1 (2,1,1,1,1) but individually the judges were fairly evenly split.  Ferdinando & Yulia took the cha cha 8 first places to 5.  In the samba Ferdinado & Yulia had 7 first places (not a majority) to Morten & Roselina’s 6 but the Danes had more ‘2nd or better’ scores.  In the rumba it was 6 first places to 6, but once again Morten & Roselina had more seconds.  Morten & Roselina won the paso doble outright with 8 firsts to 6 but in the jive it was once again the second places that won the Danes the dance.  There were just some judges not keen on Ferdinando & Yulia tonight!  Marianne Nicole placed them 6,6,3,6,4;  Melanie Lapatin scored them 3,2,3,3,3;  Mark Weiss 4,3,2,3,3;  Stanislav Popov 1,3,3,1,2;  Tony Dovolani 2,2,3,3,3.  Those marks below 2nd were what cost Ferdinando & Yulia the win tonight.

Man-AmLat

From 3rd to 6th it was the battle royal of the USA’s best Amateur Latin couples.  3rd with 3,4,3,3,3 were Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach and they had some first places in all dances except paso.  4th with 4,3,4,4,4 were Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina;  5th Pasha Stepanchuk & Anastasia Danilova 5,5,5,6,5;  6th Artur Tarnavsky & Gabriela Sabler 6,6,6,5,6.

For the pro-ams it was Latin day and we thought the Open Scholarships were the best of the weekend – especially the B divisions that began with 31 couples.  In this division Svetlana Mukhametshina w/ Alexander Chesnokov (Moscow) were the winners as they were also in Ohio last year.  They placed 1,2,1,1,1.  2nd this time was US Open Champion, Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev and she placed 4,1,2,2,2.  We must admit to being puzzled by the 4th in cha cha!  3rd today fell to Johanna Kornacki w/ Andrei Gavriline (3,3,6,3,5).

Man-BLat

The A division went to Canada.  Sabrina Strasser w/ Stanislav Kochergin was the winner with 1,1,1,1,2.  Saina Hadden w/ Daniele Gozzi was 2nd (2,2,3,2,1) and Emily Takhtarov w/ Evgeny Dyachenko was 3rd (3,3,2,3,4).

Man-ALat

The C was dominated by Florida as the top two ladies are both from there.  Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski was the winner 1,1,1,1,2 and Marguerite Pinard w/ Nerijus Jasaitus was 2nd (3,2,2,2,1).  3rd place went to Nora Fox w/ Plamen Danailov (2,4,3,3,3).

Man-CLat

Fireworks In and Out at the Manhattan Dancesport!

YMan-Riccardoesterday the 4th of July, there were plenty of fireworks around Manhattan celebrating Independence Day and inside the ballroom at the Manhattan Dancesport it was no different. Some said the Professional Latin competition was the best they ever saw and the Smooth was “la cream the la cream”!

We have to agree that there was definitely plenty of sparks on the dance floor last night. World and US Latin Champions Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko were in a contest of their own with every judge in their court, there was not one negative mark on their score chart - it was a perfect go for Riccardo & Yulia with every judge giving them a first in every dance.

Man-Latin

ThMan-top3late biggest flair up came from second place down where apparently there were plenty of surprises delivered.  The first with the second place finish of Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk from the Ukraine.  They placed second in every dance but the paso doble where they took third. From looking at the marks we can read that the struggle of a decision between second and third meant perspiring brows for the judges. You would have thought that Manuel & Natalia’s second place win would be an easy majority of seconds from the judges but it was not, they received plenty of thirds, fourths and even a sixth in every dance delivered by Marriane Nicole. This interesting third place went to Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina who also had very varied marks, no sixes but low enough marks to hold them from a second place finish in four dances.  We must also point out that Nikolai & Maria took second on the paso doble. However, of these two couples Nikolai & Maria were noticeably the most shocked by the result when called for third place and the contrast between the ecstatic happiness from Manuel & Natalia accentuated their disappointment. We have to also point out that this third place finish here in America for Nikolai & Maria must have been extremely disappointing since just last week at the Millennium Dancesport Championships, Manuel & Natalia lost to two other American couples one that is not a US finalist yet.

But the dramMan-Latin4-6a did not end in the second and third place finish, fourth to sixth places also had some intensity.  Fourth in every dance went to our neighbors from up north Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko from Canada, who from our point of view had a steady consistent time on the floor and managed to get enough good marks to secure this position. The most disappointment and anguish in this excellent final must have been for Ivan Mulyavka & Loreta Kriksciukaityte, who we are sure were expecting to recuperate from unhealthy recent results they had had in a few previous events, but here it was no different even though they danced with what we thought to be fierce skill for their survival in the end placed sixth in three dances fifth in the paso and shared fifth in the rumba, giving them and overall sixth place finish. When looking at the full picture we can understand the huge pressure this couple might be under leading up to the USA Nationals, with result like this they can easily lose their place in that prestigious final. The fifth place finish was awarded to Vitalii Proskurin & Evgenia Shatilova who placed fifth in three dances shared fifth in the rumba with Ivan & Loreta and took sixth in the paso.

Man-Smooth

The “cream de Man-Perzhula crème” came in the Professional Smooth where there were plenty of excellent couples from the semifinal on and only six places to fill. Once in the final we think it most have been a nightmare trying to place these couples with so many styles and excellent skill on the floor. The clear winners with the majority of firsts from the judges were Peter & Alexandra Perzhu and you can honestly see why.  Their work looked relaxed, well-executed and in our opinion looked as if they owned the floor. Second in every dance went to Mazen Hamza & Izabella Judzill who were able to steal a few firsts from Peter & Alexandra but not enough to make a dent in their fierce opponents. Unsurprisingly to us Mikhail & Galina Zharinov took third in every dance.  They too managed to tMan Smoothtop3ake a few firsts from the top dogs, but once again came away empty handed but these first places did help to secure their third place finish overall. What we found interesting about these three couples just mentioned is how different in style and approach they are.  This continues to be great news for this style that is thriving in popularity.

From third place down the ground was a little more shaky for the remaining couples. Fourth overall was awarded to Travis & Jaimee Tuft  who placed fourth in three dances and fifth in the VW. In looking at the dancing on the floor with a critical eye we can see how they lost their VW.  For us their waltz and their tango were up to par. Once they had a few complications on the foxtrot their stress continued till the VW where we felt they just wanted it to be finished. They wildcard here and for us the biggest challengeMan-Smooth4-6 at the moment to Travis & Jaimee and to some of the others on top in future outings, was Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija who placed fifth overall but as you will see form these marks left the judges scratching their heads. They placed fifth in the W,F, fourth in the VW, and sixth in the tango. Speaking of interesting approaches, this couple are way out there with their creativity, we are sure sometimes for the good of their dancing but it could equally work against them. It all sounds as if the fight is between fourth and fifth but you cannot discount Mikolay Czarnecki & Victoria Malko who placed sixth overall but took fifth in the tango, and from what we saw although their work still looks a little new and green could easily sneak up on everyone and have the potential to be the biggest challenge to all. The creativity and participation of so many excellent couples in this style is fantastic for American Style dancing and a win for us all on this fourth of July.

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The Amateur International Ballroom also took place last night and here Andres & Veronika End took first in every dance with a majority of firsts from the judges with enough to almost make it a perfect run. Second went to Luca & Krizia Balestra and they took second in every dance but the foxtrot where they placed third. Third went to Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova and here the judges decisions were very mixed (4,5,3,2,3). Fourth wen to Taras Savitskyy & Alexandra Seliverstova (3,3,4,4,4), fifth was awarded to Nicholas & Rochelle Kharlamov (5,4,5,5,5), and sixth went to Maciej Zieha & Lory-Eve Jacob and they took sixth in every dance.

The Pro/Am Ballroom took place and it was a healthy day of fully packed competition with semis, finals and quarters.

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In the “A” divisionMan-AWinner Open Scholarship Elisa Dalla Vecchia from Italy partnered by Rudy Homm took first overall but not in every dance.  They placed first in three dances and second in the tango and quickstep. Second place went to former US and World Pro/Am Champion, Fuki Uekusa w/Igor Litvinov.  They stole the two first places from Elisa and were second in the other three dances.  This marked the end of a 1-year hiatus from Fuki. Third was awarded to Rebecca Kuhn & Andrea Faraci 3,3,4,4,3.

In the “B” category Celia Chou w/Erminio Stefano had a clear run with none of her closer competitors from recent events in attendance. She clearly was first from start to finish in every dance. Second was awarded to Lengxi Gao w/Kamil Urbaniak, but here things got a little more murky as you will see from the marks 4,3,2,2,2.  Third overall went to Michelle Peng w/Mikhail Avdeeev  with 2,2,4,3,3.

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The “C” division had the most attendance with a strong first round of 29 couples. These pro/am competitors really had to be in full physical shape to get through this minefield.  First place overall went to Tammy Knight w/Artem Plakhotniy 1,2,2,1,1.  Second overall was awarded to Hye-Kyong Park w/Linas Korieva 3,1,1,2,4 and third in this excellent “C” final went to Lynn Murrell w/Alexander Voskalchuk 2,4,3,3,3.

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As you can see Manhattan Dancesport did not disappoint us it was still a celebration of dance in the USA during one of the biggest holidays the United States’ Independence were we celebrate freedom to live, work, dance, judge and liberty for all! Congratulations to Gary and Diana McDonald for a terrific event with more to come today!                           

Rising in Manhattan!

Last night at the Manhattan DanceSport Championships it was a Rising Star night and during the day it was all about the Smooth style in the Pro/Am categories down to the scholarships.

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Man-JensenClear winners in the Rising Star Professional Rhythm were Shane & Shannon Jensen who won all daces with the majority of firsts from the judges.  As you can tell it was an easy win for this couple last night. Second in this Rising Star went to Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov who placed second in every dance down to the bolero where they did not get a single 2nd place but did manage to acquire a few firsts giving them an easy second overall. Third was awarded to Strahinja Lackovic & Irina Fedosava (4,3,3,3,4).

The Rising Star ProfessioMan-Prosukurinnal Latin went to Vitalii Proskurin & Evgenia Shatilova, who won three dances and placed second in the C,J, their lowest marks came from Lorna Lee from England who awarded them a fifth in 4 dances and a sixth in the jive. Second was Dmitriy Nikishkin & Olena Shvets, they took first in C,J and second in the other dances. Funnily enough, Michael Stylianos, partner in life and in dance of Lorna was not one of their best judges, he awarded them (4,5,5,5,5) and so did Allan Tornsburg who gave them the same exact marks except for the jive where he awarded them a 4th. Third in this very interesting Latin final was awarded to Simeon Stoynov & Kora Stoynova who placed third in every dance, but they too here shared in some low marks, they got all sixths from Eugene Katsevman and three sixths from Allan Tornsburg and 4th in P and 5th in J.

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In the Man-BarsukovProfessional Rising Star Smooth Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sidnjova won overall taking first in three dances and second in the foxtrot. First in this dance, but second on all others, went to Allie & Kyle Spinder who were second overall. Third wen to Dave Hannigan & Maggie Toth who placed third in every dance and did manage to get a few seconds. Their best judge was Wendy Johnson who awarded them all seconds.

The Man-Bielielprofessional Rising Star Ballroom was awarded to Iaroslav Bieliei & Olga Tsikalyuk who won all dances.  Second went to Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovacikova and they took all seconds and third was Vladishlav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova (4,3,3,3,3).

The Under 21 Ballroom was also run this evening and that Championship went to Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kacmarski who took first in all dances. Man-YouthBallIt is nice to note that in this division Patryk & Anna took perfect scores in the waltz and in the foxtrot, in their other 3 dances their perfect scores were spoilt by one mark in each dance: in the tango by Luana Conte who awarded them a second and the VW and quickstep by Taliat Tarsinov who gave them a second in each. Second overall went to Maciej Zieha & Lory-Eve Jacob and third went to Fernando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvili. Both these couples’ marks were very varied from sixth to second but funnily enough nether of them was awarded the three first place marks that were not awarded to Patryk & Anna.

Man-ASmoothThe Pro/Am Smooth Scholarships were excellent with some very interesting results as well as dancing. Christiana Diaz w/Kris Suakjian placed first in all dances and took the “A” Scholarship home. Second in all dances in this same division went to Elisa Dalla Vecchinia w/Rudy Homm from Italy and third was awarded to possibly one of our favorite ladies in this final and that was Anna Devrevyanchenko w/Mayo Alanen they placed 4th in waltz and 3rd in the other three dances.

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As you will see by the marks the “B” category was more divided. Here Joanne Tatem w/Mariusz Zakrzewski was the overall winner (2,1,1,2) but as you can see a clear tie that possibly had to be broken with a Rule 10, or 11 to come up with the winner. Second went to Lillian Li w/Tomas Mielnicki (1,2,2,1), and third was awarded to Amanda Levine w/Morten Jensen (3,3,3,4).

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The “C” was a little more consistent. Here Lisa Lowery w/Radek Wiatrowski won first place in all dances to take the Scholarship. Lynn Murrell w/Peter Perzhu placed second in all dances and Aviva Adler w/Victor Russu was third overall (3,3,5,4).

So as you can see it was a busy day at the Manhattan Dancesport, today we are on to the Pro/Am Ballroom and the competition heats up tonight with the open Professional Latin and Smooth and the Open Amateur Ballroom.

We love NY!

Today's photos by SuperShag

Yesterday was all about Rhythm and the Pro/Am scholarships at the end of the evening were the feature act on this busy day of dancing.

The “A” Man-Matthewcategory was won by Matthew Shimizu w/ Jessica Nicol who won all five dances each with the majority of firsts from the judges. Second went to Jessica Sweeney w/Jeremy Pilling who placed second in four dances and third in the bolero. Third position wen to Alison Schill w/Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and they placed third in all dances but the bolero, here they scored a fourth place overall. Fourth position was awarded to Stefan Tuomanen w/Michelle Officer (4,4,4,2,4), and fifth in this five-couple final went to Lauren LaPointe w/Louis Bar and she took fifth in all five dances.

Man-DeborahThe “B” Scholarship was awarded to Deborah Altizio w/Jose Decamps and they took first in all dances, with the majority of judges giving them first in all dances but the mambo where they took 4 firsts. She won that dance with the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores. Second in this category went to Alissa Yetter w/Dave Hannigan who placed 2,2,3,2,3. As you can see by her marks the judges were a little undecided, her marks went from sixth to first in almost every dance. Third position was awarded to Donna Sparano w/Evgeny Dyachenko 3,3,2,3,2 and fourth was Heidy Kellison w/Sean Tamashiro 5,4,4,4,4, fifth went to Faye Diamantoudi w/Tony Santana 4,5,5,6,5 and sixth place was awarded to Sophia Chang w/Ron Okubo (6,6,6,5,6).  

In the “C”Man-Lisa Division Lisa Lowery w/Radek Wiatrowski won all dances, two of them with the majority of firsts from the judges the rest with ‘2nd or better’, only one judge awarded her a sixth in the bolero and that was Eugene Katsevman. Second overall went to Cathy Fullam w/Evgeny Dyachenko but from here down the judges were having a hard time figuring it out as you can tell by the scores 3,2,2,5,2.  Third place was just as hard for the judges and this placement went to Lynn Murrell w/Peter Perzhu 2,3,3,6,3 here the individual judges’ marks went from seventh to first. Fourth overall was awarded to Joan Goddard w/Aaron Talbert 4,4,4,2,6, fifth went to Quin Bommelje w/Mikhail Vlasov (7,5,5,3,5) and in sixth place was Hope Huber w/Troy Baeten 6,6.5,6,4,4.  Seventh was Monica Broch w/Kris Suakjian 5,6.5,7,7,7.

As you can see by the marks the judges are working quite hard so we hope to see some more wonderful surprises here tonight at the Manhattan Dancesport

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Smolin1Northcoast Final Evening

On this final evening at Carlos and Marielle Pabons' Northcoast Classic, Sergi Smolin and Anna Tomasini won both the Open Professional Smooth and Open Professional Ballroom by winning all dances.

In Rhythmthe Open Pro Rhythm, Dmitti Dolgopolov repeated their win from last night, winning three of the five dances. They faced a strong challenge from Slash Sharan and Meghan Anderson who won the swing and bolero. Find out who alsMargaryan1o made an impressive showing in this event in the next issue of DanceBeat.

Saturday evening culminated with a show by the very talented Vard Marganyan and Sofia Fil. It was a pleasure to see this couple on the floor alone, demonstrating the intrinsic quality in their dancing.

Northcoast Classic Rocks Cleveland

The Northcoast Classic rocked Cleveland tonight with a full ballroom and an excitingNunes evening of scholarship and rising star professional events.

In the open pro/am events Lisa Vegas had stand out men with Henry Catrett winning the B Rhythm and her student Chris Nunes winning the 'B' open smooth.

Find out which other pro/am teams took home the prize money in the next issue of DanceBeat.

In RSLatinthe R.S. international Latin Dmitro and Nina Kovalenko from New Jersey gave a joyful performance to win all five dances.

In the Professional Open Showdance BraProShowdancendon Barker and Chelsea Cherie gave a riveting performance with interesting choreography and choice of music to capture 1st place.

In the Professional RS Smooth, Igor Afonkin and Rachel Mercedes from Illinois won all four dances. Find out who else made this seven couple final when you read DanceBeat.

The Professional R.S Rhythm had Dmitri Dolgopolov and Kristen Dobson from RS Rhythm copyOhio winning four of the five dances with a clean, consistent performance. Pleasant Ivancheko and Anastasia Gordeeva placed second, taking first in the bolero. This couple is very talented but has a decidedly international style feel to their dancing.

The Northcoast BallroCarlosom Classic organized by Marielle and Carlos Pabon started off with a bang this afternoon in Cleveland Ohio.

Check by for updates tomorrow on the most exciting Northcoast to date.

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Great Night at Millennium!

Last night was an incredible night, it took us a little to get this to you because we needed to detox from the overwhelming amount of fantastic dancing and emotional rollercoaster of feelings that this night brought to us.

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The show was twice as good as the night before with a fiery BYU and incredible transitions from the team to the ballroom stars who were also in incredible mode.  Everything was picture perfect from the video screens to the team and lead dancers’ performances.  The crowd was as always happy to be there and if you got a vacant seat you were lucky.

Mil-WakefiledThe Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 to Lee and Linda Wakefield was deserving and very moving.  We believe they were actually surprised! When they were called they stood by one side and they had to be coaxed on to the seats where they watched their life achievements on video. It was a perfect moment, the team had just finished performing a fabulous show and were still on the floor with the stars in the middle and this night they took no prisoners they left everyone wanting more and more.

Earlier in Mil-Janthe evening the Millennium Hall of Fame inductees for 2014 were US National Professional Rhythm & Smooth Champions from the 1980’s Joe Lozano & Jan Mattingly.

The two featured finals that started way after midnight kept many of the attendees  glued to their seats and it was worth the wait. Both the Rhythm and the Ballroom were excellent finals with boundless attendance and top of the line couples.

Mil-MaratMarat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk were the winners of the Ballroom and they took first in all dances with a huge majority of firsts. However, not all judges felt the same way some awarded them sixth and we will point them out to you in the full article here soon. Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva were not far behind and they were awarded second in all dances and Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova were third, and as you will see this job became harder for the judges as they placed 3,5,3,2,5T.  We’re sure the judges were sweating bullets. Fourth in this excellent parade of ballroom dancers went to Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova (6,4,5,3,4), fifth was awarded to Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch (5,3,4,6,5T), and last but not least in sixth position were Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa (4,6,6,5,3).

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Watch out for Loraine Barry’s full report in Dance Beat soon.

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The Professional Rhythm also had huge attendance and here Andrey & Natalie Paramonov won the night, they took first in all dances but the mambo where they placed third. But here clearly the audience were divided on the results. Just prior to the Parmonovs’ crowning, Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were called for second place and the audience clearly were not pleased many of them stood and screamed for them showing what was clearly some displeasure with the judges’ decision.  Andre & Natalie had a different group of supporters also. Nazar & Irina got these marks from the judges - 2,3,2,3,1. In this mix of firsts, seconds and thirds were Peter & Alexandra Perzhu who too got a great reception from the audience. Here are their marks -2,3,2,3,1. The audience were very undecided with these two last couples mentioned and so were the judges as you can see by the marks.

From foruth place down it was a little more routine.  Misha Vlasov & Vanda Polakova were fourth in all dances. Shane & Shannon Jensen were fifth, Ilya & Mandy Velednitsky were sixth and Azamat Evgamukov & Kateryna Angelone were seventh.

Watch out for Bob Powers’ opinions on this division.

As Mil-Jensenyou can already tell this was a fully packed evening and the Professional Cabaret took quite abut of time with seven couples called to the final. The title went to Shane & Shannon Jensen with a huge majority of firsts. However, for us it was Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva who placed second who got us moving today.  Their unconventional routine made us look more than once especially when she is flying through the air with her head between her legs being “possessed”.  Their routine is based on The Exorcist. We were really in doubt here as to what the judges were going to do especially when Travis & Jaimee Tuft who placed third were also looking in excellent form.

Clyde Harris & Summer Black captured fourth overall, Jamie Black & Robin Ray were fifth, Igor Alferov & Alexandra Akimova were sixth and seventh wen to Martin Cardoso & Noelia Guerrero.

Watch for Tommye Giachinno’s report.

Mil-AmLatThe Amateur Open Latin was also an excellent heat and here Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina were the clear winner in all dances.  Pasha Pahskov & Daniella Karagach were second and Damir Haluzan & Anna Mashchyts (Slovenia) were third.  Ilia Ifraimov will have a full report.

In the Pro-Am Latin Scholarship categories some of our results were totally off compared to the judges’ decisions. Our worst prediction came in the “C” where we had Janet Colleran w/Alex Nashev placing first and she took sixth. Mil-PinardThe winner here was Marguerite Pinard w/ Nerijus Jasaitus, 2nd was Tammy Knight w/ Oleksii Lytvyn and 3rd Nora Fox w/ Plamen Danailov.

In the A CMil-Cheyenneheyenne Murillo w/ Sasha Althukov was the easy winner both for us and the judges.  2nd went Vera Xu w/ Jacub Zeglin and 3rd to Callie Chan w/ Dmitri Mikulich.

The Mil-CLatB was won by Svetlana Mukhametshina w/ Alexander Chesnokov from Russia.  2nd went to Johanna Komacki w/ Andrei Gavriline and 3rd to Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev.       

The Elements Plus!

The Elements finally came together last night at the Millennium Dancesport in an interesting and varied show by BYU, Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva, Emanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova and Mauritzio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite.

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It was choMil-Angelreographed by Lee Wakefield from BYU and Rufus Dustin from Miami Beach, Florida. A fifth element was introduced, a ballet dancer from American Ballet Theatre, he wore angel wings and portrayed “Sky.”  Choreographically he chained all the elements together making the show run smoothly top to bottom!

The ShowMil-Sponsor was sponsored by Debra Fontaine.

On the competition floor it was a smooth night with excellent couples fighting it out to become the Millennium Smooth Champions. From the very start we knew it would be a tough competition, especially for the judges who would have to make up their mind of only six couples for the final. We are sure it was a tough job but in the end the judges did their job, leaving a number of excellent couples out of the final.

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The final was a terrific mix giving us great variety to watch and from the judges’ perspective, a great variety to chose from. Mil-PerzhuPeter & Alexandra Perzhu won all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges.  However, they did get a number of thirds and seconds but not enough to affect their standing. Mazan Hamza & Izabella Jundzill placed second in every dance and took a number of the firsts from the Parzhus and the majority of seconds. Third in every dance was awarded to Mikhail & Galina Zharinov who also took a few firsts as well as a huge variety from 6th up. For us it was an excellent competition the top couples were all in great shape for the task.  However, from earlier rounds it almost looked clear to us that Perzhus would take the Millennium trophy home.  Second and third were less clear to us but we were ready for what ever decision the judges handed down.

The rest of the final was excellent but from looking at the marks and at the competition itself, it was clear that these top six were divided in two divisions, the second part of this final was lead on paper by Travis & Jaimee Tuft who placed fourth in every dance. Travis & Jaimee did get a majority of fourths but also shared in some 5th and 6th. New to the scene, Mikolaj Czarnecki & Victoria Malko placed fifth in every dance and sixth in every dance went to Kris Suakjian & Briana Haft. If is some consolation, we have to say, that this must have really bean a total quick impression for the judges with so much talent and different styles.  It must have been hard to compartmentalize and divide these 6 excellent couples. Congratulations to all six of you, you were all terrific!

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The Latin was also quite unique, from what we understand there were a few couples that entered on the day and this made for a probable competition rescheduling. However, using a past-used NDCA rule, they were able to go from a 15 semifinal, run in two heats, to what ended up to be an 8-couple final. This seemed fare enough for everyone including the audience who would have had to spend at least another ? hour more in the ballroom and would have taken us to a very late finish. Congratulations to the Chairman of Judges for the efficiency and quick thinking.

LMil-Kustkyyike the Smooth the 8-Couple final was excellent.  Roman Kutskyy & Ana Kovalova won every dance with a huge majority of firsts from the judges. From second on it was a completely mixed bag.  We are so lucky to have computers because with such variety of marks from 19 judges we would still be there tabulating who got what. Second overall wen to Andrey Tarasov & Julia Kuznetsova and they placed (3,2,2,2,2), This couple were awarded firsts, seconds and on down to a seventh place in every dance but the paso. Third went to Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk from Ukraine (2,3,3,3,3), and they too were awarded from first down, but this time to 8th place. Manuel & Natalie from Ukraine were the only couple noticeably shocked and by their result, it took them quite a pregnant moment to recuperate but that they did and they accepted their award with a big smile. Ivan Mulyavka & Loreta Kriksciukaityte were fourth in every dance, they did not got any firsts but they did get a number of seconds with other marks down to 8th.

Fifth in this marathon of Latin couples wen to Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova but here as you will see the mix is almost liquified they got (5,6,5,5,7). Sixth were Vitalii Proskurin & Eugenia Shatilova (6,5,6,7,5).  Seventh went to Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets (8,8,8,6,6) and eighth was awarded to Genya Bartashevich & Yana Mazhnikova (7,7,7,8,8). As you can see the four elements were not the only ones being brought together at this Millennium Championships, great couples from all over were drawn together here and the competition was fierce.

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The Amateur Ballroom also had a terrific entry and here before the final Oscar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody had to pull out for medical reasons due to a foot injury (we believe), we wish her a quick recovery. This left the first place easily open for another couple to take and it went to Lucas Balestra & Krizia Balestra (1,1,1,2,1). Second was awarded to Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kacmarski (2,2,3,1,2) and third went to Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Bakhtiarova (3,3,2,4,3).

The Pro/Am Ballroom was run during the afternoon session and here there was also terrific competition in the Open Scholarships with huge entries and excellent dancing.

In the “A” Mil-DeniseBallroom Denis Evans w/Artem Plakhotnyi was first overall but not in every dance (1,4,1,2,2).  Second went to Melonie Krumer w/Max Sinitsa (2,2,2,1,3), and third was awarded to Julie Zhao w/Denis Kutepov (3,3,3,3,4).

In the “B” Celia ChouMil-Celia w/Erminio Stefano was the crowned champion placing first in every dance and leaving second place open for Lily Chang w/Sergey Kiselev who took all second places.  Third overall was awarded to Lisa Berry w/Rauno Ilo (3,3,4,3,3).

The “C” wMil-Tammyent to Tammy Knight w/Artem Plakhotnyi (1,2,1,1,1).  Second was awarded to Hye-Kyong Park w/Linas Korieva (2,1,2,2,2) and third went to Leilani Viney w/Kamil Urbaniak (3,3,4,3,3).

Tonight the fourth element would come together once more for another show and we will see the competition heat up in the professional Rhythm and Ballroom as well as the Amateur Latin witch has a huge entry.      

 

“It’s the first annual ………”

Pro-Am Team Match – at Millennium!

The brand new addition to the 2014 Millennium was the Pro-Am Team Match held last night at the start of the evening session. 

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Mil-USA4 international teams competed over the 4 styles totaling 16 dances.  The teams were from USA, Canada, Russia and the Republic of ROW (Rest of World)!  The ladies from each team entered wearing “wings” in their country’s color.  We thought this was a great way to make the teams cohesive in a relatively simple fashion and without the necessity of everyone wearing the same style/color dress.

The winning Mil-Marianneteam was USA, captained by Marianne Nicole.

We saw the first two professional events of this year’s Millennium last night – the RS Latin and Smooth.  Both began with quarter-final rounds and the standard in both was good.

The Smooth was a tight race for first place, but it was won by Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sidjnova 1,2,1,1 over Kyle & Allie Spinder 2,1,2,2.  But to see how close it was you have to look at the judges’ individual placements.  Sergey & MMil-Sergeyaria won the waltz by 9 first places to 7, the foxtrot by 9 to 8 and the Viennese by 9 to 8.  Mil-SmoothRSKyle & Allie took the tango, 10 to 7.  For those with a keen eye for maths, that remaining 1st place in the waltz went to 3rd placed Adrian & Hannah Dydynski who were 3rd in all dances.  4th in all dances were Sergey Smolin & Anna Tomasini, 5th were Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow 6,5,5,5 and 6th, Marc Short & Alissa Kark 5,6,6,6.

The RS Latin also had a fairly close race for 1st place, but it went to Vitalii Proskurin & Eugenia Shatilova 2,1,1,2,1 over Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets 1,2,2,1,2.    The remaining placements were very mixed. All the way from China, Ray Zhang & Ren Yi Mil-RSLattook 3rd 6,3,3,4,7.  From England, Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina were 4th, 3,6,6,3,5; Pavel Balykin & Meagan Mendoza were 5th 7,4,4,5,4; Ryan Lewis & Tessa Maria were 6th 5,5,5,6,3 and closing the final Felipe Gonzalez & Kathleen Ilo 4,7,7,7,6.

For the pro-ams it was Smooth day.  The semifinals and finals of the 3 Open Scholarships were run in the evening with qualifying rounds in the afternoon session.  All produced great finals.

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The A was won by Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa and Melonie won all dances.  We felt she was the best overall dancer in the final who produces a lot of power.  The only challenge to Melonie came from Brianna Yadgir w/ Chris Germain who has greatly improved in this style and took 2nd in all dances.  Brianna was also the winner of the Open Scholarship in 9-Dance and won all 9 dances.  Congratulations!  3rd here in the A Smooth went to Christine Diaz w/ Kris Suakjian and she was also 3rd in all dances.  In fact all places in all dances were the same for every competitor.  4th went to the only gentleman in any of the finals, Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer, 5th to Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki and 6th to Melissa Dipietro w/ Randy Dias.

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In tMil-Berryhe B we saw an upset to the expected form as Joanne Smith w/ Sharone Levit (Canada) who has won most events in this division lately, lost to Lisa Berry w/ Rauno Ilo.  Lisa placed 1,2,1,1 to Joanne’s 2,1,2,2.  So was this upset expected?  You can find out our opinion in the members’ section of Dance Beat coming up soon.  The remaining couples placed in the same position in every dance.  Christina Donelson w/ Peter Perzhu was  3rd , Melissa Rodriguez w/ Mayo Alanen took 4th, Monica Broch w/ Kris Suakjian 5th, Darla Davies w/ Jim Maranto 6th and Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki 7th.

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It Mil-Suewas a return to glory for Sue Eldred as she took 1st in the C division 1,1,1,2.  Now dancing with Artem Plakhotnyi, Sue had been a US Champion before taking a break.  This was her first major win since returning.  2nd fell to Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza 3,3,2,1 and 3rd to Lynn Murrel w/ Peter Perzhu 2,2,6,3.  As you can see, not too much consensus from the judges on these placements!  Monica Broch, in her 2nd final of the night, once again placed 4th, 4,4,3,4.  Paige Riffle w/ Alex Zagrean was 5th 5,5,4,5;  Gracelyn Tuoti w/ Andrei Abrashin was 6th 6,6,5,6 and Marina Sanchez-Torres w/ Max Sinista was 7th.

Stay tuned for the first of the major professional and amateur divisions all happening tonight, plus the Pro-Am Ballroom Scholarships and part 1 of the Millennium “Show of Shows” that features the BYU Formation Team, Emanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova, Victor Fung & Ananstasia Muravyeva and Mauritzio Vescovo & Andra Vaidailaite.

Mil-crowd

Millennium!  It’s “Element-ary!”

Millennium’s theme this year is the 4 Elements and it is “elementary” that Millennium Dancesport remains the “best dressed” competition on the circuit.  This year the stage is filled with enormous LED displays that constantly change to reflect the theme or what is happening on the floor.  It is stunning!  This is only enhanced by the superb lighting and sound that Millennium always provides.

The first 2 days were devoted almost entirely to pro-am Rhythm and the culmination of this was the Open Scholarships run last night.  All had good attendance and the level of dancing was high.

Mil-ARhyth

The Mil-Sashawinner of the A was Sasha Woshczn w/ Ilya Reyzin.  Sasha won all dances and was a clear winner to us watching from the sidelines.  2nd and 3rd placements appeared closer to us but in the final analysis Briana Yadgir w/ Aaron DeSoto was 2nd in all dances and Chastity w/ Eddie Ares was 3rd in all.  Julie Korsog w/ Misha Vlasov, who competed and made the final in the B division also, was 4th (4,4,4,5,4);  Laurel Skaggs w/ Ben Ermis was 5th (5,5,5,4,5) and Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer was 6th.

The B and C divisions were very close-fought.  Elena Cormio w/ Edwin Mil-ElenaTorres won the B (1,2,1,1,1) and we loved her feel for the music.  Beatriz Higuery w/ Vlad Kosarev took 2nd (3,1,3,4,2) and she had a great look on the floor.  3rd went to Coleen Peac w/ Ben Ermis (2,3,2,3,4) and this was another very talented lady, new to us.  4th was Tracy Hannon w/ Misha Konstantinov (4,5,4,5,3);  5th Julie Korsog w/ Misha Vlasov (5,4,5,2,5) and 6th Regina Ruff w/ Eddie Ares was 6th (6,6,6,6,6).

The C was if anything, even closer.  The winner and obviously thrilled, was Dianna Caracciolo w/ Nazar Norov (3,1,1,2,1) – this was probably her Mil-Elenabest result to date.  Congratulations!  2nd went Lynn Murrell w/ Peter Perzhu (2,3,3,1,4) who gave her usual consistent performance and had a great look on the floor.  3rd fell to a lady we really liked tonight, Marguerite Pinard w/ Nerijus Jasaitis (1,2,5,4,3) – those were some mixed scores!  Renee Kuwahara w/ Ilya Rezin took 4th (4,4,2,3,2) and in a surprise result, Joan Goddard w/ Chris Johnston, a former winner of this event many times, dropped to 5th (5,5,4,5,5).  Marcy Garson w/ Mazen Hamza was 6th (7,6,6,6,7) and Quin Bommeljie w/ Misha Vlasov was 7th (6,7,7,7,6).

Mil-CRhyth

Today begins the pro-am Smooth divisions and we look forward to a new International Pro-Am Team Match tonight.  Check back tomorrow for the latest scoop!

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Smooth or Latin?

The last day at the Colorado Star Ball Championships was a combination of  Ballroom and Latin during the day but the best professional event of the week for us was the Smooth Open Championship. As is customary here in Colorado the Open Professional Latin final was interchanged between the Smooth dances, but there was no competition here for us, the Smooth was the best hands down.

CO-ProSmooth lineup

Three very exciting couples for us made the Open Professional Smooth nail biting: Nick Cheremukhim & Viktorija, Mikolaj Czarneki & Vicktoria Malko and Kyle & Allie Spinder, all three with very different styles and very capable and ready for the task.CO-Nick In the end all four dances went to Nick & Viktorija, who were in our opinion and those around me, fabulous. Their musicality and artistic interpretation of each dance left you breathless and on this performance they really stole our heart. Second in all dances went to Mikolaj & Victoria, a very promising partnership with huge talent but on this outing we felt they could not challenge. Unlike Nick & Viktorija their dancing still looked a little green in places, but we are sure they will be challenging soon once their material has ripened a bit. Third in all dances went to perhaps the most picture perfect performance, that of Kyle & Allie. They sported a very free spirit look and went out on the floor with a take no prisoners attitude. In the first round we felt they might have a chance for the top but once in the final for us their performance lacked innovation. With a little more experimenting and finding their style this couple could easily find themselves on the very top of the list, their competitive skills are terrific.

The rest of the final was not as eye catching but all three couples were very capable and worth a mention, Fourth place overall wen to Marko Urosevic & Asley Mokris (4,4,4,5), fifth were Christopher & April Muller (5,5,5,4) and in sixth place was Kyle & Christina Campbell  who placed sixth in every dance.

CO-ProLatinlineupThe Pro Latin had three entries and for us and we believe the judges it was clear cut. First went to Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova and they placed first in all dances, second was Sergiy Kvashyn & Olga Ginzburg and third place was awarded to Gene & Elena Bersten, we will tell you how we saw them in the full article of the Colorado Star Ball here very soon.

The Professional Showdance was also run this evening and this went to Kyle & Allie Spinder, second was awarded to Michas Belfer & Julie Garczynki leaving third position to Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova.

CO-ProSmooth lineup

Out of the two styles run this day of Pro/Am competitions the best scholarships for us were in the Ballroom category. The “B” Ballroom had the most entries and here we missed Beverly Moore who pulled out of the competition due to injury, this left top placement fully open and this placement wen to Lily Chang w/Sergey Kiselev they took all firsts. Second went to Michaelle Peng w/Mikhail Avdeev (3,2,2,2,2) and third was awarded to Nadia Tippet w/Yuriy Kravets (4,3,4,3,3).

CO-Pro-AmBallroomA

The “A” division was also excellent with five couples competing for top position. In the end Sabine Blyth w/Giacomo Agrello took all firsts, Sabrina Zagolin w/Yuriy Kravets placed second (3,2,2,2,2) and Grace Wang w/Mikhail Avdeev was third (2,3,3,3,3).

TCO-Pro-AmBallroomChere were four couples in the “C” and this went to Nadia Tippet w/Yuriy Kravets with all firsts. Samantha Sheer w/Jari Muller took all seconds and Susan Lowe w/David Aanestad was third.

The Pro/Am Open Latin Scholarships were all very small.  In the “B” three couples competed and here Liz Rocco w/Eric Hudson took first in all dances, Dawn Mersich w/Brad Ackerman was second and Lauren LaPointe w/Louis Bar placed third. The “A” and “C” had two couples. In the “C” Michael Roybar w/Kristina Poole placed first by wining three dances and placing second in the rest, Patricia Duran w/Ross Pearce were second and they won these two dances. The “A” was won by Dawn Mersich w/Brad Ackerman first in all dances and Lauren LaPointe w/Louis Bar were second. 

It’s a Smoothie!

It was a Smoothie day at the Colorado Star Ball Championships and it went without a hitch. The day was concluded, as the day before, with scholarships in all levels for the Smooth style and in the Professional events the Open Professional Rhythm and Ballroom Colorado Champions were selected.

CO-IvanAs in the professional Rising Stars the night before the Rhythm categories had the most entries with a healthy semifinal round, and most of the couples that competed with the exception of one or two couples were the same also, but this time the overall winner of this Rhythm Championship was Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyakova and they won every dance. For us Ivan & Marieta were the clear winners with no other couple challenging their first place position. Second went to the Rising Stars winners Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov who if, in our opinion, had danced more like the night before, could have challenged a little more, but in this performance we agreed with the judges, they were clearly second. Third position wen to Matthias Kruchel & Christina Schlegel who were awarded third in every dance.

CO-ProRhythmLineup

ICO-Iaroslavn the professional Ballroom there was also a few new entries and they were Iaroslav Bieliei & Olga Tsikalyuk who for us were the best couple from the start. However, the judges felt a little differently. They awarded them second in the waltz and they tied for first in the foxtrot. First in the waltz went to the second new entry and that was Michael Towlizew & Tiffany Fung who also tied for first with Iaroslav & Olga on the foxtrot, but to our surprise placed third in the VW and quickstep? The second places on those dances went to the third place overall finishers, Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovkaya (3,3,2,3,2). This was a small but very interesting competition with a very interesting result.

CO-ProBallroomlineup

In the Pro/Am Open American Smooth Scholarships the “C” division had the most participation and this event wen to Beverly Moore w/Alain Doucet from Canada who won all dances. Second place was awarded to Dana Voigt w/Randy Wilson and they placed second in every dance and third was awarded to Elisabeth Cramer w/Robert Nardozza. In the “B” Liz Rocco w/Eric Hudson took the trophy home and second in all dances went to Dawn Mersich w/Gary Holmes, leaving third to Kitty Sang w/Matthias Kruschel (3,4,3,3). There were only four couples in the “A” division and the winner was Dawn Mersich w/Youriy Pavlov (1,2,1,1).  Second went to Kelly Morikawa w/Jonathan Atkinson and in third place was Emma Rosenblum w/Michel Kibel and they were third in all dances.

After all competitions were over for the day the audience were treated to a Latin show by Roman Kutskyy & Anna Kovalova.

Colorado has Rhythm!

For the last two days we have concentrated on the Rhythm style here at the Colorado Star Ball Championships and it concluded with some excellent scholarships. To go with the scholarships we had the Rising Star Ballroom and Rhythm events.  As always for the entire two days from morning to night time all couples in all levels received the wonderful Denver Colorado welcome we have gotten used to.

CO-DenovanNot surprisingly, the largest attendance of the two professional events last night  was in the Rising Star Rhythm category. The couples in this division were all very close in level and style and so we presume the judges had their work cut out.  In the end Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov won every dance and took the title. Mathias Kruschel & Christina Schlegel were second in every dance and Jesse Dickson & Lannie Sullivan were third (5,3,3,3,3).

The Ballroom Rising Star was a lot easier with four couples entered, here Evganiy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya won all dances, Sarosh Ahmad & Zoe Wydrough took all seconds and Jonathan Atkinson & Lorena Bravo placed third.

CO-ProBallroom

In the pro/am Scholarships the “A” category was won by Dawn Mersich w/Hugh Rowe they took first in all five dances, Michelle Young & Scott Koogle took second and Emma Rosenblum w/Toby Munroe was third.  

CO-Pro-amRhythmA

The “B” category went to Dawn Mersich w/Hugh Rowe again. They won four dances and placed second in the swing.  Second overall was awarded to Eileeen Arcilla w/Golden Parker and they won the swing but placed second in the other four dances and third went to Lauren LaPointe w/Louis Bar (3,3,4,3,3).

CO-Pro-AmRhythmB

CO-Pro-AmCThe “C” was a two couple final and Dana Voigt w/Randy Wilson won all dances leaving second to Barbara Willis w/Rainier Rics.

After hours the talk is all about people staying to hike and people that have already hiked around the beautiful mountains of Denver Colorado.  It all sounded so beautiful I wish I could have come a day earlier, but perhaps next time.

Today we are on to the Smooth divisions, so stay tuned for more results and stories from this event.

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Ballroom & Rhythm are the Stars at Yankee

Saturday night was a dancing extravaganza at Yankee Classic that started with a “bang!”  For us the best professional events events of the night were the first two – Ballroom and Rhythm.

YC-Rhythm

YC-PeterThe Rhythm was first up and right away it developed into an obvious duel between Florida powerhouses, Peter & Alexandra Perzhu and Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova.  On the last meeting between these two that we witnessed, at Emerald Ball, Nazar & YC-NazarIrina came out on top.  Here the decision was reversed and Peter & Alexandra took it by 3 dances to 2 by winning cha cha, rumba and bolero.  Nazar & Irina took the other 2 dances.  All were won with a majority (not large) of 1st place scores.  These are 2 great couples – pay your money and take your choice!!  They are very different both in appearance and styling.

3rd today went to Azamat Evgamukov & Katerina Angelone (3,3,4,3,3).  In the semifinal round we were concerned that this pair was not on form, but in the final they stepped it up and we thought deserved their final placing overall.  Physical conditioning has once again become an issue here.  Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov continued to impress the judges taking 4th spot 4,4,3,4,4.  They are an engaging couple but need a more personalized style perhaps.  We liked 5th placed Matthew Hauer & Lauren Schelfhaudt, especially in cha cha and mambo.  6th went to Srahija Lackovic & Irina Fedsova (6,6,6,6,6) and 7th to Sasha & Tara Barakov (7,7,7,7,7).  Watch out for Jennifer Foster’s report on this division.

YC-Ballroom

Equally good was the Ballroom, although it had something of a shakeup in the form result.  No surprises in the winners – Alexandre Voskalchuk & Veronica Ergorova were superb and won all dances with large majorities of 1st place scores.  Alexandre’s twin brother (just kidding, but don’t they look alike?) Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova easily took 2nd in all dances and looked very energized to us today.  YC-Nazar-MarikoThe surprise tonight came in the 3rd place finish of Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley (3,3,4,3,3).  This was a great result for them (they even picked up a few 1st places) and certainly moves them ahead.  Let’s see if they can maintain the momentum over this busy summer.  Igor Mikushov & Ekaterina Roshchina were probably disappointed with their 4th place (4,5,3,4,4).  5th went to Emanuele & Francesca Pappacena (6,4,5,5,5) and 6th to Ronen Zinshtein & Maryam Izmalova (5,6,6,6,6).  This was a World Masters Title.  Christiane Primeau will have the report on this division in Dance Beat soon.

Unfortunately the Smooth and Latin failed to live up to the first two divisions.  The Smooth was easily won by Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija.  We were extremely surprised to see Nick & Viktoriya pick up a few scores below 2nd place!!  The only challenge to the winners came from Vlad & Vera Kosarev who gave a good performance tonight, much stronger then the recent one at Atlanta Open.  They scored some 1st places in all dances except VW.  3rd tonight went to Jan Ondrias & Vivian Lessa 3,3,3,3;  4th to Enzo Zappia & Laura Galmaceda 4,4,4,4;  5th to Matt Fortuna & Tania Nunez 5,5,5,5;  6th Jared Vigneault & Sara Zirolla.

YC-Smooth

Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Svetts were easy winners of the Latin World Masters taking all dances with large majorities including a perfect score in cha cha.  Taking 2nd in all dances, but getting some scores in the lower half of the final were Jean Paul & Lara Rossi.  The RS winners, Vincenzo Mineri & Rosaria Vivone, continued their strong form taking 3rd 3,4,4,3,3. With 4,3,3,4,4, Dmytro & Nina Kovalenko were 4th.  We liked ???? who were 5th with 6,5,5,5,5.  6th went to #212, 5,6,6,6,6 and 7th to Dennis Sy & Mae Lozada.

YC-Latin

The World Masters Amateur Latin was an excellent event with a strong semifinal round – it was a tough final to make.  The winners in all dances were Pasha Stepanchuk & Anastasia Danilova and they had the majority of 1st places in all dances except rumba where the 1st ‘s were spread around.  We also really liked Artur Tarnavsky & Gabriella Sabler who were 2nd in all dances and picked up 1st places in all dances.  With 3,4,4,3,3, Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova were 3rd.  4,3,3,5,4, gave Ron Garber & Liza the 4th spot and they looked much more “high-energy” than usual.  5th went to Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova (5,5,5,4,5) and 6th to #345.

YC-AmLat

For the pro-ams it was Ballroom day.  Both the Open Scholarships and the New England Championships were excellent, although there were some reversals of placement between the divisions.  YC-PABallThe C Scholarship was won by Mike Brown w/ Anna Oblakova with 2nd going to Susan Walker w/ Samuele Pacchini.  This was reversed in the New England Championship.  Audrey Paek w/ Ronen Zinshtein won the B Open Scholarship over Carole Simmons w/ Serghei Pogonet.  Audrey did not compete in the New England, so Carole had a clear field and took the event.  Jennifer Lee w/ Serghei Pogonet took the Open A Scholarship.

The World Masters Pro-Am Title winners were Scott Bergendahl (9-Dance A);  Elizabeth Canis (9-Dance B);  Hope Huber (9-dance C);  Rosemary Lynch (10-Dance B);  YC-JaniceJanice Stanton (10-Dance C).

The featured performers here at Yankee Classic were Victor Fung & Anastasia who delighted the crowd with their new (to us) ballroom show that moved along quickly and had excellent music chYC-Kathyoices.  Interspersed were 2 wheelchair performances from Roll Call that were very moving.

The night ended with the now traditional Legal Seafood professional party sponsored once again by Kathy Kenney.

World Masters to Taras & Tatiana

The maYC-Tarasin feature of  Friday night at Yankee was the World Masters Amateur Ballroom Championship and congratulations to Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova for winning this title – a great addition to any dancer’s resume.

The event attracted a semifinal and the final was the last event danced last night.  The field was strong we thought.  Taras & Tatiana won the event by 3 dances to 2 over Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova.  Tara & Tatiana won tango, Viennese and quickstep, but only tango and Viennese with a majority of 1st places.  Marek & Liana won the other 2 dances but not with a majority.  Although these 2 couples shared the majority of 1st and 2nd places, both had a few marks in the lower half of the final with Taras YC-Marek& Tatiana picking up more of these stray 4’s and 5’s.  The two couples have very different styles, find out what we thought and why some judges did not favor the winners in an upcoming edition of Dance Beat.

3rd tonight were youth competitors Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova (4,5,3,3,3) who gave a strong showing tonight we thought.  This was a close race with Fernando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvili taking 4th (3,3,4,5,4).  We didn't really understand the 5th placement in foxtrot.  5th were Daniel Vesnovskiy & Emily Thorpe (5,4,5,4,5) and 6th Ben Moss & Esther Rheinbay.

YC-AmBall

All 4 Pro RS Star divisions took place this same night and all but the Ballroom had a semifinal round.  From the perspective of the Dance Beat Team, there were many couples in all styles we had not seen before.

YC-VincenzoThe winners of the Latin were the new partnership of Vincenzo Minieri & Rosaria Vivone (1,2,1,1,1).  We’re not sure if this was in fact their first competition together. They make a super-attractive pair and should do well in this style.  2nd were the always impressive Dmyto & Nina Kovalenko (2,1,2,2,2) and 3rd, Dennis Sy & Mae Lozada (3,3,3,3,3).

The Smooth went to the consistent team of Serge & Yana Nelyubov (1,1,1,2).  2nd fell to Dave Hannigan & Maggie Toth (2,2,2,1) and 3rd to Jan Ondrias & Vivian Lessa (3,3,3,3,3).

YC-RSSmooth

In the Rhythm, Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov were the winners in al dances – clearly to us.  2nd went to Sahsa & Tara Barakov (3,2,2,2,2) and 3rd to the new partnership of Kosta Trifunic & Domante Padleckaite (2,3,3,3,3).

YC-RSRhyth

OscaYC-RSBallr Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova won the Ballroom (2,1,1,1,1) with 2nd going to Mechyslav Pavlyuk & Gemma Arnold (1,2,2,2,2).  We thought the runners-up were close to the winners in this one.  3rd were Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Karzukhina (3,3,3,3,3).

Friday was a long day with the pro-ams dancing 2 styles – Smooth and Latin.  The Smooth was up first and the B and C divisions were the larger.

Lynn ShanahaYC-Lynnn w/ Darius Mosteika took the B (1,1,1,2).  This lady has really come on strongly recently.  2nd fell to Amanda Levine w/ Morten Jensen (3,2,3,1) and 3rd to Aviva Adler w/ Victor Russu (2,3,2,3).

Elaine Sheresky Lewis w/ Victor Russu took all dances in the C, great to see her back on the floor and looking good!  2nd went to Nancy Sachs w/ Sergey Vasiliev (2,2,3,3) and 3rd to Hope Huber w/ Troy Baeten (3,3,2,2).

Only 2 couples contested the  A division and it went to Brittany Falconer w/ Peter Walker in all dances over Scott Bergendahl w/ Maria Huard.

The New England Championships were also run in the Smooth and these went to Lynn Shanahan (B), Aviva Adler (C) and Scott Bergendahl (A).

In the Latin, once again the B and C divisions were the larger.  Maria Sergaou w/ Dmitrios Damalas won all dances in the B,  2nd in all was Loraine Peoples w/ Andrei Gavriline and 3rd was Vanessa Dicicco w/ Vlad Astafiev (3,3,3,3,4).

YC-BLat

The most closely contested was the C and this fell to Deborah Wagman w/ Matthew Hauer (1,2,2,1,2).  Janice Stanton w/ Clive Phillips took 2nd (3,1,3,2,1) and Bernie McCool w/ Thomas Shiloshvili was 3rd (2,3,1,3,3).

YC-CLat

Nicolas Nguyen w/ Helle Rusholt won the A (1,1,1,1,1).  It was good to see him back on the floor.  2nd went to Chastity w/ Eddie Ares (2,2,2,2,2) and 3rd to Patricia Mui w/ Alex Samusevich (3,3,3,3,3).

Feeling the Rhythm in Boston

Yankee Classic got under way yesterday in a very sunny Cambridge, MA, and from the Marriott Hotel there were fine views across the Charles River of Downtown Boston glimmering in the sunshine.

YC-Boston

The Yankee Classic also incorporates the New England Championships and some World Masters Championships.  Yesterday was all about pro-am Rhythm and in the evening we saw the culmination with Open Scholarships and also Open New England Championships.

The entries and results were very similar between the Open Scholarships and New England Championships and once again is was FADS NY Westside featuring on the winners rostrum as Jolanta Mosteika and her boys swept the field.  Giovanni Fortezza won the B division in Open Scholarship and New England Championship as did Phillip Widlanski in the C division.

YC-BRhyth

Giovanni won all 5 dances in both divisions.  The runner-up in both, with 2nd in all dances both times, was Faye Diamantoudi w/ Tony Santana from Montreal and all the 3rd ‘s in both events went to Elizabeth Canis w/ Robert Foster.  Valerie Letelier w/ Jason Barrera took 4th in the New England Championship but was 5th in the Open behind Elizabeth Woo w/ Chris Uy.

Phillip placed 1,1,1,2,1 in the Open and 1,1,1,1T,1 in the New England and 2nd both times went to Hope Huber who took the 1st in bolero in the Open and tied it in the New England.  Amy Pollinger w/ Slava Sergiev was 3rd in both with 4,3,3,3,5 in the Open and 3,3,3,3,5 in the New England.  Carol Silverstein w/ Jean Michel Erole took 4th in the Open (3,4,5,4,4) but dropped to 6th in the New England (6,6,6,6,3).  Deborah Liguori w/ Rodrigue Edouard was 5th both times (5,5,4,5,3 and 5,5,5,5,4).  David Pollinger w/ Irina Sarukhanyan took 6th in the Open.  Catherine Zambos w/ Peter Perzhu was 4th in the New England (4,4,4,4,6) but did not compete in the Open.

YC-CRhyth

YC-ARhythThe A division saw the smallest entries and was different between the two categories.  Chastity w/ Eddie Ares won all dances in the Open.  Sami Gendreau w/ Matt Fortuna was 2nd (2,2,2,3,2).  Neither of these ladies took part in the New England.  Jennifer Coutney w/ Istvan Cserven was 3rd in the Open (3,3,3,2,3) but won the New England (2,1,1,1,1).  Scott Bergendahl w/ Maria Huard was 2nd in the New England.

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Vil-ArunasKatusha

7th Time for Arunas in Vilnius 2014 was the 7th annual Vilnius Dance Festival, organized by US and World WDC Ballroom Champion, Arunas Bizokas, in his native Lithuania.  Amazingly this event starts just one day after Blackpool finishes and of course, Arunas & Katusha won the Professional Ballroom at Blackpool again this year. The thought of organizing an event just 1 day after such an amazingly stressful competition is daunting, but just as in his dancing, Arunas seems to take it all in stride.  Not only is he the organizer he and Katusha also are the featured performers.
VilAmBall
This year we saw competitors in WDC AL Amateur divisions, pro-am competitions, and hobby divisions with competitors from far afield – Australia, Canada, USA, Lebanon, Israel and a host of European countries.  Judges hailed from Asia, Europe and North America.
Vil-view
The competition takes place in the Radisson Blue Hotel, right on the river in the charming and historical city of Vilnius.  The after party in the spectacular Space Bar atop the hotel with panoramic windows is always a treat. Watch out for a full report and photos in the members’ section soon.  And there will be some surprises - (eg. Katusha Demidova competed in the pro-am!)

Page 28 of 32

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