Keith Todd

Keith Todd

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US National Youth Ballroom Championship

Report by Keith Todd

This was a very tight final with Rule 11 being used to separate 2nd and 3rd placements.


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Up to the Challenge? Sarasota Challenge 2016

Report by Keith Todd

Photography by Stephen Marino

This was my second time to attend Sid Pocius’ Sarasota Challenge held, of course, in Sarasota, Florida, and on my drive up I could only wonder if we would indeed be “up to the challenge.” This competition is a 1-day NDCA recognized event, but rumors had circulated that this year’s entry count was topping 5,000 – was it possible to dance that many entries in one day?  Well, the short answer is, “yes!”  And here’s how it was achieved.


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BYU Brings Us to New Heights!

US National Amateur Championships 2016

Report by Keith Todd

Each year in March most of the country’s leading amateur and junior competitors make the long climb up the Provo Valley to the town of Provo and the Marriott Arena on the campus of Brigham Young University for the US National Amateur Championships. These championships are recognized by the NDCA and are granted to BYU by American Ballroom Company. To be sure it is a long trek, particularly for those couples from the East Coast, but nobody seems to mind.


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Vegas Open Throws a “7”

Report by Keith Todd

Photos by Chris Hanson  

In the game of “craps, ” which I have never played, I believe the object of the game is to “throw a 7.” Here in Las Vegas, craps is a popular game and the Vegas Open certainly threw a “7” again this year. Held once again over the first weekend of March at the Luxor Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Vegas Open is organized by Mikal Watkins, Maria Hansen & Paul Holmes. Las Vegas has proved to be a very popular location for dance competitions and it is not hard to understand why.


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A New Generation in New York: NYDF

Report by Keith Todd

Photography by Ryan Kenner

Over the last few years we have seen many competitions transfer to a new generation of organizers and on this front none of these transfers have been more anticipated than the New York Dance Festival’s. Edward Simon has been the organizer of this competition for many years, but last year he transferred ownership to one of the USA’s most iconic competitive couples of recent years, Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova.


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Platinum Dancesport 2016: Shining on Biscayne Bay!

Report by Keith Todd

Photography by Decadance Photography 

Platinum Dancesport, hosted by Igor & Polina Pilipenchuk, holds the distinction of being the closest competition to my home on the NDCA Calendar.  In fact, from Igor & Polina’s spectacular hospitality suite at the Hilton Downtown Miami, you can see my apartment building!  That said, you can perhaps understand why I am biased towards a winter competition in my home town.  Even though the weather was a little chilly for us Floridians on the first day of the competition, those traveling from points north all told me, “you should see what it’s like where we live!”  No thank you! The next day temperatures outside were back up into our winter ‘70’s and many of the competitors were able to take a break from dancing to explore downtown Miami or cross the causeway to South Beach.


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“The Snow Couldn’t Stop ‘Em!” Nashville Starz 2016

Report by Keith Todd

Photography by Park West 

 

Well actually it did stop a few!

Taking place in January, Nashville Starz is prone to North America’s weather extremes, but situated in the southern city of Nashville, TN, it should be well clear of the Northern snow-belt.  Not this year!  Over the weekend of January 23rd Nashville endured record snow fall as did much of the northeast.  This necessarily impacted travel all over the USA and indeed some dancers were unable to attend although they had fully intended to compete.  Nevertheless, plenty of us did make it and organizer, David Hamilton, showed gracious equanimity and the event was as special as it always is.


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Sizzling in the Snow!The Snow Ball 2016

Report by Keith Todd

Photography by Ryan Kenner

This was my first ever visit to Donna Edelstein’s Snow Ball, held in Minneapolis, MN on the first weekend of January. It was also my first competition of the 2016 season. Keeping the event true to its name, the weather gods turned on the snow for my arrival and it was steadily snowing as I left the airport.


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