Do You Know the Way to San Jose: City Lights Ball 2016

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The Bold and the Rhythm! 

Last night at the City Lights Open, the conclusion finale of the Star Rhythm Tour and “saga” ended and from a healthy quarterfinal at the first competition the “Colorado Star Ball” it was all down to 4 couples left standing that qualified.

Taking $25,000.00 were, Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova who at this final leg won all dances in the group competition, took first in the solo performance with an overall score of 97.64 points, were second in the crowd favorite with a healthy 22 points and as they boldly crossed the finish line were way ahead of the competition with a 200.64 points lead, a total overall of 843.29 for the entire tour.

 Crossing second on this not so crowded finish line were Aaron & Iryna DeSoto who took $8,000.00 home. On this leg Aron & Irina placed second in all five of the compulsory group competition dances, were second on the show performance with a dramatic new number that many thought could have won the night.  However, the judges felt differently and awarded them a 91.50 for their efforts, 6.14 points away from the leading couple Nazar & Irina. Aaron & Iryna were the third favorite of the audience and so not many points were accumulated there, only 2.5 were awarded from the audience. Aaron & Iryna’s total accumulated points for the tour were 642.65 giving them an easy second place finish.

 Daniel Lee Tran & Taylor Elizabeth Kinny were third overall in this tour.  At this final leg they placed fifth in the group competition with the scores of 5,5,5,6,5.  They were fourth in the show dance with a score of 71.00, but as it has been from the beginning of the tour there strength is the popular vote.  On this leg they were the winners of the people’s vote with a 24.5 score, 2.5 above the overall winning couple Nazar & Irina.  This gave them a total of 471.14 points for the tour and a sum of $5,000.00.

 The fourth place in this nail-biting tour went to Christopher Wayne & Juanita Simanekova with a total of 276.50 points total and a sum of $4,000.00. On this the last leg of the tour Christopher & Juanita placed 4th in all four of the group dances, they got a 78.43 from the judges in the solo routine making it the third best placed score on this night.  They were not as popular with the audience so only 1 point was awarded here.

 Christopher & Juanita were the last couple to fully qualify for the tour and so no one else was here to collect their prize.  However, many of the competitors in both the Ballroom and the Rhythm Tours were awarded “sportsmanship” awards with money included by the Star Tours committee for their participation in a number of events and their professional behavior throughout. In the Rhythm there was a sportsmanship award given to Jeremy Babagay & Carolyn Barreno, they placed sixth in the group portion of the competition here at City Lights with the scores of 6,6,6,5,6, they did not compete in the solo portion of the event and so no points were awarded there.

The Professional Rhythm competition was part of the tour but not all couples had participated in the tour events, however they are sure worth a mention and their placements. Ryan Lockerhart & Danelle Newman were third in the group competition in all dances.  As at every stop they were still given the opportunity to earn some money in the solo event and so there they were fifth overall in that venture. And finally Piero Della Santina & Alessandra Gonzales were also competing for the first time in this venture and they placed seventh in the group competition and sixth in the Star Tour solo competition. 

On behalf of the Star Tour committee and the City Lights organizers, we want to say thank you to all the competitors that took part in this interesting venture. We totally understand this is not the normal style of competition, but neither were the prizes awarded.  Few or no competitions in the past have offered close to 60,000 dollars. As most people that read the rules you know this was a competition to enhance the professional divisions and as one competitor put it “give them an opportunity to go out of the box and develop a show they can share when hired to do a show or something new to prepare for when called to do a presentation.”

The Star Tour committee is happy to announce the coming Smooth and Latin tours.  All information will be posted here on our site and the rules will to be available so couples can prepare for this competition. 

The Open Professional Latin and Showdance also took place last night at City Lights.  In the Latin Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova won all dances.  We must also point out that they competed in the Showdance category and placed second overall in that venture.  It might have been our imagination, but their show number keeps getting better and we have a suspicion that they might be already getting ready for the Star Latin Tour. Second in all dances was awarded to Tykhon Zhyvkov & Anastasia Kuzleva, third were Igor Coloc & Roxane Milotti, and fourth in all dances went to Maksim Kapitannikov & Natalia fridmanovich. Fifth was Artjom Shmigeljuk & Oxana Kashkina and they were fifth in all dances. Sixth were Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys, and seventh in all dances went to Keenan & Laura Smout. 

The ShowDance was also a good competition and here Eduard Sargsyan & Inga Demetryan were first.  As we mentioned Roman & Alexandra were second, Aaron & Katelyn Holmes were third, Yusimi Cruz & Erica Milark placed fourth, Lance Gillman & Ruth Ng took fifth and Keenan & Laura Smout were sixth.


The Good, the Bad and the Barbie!

Last night was the conclusion to the Star Ballroom Tour “show down” here at City Lights Ball! Over $50,000.00 was up for grabs, awarded down to 12th place. The overall winners, Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova took the $25,000.00 purse, with a Ken & Barbie routine that stunned the audience giving them the lead needed to win.

 But it was all down to the wire up until the very end, second overall were Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova who took $8,000.00 and who gave the winners literally a major “Run For Their Money.” This exciting duel started around 9:00PM Pacific time with the Open Ballroom Competition and ended with the Tour solo competition.

 Here’s how it all went down. Going into this finale Alexander & Veronica were in the lead with a 7-point advantage over Mikhail & Olga. But this immediately changed in the 5-dance event here with Mikhail & Olga moving into 1st place with a 10-point advantage (City Lights as the finale is a “double-point” event). It could not have been tighter in the solo division as the judges awarded both couple 93.71. So that left Mikhail & Olga still with a 10-point lead overall. So it was down to the wire with just the audience vote left. We had a huge vote from both cell phone texts and online voting and the result was that Alexander & Veronica received over 40% of the total vote – enough to push them over the top and give them the win in this first City Lights Star Ballroom Tour and the $25,000 grand prize.

Third place in this exciting mix and taking $5,000.00 home were Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova who were fifth in the Ballroom group competition and 4th in the solo and this leg of the tour. Fourth place in the tour and taking $4,000.00 were Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa, they placed third in the Ballroom Group competition and 3rd in the solo. We must point out that Denis & Lesya were a latecomers to the tour (missing the first leg) but in the end managed with skill to climb far up into the top four. (Couple were allowed to miss one event and still be eligible for the grand prize).

 It was a disappointing fifth place result for Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti, in the overall tour. They have been in the tour since the beginning and have not missed a leg. They did not make the final in tonight’s 5-dance competition and were of course hoping to be the “wildcard” couple something they have managed in many of the stops with the help of all their friends, but unfortunately for them Oleksiy Buravenko & Vivtoria Karzukhin’s fans were prepared and ready to vote their favorite into this final leg and they were the wildcard and able to dance their solo. Therefore Igor & Roxane took no points from this leg and so kept their 5th place in the overall and $3,000.00 dollars.

 There were three Sportsmanship awards given this evening to three couples the institution felt have supported the tour fully but were not rewarded due to the strong competition and they were: Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley (who danced in every leg) and Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova and Emanuele & Francesca Pappacena.

 The Star Tour committee was thrilled with the ballroom competitors and sportsmanship of all couples participating and look forward to once again bringing these couples back in future competitions after the Smooth and Latin tours will conclude next year at City Lights.

Although the Star Tour took a lot of the air from any other competition the two events sharing the evening spotlight were excellent and sure need a mention.

The Professional Smooth was fantastic with some incredible couples taking part. The evening went to Nick Cheremukin & Viktoria who won all dances. Second was awarded to the new partnership of Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova who took all seconds and third was awarded to Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smirnova third in all dances. Evgeny Malko & Anna Shabazyan placed fourth in all dances, Drew Miller & Krista Humphrey were fifth and sixth were Aaron & Katelyn Holmes. As you can see there was no mix of marks everyone took same placement in all dances.

 The Open Amateur Latin was also a terrific semifinal and here Nikolai Tarasov & Amanda Herrschaff won all dances but the rumba, this dance went to the runners up Mike Monokandilos & Sophia Brodsky 2,2,1,3,3. Third were Guilio Ferrante & Lidia Martinez Espinosa 4,3,3,2,2. Bunchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets were fourth 3,4,4,4,4, Daniel Rubashevsky & Anastasiya Visotska were fifth in all dances and sixth went to Christian Solares & Whitney Myers.

We are looking forward to the conclusion of the Star Rhythm Tour tonight so be sure to log in and cast your vote – remember your votes count as we saw in the Ballroom Star Tour. You can watch live by clicking here!


Do You Know The Way to San Jose?

Thursday, January 28th we arrived in beautiful, historical San Jose, California for the City Lights Ball, sponsors of the Star Ballroom Tours where over $100,000.00 will be awarded to our Ballroom and Professional competitors. The well-known Fairmont Hotel is a terrific delight in the middle of a walking area filled with shops restaurants and bars, all with a twist of what San Jose gentrification.

So far we have spent two nights here and it has been very relaxing and beautiful to say the least, however, we could all continue on our mini vacation here in beautiful San Jose, but that is not what we are here for, the Star Tour and a well-run competition is why we traveled from all over the US.

Yesterday in the Fairmont’s Ballroom it was all about the smooth in the Pro/Am categories and this concluded in the evening with the scholarships. The “C” division was the best of all three categories and the winner by far for us and the judges was Machiko Cantor w/Evgeny Malko, she won all dances. Second overall went to Lynn Magnesen w/Vard Margaryan 3,2,2,2, and third was awarded to Susan Haynes w/Sergey Nekrasov 2,4,4,3.

The SR was also a well-contended event and this went to Doreen Marchack w/Youriy Pavlov and she too won all dances. Second was awarded to Helen Wang w/Daniel Lee Tran and third was Mary Beth McCallum w/Mando Rodriguez.

The “B” was taken by Susan Haynes w/Sergey Nekrasov and the “A” went to Genevieve Parker w/Eric Poptke.

The Senior Amateur Open II Ballroom was quite well attended with a strong semifinal round and here David Getchell & Allison Gonzales won all dances, second went to Winston & Lilly Chow who took second in all dances and third was awarded to Doug Priest & Stephanie Au 3,4,3,3,4.

The Open Amateur was a small but terrific heat and this went to Dmitry Vorobiev & Sofie Elliott first in all dances. 

All four Rising Star events took place this same evening the Rising Star Latin and Smooth were full finals and the quality especially in the Latin was high. Here Thykhim Zhyukov & Anastasia Kuzieva won the overall competition but not all dances 1,2,1,1,2. Second were Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti 2,1,2,2,1 and third in all dances were Maksim Kapitannikov & Natalia Fridmanova.

In the Smooth we also had a full final and this competition went to Aaron & Katelyn Holmes with the scores of 2,1,1,2. Second were Adam Sorensen & Marietta Tartaglia 1,2,2,3 and third was awarded to Yusimi Cruz & Erica Millark. Yes you heard it right, Erica was a successful Ballroom dancer with Dmitry Sazinas & Lukas Chocuba and so seeing her on the floor doing Smooth most have made some peoples’ head spin. In fact at the bar after the competition someone ask us why? To which we replied, “she wanted to dance it,” and we are sure that had Erica not wanted to dance the “Smooth” she would not have done it!

The Rising Star Ballroom and Rhythm had a few less couples with only four couples in each competition. The Ballroom went to Cristian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko who won all dances and second was Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Karzukhina.

The Rhythm was awarded to Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman leaving second to Daniel Lee Tran & Taylor Elizabeth Kinney. The night ended with many competitors social dancing in the hotel lobby to the live band.

Tonight the suspense will be over for the Star Ballroom Tour. The Ballroom couples will all go head to head and double points are awarded on this final leg. All couples are entered and a very strong group will present itself. We will be webcasting this finale here on Dance Beat with an approximate scheduled start time of 8:50 PM Pacific Time (11:50 Eastern time) and we will be awarding the $25,000.00 check to one of the couples and close to 30 thousand between all the participating couples down to the top 12. Click here to view it live!

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