American Star Ball 2016

(1 Vote)

The People’s Vote!

Last night at the American Star Ball the first leg of the Star Smooth Tour took place, from beginning to end it was full of excitement and when it came to the end result the people gave the unexpected winners the edge.

4 excellent couples lead the way in the qualifying group competition (you must be part of the open final or be the audience’s wildcard in order to earn the most points) Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstove with 24 points, Kyle & Alie Spinder with 20 points, Roman Malkhasyan & Kat Wager with 16 points and Michael Chio & Erin Marie with 12 points. All four of these couples exceled in the group competition and got those points for how they placed per dance in the contest.

The Star Tour solos came next and here the road to the top prize got a little bumpier Max and Tatiana continued in the lead with a daring never seen before “S&M” routine sporting a leather outfit that made the audience scream. For this effort the judges awarded them a whopping 94.29 points. Second in this challenge were Kyle & Allie with 90.71 points for their effort, leaving third to Roman and Kat who the judges awarded 86.29. Trailing in the back but only about 3 points away were Michael & Erin with an 83.86.

As you can see the top three couples were pulling away from the pack but in a close formation, it was up to the audience to give one of this couples a push. However, not many of the couples’ fans were not at the live stream or around in the ballroom, when the voting stopped, two couple had the most votes. Roman & Kat who received over 50% of the vote and so translated into points it gave them a huge push, they got 25.3 points added to their scores making their final tally 127.59 securing this win on this leg. The other couple that were able to secure some points with the audience was Kyle & Alie who got 12.5 extra points for their efforts over 24% of the vote and an overall score of 123.21, securing them a third place finish. The favorite in all the other challenges, Max & Tatiana did quite poorly with just over 10% of the vote giving them 5.95 extra points and placing them in 2nd place in this leg. Interestingly, the majority of Roman & Kat’s audience votes came from computers – meaning people at home watching the livestream. Note to couples!! Make sure your fansat home are aware when you are dancing so they can follow at home and hopefully vote for you!

Although they placed third in this leg, Kyle & Alie Spinder continue to lead in the overall contest. At Wisconsin State they won the Smooth competition and so they received 24 points for that effort adding to the total here they still have a good lead over the other couples.

Michael & Erin did not fare so well with the audience either receiving only 2 points from them, leaving a total of 97.86 and an overall 4th place. 7 couples qualified for the freestyle final. Finishing 5th in the freestyle and 5th overall were John Campbell & Jaki Brockman. John & Jaki also competed in Wisconsin so were carrying 8 points from that event. 6th in freestyle and 6th overall were Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts. 7th in the freestyle were Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov but in the overall result they placed 8th, behind the wildcard couple, Leo Mora & Christina Garced. Again it was the audience vote that pushed Leo & Christina forward.

You can check the overall standings here on the Dance Beat website by clicking on the Star Tours logo.

But the Smooth was only one event in a wonderfully full night of dancing here at American Star Ball. The Professional Rhythm, Ballroom and Latin were also part of this evening of dance. The Rhythm was easily won by Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova who won all dances with perfect scores from all the judges. We wonder what would have happened if the current US Rhythm Champions had danced? Emanuel Pierre Antoine was present as he danced some pro-am divisions. Second overall went to Shane & Shannon Jensen who placed second in all dances and took the majority of seconds, you can count on one hand the judges that awarded them less than second position overall. Third in all dances went to Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov, fourth went to Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti who placed 4th in four dances and 5th in the mambo. Fifth place, Abraham Sannoh & Trish Stuckey and sixth went to Jonathan Chen & Melissa Keller.

The Professional Latin had one of the largest entries and all couples were excellent. Dmitri Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin won overall all dances but it was very close in many of the dances between them and Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova. In the cha cha Artur & Anastasiya took 4 first place marks away from Dmitri & Olena who got 5 first. In the samba there was a little more of a gap, Artur & Anastasiya took only 2 firsts to the 8 Dmitri & Olena got. The rumba was very close again Artur & Anastasia took 3 firsts and Dmitri & Olena 5. The paso they split both these couples got 5 first place marks each. But in the jive Dmitri & Olena got a full majority of firsts with 11 first awarded to them, so as you can see in first was a little close between these two couples except for samba and jive.

Third in this excellent Latin heat was awarded to Roman Italyankin 4,3,3,3,3, Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan were fourth overall 5,4,5,4,5, Alexey & Vlada Karaulov placed fifth 3,5,4,6,6, and Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova were sixth 6,6,6,5,4.

In the Professional Ballroom the same night Marat Gimaev & Alina Bayuk won the competition easily by winning all dances with nearly perfect scores. Only one judge dissented this decision. Second overall was Andrew Begunov & Anna Demidova 2,2,2,2,3, they got a variety of marks down to 4th place and they were the recipients of Amy Anderson’s first place marks. Third was awarded to Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova 3,3,3,3,2, Emanuele Pappacena & Francesca Lazzari-Pappacena were fourth 5,4,4,4,4, fifth were Stefano Di Brino & Bianka Zubrowska Di Brino 4,5,5,5,5, leaving sixth place for Yuriy Narton & Sarika Hudson 6,6,6,6,6.

The Amateur Latin Championship was also a major event, danced over 3 rounds. It was basically a 2-couple race at the top between Austin Joson & Nino Dzedneladze and Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler. The result tonight went to Austin & Nino 2,1,1,1,1. Pasha & Gabriella placed 1,2,2,2,2 – but it was very close in all dances with these two couples splitting the first places. 3rd in all dances went to Tara Savitsky & Yuliya Steshchenko. 4th spot went to a new couple to us Ewoud Fidom & Melanie Weiller 5,5,4,4,4. 5th were Allan Rudman & Svetlana Lesnaya 4,4,6,5,5 and 6th went to Edvins Astahovs & Jessica Swietoniowska 6,6,5,6,6 – another new couple to us.

We want to congratulate Ilia & Amanda Reyzin for putting such a warm and excellent event for all of us to enjoy. We understand that growing over 2 ? thousand entries is a little difficult considering that most people enter so late nowadays, it’s a nightmare dealing with rooms, food, time schedule etc. But you did a fantastic job and it all went perfect as if it was all planned a long time ago. Great job!


American as Apple Pie!

The American Star Ball changed their venue location and this venue is as American as Apple Pie!

You can walk down the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, buy yourself a pretzel or take a ride on a ferris wheel and if you like to gamble, you can do it until your pockets are dry - “believe it or not” and we mean this actual attraction is next door and you can see some interesting facts. Like the circus it is all very “American” indeed. It is all here for you as a side feature but when it comes to dancing, the reason we are all here, it is convenient and it is also fabulous!

We love to explore so a walk down the boardwalk is totally recommended and just outside the hotel a restaurant sits right on the beach and you can people watch catch some waves with your eyes and enjoy some of “America’s” favorite foods. All we can say is that it has been a very relaxing and enjoyable time here at the American Star Ball, but we cannot forget the dancing and so here is how it all went as far as the dancing is concerned.

The festivities started Thursday night with the nightclub session. As a few competitions are doing now, they took this session out of the ballroom and ran it in a smaller room giving it an incredible feeling of intimacy and a party atmosphere. Appetizers were passed all evening long and if you were not dancing or even if you were you could get yourself a beverage and dance and eat till you dropped.

Yesterday the morning started with the Rhythm session in the grand ballroom of the Resort Casino Hotel and it finished with the Ballroom style in the late afternoon and into the night. The charming ballroom, close to everything, is a plus and it is fully decorated with drapery all around making it totally light controlled.

The Pro/Am Open Ballroom Scholarships were well attended and the “C” and the Senior were excellent to watch and totally worth a mention. The winners of the “C” were Charlene Proctor w/Ihar Kisialiou, second was Denise Layfield w/Emanuel Pappacena and third was Valerie Arias w/Yevgeny Klyukin.

The Senior was also excellent and here Laura Solomon w/Oscar Pedrinelli took the trophy home, second was Zhu Huang w/Andrey Klinchik, and third went to Sue Gershowitz w/Nikolai Pilipenchuk.

Three couples entered the “B” and this went to Suki Kramer w/Gunnar Sverrison, the only entry in the “A” was Samantha Swartz w/Louis Bar. Samantha also won the Open A Rhythm Scholarship.

In the Open B Rhythm Scholarship Lana Lusher w/ Jose Decamps won all dances. 2nd in all was Mary Jane Sibayan w/ Matt Hauer and 3rd in all Diane Larson w/ Julius Solano

All Rising Star Divisions were run this same evening and 3 had semifinal rounds. First up was the Rhythm. Winners tonight in all dances were Ilya Abullin & Tara Barakov. The scores in this final were quite mixed, but this pair had the majority of 1st places in all dances. We felt they were the most consistent today. 2nd in all dances were Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti. They picked up 1st places in all dances, but never enough to challenge the winners and some judges scored them in the lower half of the final. 3rd in all went to Viktor Tkachenko & Yuliya Lukina who are an attractive couple. Jonathan Chen & Melissa Keller were 4th 4,5,4,4,5. Interestingly, judge Terry Sweeney placed them 1st in all dances. Abraham Sannoh & Trish Stuckey were 5th 5,4,5,5,4 and Jaime & Nikki Azcona were 6th 6,6,6,6,6.

The RS Ballroom was the only straight final but it proved a tough one for the judges. The winners were Stefano & Bianka DiBrino 1,1,3,1,1. They did not have the majority of 1st places in any dance. We love their movement across the floor but do feel that Bianka has to be careful not to overextend her neck line. Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson were 2nd 2,2,2,3,2 and for us this was a close call for 1st and 2nd place. Winners of the VW were Anatoli Repliuk & Ruslana Mamaysur and they were 3rd overall 3,3,1,2,3. A new couple to us were 4th, Vladyslav Dolya & Maria Vysotskaya 4,4,4,4,4. They had a very traditional style. 5th in all dances were Dmitry Krasnyansky & Oksana Zaver and 6th Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova.

John Campbell & Jaki Brockman won all dances in the RS Smooth, FT & VW with the majority of 1st places. We liked them tonight, their expression was very natural without overdone theatrics. 2nd and 3rd was a tight race between 2 9-dance couples. Winning out were Viktor Tkachenko & Yuliya Lukina 4,3,2,2 over Ilya Abullin & Tara Barakov 2,2,4,4. In one of those strange situations, the couple that placed 3rd in 3 dances actually placed 4th overall – Enzo Zappia & Stephanie Betts 3,4,3,3. 5th and 6th was also tight but 5th went to Evgenii Rosenfeld & Samantha Jeanne 5,5T,5,6 and 6th to Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford 6,5T,6,5.

The Latin was the last event of the night and was a very exciting final. Winning tonight by 3 dances to 2 were Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova 1,2,2,1,1 over Alexey & Vlada Karaulov 2,1,1,2,2. We believe this was Alexey & Vlada’s first event as professionals. All dances were won with slim majorities of 1st places except the cha that was decided in Nikita & Nadezda’s favor by 8 “2nd or better” scores to 7. So this competition was very close. 3rd in all dances were Sergey & Daria Chyslov and they showed their usual high-energy dancing and in reality were close to the 2 couples above them. 4th were Vladimir Velev & Lily Kolman 4,5,5,4,4; 5th Artur Shvetsov & Carolina Avila 5,4,4,5,5 and 6th, from Portugal were Marcio Pereira & Filipa Gaio.

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