La Classique du Quebec 2017

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Too Many for a Final!

That was the situation confronting the judges for the Open Pro Latin at La Classique last night!

The Open Pro Latin was a highlight of this year’s La Classique du Quebec. Athough the event started with a semifinal, there were far more than 6 couples in with a chance at this final. Nevertheless, the judges had to pick only 6, and surprisingly, there were no ties and 6 were recalled. The winners were Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelepenko. They won all dances with the majority of 1st places, but certainly has some detractors on the panel, receiving marks in the lower half of the final including a couple of 6th places. We did not feel this was their best night, actually. 2nd spot with 2nd place in all dances went to Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier. As one judge put it after the event – “these two are great competitors, always consistent!” With 3,3,3,4,3, Artur Tarsnavsky & Anastasia Danilova, the only US couple in the final, took 3rd. We thought they had a great night. Loved Artur’s sense of fun! Jean Phillipe Millot & Laurence Bulduc took 4th 4,4,4,3,4; 5th went to Alon Gilin & Maria Shalvarova 5,6,6,5,5 and 6th to Alexey & Vlada Karaulov (now living in British Columbia).

The other open professional event tonight was the Smooth and it was suprprisingly good. Current US Champions, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija took all dances taking almost, but not quite perfect scores. (they did receive a surprising 5th in foxtrot). Roman Malkhasyan & Kat Wagner were 2nd in all dances and had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in all dances, but were pushed perhaps harder than we might have expected by Canadian Smooth Champions, Dymytry Ilyushenov & Kateryna Stytsenko who placed 3rd in all dances and took a good amount of 2nd places. Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sidnjova were 4th 5,4,4,4; Sandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov were 5th 4,5,5,5 and Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth were 6th 6,6,6,6.

Four couples entered the Showdance each with a very different style of routine. The winners, with a very “dark” cabaret style number were Carlos Zapata & Sofia Skvirsky. They received 8 of the 11 first place marks. 2nd went to Richard Lifshtz & Laura Robinson with a comedy style Latin showdance. Nick & Viktorija took 3rd with a soulful piece that seeme al ittle lacking in theme to us and 4th went to Mechyslav Pavyluk & Gemma Arnold who danced a “Mary Poppins” showdance Ballroom medley.

The headline amateur event of the night was the Ballroom. This went to Canada as James Cutler & Virginie Primeau-Poirier won all dances fairly comfortably with the majority of 1st places in all dances. 2nd spot went to the new US partnership of Dan Malov & Anna Kaczmarksi 3,2,2,2,2. Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova were 3rd 2,3,3,3,3. We thought these 3 couples were well clear in this 7-couple final. 4th spot went to Stanislav Pavlov & Klaudia Kluzinski 4,4,4,4,6; 5th to Kevin Cooperman & Rickie Taylor 6,6,5,5,4; 6th Brenton Mitchell & Alexandra Sevastianova 5,5,6,6,5; 7th Stefan Badea & Madalina Varlam 7,7,7,7,7.

To complement these headline events there were some great Junior divisions earlier in the session. Winners were: Kristers Smitts & Sophy Shvartsman (Youth Latin); Gregory Rybakov & Tulchinsky (Youth Ballroom).

A second couple chose La Classique to announce their formal retirement from competition, this time it was the turn of 10-Dancers, Francis Lafrenier & Claudia Primeau who received a great home-town ovation.

Canadian Champions Retire

In an emotional moment, long-term Canadian Pro Ballroom Champions, Anton Lebedev & Anna Borsch retired at La Classique du Quebec.

The announcement came following the results of the Open Pro Ballroom. Anton & Anna are joining the Arthur Murray organization for the next stage in their dance careers. We all wish them well.

The Pro Ballroom was a WDC World Ranking event and was won by Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk of New York. They comfortably won all dances picking up only a handful of 2nd places and a few 3rd’s. Anton & Anna ended their competitive run with a 2nd spot here and again it was in all dances and they had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in all. 3rd in all fell to Iaroslav Bieliel & Lilia Gladiuk. With 4,4,5,4,4 Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti were 4th; Richard Tonizzo & Clare Hansen took 5th 5,5,4,5,5 and US Smooth Champions, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija were 6th. The event began as a semifinal.

The other open pro event of the night was the Rhythm and this was a 7-couple final. Current US Champions, Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova had little problem taking the title and won all dances with most of the 1st places. We need note an unusual 5th in bolero and 4th in rumba from one judge. Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov took 2nd 4,2,2,2,2. We were a little puzzled by the 4th in cha cha, but they did receive the majority of “2nd or better” in the other dances. 3rd in all dances went to Andrey Svirydzenka & Yulia Zubova. The 2nd in cha cha went to 4th placed Jean Michel Erole & Sasha Nissengalts 2,4,4,4,4. The remaining couples were all from Canada and finished in the same position in all dances. 5th Boris Vdovine & Patricia Estay; 6th Simone Zat & Stephany Moujally; 7th David Rodriguez & Emilie Charest.

Once again it was the amateurs who provided the largest event of the night and it was the Open Amateur Latin, danced over 3 rounds. With the exception of the winners, Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward who won all dances with the majority of 1st places, the judges’ marks were very mixed. Even Adam & Morgana picked up some scores in the lower half of the final, but never enough to make a serious difference to their win. The runners-up were last night’s rising star winners, Kevin Sun & Amelia Wat and they also achieved the majority of “2nd or better” scores in all dances, but like the winners had some scores in the lower half of the final. They are a very high-energy couple who are new to us but have a lot of potential. 3rd spot went to the recent US/Canadian pairing of Tony Cooperman & Rickie Taylor and they placed 3,3,4,4,3. With 4,4,3,3,4, Alon Davidovski & Anastasia Shvets took 4th and they are a very dramatic and fast-paced couple. Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova took all the 5’s although we felt they could have placed higher in some dances. 6th spot went to Marco Tremblay Brosseau & Alice Muraru, again in all dances.

Samuel & Katarina began the night with a win in the Amateur RS Ballroom. They had perfect scores in 3 dances and were the easy winners. 2nd in all went to Tony & Rickie. 3rd in all were Peter Sigalos & Katherine Wilson-Sabourin; 4th in all Francis Gauthier & Anouk Fournier-Neveu; 5th in all Loris Mainetti & Vivien Chen.

Pro-Am entries are larger this year and last night we saw the Open Rhythm Scholarships in 4 age levels.

It Takes More Than Snow!

“We can handle the snow!” So said Pierre Allaire, Chairman of Judges at this year’s La Classique du Quebec.

And it seems to be true. Despite the winter storm raging across the northeast section of the USA, La Classique has seen an uplift of 2,000 entries over 2016. It is once again being held at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Montreal where it has been for more than 40 years. A few judges and competitors experienced disruptions to their travel schedule thanks to the storm and this included the headline show from last night, World Champions, Riccardo Cocci & Yulia Zagoruychenko, who after several canceled flights made it by driving. The large crowd was certainly appreciative and they closed the evening’s activities.

There was a rather mixed bag of competitions featuring RS Amateur & Professional and pro-am events. The biggest event of the night was the Amateur Rising Star Latin that had 3 rounds.

A look at the overall results of this heat show a fairly consistent result, but looking at the individual judges’ scoring you would notice that there was in fact little consensus. The winners were Kevin Sun & Amelia Wat and they won all dances but only the cha and paso with the majority of 1st places. We thought they were the slickest couple on the floor and were the deserving winners. 2nd in all dances were Alon Davidovski & Anastasia Shvets. They showed a little more personality than the winners, but were not as consistent in their delivery. With 3,3,3,4,4 Sandu Babira & Alise Dombrovsky took 3rd. We liked their easy style, but felt they needed more impact in places. The only US couple in the final took 4th, Eric Groysman & Dakota Pizzi 4,4,4,3,3. They certainly got stronger as the final progressed. Chris Navas & Nicole Lerman were 5th 5,5,5,5,6. We thought they started great, but really ran low on steam towards the end – hence that 6 in jive. Closing the final were William Turcotte-Miao & Stephanie Bourov.

The best of the Pro RS events were the Smooth and Latin, both straight finals. Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov won the Smooth 1,1,1,2 and the new partnership of Aaron Talbert & Maggie Toth took second 2,2,2,1. Both couples received the majority of 1st places in the dances they won. 3rd in all dances wet to Vadim Safonov & Alina Safonova; 4th in all to Ronen Cherniavski & Valerie Casault and 5th to Mathieu Casavant & Rachel Martin.

Richard Livshitz & Laura Robinson were the easy winners of the Pro RS Latin taking all dances with strong majorities. They looked really improved since we last saw them. 2nd in all dances were Danny Arbour & Justine Rainville. Taking 3rd in all were Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti and 4th went to Ronen Cherniavski & Sharaf Malik.

Among the varied pro-am events were the Open Smooth Scholarships. Joanne Kay Smith w/ Chris Souchaki was the big winner taking both the A & B divisions. She on 7 of the 8 dances losing only the VW in the A division. The winner of that dance, Natalie Vuong & Volvick Edouard was the runner-up in the A. 3rd in this division went to Nadia Sicilia w/ Chris Panasuk and thios lady took 2nd in the B. 3rd in B was Rhea Arida w/ Volvick Edouard.

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