Desert Classic 2019

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13 the Lucky Number for Victor & Anastasia!

With 13 first places in every dance, it was definitely a lucky number for Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva last night.

Victor & Anastasia garnered every 1st place from every judge to cruise to victory in the Open Pro Ballroom. This turned out to be an excellent event that began with a semifinal and produced a stunning 6-couple final.

There was definitely some unsettled opinions from the judges regarding the remaining 5 couples, with most receiving scores up and down from 2nd to 6th. However, the runners-up were fairly secure, taking 2nd in all dances and with the majority of 2nd places in 3 dances. This was Vlad Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova. Only a 2-point split separated 3rd and 4th. $th went to Oskar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody 3,3,3,4,5. This was a much better result for them than at Manhattan Dance Championships last week. 2 points behind them, scoring 5,5,4,3,3, were Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova. If Oskar & Karolina had a better result this weekend, it was the reverse for Andres & Veronika End who placed 5th with 4,6,5,5,4. They fared much better in Manhattan last week. They are the couple with the most unique style in this final and there were some judges of a more traditional bent who were not impressed. Closing the final and we thought dancing very strongly were Stefano & Bianka DiBrino 6,4,6,6,6.

13 was almost as luckier a number for the winners of the Open Pro Rhythm, Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi. They received the “perfect 13” first places in 2 dances and lost only 1 first place in rumba, swing and bolero. Judge Sharon Holman placed them 1,2,3,2,1. Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman were solidly in 2nd spot with a large majority of 2nd places in all dances. Similarly, David Nyemchek & Mayen Wilder, the RS winners, had a majority of “3rd or better” scores in all dances and in keeping with that pattern, Antonio Nunez & Oksana Kashkina had the majority of “4th or better” in all dances. There was a switch in form from the RS after this, Rrenzo & Andrea Zegara moved up to 5th place, 5,5,5,5,5, and John Bernal & Bailey Carrillo slipped to 6th – 6,6,6,6,6. Peter Jensen Sabol & Heidi Gielisch were 7th in all dances.

It was a very good weekend for Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets who added the Open Amateur Latin title to the U/21 they won on Friday. Here too they won all dances, 4 with the majority of 1st places. Nikolas Constantine & Kennedy Eaton also placed second as they did in the U/21 – 2,2,2,2,3. However, the judges’ scores from 2nd to 6th were quite varied. 3rd were Edgar Khachaturov & Monet Pinkett 3,3,3,3,5. 4th and 5th places were separated by a Rule 10 tiebreak. 4th were Jason Lozin & Mariia Baikova 4,4,5,4,4 and 5th Ivan Romanov & Katya Ivahno-Kalinuka 5,5,4,5,2. 6th in all dances were Eldridge & Sorenson.

This was the 20th Anniversary of the Desert Classic. The current organizers, Igor & Irina Suvorov have been in charge for 15 of those years. To celebrate the judges performed a fairly impromptu show – with varying degrees of seriousness! On the more serious end of the spectrum were Richard Gleave OBE and Anne Gleave who gave us a classic foxtrot and Mark & Viola Weiss with a rumba. On the less serious end were Colin James, Alan Dixon & Andrew Sinkinson with their retro 80’s workout routine and Jonathan Roberts with “The BYU Girls,” Sharon Hollman & Linda Wakefield. Canadian judges, Danny Quilliam & Anik Jolicoeur, also performed together – the first time they had ever actually danced together.

As always, Sunday here at Desert Classic is reserved for juniors and in fact, this is one of the largest junior days of the year.

Congratulations to Igor & Irina on their continued success with Desert Classic!

Smooth Dominates the Night Friday

The Open Pro Smooth definitely dominated the night yesterday.

With US Finalists and other highly ranked couples beginning in a full semifinal, this turned out to be a great final. Taking all dances with a huge majority of 1st places were Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova. They gave their customary artistic and moving performance and as always were a big hit with the audience. Runners-up in all dances – again easily – were Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina. This couple have always moved so well, but last night they added, according to some observers, a new variety to their dancing showing more changes in mood and atmosphere. A great change. Alexander Vukosalvjevic & Nevena took 3rd in all dances. It was fairly close between them and Slava & Valeriia Kostianets, but Aleksandar & Neveena had the majority of “3rd or better” scores in 3 dances. The foxtrot was decided by a tiebreak rule. Both couples are tall, and although their styles differ, both were very much on form last night. 5th in all dances went to Stephen & Elisa McCann and 6th in all were Maksim Leonov and Anastasiia Zhuchenko.

The Open Pro Latin was a 7-couple final. The judges were somewhat undecided on the final positions of all couples. Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova won all 5 dances, but did not have the majority of 1st places in any dance. We were somewhat surprised to see some judges placing them 5th or 6th – a little low in our view. 2nd in all dances were Roman Drobotov & Kazbekova. To give you an idea how tight this was, they had the same number of 1st places as Roman & Aelexandra in cha cha and rumba and more in jive. 3rd in all tonight went to Umario Diallo & Tessa Marie and we thought they had a very good night tonight. 4th in all dances were the RS winners, Przemyslaw Modryskski & Magdelena Zybura. Once again we found them a little better than they were scored by some judges who placed them in the lower half of the final. Judge Alan Dixon marked them to win overall. Ivan Khudoliy & Alisa Seleznova were 4th in all dances. 5th and 6th places were separated by a Rule 10 Tiebreak. 5th Ivan Khudoliy & Alisa Seleznova 5,6,6,6,5; 6th Joseph & Alexandra Hopwood 5,6,6,6,5. Denis Podolski & Oksana Kalinuka were 7th 6,7,7,7,7,7.

The Open Amateur Ballroom was also a very strong event. The winners were the current US Champions. Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli. They won all dances with a majority of 1st places and we were very impressed with their calm sense of confidence throughout. Their US title and semifinalist position at Blackpool is a positive factor in their dancing. 2nd went to Canada, Vladyslav Komelkov & Alexandra Sevastianova 2,3,2,3,2. This was a better showing from them than at Manhattan Dancce Championships last week we felt. Artur Nabok & Michelle Liu were 3rd 3,2,3,2,3. This was also a very good showing for this pair who are adding more light and shade to their previously power based dancing. Another couple showing great improvement and actually adding power to their dancing was Ruslan Kaliuzhnyi & Sonya Tsekanovsky and they were 4th in all dances. 5th Ivan Romanov & Katya Ivanho-Kalinuka 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Rob McShinsky & Rachel Harding 6,6,6,6,6.

The U/21 Latin was another good semifinal and overall a very tight final. The Winners were Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets and they actually were the stand out winners, taking al dances with clear majorities of 1st places. Second with 3,3,2,2,2, were Nikolas Constantine & Kennedy Eaton and 3rd were Shumylo & Alina Viktor Golubchik 2,2,3,3,3.

The Open Scholarships in the Pro-Am Ballroom brought out some very good dancing. Hernandez w/ Oreste Alitto won the A - 1,1,1,2,1; Ling Ma w/ Edgars Gasjuns won the B - 2,1,2,1,1; Annie Chan w/ Christian Radvan won the C - 1,1,1,1,1; Linda Gill w/ Roman Malkhasyan won the S1 - 1,1,1,1.

Stay tuned for the reports from today and this will include the 20th Anniversary Desert Classic show.

Doing it Desert Style!

Once again it’s great to be back at the Desert Classic and the stunning JW Marriott, Desert Springs.

This is a fabulous location with amazing facilities. Where else do you see boats in the lobby and parrots entertaining the guests! An if you’re a golfer (which we are not), the golf course is supposedly amazing – if a little hot!

Desert Classic is off to a strong start. Yesterday was the first day, but we have already seen the the pro-am Smooth and Latin divisions and all 4 Pro Rising Star competitions.

As is often the way nowadays, the RS Smooth was the largest of the 4 styles, beginning with a full semifinal. The win went to the fast-rising Tykhon & Yana Zhyvkov. They won all dances but it was not without a tussle with the runners-up, Stephen & Elisa McCann who were 2nd in all. Tykhon & Yana won only the foxtrot with a majority of first places (6 from 11). The waltz went to a tiebreak between the two couples. 3rd in all fell to Maksim Leonov & Anastasia Zhuchenko; 4th were Ilia Sydorenko & Tatyana Kuts 4,4,4,5; 5th Slava & Jessica Stefanov 5,6,6,4; 6th Nikoali Kralev & Julianne.

The RS Rhythm was a 5-couple final. David Nyemchek & Maysen Wilder had a pretty easy time, winning all dances with heathy majorities. Mambo was the closest, where they had 6 of the 11. Antonio Nunez & Oksana Kashkina similarly were a strong 2nd with the majority of “2nd or better” marks in all dances. 3rd in all were John Bernal & Baily Carrillo; 4th Renzo & Andrea Zegarra (Peru) 4,4,4,5,4; 5th Luis Grijalva & Hadas Fisher 5,5,5,4,5.

Przemyslaw Modryskski & Magdelena Zybura won the RS Latin. We felt this was an easy win, but in fact they won only 3 dances 1,1,2,1,2. No couple had a majority of 1st places in any dance. Runners-up were Ivan Khudoliy & Alisa Seleznova 2,2,1,2,3; 3rd Joseph & Alexandra Hopwood 3,3,3,3,1; 4th Denis Podolski & Oksana Kalinuka 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Mattia Bielli & Taisha Hughes 5,5,5,5,5.

The easiest win of the night came in the RS Ballroom. Slava & Valeriia Kostianets won all dances and lost only 2 first places out of the 55. 2,3,2,2,3 gave Oleg Teleha & Michelle Brecker 2nd place and Mattia Bielli & Taisha Hughes were 3rd 3,2,3,3,2.

Stay tuned for more from Dessert Classic with the Open Pro divisions beginning tonight.

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