Embassy Ball 2019

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1..2.. Cha cha cha!

Last night at the Embassy Ball was all about the Latin style of dancing and with nearly every major Latin professional competitor in attendance, the enthusiasm from the audience was palpable.

This magnificent fiery event along with a terrific Under 21 Latin made this cha cha night an unforgettable experience.

Current World Professional Latin Champions, Ricardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko were the headliners in this parade of Professional Latin stars and from the moment they stepped to the floor the crowd roared giving them rock star treatment above anyone else in the room. From the first round on Ricardo & Yulia reciprocated by giving them back a performance they had been waiting for - personal and inexplicably fun.

The second in charge, Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova were also in attendance and they too got a great reception from the audience and from our perspective were as equally brilliant in their artistry. When we looked at the marks we were not surprise to see that these two couples mentioned had swept out all the top marks there was not a single first or second for the taking Ricado & Yulia had perfect scores and Troels & Ina took every single second available, so it truly was a 1….2….Cha cha cha!

Third in this excellent cha cha heat went to former US Champions Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottier, who took third in all dances but unlike the rock stars just previously mentioned who took every first and second available, they only managed to take the majority of third places in four dances and needed fourth or better to capture the third in the samba. Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina were fourth overall 5,4,4,4,4, leaving Russia’s Andrey & Anastasia Kiselev holding fifth 4,5,5,5,5 and Canada’s Ilya Maletin & Polina Majer with all sixths.

In the Under 21 Latin Naomi Verinica Spektor, with new to the US scene, Nikita Grygorchuk, took all firsts, second was awarded to Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets 3,3,2,2,2, leaving third to Kristers Smits & Lisa Shlimovich 2,2,3,3,3.

The Under 21 Ballroom was also an interesting event and here Alex Dubovyk & Rickie Taylor Dubovyk won all dances, second in all were Kristers Smits & Liza Shlimovich, and third were Tyler Li & Anjelica Lowe and they took third in all dances.

There was one more Professional Rising Star even to be done, the Rising Star Smooth, and here Stephen & Elisa McCann won all four dances, second were Ilia Sydorenko & Tetyana Kuts 3,3,2,2, and third were Maksim Leonov & Anastasiia Zhuchenko 2,2,3,3.

With this the Embassy Ball 2019 came to an end.

Comme Si, Comme Ca!

Last night at the Embassy Ball, as always, was about dancing, dancing, and more incredible dancing.

However, one of the signatures of this competition year after year, has been the Professional Ballroom Championship, Saturday Night, sometimes so good you could hear a pin drop when watching the couples do a foxtrot or a beautiful waltz, and we have to say that although there was some excellent talent on the floor, for us the Professional World Rhythm possibly stole some of their thunder and light!

Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva, US National Champions and Runners up till now in the World Professional Ballroom Championships were the headliners for this evening’s Ballroom Championship but for us last night they lacked the playfulness, and easiness that we are accustomed to seeing from them on previous occasions and even during their fantastic lecture in the afternoon here in the same competition a day or so before. It is important to point out that even though we the onlookers might not have quite bought their performance, for the judges there was no one else. They got perfect scores in the waltzes and the quickstep and a huge majority of firsts in the tango and the foxtrot. They would have had perfect scores in all dances had it not been for Marat Gimaev who awarded them second in these two dances.

Iaroslav & Liliia Bieliei as always gave a well sorted performance that is hard to fault, with every detail as correct as ever. They scored 3,2,2,2,2. It was a breath of fresh air to see Alexander & Veronika Voskalchuk back with some excellent dancing on the floor all ready to go we wish it was a little more exciting because last night could have definitely been their night, but it was not to be they placed third overall 2,4,3,3,4.

Fourth overall were Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya who for us were hard to find in the earlier rounds. Once we spotted them we really liked her new look with her golden hair and all. As we just said we found this very talented couple a little on the quiet side last night, we had not seen them dance since they had to pull out of the competition circuit due to health, but it is very encouraging to see them dancing again and we are sure they will take the floor by storm as they were just before their time off. Their marks were 4,3,4,4,3. Fifth in all dances were Vladishlav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova. And it was a tremendous surprise to us when they called Andres & Veronika End as last and sixth in all dances. We say surprised because for us they were the only couple that were possibly having fun on the floor and performing for us all, while maintaining the quality of work that this very special final here at the Embassy Ball requires.

Well there you have it, the Ballroom was as always full of great quality but perhaps missing some of the emotion, musicality and brilliant performances that has always made our hearts melt at the sight of this heat. Speaking to a Ballroom Icon here at the same competition, we were talking about people that have perfect top lines and feet and he said to us, “do you know what that translates into?” A little puzzled we shrugged our shoulders to indicate we didn’t have a clue and he said, “boring!” Well we think there was possibly a little of that on that floor in this ballroom field last night from all the couples.

The World Professional Rhythm Championship was terrific from the beginning and it ended up being a seven-couple final. Andre & Natalie Paramonov were first in every dance and they won all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges. However, when looking at the marks we were a little shocked to see some very strong lower marks. Alan Fletcher from England, perhaps gave them their worst marks 4,1,5,3,3. The majority of their lower marks came in their mambo where a majority of 9 out of 15 gave them first but the rest gave them second and even a third. Danas Jacksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi took second in all dances, and Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin placed third in all.

The breath of truly fresh air was the incredible and playful performance of Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker who placed fourth overall. What a fantastic performance, it got us out of our seats and fully watching. Here we had incredible quality of work with some very playful an almost mischievous performance, embodying what we consider the essence of Rhythm dancing, just let your imagination go, just dances and do what you feel! We were a little surprised to see them place this low because for us they could have easily captured second or third, and we would not have batted an eye. It is true that they are new to this style and could perhaps have a few more competitions under their belt, so we can’t pin this one on the judges, but we are certain to see some more incredible, unique and interesting work from this couple on future outings, and we can see with couples like this the American Style Rhythm is setting up into an excellent arena of interesting development. Andrew & Amy took this marks 4,5,4,4,4.

Another very talented couple, Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Natalie Crandall placed fifth overall. This is usually a very charismatic couple with tremendous talent and we were a little surprised to see them take a back seat to Andrew & Amy as well as everyone else in the top four places in this competition. They did place fourth in the rumba but were awarded fifth in the other four dances. Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman were sixth in four dances and tied for sixth in the mambo with Kristian Sese & Mae Lozada, they placed seventh in all dances and tied for sixth in this one dance in question the mambo.

The Open Amateur Latin was possibly the biggest heat of the night but perhaps also not the. best we have seen. Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman won the Championship and won all dances with a majority of firsts. From first go there was not question in our mind that they were not going to win the Championship, they were playful, correct and in some instances took some chances and that is what perhaps it’s all about. Second in all dances was awarded to Alexander Chermositov & Arina Grishina, and we have to point out that they took the most firsts from Tal & Ileana in this final, they also gave a terrific performance.

We were very disappointed with Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward’s performance who placed third in all dances and who also stole some firsts from the winners. We have always considered this couple to be one of the most talented couples in North America and now perhaps even in Europe. They represented our sister country of Canada in the past but a year or so moved to England perhaps in the search of more knowledge. As a dancer knowledge is perhaps the most valuable thing you posses equal to talent. We could not wait to see them in action and we got that chance yesterday, when they represented England. We must acknowledge our disappointment when we saw not much has happened since last we saw them and we hope that perhaps the knowledge is just taking a little longer to come through because they are a very special couple with very special talent.

Speaking of talent, we must also point out how impressed we were with Max Firestein & Nicole Renee’s performance last night. It nearly made our heads spin the improvement and maturity of work from this couple now is tremendous. Our congratulation on making this excellent final and on their hard work, because it certainly is paying off now and on the floor last night. Max & Nicole placed fourth with these marks 5,4,4,5,4. Nikolai Tarasov & Sara Nolan were fifth 4,6,5.5,4,5, and Yevgenii Orlov & Maryna Yerina were sixth 6,5,5.5,6,6.

US Champions, Austin Joson & Nino Dzedneladze, danced the first 2 rounds but withdrew before the semifinal.

There was an excellent Amateur American Smooth Championship and this went to the brother and sister team of Brandon Keck & Serena Keck who won all dances, second was awarded to Robert McShinsky & Jenna Harding and this was in all dances and third were Nathan Stevenson & Rachel Harding 5,3,3,3.

The Pro/Am World Latin Championships like the Ballroom were well attended and had like the Ballroom tremendous quality and talent.

The “A” was fully contested leaving us wondering who was going to win but in the end Angelina Evseeva w/ Aleksandr Skarlato won four to one taking second in the jive. Second overall and wining the jive was Darina Pechatnikova w/ Michael Efimov from Russia. Third was awarded to Vera Xu w/ Vitalii Proskurin and they took all thirds, fourth was Olga Gladysheva w/ Dmitry Pugachev from Russia 6,4,5,4,4, Emily Takhtarov & Nikita Malakhov placed fifth 4,5,4,5,6, and sixth was Nicole Pierzchalski w/ Vlad Astafiev 5,6,6,6,5.

In the Pro/Am World “B” Latin, Russia took first and second place, Svetlanta Mukhametshina w/ Andrey Kiselev were first in all dances, Oksana Kagno w/ Yury Simachev were second overall 2,2,2,3,2. Third place in this lineup went to Christina Lyin w/ Evgeny Nazarov 3,3,3,2,3, fourth was Deborah Wright w/ Nikolay Voronovich 5,4,5,4,4, fifth went to Russia’s Marina Dzasochova w/ Ivan Statsenko 4,5,4,6,6, and sixth went to the Ukraine with Darina Butusova w/ Viacheslav Mostsevoi 6,6,6,5,5.

In the World’s Latin “C” division the World tittle went to Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov 2,1,1,1,1, second was awarded to Sophia D’Angelo w/ Nikolai Pilipenchuk 1,2,2,2,2, and third was Rhonda Lynch w/ Stephen McCann 4,3.5,3,3,3. Tasha Romero w/ Mykhailo Bilopukhov were fourth 3,3.5,4,4,5, Lorraine Peoples w/ Genya Bartashevich was fifth 5,5,5,5,4, and Kim Luu w/ Andrey Tarasov was sixth in all.

In the Senior 1 the World title went to Joan Goddard w/ Andrew Escolme 1,1,1,2, Iris Chiang w/ Vitalii Proskurin were second 2,2,2,1, and Shannon Bachynski w/ Dmitro Levita from Canada were third 3,5,3,3. Vanessa Wilson w/ Andrey Tarasov were fourth 5,3,4,4, Susann Tunick w/ Nikolay Vorovonovich was fifth 4,4,5,5, and sixth went to Bonnie Loftspring w/ Brian McNamee sixth in all dances.

In the Senior 2 Susan Sosin w/ Roberto Cavallo won the World title 2,1,1,1, Rica Zamora w/ Sinisa Vasic were second 1,2,3,2, and third went to Cynthya Shiang w/ Maxsym Kapitanchuk 4,3,5,4. Penelope Parmes w/ Mikal Watkins were fourth 3,4,4,5, Vita Hanley w/ Marcus Johnson were fifth 5,5,2,6, Kum Su Kim w/ David Alvarez were sixth 6,6,6,3, and Lily Tang w/ Roman Drobotov were seventh in all dances.

The Annual Marguerite Hanlon & John Ford Award was given to Donnie Burns MBE this year.

The War of the (Smooth) Worlds!

Last night at the Embassy Ball, we had a war of the Smooth in the Open Professional Championship, possibly the top six Smooth couples in the world were in attendance and the competition was fierce.

Once again as expected, there was a top dog competition for first place between Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija Barashina and Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seleverstrova and this is what we saw from the sidelines and how the judges had it.

We totally agreed that this was so close you could almost call it a tie. Nick & Viktorija won it three to one against Max & Tatiana, who won the tango. In looking at the marks closely we can say that that Nick & Viktorija won the slow waltz with a majority of firsts, the other two dances they won they had to rely on third, second or better marks to win the foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. On the other hand, Max & Tatiana won the tango with a huge majority of firsts in that one dance, but again did manage to steal a number of firsts from Nick & Viktorija in the foxtrot and Viennese Waltz, but not enough to win any other dances. On the floor for us it was matter of taste, Nick & Viktorija, although their work was very dramatic during their solo introduction, the opted to show on their foxtrot a good mix of closed and open work, but then again Max & Tatiana were not far behind they too showed they have the skill to dance close or apart.

We totally enjoyed the emotional content and musicality of Max & Tatiana, however, in the waltzes and foxtrot it was almost too much to the point where it got a little congested in the upper body leaving us feeling a little constipated to say the least. On the other hand, Nick & Viktorija keep things flowing a little more and allowed us to take a breath of two and enjoy their journey. As we just mentioned it was all in the eyes of the beholder and what they like or dislike, whatever it is this major battle so near the US Championships makes you stop and wonder what will happen next?

Third place for us was also terrific fight between three couples, Travis & Jaimee Tuft, Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina and Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smirnova. These three couples show us all a different interpretation of the Smooth all very accomplished and beautifully done. This was not a good night for Travis & Jaimie who we are sure were hoping for second or third spot but instead ended up fourth overall. Roman & Galina overtook them quite easily by placing third in three dances and fourth in the foxtrot to capture the third place finish overall. Fourth went to Travis & Jaimee but we think that they must do something now to fight off the challenge by Yegor & Alexandra who took fifth overall and who looked superb on the floor last night. On this note we must say that with this quality dancing it is not good enough to just show “good dancing” we expect more. We expect to be surprised, and bemused by all the couples’ work and the one that does that will win everyone’s heart and move up in the Smooth game of shoots and ladders that is being placed on the floor nowadays. Another couple to make this impressive final were Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab and they took sixth in all dances.  All these couples are so good, that another week we could see a totally different result.

The second event featured on this excellent night of Ballroom dancing here at the Embassy Ball was the Open Amateur Ballroom. This heat started with a quarter-final round and there was not a single couple that did not fit the quality of this championship. Once again for us there was a fight here for first place between Oleksandr Kalenyuk & Olena Ablitsova who took second in all dances and Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli who won all dances. They are both very skillful couples and we would have not been surprised if ether would have won in this heat. Third overall went to Artur Nabok & Michelle Yiu 5,3,4,3,3; in fourth place were Mikhail Vorobiev & Ntasha Kozhevnikoff 3,4,3,4,4; fifth position went to Alex Dubovyk & Rickie Taylor Dubovyk 4,6,5,5,5; leaving sixth to Vladishlav Komelko & Alexandra Sevastianova (Canada) 6,5,6,6,6.

During the day and part of the night the competition featured this day was the Pro/Am Ballroom Championships, and all scholarships were very well-fought. The “A was possibly the most interesting with some very skilled ladies competing. The winner was Natalie Rezai w/ Sergey Kiselev, 1,1,1,1,4, but whom we thought was there number one challenger, Jennifer Lin w/ Radu Sterban ended up in sixth place overall 6,6,5,6,5. We’re not sure what the judges were looking at on this occasion, but it certainly was not the same as we the audience were. Instead the number two spot went to Ekaterina Polkova w/ Artem Bronnikov (Russia) 2,3,2,4,1. We have to add here before we get away from the top placement, that we were not surprised to see Natalie be placed fourth in the Quickstep and here we think the name of the game is stamina and rounds. By the quickstep Natalie looked quite tired. Couples, this was an excellent competition and all DJ’s know they need to allow more time for the judges to make up their minds, so please always rehearse at least a minute of each dance when doing rounds. Third in this competition went to Alexander Zhiratkov w/ Irina Agaletskaya (Russia) 3,2,3,2,3; fourth was Haley Hernandez w/ Oreste Alitto; fifth went to Eva Chen w/ Cristian Radvan 4,4,6,5,6, and sixth as we mentioned before was awarded to Jennifer w/ Radu.

In the “C” Category Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano won all dances. Second went to Jenny Du w/ Dariusz Michalsk and third was Janice Smith w/ David Gozzi. 4th Annie Chan w/ Christian Radvan; 5th Donna Wecker w/ Gianni Caliandro; 6th Page Riffle w/ Iaroslav Bieliei.

In the “B” Category Laura Shooks w/ Alexander Voskalchuk took first place overall 1,1,2,1,1, second wen to Julie Zhao w/ Danis Kutepov 3,2,1,2,2, and third was Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold 2,3,3,4,3. 4th Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Faraci; 5th Dana Miller w/ Davide Gozzi; 6th Alexandra Michel w/ Victor Veyrasset; 7th Bo Chang w/ Andriy Mykhailov.

In the Senior 1 category Kyle Brown w/ Sergey Bondarenko took first in all dances, second in all went to Lynn Murrell w/ Andrea Zaramella and third place was Laura Solomon w/ Oscar Pedrinelli. 4th Barbara Mierau-Klein w/ Gianna Caliandro 5th Deborah Errico w/ Dariusz Michalski; 6th Gleny Yeh w/ Dumitru Doga; 7th Frances Manning w/ Tadas Jonyla; 8th Cheng Chan w/ Iaroslav Bieliei.

And in the Senior 2, Dagmar Richtner w/ Sergey Kiselev won all dances, Susan Jen w/ Mikhail Avdeev placed second overall and third was awarded to Xenia Cletova w/ Peter Chou. 4th Maryann Nichols w/ Enzo Zappia; 5th Maria Fila w/ Kamil Urbaniak; 6th Margart Wang w/ Victor Yushin.

The Professional Rising Star Latin went to Lukas & Simona Alisauskas winning all dances, second went to Elena Nestorova w/ Maksim Kapitannikov and they took second in all and third went to Roman Drobotov w/ Lilya Kazbekova 3,3,3,4,4.

Tonight we have more open professional events and more exiting competition.

In a World of Smooth

Yesterday at Embassy Ballroom Championships we were in a world of Smooth.

The World Pro-Am Smooth Championships were decided last night in some large and well-contested divisions that ended with the Open divisions.

The only World Championship to go outside the USA so far came in the Open A Smooth and this went to Daria Pechatnikova w/ Michael Efimov from Russia. Daria won all dances and all except the waltz with a majority of 1st places. Daria was the defending champion in this division. 2nd spot in all dances went to Vladislav Pecens w/ Lydia Petrigova. We had not seen this young man compete before, but we were very impressed. He was certainly a challenger for the title on this night. Ani Mkrtcyan w/ Max Sintisa took 3rd 4,3,3,4 and this was another competitor who was challenging to be at the top of the field. Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Sochaki took 4th 3,7,5,3. As you can see, the judges were less clear in this division than in some of the others. 5th Zlata Clark w/ Dawid Schulz 5,4,7,5; 6th Irene Lee w/ Irene Lee w/ Egor Bezukladnikov 7,5,4,6 (as you will see below, the positioning of the latter 2 ladies was reversed in the Open B); 7th Ariel Mayer w/ Mayo Alanen 6,6,6,7. Placing 6th in 3 dances but still placing 7th overall, this was an unlucky break of the “Skating System” of scrutineering for Ariel.

Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano continued her successful run at the top of the B Division, winning all dances with a majority of 1st places. We did not a few dissenting judges on this occasion, the most notable being Larinda McRaven who scored her 3,4,4,3. Runner-up was Selene Steelman w/ Travis Tuft 3,2,2,2. Selene is becoming a more confident performer on every outing. 3rd spot fell to Alicia Hawryluk w/ Dmytro Gurkov (Canada) 2,3,3,3. This was Canada’s best finish so far this year. Alicia has a great look on the floor and is certainly up and coming in this style. 4th Careen Freidland w/ Slava Kostianets 5,6,4,4; 5th Irene Lee w/ Egor Bezukladnikov 4,5,5,5; 6th Zlata Clark w/ Dawid Schulz 6,4,6,6.

In the Open C we had a clear winner in Sophia D’Angelo w/ Max Sinitsa who won all dances but only the foxtrot with a majority of 1st places from the 11 judges. Sophia looked cool and confident today. The runner-up was Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Sochaki 3,2,2,2. Patricia picked up some first places in all dances. 3rd was Karence Chan w/ Paul Cloud 2,3,4,3. We were pleased to see this lady in the top three as we feel she is sometimes overlooked. 4th Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov 4,4,3,4; 5th Sue Eldred w/ Oleksiy Pigotskyy 5,5,5,5; 6th Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza 6,6,6,6.

Linda Gill w/ Roman Malkhasyan won the S1 and had a majority of 1st places in all 4 dances. It is hard not to watch Linda without a smile as she always seems to be having such a great time. This is definitely a great asset in competition. The runner-up was Sue Eldred w/ Oleksiy Pigotskyy 3,2,2,2, who in contrast is a strong but somewhat serious dancer. We were a little surprised to see some 6th places in her column – for us she was always a challenger for 1st place. Another strong performance today came from Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza 2,3,3,3, who took 3rd spot. 4th Hope Huber w/ Eddie Stutts 4,4,4,4; 5th Audria Hill-Mitchell w/ Peter Perzhu 7,7,5,5; 6th Maggie Tsao w/ Denis Kutepov 6,5,6,7; 7th Kristie Nadvornik w/ Mayo Alanen5,6,7,6.

Pat Luthy w/ Vladimir Popov was the clear winner in the Open S2, winning all dances with strong majorities of 1st places. The 2nd gentleman to place 2nd in an open world championship came in this division and it was Robert Gorelick w/ Viktorija Barashihina 3,3,2,2. 3rd Lois Gochnauer w/ Serhiy Averkov 4,2,4,3; 4th Diana Dean w/ Slava Stefanov 2,4,3,4; 5th Mary Beth McCallum w/ Leonid Burlo 5,5,5,5; 6th Jackie Siegal w/ Daniel Vasco 6,6,6,6.

We also saw the first of the professional divisions last night. Both the Rising Star Ballroom and Rising Star Rhythm. The Rhythm was the larger (semifinal) and stronger and the winners were Kristian Sese & Mae Lozado. They won all dances with the majority of 1st places and certainly looked like the winners to us as well. A much improved Aaron Pierce & Ksenia Stavrica were the runners-up in all dances. 3rd Tomas Vasicek & Vitalija Tyrnova 3,4,3,4,3; 4th Antonio Nunez & Ksenia Kashkina 4,3,4,5,4; 5th Slash Sharan & Rebecca Vincitore 5,5,5,3,5; 6th Oliver Dominguez & Georgian Lerma 6,6,6,7,6; 7th John Bernal & Bailey Carrillo 7,7,7,6,7.

The Rising Star Ballroom was a straight final and was quite tight at the top. The win by 3 dances to 2 went to Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenko 2,1,1,1,2. This left 2nd to Slava & Valeriia Kostianets 1,2,2,2,1. 4,3,3,3,3 gave Andrey Kitsun & Anna Oblakova 3rd place. 4th Mykhailo Anufriiev & Anna Vietrynska 3,4,4,4,4; 5th Mattia Bieliei & Taisiia Hughes 5,5,6,6,5; 6th Oleg Teleha & Michelle Brecker 6,6,5,5,6.

Pro/Am Rhythm Best!

Yesterday at the Embassy Ball it was all day Pro/Am competitions in the Rhythm divisions.

The day concluded with the very exiting World Pro/Am Open Rhythm Scholarships, and they were perhaps some of the best Pro/Am World Rhythm Championships we have seen in all levels to date.

All the Pro/Am Rhythm World Championships were very contested especially the “A” category, where 7 ladies were called to the final and the majority were very proficient and skilled. For us it was quite close between first and second place but the overall world Champion in the “A” division went to Veronika Kireyko w/ Daniel Vasco, wining all dances but the bolero. Second place and wining the bolero was Chasity Smith w/ Eddie Ares, and third went to Pooja Mehta w/ Kristijan Burazer who took third in all dances but the mambo where she placed second ahead of Chastity & Eddie. Julio Morales w/ Giovanna Velasquez were fourth 4,4,4,5,5; Ariel Mayer w/ Mayo Alanen took fifth 5,5,5,4,4; sixth in all was awarded to Olga Popovych w/ Volodymyr Nikolaev, and seventh were MJ Nelson w/ Bella Gubzheva.

The “B” World Rhythm Championship Category was also very exciting and this category went to Mariana Lvoff w/ Vladimir Kosarev and she won all dances. Second in four dances and third in the mambo was awarded to Laura Paoletti w/ Roman Drobotov, leaving third to Kristin Casella w/ Ronald Guillen, but we must also point out that, Kristin took second in the mambo. In fourth place was w/ Mytia McNeal w/ Damir Karaman 4,5,4,4,5; fifth was Tiffany Miller w/ Daniel Vasco 5,4,5,5,4 and sixth in all went to Minie Pestanas w/ Aleks Nashev.

The “C” Rhythm World Championship was also a six-couple final and here Lynn Magnesen w/ Tykhon Zhyvkov took first in all dances. Joan Goddard placed second in all dances w/ Andrew Escolme, and third overall was awarded to Ana Capo w/ Luis Lopez. From third place down to fifth the marks were very spread. Fourth overall was awarded to Hope Huber w/ Eddie Stutts 6,4,4,4,3; fifth was Monica Broch w/ Kris Suakjian 4,5,5,6,5 and sixth was Kim Burney w/ Vard Margaryan 5,4,4,5,6.

The Senior 1 World Pro/Am Championship was also excellent and here Joan Goddard placed first overall with 2,1,1,1. Second was awarded to Luna Viva w/ Kristijan Burazer 1,2,2,2 and third went to Karen Scott w/ Vladimir Kosarev and she took third in all dances. Evelyn Lamden w/ Daniel Vasco was fourth; Hope Huber w/ Eddie Stutts took fifth in all dances; sixth went to Leslie McLeod w/ Melbin De La Cruz and seventh position went to Kay Burton w/ Jason Daly.

The Senior 2 was also very contested and here Marybeth McCullum w/ Oleg Astakhov won all dances. Second in all dances went to Nancy Politzer w/ Andre Paramonov and third overall was awarded to Jackie Siegels w/ Daniel Vasco 5,3,3,3. Fourth overall was awarded to Gynny Davies w/ Felipe Telona 3,6,4,6; fifth was Diana Dean w/ Slava Stefanov 4,4,7,5; sixth went to Natalie Howe w/ David Alvarez 6,7,8,4; seventh was Joanne Richle w/ Rostislav Liduch 8,5,6,7, and eighth position was awarded to Larry Scott w/ Carolina Vasco 7,8,5,8.

As we mentioned before we have not seen such a great caliber of Pro/Am Rhythm events in a long time. It was very exciting until the end. Today we are working on the Smooth Categories and we hope for them to be of the same quality.

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