Autumn Dance Classic 2019

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A Difficult Choice!

Last night at the Autumn Classic we had a terrific Professional Ballroom event, filled with a tremendous amount of talent making the judges have some difficult decisions.

The night also included some wonderful junior and youth events, that for a while had the audience very excited from side to side.

In the Professional Ballroom last night there were two couples that for us really stood out from the rest, Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya, and Vladishlav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova, but at times there were three, Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova had also a wonderful run to the point that a number of judges also awarded them some of the firsts. In the end for the majority Rudy & Katia were the best and they awarded them the majority of firsts in four dances with the Viennese Waltz being the only dance where they needed “second or better to” win.

Vladishlav & Ekaterina and Valeriu & Liana were left to share the rest of the first place marks. In the waltz they each had a first, in the tango Vladishlav & Ekaterina got none but won second place on seconds, Vlariu & Liane took 2 firsts. In the Viennese Waltz they each got 3 firsts, and in the foxtrot they each got one first, but in the quickstep Valeriu & Liane picked up three first places to Vlad & Katerina’s two, leaving them holding third place overall in this one dance. Here is the final tally - Valeriu & Liana 3,3,3,3,2, third overall and Vladishlav & Ekaterina 2,2,2,2,3, second overall.

Fourth place in all dances was awarded to Andriy Mykhailov with new partner, Olga Gandembul. From here down we can tell that it got harder to judge for all judges, Marek Klepadlo & Nina Zhiting Yang were fifth with these marks 5,6,6,5,5; Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna were sixth 6,5,5,6,6, and Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenko took all sevenths.

The Amateur Open Latin was also a hit last night here at the Autumn Classic with a very capable semifinal round and an excellent final. Here too there were two couples that really stood out from the rest - Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishina who took first in all dances and Nikolai Tarasov & Sarah Nolan who placed second overall 2,2,3,2,2. We have to agree with the judges on this one, it was basically a walk in the park for Alexandra & Arina who managed to show great skill never losing their sophistication and stature. On the other hand, it was great to see Nikolai & Sarah be contagiously playful and with so much support from the audience around the floor, they were able to turn in an excellent performance to secure a second overall.

Third in three dances and second in the rumba was awarded to Bunchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Kletz, who also had a strong performance this evening, fourth overall went to Casey & Kayci Treu 6,5,4,5,4; fifth was awarded to Vlad Krupskii & Valerie Dubinsky 4,4,5,6,6, leaving sixth to Ivan Romanov & Katya Ivahno-Kalinuka 5,6,6,4,5.

As we mentioned earlier there were some excellent Junior events, in particular the Junior II Latin, and here Nathan Zaytsev & Annika Mugin won first place overall 2,1,2,3,1; second overall was awarded to Anthony Mattos & Eva Zinchenko 1,2,4,4,2, and third went to Eric Griffin & Sophia Marriott 3,3,1,2,3. As you can see it was very close between all these couples so we feel we should honor them all. Anthony Tatoosi & Vendela Lloyd were fourth 5,4,5,1,3; Zorik Moldavsky & Alice Bankova took fifth place 4,5,3,5,5, and Anton Boudzko & Kalina Botchev were sixth in all dances.

We must also mention the Pre-Teen Latin Grand Slam because it too was totally worth watching. Here Jacob Karasis & Jaslyn Kwan placed first 2,2,1,1,1; Sean Ginko & Emily Tatoosi were second 1,1,4,3,2; Yegor Zhukhov & Adyson Cherkas placed third 3,3,2,2,3, and David Parrot & Genna Pravdin were fourth 4,4,3,4,4.

With this the Autumn Classic came to an end all that is left is the children events tomorrow morning and afternoon, it was a great evening of dance for us all last night and so we want to congratulate Jonathan Wilkins, and Olga Foroponova, the organizers.

Great Smooth Dancing in San Francisco!

The Autumn Dance Classic is underway, and last night was the conclusion of the open professional Smooth and Latin.

It was short night but the quality of the dancing was more than enough to satisfy the fans and keep the judges on their toes.

The Open Professional Smooth took place and it was a 6-couple final. The frontrunners Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smirnova and Roman Malkhasian & Galina Detkina were both in great form and ready to go. From the start these two couples presented two different interpretations of the American Style and in the end we are sure the judges were sweating it out coming up with who should take the first place. For us it was an easy pick we felt that Yegor & Alexandra were totally in their best mode and that their work, unlike on some other occasions, was quite organized and clean accenting their unique style and allowing us to feel and understand their motivations. But in the end it was not to be, Roman Malkhasian & Galina Detkina won every dance and we were not surprised, this very talented couple is one of our favorites on the circuit, the only issue for us on this night was that at times they seemed to talk over each other’s sentence and so it was a little harder for us to feel or understand their work completely, but we were certainly not shocked or surprised with their win.

Third in this excellent Smooth final went to Aleksandar Vukosavljevic & Neveda Urosevic, who keep making progress at every outing and who soon could be easily challenging the last two we just mentioned. Aleksandar & Neveda’s work is also very unique to themselves and this is a major ingredient to breaking into the top group, you cannot just be good at it, you now have to have an interesting program with interesting maneuvers and interpretation. From fourth down the couples were of good standing but quite far from the top three in performance, Illia Sydorenko & Tetyana Kuts placed fourth in all dances, Drew Miller & Krista Humpherey placed fifth and Ivan Spasov & Sabina Blyth were sixth.

The Open Professional Latin was also terrific with a six couple final, the obvious top two contenders from the start were Alexey & Vlada Karaulov, and Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova. When the result for the Latin was announce and Roman & Alexandra won Alexey appeared very surprised. Unfortunately, we have to agree with the judges on this occasion. Roman & Alexandra came there to dance and from the first note they did just that, on every occasion they had a lot more rhythm and energy than their counterparts. On the other hand, Alexey & Vlada looked confident but in our opinion hardly made an effort to defend their position. Roman & Alexandra took these marks from the judges 2,1,2,1,1, and Alexey & Vlada took 1,2,1,2,2. We must also point out that this was the best we have seen from Alexandra. We did not realize in the past that she had such tremendous talent. Last night she was what we would describe as “brilliant.” Congratulations on this great performance!

Third in this heat went to Lukas & Simona Alisauskas 3,3,3,3,3, fourth was awarded to Alekseev Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva 6,4,6,4,5, fifth was Oleksandr Kozhukhar & Rachel Sayotovich 4,5,4,6,6, And in sixth position were Satnislav Savich & Nicole Prosser 5,6,5,5,4. We were very surprised that Stanislav & Nicole placed this low. Their work is excellent, but perhaps their costuming might be too heavy looking detracting from their talent, this is quite unfortunate because they are a very talented couple.

The Open Amateur Ballroom was small but mighty with some excellent dancing. Here Alex & Rickie Taylor Dubovyk won overall 1,1,2,1,1. Second went to a couple that has made tremendous improvement and that really brought us to attention, Rusland Kalyuzhnyy & Elena Babaeva 2,2,1,2,2. As you can see they won the Viennese Waltz but we are sure they took some marks from the Alex & Rickie in some of the other four dances. In third place were Casey & Kayci Treu 3,3,4,4,3, and fourth were Alec Zhiwei Zhang & Zhuoshi Xie 4,4,3,3,4.

During the day the Open Pro-Am Ballroom Scholarships were also excellent with some very high grade dancing.

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