South Open Championships 2019

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A Very Varied Show!

This year the last night at the South Open Dancesport Championships, it was all about the showdances with many soloists performing jazz and modern dance pieces and the professional competition winners showcasing a solo performance each at the end of their heat.

The American Rhythm Professional Championship was the most interesting competition and here the current US Rhythm Champions, Andre & Natalie Paramonov, won all five dances with perfect scores from all the judges. Jan & Adele Don took second in all dances and in four of these five dances they had a majority of seconds. In the rumba they needed thirds or better to qualify for a second place and they did manage to get this. For us the couple that could have easily taking second was Tomas Vasicek & Vitalije Tyrnova and they took third in all dances, but their dancing for us had a contagious rhythm with great isolation.

Artem & Gynny Shiller were fourth in all dances. At first sight in the cha cha we felt that they might be able to challenge for higher ground but in the end they fizzled out and only managed this fourth place finish. Fifth in all dances went to Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys and sixth in all was Nicholas Garcia & Nora Jenkins.

In the Open Professional Ballroom Alexander & Veronika Voskalchuk won all dances also with a majority of firsts in all dances, and very well deserved, they looked above the rest for us in all dances. Second in four dances and placing third in the quickstep were Aleksandr & Aida Skriptsov, another well placed couple in this final they too looked to us above the other two couples competing. Third overall was awarded to Aleksei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva 3,3,3,3,2, who as you can see stole everyone’s attention in the quickstep, and fourth in all went to Artur Kuzon & Monika Pyrgiel, their work looked a little slow and heavy at times.

It was nice to see a variety of different styles of dancing at a Ballroom competition, some of the contemporary solo dancers were amazingly talented. We must mention Avery Gay who danced two times and was out of this world, and the same goes for Tristan Ianero. We would also like to mention a singer that entertained us all for those last two days of competition and who also held his own on the ballroom stage and that was Dylan White who gave a great interpretation of “All I Want for Christmas.”

This show-filled night was concluded by 3 more performances from Shinsuke Kanemitsu & Anna Kovalova and 1 dance from former World & US Rhythm Champions and DWTS Alumni, Tony Dovolani & Elena Grinenko.

Our congratulation to Sid Pocius, the organizer who was quite attentive and put this beautiful end of the year competition on for us. The venue and the food, especially at the after party Saturday night, was amazing. We want to tip our hat to Sid and wish him a new year full of good fortune for his events.

A Hard Fought Smooth!

Last night at the South Open Dancesport Championships, the Professional Smooth was not a done deal with a number of couples fighting for top placement.

The Professional Latin was a walk in the park for a few of the couples - but find out what couple fought really hard for their position and enabled at a higher placement.

The Open Professional Smooth began with a full semifinal round, but in the end only six couples were called back for this terrific final. Jan & Adele Don won every dance, but it was not an easy task, they only won the tango and Viennese Waltz with the qualifying amount of seven firsts out of 13 judges. In the other two dances they had to depend on a majority of first or seconds to win these dances. For us Adele & Jan were good enough to win but did not capture our attention fully in this final, there were plenty of other couples that were getting some.

Second in this hard-fought final were Illia Sydorenko & Tetyana Kutz with this marks 2,3,2,3. Illia & Tetyana won the Rising Star the night before and they do have a spark that you cannot miss. What we would love to see a little less of is the push and shove that sometimes their technique requires. A ferly new couple to the scene took third to our surprise, Artem Merenko & Tatiana Voylokova 4,2,3,2. We are sure that it must have been tough for the judges to know where to place this couple. in one moment you could look at them and you see the champions and the next he is pushing and shoving almost as bad as Illia & Tetyana. But they are clever enough and talented enough that they could not be ignored.

The couple that were in our opinion completely left out of the loop was Sergei Shapoval & Mila Popovich, who for us did a terrific job and could have easily placed second in many of their dances if not first 3,4,4,4. Here, with Sergei & Mila there was no pushing or exaggerated facial expressions, they just focused on solid, strong dancing. Unfortunately, we were among the few people that noticed this detail, and in the judges’ defense there were at least two to three judges that marked then to win in each dance. But who is counting on good easy movement when there could be so much fun in a good “push & shove” to keep us entertained. We are certain Sergei & Mila were disappointed with the result even though, they were professional as ever through the lineup and all.

Fifth position wen to Leo Mora & Christina Garced and they took fifth in all dances, sixth in all were Alexander Elsbury & Grace Gallagher.

In the Open Professional Latin, it was a walk in the park for Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova now residing in Florida. They won every dance with a huge majority of firsts from the judges. There were only two judges that saw something completely different Patrick Johnson who awarded them these marks 2,3,3,3,3, and Melanie LaPatin who awarded them 2,1,2,1,1 and it would not be fair if we did not mention that Iveta Lukosiute also awarded them a second in the jive, and Andrew Phillips who awarded them a second in the paso doble. There you have it these were the only second and third places awarded to Artur & Anastasiya.

Second in all dances went to Stanishlav Savich & Nicole Prosser who for the first time “ditched” the straight jackets they have been wearing and are now sporting costumes that compliment their bodies and movement, congratulations! The feel good story of the night was the excellent performance of Aleksei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva who placed third in all dances. For us it was a close call between them and Stanishlav & Nicole especially in the cha cha, where they showcased so much Rhythm in their performance. In looking at the marks there were at least three judges that awarded them second in different dances and even two firsts from Patrick Johnson in the cha cha and in the jive. We must also mention that on this same night Aleksei & Ekaterina won the Professional Rising Star Ballroom.

From here down we can say that things got a little less disputed. Simone Spadoni & Simona Caporale who won the Professional Rising Star Latin the night before, took fourth in all dances. Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys were fifth in all, Dylan & Nora Jenkins were placed sixth overall 7,6,6,6,6, and seventh overall went to Adriano Camardese & Lauren Camardese 6,7,7,7,7.

The Mary Gill Open To The World Showdance was also held this evening and this honor went to Alexander & Veronika Voskalchuk, who brought the house down with their new and improved “Ken & Barbie” routine. Second was awarded to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova, who did an impressive Cha Cha routine, but what was so impressive to us was the rhythm changes and the use of the music and the different instruments they were following, excellent job! We could honestly see why Mr. Bob Powers awarded them a first, even though all other judges placed Alexander & Veronika to win.

Third in this excellent showdance category were Leo Mora & Christina Garced who did a very passionate waltz.

There was also a Professional Rising Star Rhythm and this competition wen to Artem Shiller & Ginny Ray Shiller

Presentation, Presentation and Presentation!

Here at the South Open Dancesport Championships in Orlando, Florida it is all about presentation.

The ballroom theme is Xmas and it is beautiful, especially at night when the lights are all on. But everything about the South Open, from the prize presentation and even the awards they are all manicured beautifully.

Yesterday was a Rhythm day and today, we will see all the Smooth, but last night it all got heated with the Rising Stars, especially in the Smooth division where many of the couples in the final were at similar stages in their Smooth careers.

The six-couple Smooth final was basically divided into the more seasoned players in the upper tier and the up an coming on a the lower end of the final. In the end Ilia Sydorenko & Tetyana Kuts placed first in all dances. Second was awarded to Leo Mora & Christina Garced who took second in every dance. We must also point out that Leo & Christina were placed first in the professional Rising Star Cabaret.

Third place went to Alexander Elsbury & Grace Gallager, perhaps the youngest couple in this final. Fourth was awarded to Benjamin Welch & Rae Lyons taking fourth places in all dances, Aaron & Victoria Greer were fifth and Sherrad Glosson & Aubrey Meade took all sixths.

The Professional Rising Star Latin was a small affair with 3 couples in the heat. The judges awarded first place to Simone Spadone & Simona Caporale in all dances. Second place went to Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys in all dances and third in all were Adriano & Lauren Camardese.

The South Open Dancesport Championships started Wednesday night with the Nightclub competition, it was going to be held outside the beautiful properties of the Renaissance Hotel, in Orlando Florida, across from Sea World. However, due to weather, a cold front that came through the Florida peninsula, it had to be moved inside the hotel in a new interesting venue or restaurant called The Kitchen. It was a packed full evening, but everyone seemed to have an incredible time.

Tonight the Open Professional Events will start and we will bring to you all the happenings from the dance floor her at

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