Utah Dancesport Challenge 2020

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The Barn!

This year we were invited to our first Utah Dancesport Challenge that used to be a one-day event of nonstop amateur dancing.

This year due to the tremendous amount of people wanting to compete, the event was extended to a two-day event. It took place at the “Barn” a convention hall in the town of Lehi, Utah. This convention center is located in the middle of a beautiful vine field with other entertainment complexes including a petting zoo and entertainment center for kids.

As we mentioned this was two days filled with competition organized by Natalie Wakefield Shultz & Dawid Shultz and Cheyenne Murillo & Sasha Altukov. The two full days came to an end with a terrific Open Amateur event where Andrii Kikitchenko & Donas Sherman won three dances to two, with them winning the Cha, Samba, and the Rumba. We have to say that we were not surprised at their win, however, having seen this couple perform at other events, we have to say this was not their best. We found them a little timid, their costumes did not command attention and only in the last three dances did they really begin to punch, in other words we felt they walked through it.

Wining the paso and the jive were Carter Williams & Rylee Arnold 2,2,2,1,1. We really like this couple, but once again here we thought they were a little disheveled in the final, great energy but for us we thought they could have kept their composure to a higher level. For us the couple that brought a little bit of everything to the table even though in the end they fizzled out a little was Daniel Pollak & Alexis Pollak, in the end they took third in all dances, but could have been placed higher. Fourth was awarded to Carston Buss & Ashton Cole, fifth went to Marcos Martines & Saidi Cordon and sixth were Mason Simkins & Anna Morales. Overall the competition was a terrific match to watch and all couples came to win and they showed it.

The Adult Open Smooth was also a terrific event and this competition wen to Landon Anderson & Hannah Gasinski winning three dances and placing second in the Viennese Waltz. We were really off on our prediction for this heat but perhaps the couples were all too close in their level of performance. Brandon Keck & Serena Keck won the Viennese and placed second in the other three dances. Robert McShinsky & Jenna Hardin were third and you can tell by the marks the judges were already having difficulties marking all these couples 3,4,4,3, Mason Simkins & Ashton Cole were fourth with this marks 5,3,3,4. Our very favorite couple of this event placed fifth Nathan Syevenson & Rachel Harding 4,6,6,5, and sixth was McCarty Carter & Carli Treu Ralph 6,5,5,6. As You can see from third place on it was a difficult decision for the judges but we would even say from the first place on, a few of the judges speaking after the event were puzzled over the result and we have to point out they were very accomplished former smooth dancers.

The Ballroom was a little easier to see the difference between the couples and here the best couple to all was Rober McShinski & Jenna Hardin who won all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges. Second in all dances went to Brandon Keck & Kaylee Christensen, third were Mathew Bezzant & Serena Keck 4,3,3,3,3, fourth went to Nathan Stevenson & Rachel Harding 3,4,4,6,4, Max Greenhouse & Savan Francia took fifth 5,5,5,4,5.5, and completing this final Sahnden Hoffman & Evelin Crisostomo were sixth 6,6,6,5,5.5. they last two couples shared fifth place in the Viennese Waltz.

In the open Amateur Rhythm the winners were Tristan Moe & Margaret George placing first in all dances. There was a rule eleven call to break a tie between second and third places, in the end second place wen to Larry Collins & Deborah Anderson 3,2,4,3,2 leaving third to Derek Wardle & Skylar Moore 4,3,2,2,3.

For entertainment the organizers had Ferdinando Ianconne & Yulia Muskhina do a show that was welcomed by all and it gave the competition a little variety and slight break from the group competition.

I have to tip my hat to the young organizers who had everything under control and we finished right on time under the chairmanship of Lee Wakefield. The evening concluded with a happy birthday sang by all to Izabella Lewandowsky, she was just as perplexed when they brought out the huge cake to be shared by all and even more so when she was asked to release the balloons for this exciting finale.

Congratulations to these four organizers, very well done!

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