US National Amateur Championships 2020

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The Last Chaotic Night!

Faced with a shut down, organizers get as much as possible into last night!

With the situations beyond their control, the organizers of the US Amateur Championships were forced to cancel the event after only 3 of the allotted 5 days, leaving many competitors disappointed. The event is run on the campus of BYU University (in the Marriott Arena), and the university itself elected to close the facility for these type of large gatherings due to the coronavirus situation.

With Thursday evening the last, the organizers were able to hold the US Amateur Smooth Championship and US J2 & J1 Smooth Championships that were scheduled for this night and moved the US Amateur Cabaret Championship, this was originally scheduled for Saturday. All other US Championships were canceled and the plan is to hold them in November at another regular event held here in BYU. For many of the junior dancers who were already in Provo, the organizers held non-US Championship events in Youth Latin and J1,J2, PT1 & PT2 Latin and Ballroom. The “evening” session continued until 2:30 AM!

The US Amateur Smooth Champions for 2020 are Brandon Keck & Serena Keck (UT) 1,1,2,1. They had the majority of first places in the 3 dances they won. Serena was the runner-up last year, but with a different partner. The runner-up this year were last year’s 3rd place winners, Landon & Hannah Anderson. They are also from Utah, in fact the whole final was from Utah. Landon & Hannah scored 2,2,1,2 and they did have the majority of 1st places in foxtrot.

The scores for this final were quite mixed. In 3rd place were Robert McShinsky & Jenna Harding 3,4,5,4. Robert was the runner-up last year with Serena. 4th Blake Fox & Nicole Ascione 6,5,3,3; 5th Logan Beach & Melina Wright 5,3,4,6; 6th Nathan Stevenson & Rachel Harding 4,6,6,5. We must point out that we have always enjoyed Nathan & Rachel’s dancing and are always a little surprised by their low placements.

Anna Shahbazyan will have a review of this division for Dance Beat soon.

The US Amateur Cabaret Championship is always a thrill-packed event here in BYU and this year was no exception. The semifinal for this event was held on Tuesday night and the 6 finalists dancing tonight were all exceptional. The returning champions, Landon Anderson dancing with his sister, Charity Anderson, (UT) were in the field and gave an outstanding performance to once again take the championship. 8 of the 11 judges scored them to win, the remaining 3 judges placed them 2nd. We thought this was a spectacular routine, performed by 2 people who are not only spectacular aerially, but also are accomplished ballroom dancers. Bravo!

Runners-up were Logan R. Barnes & Autumn Hawkes (ID). This was quite a narrow victory over the 3rd place couple. They had six “2nd or better” scores including 2 first places. The 3rd place couple, Nathan Cook & DeeDee Smith (UT) had five “2nd or better” scores, including one 1st place. 4th Miroslav Randelovic & Dakota Pizzi (NJ); 5th McCarter Carter & McKenzie Rucker (ID); 6th Coby Hunter & Nicole Mendenhall (CA).

Didio Barrera will have a full report on this spectacular division.

The US J2 Smooth Championship produced the following result. 1 Parley Forn & Natalie Jolley (UT) 1,1,1,1; 2nd Dallin Keck & Arynne Cole (UT) 2,2,2,2; 3rd Jericho Tran-Faypon & Aurelia Philmore (CA) 3,3,4,4; 4th Isaac Christensen & Madilyn Matthews (UT) 5,4,3,3; 5th Jaxon Humphrey & Zoe Bazinet (UT) 4,5,5,5; 6th Brennin Williams & Kennedy Miller (UT) 6,6,6,6.

In the US J1 Smooth Championship, Dallin Keck & Arynne Cole moved up to 1st place (1,1,1,1); 2nd Brennin Williams & Kennedy Miller (3,2,2,2; 3rd Zeke Kleven & Sophia Ruis (2,3,3,4); 4th Hyrum Heaton & Kate Heiner (4,4,4,3); 5th Sterling McOmber & Lexi Ascione (6,5,5,5); 6th Noah Scribner & Eden Gough (7,6,6,6); 7th Landon Heal & Brynlee Dolan (5,7,7,7); 8th Bridger Cole & Katelyn Fox (8,8,8,8).

US Amateur Championships Extended Schedule

The US Amateur Dancesport Championships are underway in Provo, UT at the Marriott Arena on the BYU campus.

This year’s extended schedule saw the championships beginning on Tuesday night and including a full day yesterday, Wednesday. All this against the uncertain background of the coronavirus scare. While other universities have canceled their dancesport competitions, BYU has so far allowed the US Championships to continue, even as President Trump addressed the nation last night announcing new measures to confront the pandemic.

Participation here seems normal with large amounts of school age kids contesting the lower grade events and the usual large amount of formation teams. There were 21 teams in both the Youth Ballroom and Youth Latin team divisions yesterday.

Wednesday also saw the first of the National Titles to be awarded. The major event yesterday was the US National Amateur Rhythm Championship that began with a quarter-final. Returning two-time champions, Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze (NJ), proved up to the task of defending their title and won all dances with a majority of 1st place marks. Cha cha was the closest scored of the dances as Max & Nicole had 5 of the 9 first place marks. Runners-up were Brandon & Serena Keck (UT) who were 2nd in all dances and had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in all dances. Emil Martirosyan & Galit Zilbervarg (NY) were 3rd in all dances but did pick up 3 first place scores from judge, Didio Barrera. 4th in all dances went to Andrew Malyava & Nicole Shtern (NJ). 5,6,6,5,5 gave Jai & Brittany Knighton (UT) 5th place overall and Tristan Moe & Margaret George (UT) were 6th 6,5,5,6,6.

The other 2 US Championships decided yesterday were in the Youth divisions. In the US National Youth Rhythm Championship, Emil & Galit moved up to first place and won all dances. In the first three that had perfect scores (9 first places out of 9). Andrew & Nicole moved up to the runners-up post, taking 2nd in all dances. Utah took the remaining 4 places in the final. 3rd Quinton Williams & Zoe Monsivias (3,3,3,3,3); 4th Samuel Golding & Elena Holmes (4,4,4,4,4); 5th Braydon Dahlke & Miriam Ray (5,5,5,5,6); 6th Jaydon Back & Shalia Rokobuludrau (6,6,6,6,5).

The Youth Smooth Championship was a strong event danced over 4 rounds and was more closely contested than the other championships. Winners were Blake Fox & Nicole Ascione (UT) who scored 3,1,2,1 to take the title. They had the majority of 1st places in the tango. This was the only dance won with a majority. Runners-up were Ben Maier & Elizabeth Thompson 2,2,1,2. Bronson Baker & Jiaxin Haslan were 3rd 1,3,3,3; 4th Lincoln Gardner & Paris Waite (ID) 5,4,4,5. 5th and 6th positions were decided by a Rule 11 tiebreak. 5th went to Parley Ford & Natalie Jolley (UT) 4,5,6,6 and 6th to Hayden Schuman & Emily Wanlass (UT) 6,6,5,4.

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