Fort Lauderdale Classic, 2020

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Fort Lauderdale Classic, 2020
That's one small step for dancing, one giant leap for our industry!

Going back to adjudicate a one-day competition after the US shut down due to the COVID 19 virus – Fort Lauderdale Classic 2020.

It was right in the middle of our US Amateur Championships in Provo, Utah in March, that the US dancing shut down and many couples did not get to compete for their national title. For this and many reasons the Ft. Lauderdale Classic was very interesting for all of us to witness. How will competitions be handled from now on? How many people will participate? Will there even be water in the ballroom for all competitors? etc. All these questions or more were up in the air when we got to the Ft. Lauderdale Classic, held for only this year at the Hilton Downtown in Tampa, Florida.

It was great to see that most of the officials including the organizers themselves were fully prepared with mask, sanitizers for every table and at every point of entry, doors fully open, a huge dance floor in order to have space, no on-deck area, individual water for all and holders with your own name on it….. we could go on and on, nearly every precaution humanly possible was taken to make everyone comfortable and as safe as possible.

The competition began Sunday the 14th of June at 8:00 AM, with the Smooth and Ballroom entries. We were happy and surprised to see quite a few contested events. Couples dancing did not have to wear mask, but if you were at your table you were encouraged to wear one. Tables where people were seated were far apart from one another to encourage social distancing and during meals the food was either brought to you by a server with a mask and gloves or served to you individually by a server behind a protective glass. By the way my compliments to the organizers, the hotel food was delish and Tommy DiTomasso, the organizer, said the hotel had just hired a new chef.

The one-day competition ended with the Rhythm and Latin competitions and scholarships. There were no professional events but there was a professional show. During the evening award dinner everyone dressed to the nines and even though a bar was provided in the ballroom social distancing was still encouraged.

Here are some of the results for the Open Pro-Am Scholarships:

In the Smooth Open Scholarship Maureen O’Flanagan w/ Rusland Meshkov won all four dances. Sally Childs w/ Jay Holmes was second 2,2,2,3, and Nancy Urich w/ Alessio Miraglia placed third 3,3,3,2. In the Ballroom Open Pro/Am scholarship Margaret Barret w/ Rusland Meshkov won all five dances. And the Junior Smooth scholarships was won by Anfisa Belova & Anton Belova.

In the American Rhythm Open Scholarship US Pro/Am Champion, Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika won all five dances, Sandy MacCarron w/ Michael Neal was second 2,2,2,3,2, and Sally Childs w/ Jay Holmes placed third 3,3,3,2,3. In the Junior Latin Open Latin the winner was Danny Barsuk w/ Anfisa Belova.


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