South Open Dancesport Championships 2021

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South Open Concludes Saturday on a High Note

It was almost a “perfect” night for Andre & Natalie Paramonov as they won The Open Professional Rhythm with 93 out of 95 possible first place marks.

Only judge, Aigars Stolcers dissented and awarded them the 2 second places. Shandor Shtefil & Evgeniia Elcoro took 2nd in all dances but were pushed closely by Gene & Elena Bersten who were 3rd in all dances, but actually had more 2nd places than Shandor & Elena in the swing. Gene & Elena were 3rd in all dances. Ryan Lewis & Meagen Mendoza were 4th 4,5,4,5,5; 5th Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova 6,4,5,4,6; 6th Eddie Rivera & Jailene Espinosa 5,6,6,6,4; 7th Stanislav Morozov & Kseniia Tashkinova 7,7,7,7,7.

The Open Pro Ballroom was a straight final and Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya easily won all dances with a large majority of 1st places in all dances. The brother/sister team of Luca Balestra & Krizia Balestra were 2nd in all dances and they too had strong majorities from the judges. Mirko Spano & Pamela Romano were 3rd in all. 4th Artur Kozun & Monika Pyrgiel 4,4,4,4,5; 5th Aleksei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva 5,5,5,5,4; 6th Alexander Elsbury & Grace Gallagher 6,6,6,6,6.

The Pro Cabaret only had 3 entries but they were a great variety. The easy winners were Craig Smith & Andrea Harvey who received all 11first places for their usual high-risk spectacular aerial routine. The runners-up were Stanislav Morozov & Kseniia Tashkinova and third spot went to Mykhailo Anufriiev & Anna Vietrynska.

We also saw a high quality Amateur Latin. The battle for top spot was between Max Firestein & Nicole Renee and Ron Garber & Klaudia Petriti. Although the scoring was quite tight Max & Nicole did win all 5 dances and Ron & Klaudia. Max’s younger brother, Dave Firestein & Kennedy Eaton were comfortably 3rd in all dances. The 4th spot went to the very busy partnership of Benson Maier & Elisabeth Thompson 4,5,4,4,5. They competed in 3 styles – Latin, Ballroom and Smooth. 5th Oleksiy Bonkovskyy & Kiersten Lujan 5,4,5,5,4; 6th Michael May & Pallany English 7,6,6,6,6; 7th Scott Nicholson & Alina Odintsova 7,6,6,6,6.

Perhaps the most successful dancer of all time, Katusha Demidova, the many time World Champion and 20-time US Champion, was inducted into the South Open Hall of Fame.

This was one of Sid Pocius’ most successful events to date and the ballroom was as always, beautifully decorated for the Holiday season. Congratulations!

Getting the Christmas Spirit in Orlando

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas at the JW Marriott in Orlando as the South Open Championships continues.

Organizer, Sid Pocius, emphasizes décor and the ballroom is beautifully decorated for the Holiday Season. There are also live cartoon characters in the ballroom and a Disney themed pro-am team match also added to the festivities here in the ballroom last night. Live music and dancing for package-holder dinners is also a feature here. With over 7,000 entries, this year’s South Open is the largest so far.

Friday night saw the first of the Open Professional divisions – Latin, Smooth and Showdance. Of the 3, perhaps the Latin was the most exciting and most hotly contested.

There wasn’t much doubt about the winners, however, as US Champions, Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova won all dances and had almost perfect scores in all 5 – 13 first places out of 15 in each dance. The two dissenting judges were Denise Lazo and John Elsbury. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova were 2nd in all dances, but although they had the majority of 2nd or better scores in all, they were pushed to 8 to 7 majorities in a couple of dances, 8 to 6 in one and 9 to 6 in two. The couple right behind them was Andriy & Amanda Besyedin who were obviously 3rd in all dances. Rangel Spirov & Veronika Chernyavska were 4th in all dances; Aleksei Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva were 5th in all and Norbert Czerski & Marta Ejsmont were 6th.

US Smooth Champions, Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina won the two remaining Open Professional divisions. In the Smooth they received perfect scores – 15 first places in each dance and they repeated this in the Showdance with a perfect 9 first places.

The closest dual of the night was for the runner-up spot in the Smooth that eventually went to Volodymyr Barabash & Yulia Rudenco who placed 2,2,3,2 over Dmitrii Zavialov & Arina Sokolova 3,3,2,3. However, scoring between these two was close. Volodymyr & Yulia had a majority of 2nd places in waltz as did Dmitri & Arina in foxtrot. The other 2 dances were decided on “3rd or better” scores. 4th Alexander Romanov & Anna Blagodyreva 4,4,4,4; 5th Alexander Elsbury & Grace Gallagher 5,6,5,5; 6th Ben Seifert & Ashley Mattingly 6,5,6,6.

Fedor Artemev & Ekaterina Artemeva took second in the Showdance with 6 of the 9 2nd placements. 3rd Mykhailo Anufriiev & Anna Vietrynska; 4th Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova; 5th Gonzalo Pavez & Daniela Moreno; 6th Ian Meeks & Marielle Suddarth.

Stay tuned for more from South Open tomorrow.

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