Platinum Dancesport Classic 2022

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Great Pros Make Platinum Saturday a Winner!

A great bevy of professional couples, including several US and Ohio finalists, turned up for Platinum’s Saturday night.

Igor & Polina Pilipenchuk’s Miami event, Platinum Dancesport, was held once again in the Miami Airport Hilton this weekend. Platinum offers a banquet style evening on Saturday night and the impressive crowd was treated to some great professional events all night long.

Although the Pro events certainly dominated the proceedings, we’d like to start by mentioning the Amateur Latin division. This, in our opinion, had the star performance of the night in the persons of Spain’s Joel Lopez & Kristina Bespocnova. Although we have seen this couple competing in the USA several times, last night’s performance from them was a level above our previous experiences. They were musical and relaxed with Kristina demonstrating breathtaking dexterity. Although they won all dances, only in the rumba and jive did they have perfect scores from the judges. The couple that took the remaining 1st placements were the runners-up, Ron Garber & Klaudia Petriti who were 2nd in all dances. Neither of the top 2 couples received anything lower than a 2nd place. 3rd in all dances went to Aleksandros Arapis & Yulia Ishchak; 4th in all to Artur Groysman & Nina Mayster; 5th in all Alejandro Marquez & Emily Rodriguez and 6th in all to Kevin Mesa & Gabriela Iglesias.

Possibly the most impactful result came in the Open Pro Rhythm that began with a semifinal round. This turned into a tight race for the win between Shane & Shannon Jensen and Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker. The win fell to the Jensens by 3 dances to 2 – 2,2,3,2,3 over Andrew & Amy’s 3,3,2,3,2. Each dance was won by a majority of first place marks except the swing and this Andrew & Amy won by 13 “2nd or better” scores to Shane & Shannon’s 10. This was a good result from Andrew & Amy. Andrew suffered a “costume malfunction” in the first dance of the final and really showed his competitive experience by still managing a strong performance throughout the final. In 3rd place were Dymytrii Goncharov & Veronika Shapar 3,3,3,3,4. 4th Gene & Elena Bersten 4,4,4,4,3; 5th Roberto Fernandez & Laura Panameno 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Brad & Tania Montagnese 6,6,6,6,6.

There seemed to be 3 couples in contention for the Open Pro Latin, at least in the judges’ eyes and those 3 shared most of the first places. In the end, the win went to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova – 1,1,1,1,2. They had the majority of first places in the first 2 dances (9 out of 13 in both). The runners-up were Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk 2,2,2,2,3. Their best scored dances were, as usual, rumba and paso doble. In rumba they shared 5 first places with the winners and in paso they had 6 firsts, more than any other couple, but not a majority. The winners of the jive were Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriela Sabler – 3,3,3,3,1. These 3 couples were all on form last night and all offer something a little bit different to the audience. Personal preference must play a part in this decision. Also taking a couple of first place marks were fourth placed, Andriy & Amanda Besyedin – 4,4,4,4,4. We thought they had an especially strong performance tonight. 5th in all dances went to Miroslav Randelovic & Dakota Pizzi (they were also the winners of the RS the night before). 6th in all went to Dmitry Barov & Sarina Wright. This event also began with a semifinal.

The Open Smooth and Ballroom were both straight final. The Ballroom went to Rudi Homm & Katya Kanevskaya who had the strongest win of the night, losing only 3 first place marks in total from 65. The remaining 6 places in the final were strongly contested. The runners-up were Igor Mikushov & Valeriia Belozerova 2,2,2,2,3. 3rd were Oleksandr Kalenyuk & Olena Ablitsova 4,3,3,3,2. 4th were Florin Vlad & Natalia O’Connor 3,4,4,4,4. The dances were mostly decided in the “3rd or better” column between these 3 couples as none had the required majority of “2nd or better” scores. Igor & Valeriia did take the 3 first places not given to the winners. All 3 couples danced extremely well. We had a slight preference for Oleksandr & Olena who have the softer and more fluid action in some dances, but also watching as opposed to judging can give you a different perspective. 5th Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Alexie Alekseev & Ekaterina Derevleva 6,6,6,6,6; 7th Oleg & Mishka Teleha 7,7,7,7,7.

Another strong win came in the Smooth with Voldymir Barabash & Yulia Rudenko taking all dances and also losing only 6 first places in total. The contest was definitely for second place and this was decided by a “rule 11” tiebreak. Coming out on top were Dmytro Pohybil & Alona Kushnir 2,3,2,3 over Pavel Lebedev & Ekaterina Romashkina 3,2,3,2. 4th Mykhailo Azarov & Anastasia Kuzmich 4,4,4,4; 5th Dymytri Krasnyanskiy & Esther Francis 5,5,5,5; 6th Joseph & Madalina Lettig 6,6,6,6.

Shane & Shannon Jensen gave a stirring performance of “Your Song” to win the Showdance division. They received 10 out of 11 first place marks. Only judge, Katusha Demidova, awarded them a second place. Marcin Zaprawa & Aleksandra Jurga were 2nd with a very dark piece that seemed to be about a man’s relationship with whiskey and the Lettigs were 3rd.

During the evening competition there were 2 performances by Swing dancers, Benji Schwimmer & Cameo Cross and during the banquet dinner a Colombian salsa troupe performed 3 routines.

Congrats to Igor & Polina and their team on another successful Platinum Dancesport!

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