Emerald Ball 2022

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Ballroom Dazzles the Ballroom!

After a long day of Pro/Am Latin American dancing, concluding the “afternoon” after 8pm, the last night at the Emerald Ball Championships was dazzled by the Open Professional Ballroom.

It started with a quarter-final round. The Professional Rhythm was also a great addition to this evening along with the Open Amateur Latin and the Open Amateur Ballroom. And although it was quite a long evening, finishing in the early morning hours, a number of people stayed in their seats until the awards were sung!

On this wonderful evening of Ballroom dancing all eyes were on Dusan Dragovic & Valeria Dragovic one of England’s most prominent couples, who dazzled the crowd and got plenty of applause even if their faces were not as familiar to many as the runners-up, US Professional Ballroom Champions, Iaroslav Bieliei & Liliia Gladiuk, who took second in every dance. Although we are fans of Iaroslav & Liliia, we have to agree with the judges who awarded Dusan & Valeria a majority of firsts in all dances and with the crowd who showed their appreciation for their soft natural and playful approach to this style.

It was also a great night for Radu Sterban & Xenia Cletova who placed third overall 3,3,3,4,3, and who danced as we have never seen them dance before. Unlike on previous occasions, on this night they seemed to be less studied and more musical and playful. Fourth was awarded to Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova with these marks 4,5,5,5,4. Fifth went to Andrii Mykhailov & Ekaterina Popova who from the judges marks and from the stands looked a little hot and cold 5,4,6,3,6, leaving sixth place overall to Andres End & Veronika End 6,6,4,6,5.

The Open Professional Rhythm also started with a quarter-final round and here Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin had a clean sweep by wining all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges. Second overall went to Francesco Arietta & Jessa Briones who although for us seemed to be in the running for first, on paper they tended to fizzle out according to the judges marks 2,2,2,2,3 as you can see even coming third in the mambo. We were felt bad for Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasiia Zhuchenko who on this night did not challenge as hard as we had expected and only mange to pick up third place overall 3,3,3,3,4.

Speaking of fizzling out we were quite disappointed with Kevin Ubillus & Milagros Lareto. Most people expected them further up the ladder, but from the judges’ perspective they did not push as hard - 4,4,5,4,2, leaving them holding fourth place overall. The interesting part of this final was the new inclusion of a former Latin and Showdance dancers, Ivan Kudashev & Ksenia Sokolova into this very prominent Rhythm final for the first time of their career. It was made even more interesting is the fight for fifth place between them and Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman, and it was clear that it was a major dilemma for the judges because they could not make up their mind tying them with 27 points each. A (Rule10) was used to break this tie making Ryan & Danelle fifth place recipients 5,5,6,6,5 and leaving Ivan & Ksenia with sixth place overall 6,6,4,5,6.

In the Open Amateur Latin it was an easy win for Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze who took all five dances with the majority of firsts in every dance. Second overall on this night went to Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina who placed second in four dances and third in the paso doble. Second in the paso doble and third in the other four dances went to Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman.

Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets for us and for the judges gave a consistent performance and they were awarded fourth place in all dances in this Amateur Latin final. Fifth place went to Kevin Filipczak & Sophia Marriott, and sixth place in all was awarded to Vladimir Timofeev & Evgeniia Florinskaia.

The Open Amateur Ballroom was also a great competition but here 7 couples were called for this final. As you will see by the marks second and first place was fought hard but in the end Aleksandr Riabtsev & Mariia Oblakova took first overall with these marks 3,2,1,1,1, second was awarded to Maksim Berenshteyn & Annika Mugin who placed 1,1,2,3,2. Third overall went to Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova 2,3,3,2,3, fourth in all dances were Arthur Nabok & Tais Zhukova. From fourth place down things got a little more varied, fifth overall went to Danylo Yanchyshyn & Dascha Wright 5,7,6,5,6; sixth were Erik Linder & Shelly Linder 6,5,5,6.5,7, and seventh position was awarded to Nathan Zaytsev & Alisa Bankova 7,6,7,6.5,5.

The marathon daytime session was filled with the pro-am Latin divisions. Here are the results of Open Latin Scholarships.

Open A Latin Scholarship (20 entries)
1. Ran Xu & Daniel Hustiuc (1,2,2,1,1); 2. Anna Brown & Andrey Tarasov (2,1,1,2,2); 3. Irene Caredis & Francesco Bertini (3,3,3,3,3); 4. Joe Peng & Yulia Kuznetsova (4,4,4,4,4); 5. Kaylee Schwarz & Ievgenii Grytsak (6,5,5,5,5); 6. Meera Mehta & Kristijan Burazer (5,6,6,6,6).

Open B Latin Scholarship (22 entries)
1. Deborah Tipley & Paul Richardson (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Tina Broccole & Andrei Kazlouski (2,2,2,4,4 – R10); 3. Joanne Kay-Smith & Richi Lifshitz (3,3,3,2,3 – R10); 4. Lindsey Keatley & Vladislav Robatsenko (4,4,4,3,5); 5. Jacqueline Tarr & Allen Genkin (5,5,5,5,2); 6. Christina Enoch & Nikolay Voronovich (6,6,6,6,6).

Open C Latin Scholarship (25 entries)
1. Deborah Wright & Nikolay Voronovich (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Lynn Magnesen & Tomasz Lewandowski (2,2,2,2,2); 3. Nichelle Kennedy & Aleksandar Nashev (3,3,3,3,3); 4. Kimberly Bottini & Aleksandar Vukosavljevic (4,4,4,4,5); 5. Sophia D'Angelo & Vitalii Proskurin (5,5,5,5,4); 6. Marialisa DeGasperis & Stanislav Kochergin (6,6,6,6,6); 7. Peggy Yiwen Fang & Nikolai Tarasov (7,7,7,7,7).

Open S1 Latin Scholarship (14 entries)
1. Lisa Lowery & Artem Merenkov (1,1,1,1,2); 2. Robyn Shreiber & Viktor Shumylo (2,2,2,2,1); 3. Scott Magnesen & Sabrina Manzi (4,3,3,3,3); 4. Luna Viva & Kristijan Burazer (3,4,4,5,5); 5. Yee-Ping Ching & Andrey Tarasov (5,5,5,6,4); 6. Jennifer Kay & Evgeny Nazarov (6,6,6,4,6).

Open S2 Latin Scholarship (9 entries)
1. Nora Fox & Plamen Danailov (1,1,1,1); 2. Susann Tunick & Nikolay Voronovich (2,2,2,2); 3. Vy Wappel & Oleksiy Pigotskyy (5,3,3,4); 4. Alice Lekht & Igor Derimov (3,4,4,5); 5. Evelyn Lamden & Daniel Vasco (4,5,5,3); 6. Susanne Binder & Giuseppe Incatasciato (6,6,6,6).


“Lively. Radiant. Lush…… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

Two years after the pandemic it is so great to be back at the Emerald Ball at its usual location, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport. So many memories have been created here, so many champions, friends and good times had. This year with over 12 thousand entries the Emerald Ball has returned to its original location and opened its door to dancers from around the USA with great events and great ballroom dancing.

Last night the featured events at the Emerald Ball were the Open Professional Smooth, the Open Professional Latin, Open Professional Theatrical Showdance, the Ballroom Spirit Under 21 Latin qualifier.

The Open Professional Smooth started with a first round of competition and ended up with a very interesting seven-couple final. It must have been very tough for the judges with so many different choices with excellent quality dancing. Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina were the favorites of the night from the start and they proved themselves by winning three dances with perfect scores and missing the grand slam of perfect scores by one mark in the foxtrot where Jonathan Roberts, former US Smooth Champion, awarded them a second. We ourselves agree with the majority and felt that they had a fabulous night especially in the final where they captured the applause of the audience wherever they went.

On this night a secure second position was captured by Travis Tuft & Jaimee Tuft in all dances with also a majority of seconds on their scorecard, and as usual they gave a very secure and convincing performance for all. We must also mention that earlier in the week Travis & Jaimee competed against Shane & Shannon Jensen in the Open Professional Compulsory Theatrical Championship where a song is picked in advance for couples to dance to. In this theatrical event only these two couples competed and they were amazing it was unfortunate that the judges had to pick one and that was Travis & Jaimme leaving Shane & Shannon holding second in this venture. The climax of this event and of the night was when they were done dancing to the already selected tune and after they took their bows they did a double lift where both the men grabbed the ladies by their arms and raised them overhead turning like a carousel and making the audience go wild with screams and applause.

The intense fight came for third place where Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasiia Zhuchenko and Aleksandar Vukosavljevic & Alexandra Smirnova fought hard for this placement, especially Oleksiy & Anastasiia who did not have a “by” and had to dance from the start in the first round of competition. We also have to tip our hats to Oleksiy who also danced Pro/Am Ballroom throughout the afternoon. It was very interesting that this tie had to be broken by a (Rule11) Oleksiy & Anstasiia were placed 4,3,3,4, total of 14 points and Aleksandar & Alexandra also had 14 points 3,4,4,3. On this placement we totally agree with the judges both couples were in excellent form and it could have gone either way, however, after (Rule11) was applied Aleksandar & Alexandra took third and Oleksiy & Anstasiia placed fourth.

Fifth place and super thrilled to be included in the final were Tykhon & Yana Zhyvkov who took fifth in all dances. It was interesting to see how thrilled Tykhon was that he was spotted almost kissing the announcing board when they placed number 304, and as you can see they were able to capture a nice spot in this seven-couple final. Sixth place in all went to Kharyton Khomenko & Anastasiya Khomenko and in seventh place was Volodymyr Barabash & Yulia Rudenco. As you can see this was a stellar final and the audience appreciated it by rewarding all couples with huge applause.

The Smooth was excellent but the Open Professional Latin was right behind with some terrific dancing, especially right at the top with two world class couples fighting for top position - Pavel Zvychaynyy & Polina Teleshova and Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina. We have to say that although we truly enjoy Mykhailov & Anastasiia’s performance, the easy winners last night were Pavel Zvychaynyy & Polina Teleshova who won all dances with a majority of firsts. In looking at the competition we thought it might be closer than that, but it was not to be and they both truly gave a stellar performance in every dance from start to finish and with the exception of the paso doble where Pavel & Polina might have had an edge, we could have seen ether one of these couples holding first.

Comfortably in third place were Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova who took third in all dances and got a majority of third or better placements in all dances. We never doubted for a moment that Artur & Anastasiya were going to come any lower than third and it was proven on paper by the judges’ marks as well. From fourth down to sixth place was where it all could have gone anywhere. Former US Open Professional Smooth runner-up Tatiana Seliverstova danced again, but this time here in the Latin with Nikita Brovko who for us gave an excellent performance complementing Tatiana beautifully every step of the way and managing to capture fourth place in every dance. Fifth and sixth positions for us were quite closed with both couples giving their best. In the end the judges ruled and fifth in every dance was awarded to Nikolai Tarasov & Sarah Nolan, and sixth went to Kostiantyn Samarskyi & Anna Oblakova.

The Open Professional Theatrical Showdance was also held this night and it was well attended with six excellent couples taking to the floor. Here for us there was an intense fight for first place between Shane Jensen & Shannon Jensen and Craig Smith & Andrea Harvey but on paper at the end of the night when they were awarded it was not as close as we thought. Shane & Shannon won with a majority of firsts from the judges with 8 first places out of 11 judges. Craig & Andrea took second and stole 2 first places but not even close to putting them on top. For us both couples did a wonderful job with no faults but we totally can understand the appeal and quality of Shane & Shannon’s program.

Third place in this theatrical heat was awarded to Travis Tuft & Jaimee Tuft, who although for us looked a little tired this evening, still managed to give a great performance to capture third place, we loved this routine and theme and had seen them do it with more gusto and had they done this they could have easily fought for top placement. A well deserving fourth place was awarded to Clifton Sepulveda & Mar Sepulveda with a new routine that was well executed. Fifth place was Zachary Pohl & Ariel Freilich, here we thought the music and the routine was excellent but the costume Ariel wore perhaps did not compliment their program. And sixth went to Nikita Zhukovskyi & Angelina Boiko.

The fourth leg of the Ballroom Spirit Under 21 Latin Tour also took place last night. It started with a 13-couple semifinal and six of the finest under 21 couples in the USA made the final. Kevin Filipczak & Sophia Marriott won all dances and were the fourth couple to be invited to participate in the Grand Final of this tour to be held in July 2022 at the DBDC in Boston. They will have an opportunity to compete for $9,500 in cash prizes and will also received $500.00 towards their travel cost to attend the final in Boston.

Second place in this excellent final went to Maksym Rodionov & Daria Karpukhina, third was Benson Maier & Elisabeth Thompson, fourth was awarded to Artem Pukhalskyi & Veronica Rich, fifth place went to Justin Lujan & Jacqueline Pop, and sixth was Oskar Rybczynski & Zlata Zarkhin.

So far the pro-ams have completed 3 styles and below are the results of the Open Scholarships.

Open A Ballroom Scholarship (9 entries)
1. Courtney Veyrasset & Marek Klepadlo (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Natalie Rezai & Sergey Kiselev (2,2,2,2,2); 3. Agne Naujokas & Martin Reinbold (3,3,4,3,5); 4. Courtney Delmonico & Erik Pali (5,5,3,4,4 – R11); 5. Anvelyn Pi & Dan Malov (4,4,5,5,3 – R11); 6. Alina Sakura & Eugene Bubyr (6,6,6,6,6).

Open B Ballroom Scholarship (15 entries)
1. Natasha Janey & Iaroslav Bieliei (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Aleksandra Grocott & Andrii Mykhailov (2,2,2,3,4); 3. Sabrina Zagolin & Yuriy Kravets (3,3,4,2,2); 4. Dana Miller & Oreste Alitto (4,4,3,4,3); 5. Janet Simsic & Andrea Stefano (5,5,5,5,5); 6. Meredith Kaplan & Rudy Homm (7,6,6,6,7); 7. Wendy Eubank & Mikhail V Avdeev (6,7,7,7,6).

Open B Ballroom Scholarship (20 entries)
1. Jill E Bradford & Andrea Stefano (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Patricia Schneider & Oreste Alitto (2,2,2,2,2); 3. Annie Chan & Cristian Radvan (3,3,3,4); 4. Yuping Ting & Leonid Burlo (4,5,6,4,5); 5. Amy Wang & Victor Yushin (6,6,5,5,3 – R11); 6. Charlene Proctor & Andrey Begunov (5,4,4,6,6 – R11).

Open S1 Ballroom Scholarship (21 entries)
1. Llewelyn Nielsen & Oreste Alitto (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Paige Riffle & Iaroslav Bieliei (2,2,2,2,2); 3. Linda Gill & Luca Balestra (3,3,3,4,5); 4. Mike Brown & Anna Oblakova (4,5,4,3,4); 5. Linda Dillman & Igor Gayenko (5,4,5,5,3); 6. Patty Yu & Valeriu Ursache (6,6,6,6,6).

Open S2 Ballroom Scholarship (10 entries)
1. Monica Lin & Radu Sterban (1,1,1,1); 2. Charlotte Carey & Andrii Mykhailov (2,2,2,2); 3. Maryann Nichols & Mirko Spano (4,4,3,3); 4. Barbara Grossman & Daniel Buhala (3,3,5,7 – R10); 5. Vy Wappel & Oleksiy Pigotskyy (5,5,4,4 – R10); 6. Song Chen & Mikhail V Avdeev (6,6,7,6 – R10); 7. Cathy Chao & Serhiy Averkov (7,7,6,5 – R10).

Open A Smooth Scholarship (8 entries)
1. Lula Callaway & Sergey Barsukov (1,1,1,1); 2. Morgan Wissel & Igor Dogoter (2,2,2,2); Alina Sakura & Adrian Dydynski (3,3,3,3); 4. Diane LaVecchia & Paolo Di Lorenzo (4,4,4,6); Zlata Clark & Kyle Spinder (5,5,5,4); 6. Rebecca Smart & Balint Temesvari (6,6,6,5); 7. Andrew Frame & Tatiana Seliverstova (8,7,7,7); 8. Arun Garg & Joseph Lettig (7,8,8,8).

Open B Smooth Scholarship (22 entries)
1. Celia Chow & Erminio Stefano (1,1,1,1); 2. Patricia Schneider & Slawek Sochacki (2,3,2,2); Olivia Whiteside & Sergey Barsukov (4,5,4,4); 5. Selene Steelman & Travis Tuft (5,4,5,5); 6. Zlata Clark & Kyle Spinder (6,6,6,6).

Open C Smooth Scholarship (24 entries)
1. Sophia D'Angelo & Max Sinitsa (2,1,1,2 – R11); 2. Patricia Schneider & Slawek Sochacki (1,2,2,1 – R11); 3. Nichelle Kennedy & Aleksandar Nashev (3,3,3,3); 4. Inez Inserra & Mayo Alanen (4,4,5,4); 5. Joanne Tatem & Mariusz Zakrzewski (5,5,4,5); 6. Careen Friedland & Nick Cheremukhin (6,6,6,6).

Open S1 Smooth Scholarship (22 entries)
1. Simona Bebi & Nazar Norov (1,1,1,2); 2. Michelle Kirby & Radoslaw Wiatrowski (5,2,2,1); 3. Marguerite Pinard & Ilya Reyzin (2,3,6,3); 4. Lisa Lowery & Artem Merenkov (4,4,3,4); 5. Llewelyn Nielsen & Slawek Sochacki (6,5,4,5 – R10); 6. Helena Kostik & Nikolai Pilipenchuk (3,6,5,6 – R10).

Open S2 Smooth Scholarship (13 entries)
1. Connie Caruso & Kamil Urbaniak (1,1,1,1); 2. Lesley Brookman & Sergey Barsukov (3,2,3,2 – R11); 3. Janet Bruttell & Dmitrii Zavialov (2,3,2,3 – R11); 4. Susan Scott & Shane Jensen (5,4,4,5); 5. Karen Scott & Vladimir Kosarev (7,6,5,4 – R11); 6. Vonnie Lowman & Jim Maranto (4,5,6,7 – R11); 7. Willie Grana & Yuliya Besarab (6,7,7,6).

Open A Rhythm Scholarship (4 entries)
1. Lula Callaway & Nazar Norov (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Brittan Eliezer & Sergiy Samchynskyy (2,2,2,2); 3. Sienna Mae Larson & Nicolas Rodriguez (3,3,3,3,3); 4. Anjel Ortega & Oxana Kashkina (4,4,4,4,4).

Open B Rhythm Scholarship (7 entries)
1. Michael Butler & Oxana Kashkina (1,2,1,1,1); 2. Mariana Boneo & Vladimir Kosarev (2,1,2,2,2); 3. Natalia Zavodchikov & Dmitry Demidov (3,3,3,3,3); 4. Laura Paoletti & Roman Drobotov (4,4,4,4,4); 5. Suanne Summers & Daniel Vasco (5,5,6,6,5); 6. Colleen Herskovits & James Williard (6,6,5,5,6); 7. Angel Brown & Igor Ustymovych (7,7,7,7,7).

Open C Rhythm Scholarship (11 entries)
1. Lynn Magnesen & Tomasz Lewandowski (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Nichelle Kennedy & Aleksandar Nashev (2,2,3,2,3); 3. Marguerite Pinard & Ilya Reyzin (3,3,2,3,2); 4. Natalia Zavodchikov & Dmitry Demidov (4,4,4,5,5); 5. Angela Morrison & Evgeny Dyachenko (5,5,5,4,6); 6. Krista Hughes & Tykhon Zhyvkov (6,6,6,6,4).

Open S1 Rhythm Championship (14 entries)
1. Marguerite Pinard & Ilya Reyzin (1,1,1,1,1); 2. Lisa Lowery & Artem Merenkov (2,2,2,2,2); 3. Karen McDougall & Evgeny Dyachenko (3,4,4,4,3); 4. Sandra MacCarron & Michael Neil (4,3,6,5,4); 5. Scott Magnesen & Sabrina Manzi (8,8,3,3,5); 6. Judith Spivey & Oleksii Zhylenko (5,6,5,7,6); 7. Mimi Feliciano & Ivan Kudashev (7,7,7,6,7); 8. Debbie Clyne & Jeremy Gatlin (6,5,8,8,8).

Open S2 Rhythm Scholarship (7 entries)
1. Karen Scott & Vladimir Kosarev (1,1,2,2 – R11); 2. Janet Bruttell & Dmitrii Zavialov (2,2,1,1 – R11); 3. Evelyn Lamden & Daniel Vasco (3,3,3,3); 4. Andrea Wishnow & Nikolay Voronovich (4,4,4,4); 5. Nadine Kawaguchi & Dmitry Nikolaev (5,5,5,5); 6. Diane Schuman & Gunnar Sverrisson (6,6,6,7); 7. William Landers & Yanna Samkova (7,7,7,6).


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