In the afternoon there were the Pro/Am Ballroom Scholarships and Championships.
For the professionals, the only remaining National Championships to be decided today were the American 9-Dance and International 10-Dance.
Many of the top couples from the National Championships were missing from the US Open Professional Championships, and few overseas and Canadian couples were spotted. However, the events did both start with a quarter-final round.
In the Ballroom final seven couples were called back. The winner of this Open To the World Ballroom event was Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova who won all dances with the majority of firsts in all dances. Second also in all dances was awarded to Maksyn Savytskyi & Polina Riabovil, third went to Andrii Mykhailov & Ekaterina Popova, and in fourth position were Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli. Fifth overall but not in all dances was awarded to Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna with these marks 5,5,5,5,6. Sixth place was a tie between two couples that had to be broken down by a (Rule 10) decision, in the end Oreste Alitto & Zhenia Casanave 6,6,6,7,7 with a total of 32 points placed sixth. And Dan Malov & Anna Bohachova took seventh 7,7,7,6,5, also with 32 points total.
The Open to the World Latin was also missing some of US best and here too the winners Pavel Zvychaynyy & Polina Teleshova won all dances with a majority of firsts. Second was awarded to Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk, and third was Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova. Nikolai Tarasov & Sarah Nolan were fourth in all dances, fifth overall was Andrii Voloshko & Kateryna Kyrylenko 5,5,5,6,5, and sixth went to Oleksandr & Kateryna Kamniev 6,6,6,5,6.
Third overall in the Open A Championship went to Tessa Kolaczenko w/Artur Kozun 4,4,3,3,3, Tessa did not compete in the National event. Jenny Thompson w/Alexander Voskalchuk placed fourth overall in the open Championship 3,3,4,4,4, in the National she did not place as high she was fifth in all dances. Fifth in the Open Championship went to Jen Mo w/Karlis Treijs and she was fifth in all dances in the Nationals Jen was awarded seventh overall 7,6,7,6,7. Laura Kamper w/ Clive Phillips was sixth in all dances in the Open Championship she did not do as well in the National, she did not make this final.
Cathy Dorego w/Andrii Mykhailov placed fifth in the Open B Ballroom Championship, and she did enter the Nationals but was unable to make the final in this challenge. Sixth overall in the Open and National events was awarded to Meredith Kaplan w/Rudy Homm. In the Open she got these marks 6,5,6,6,5, and in the Nationals 5,6,6,6,6.
In this Open C Ballroom event there was a tie for sixth and seventh place between Yu Ping Ting w/Leonid Burlo and Antonia Frost w/Riccardo Conte in the end after a (Rule 10) decision Yu Ping got sixth with these marks 6,7,6,6,7, and Antonia took seventh with these marks 7,6,7,7,5. Yu Ping did not enter the National event of this C Division but Antonia did and she placed second overall in this venture 2,3,4,3,1. It was a clear eighth place finish in this Open C event for Michele Davis w/Danila Dudin, Michele did not compete in the National event.
In the Senior 1 US Pro/Am Championships the Open and Nationals went to Llewelyn Nielsen w/Oreste Alito. In the Open Llewelyn placed first with these marks 1,2,2,1,1, and in the Nationals she took all dances. Second place in the Open was awarded to Paige Riffle w/Iaroslav Bieliei 2,1,1,2,3. In the Nationals she took third overall 3,3,3,2,2. Third overall in the Senior 1 Open was awarded to Linda Gill w/Luca Balestra 3,3,3,4. Linda moved up a place in the Nationals, second was awarded to her 2,2,2,3,3.
There was two other couples in this National Senior 1 championships who need to be mentioned. Kathy Stetler w/Alexander Voskalchuk who placed fourth in all dances, but did not compete in the Open, and Sophia Roeth w/Pavel Antanovich who took all sixths in this but was not able to make the final of the Open of this same Senior 1 Division.
Third place in the Open Senior 2 was awarded to Lynn Murrell w/Andrea Zaramella and they were awarded these marks 3,3,2,3,3. Lynn also competed in the National Championship and here she placed second out of six couples 2,2,2,2,1. In fourth place in the Open Championship was Linda Huntress w/Andrea Stefano and they placed fourth in all dances. Linda did not compete in the National event. Fifth place was awarded to Betty Lin w/Andre Faraci 5,6,5,5,5, Betty also did not compete in the Closed National event.
Linda Ciabatoni w/Rudy Homm placed sixth overall on this Senior 2 Open Championship 7,5,7,6,6, and she too did not compete in the National Championship. Seventh place in the Open went to Song Chen w/Mikhail Avdeev 6,7,6,7,7, she also competed in the nationals but was not recalled for the final. And the eighth position in the Open Championship went to Pat Klein w/Marek Gabor and she placed eighth in every dance, she also entered the National Championship, but she was unsuccessful in making that final.
With this the United States Dance Championships came to a conclusion, and two wonderful weekends of dancing in California at the Embassy Ball and in Florida at our US Dance Championships.
Ole! Ole! Ole!
Last night at the US Championships was about the Latin and Smooth Professional Championships.
The Latin particularly was great with so much talent and some fantastic dancers in the final. The Smooth was not far behind with a few shakeups and a few new faces.
It is great to see so many different styles and qualities among these couples. Latin dancing is set for the next push around the world and we like the way it’s heading!
The US Nationals Professional American Smooth Championship was also part of this great mix of fantastic dancing and here we had a few shakeups. The easy winners with a majority of firsts was Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina, who we felt started a little slowly in this final. We might be wrong but Roman in particular dances better when there is someone with a torch behind him. In this final we felt that his first two dances were not as charismatic as they were at the Embassy Ball where the former champions, Nick Cheremukhin and Viktorija, were right behind them. After the foxtrot he seemed to get going but it took two dances without a challenger to make him turn on. (Nick & Viktorija did not compete here in Orlando).
Third went to Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasiia Zhuchenko 3,4,3,3. This was a well-deserved move for this couple. Oleksiy for us is possibly the best man dancer in this group and although Anastasiia could be a little more external in her performance so that we can see and feel what she is doing a little more, everything seems to be falling into place for this couple. We honestly can see them challenging the very top. They are not afraid to experiment and they are also not afraid to challenge, so great things can actually happen with this partnership and we look forward to seeing more of them.
In fifth place were Yana & Tykhon Zhyvkov who placed fifth in all dances. Always a favorite couple of ours but tonight sporting what we thought to be a non-complementary dress for their performance, in color and in design was. We are not blaming the dress here because the dress did not go out there on its own, but it is nice to have a costume that compliments your every move “and this was not it!”
Second in this heat went to Oreste Alito & Zhenia Casnave. Moving up to third place due to a penalty were Mykhailo Anufriiev & Anna Vietrynska. Moving down to fourth place due to a penalty were Anton Silantev & Olga Akopova, and in fifth place were Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva.
(The initial announcement of the result in this category did NOT take into account the penalty)
Tonight we look forward to the US Nine and Ten dance and the Open to the World Pro/Am Ballroom, this will be the last day of competition here at the US Championships.
Let’s Face The Music And Dance!
There were two important retirements from the Ballroom competitive world last night at the US Championships.
For the final dance Iaroslav & Lillia chose the old but popular tune “Let’s Face The Music And Dance,” So as the song says “while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance, let’s Face The Music And Dance.”
These two couples just mentioned totally faced the music at this US Championships, Andre & Natalie just recently had taken a big punch and were steps away from being unseated as the best Rhythm dancers in the land and Iaroslav & Lillia faced the same music, with the new partnership of Valerio Colantoni & Anna Demidova who just recently got together and almost immediately won the Open British Championship and now, last night, the US National Ballroom Championship.
Second in all dances and consuming the majority of firsts that Paramonovs lost were Francesco Arietta & Jessa Briones, the challengers. Francesco & Jessa were perfectly groomed and looked totally ready for the challenge. Unfortunately, their new partnership lacked the experience and impact of their counterparts. Their performance was still a little green around the edges but if one looks you can see the tremendous amount of talent that will unleash. As time goes by this couple will be unstoppable. Congratulations to them in putting up such a terrific fight even though experience was not on their side.
Fourth overall in this excellent final was awarded to Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasiia Zhuchenko who took fourth in three dances and fifth in the bolero and mambo. Oleksiy for us continues to perhaps be the best man on the floor but their partnership still has to gel a bit. Sometimes their communication is not on the same page, but this might be because they work on nine dances something that is not usual at this level of competition and it probably takes a lot more than just time to do these 9 dance successfully.
“Soon, we’ll be without the moon, hummin’ a different tune and then. There may be teardrops to shed, so while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance. Let’s face the music and dance” The US National Professional Latin Show Dance Championship also ran on this excellent evening of professional dancing. And here, Casey & Kayci True faced the music, cape and whip in hand, giving us a paso doble medley showcasing everything including his use of a whip and a cape. This must have moved the judges in their seats, because they awarded them 7 first place marks and 8 second place marks securing an easy win for them.
Fourth place overall was awarded to Kelvin Ong & Masha Kozobrod with 26 points. Fifth was awarded to Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova with 34 points, and sixth place went to Miroslav Randelovic & Dakota Pizzi who not only did a dance number but who did quite a few overhead lifts, we figured this might go down well with the judges but we were wrong in this case they apparently wanted more dancing on the floor, Miroslav & Dakoda got a whopping 35 points for this effort.
Trevor & Emily Guthrie were awarded seventh position, and here was clear with 12 sixth or better marks they would be 7th overall leaving eighth place to Mykhaylo Smagin & Melanie Weiler who had 8 seven or better marks.
Second in this excellent Pro/Am heat of cabaret went to Jake Mazhar w/Yuliya Besarab. They stole 2 first place marks from the winners but had to rely on 12 third or better marks to hold on to their second place standing. Third was Judith Spivey w/Mykhailo Azarov, this lady only manged to steal one first from the Sophia & Victor and had to depend on 9 fourth or better marks to place third overall. Fourth went to Akvile Bear w/Alexis Romero with 8 fourth or better marks.
It was quite close between Robert Haworth w/Rachel Sayotovich and Martina DiPasquale w/ Roman Chagay for fifth and sixth place. Robert w/Rachel was awarded fifth with 35 points on his scorecard leaving Martina w/Roman holding sixth place with 37 points (remember the closer to 1 the better placement). We must also mention what an incredible reception Robert got from the audience when he was finished, he obviously has quite a following among the crowd.
Seventh position was awarded to Christian Graff w/Maria Tsorokean with eight, sixth or better marks. And in eighth place was Mohammed Khudair w/Rebekah Tate, and they got 15 eight or better marks.
Yesterday the daytime session was Latin day in the Pro/Am field and it carried into the “midnight sun,” finals were run at the end of the late afternoon.
Second in this heat and for us maybe the best lady, although definitely quieter than the winner, was Ariel Xu w/Daniel Hustiuc, and she won the paso doble but placed second in the other four dances. Earlier in the day, the result was the same for these 2 ladies in the US National Championship except that here Ariel won the rumba and not the paso.
Third in all dances was awarded to Olga Onischuk w/ Gunnar Gunnarsson (from England). Olga of course did not dance in the national event. Fourth also in all dances went to Kaylee Schuwarz w/Evgenii Grytsak. Kaylee placed 6th in the US National. Lori Ebinger w/Tabish Romario was awarded fifth in all, Mia Senzatimore w/Alexander Chudin placed fifth and Sara Rose Magley w/Andrey Kitsun took seventh place. None of the last 3 ladies competed in the National event.
Sophia D’Angelo took second overall in this Open To The World C Championship, by placing second in three dances, fourth in the cha cha, and third in the paso doble. In the National Sophia did slightly better, she still placed second overall but this time she placed second in four dances and third in the rumba. Third place in the Open was awarded to Kimberly Bottini w/Aleksandar Vukosavljevic with these marks 2,4,4,2,4, and in the nationals she also placed third but with worse marks, here they are 3,3,2,4,4.
Fourth overall in this Open Latin event was awarded to Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev 6,6,3,5,3. She also placed fourth in the Nationals but with more favorable marks 4,4,4,3,3. Izabel Collins w/Mykyta Serdyuk took fifth position 3,3,5,7,6, in the Open. Izabell entered but was not able to make the finals in the National event. Sixth in this same open event went to Gisa Dilorio w/Stefano Placidi, 5,5,6,4,5. Gisa did not enter the national event. Seventh in the Open was Marina Svyatets w/Vladimir Karpov 7,7,7,6,7. She was also sixth in the Nationals with these marks 5,6,6,6,6. We must point out that if you notice the Open in this C division was a seven-couple final and the Nationals was a six-couple final.
There is one more lady we should mention that danced in the National event but did not dance the open - Yingna Nan w/Dymytrii Goncharov it is important because in the National she placed third overall 3,3,4,4,3 - as you can see she was very close to the top in quite a few dances.
Nora Fox w/Plamen Danilov placed in both the Open and Nationals Senior 2 Pro/Am Latin Championships. In the Open to the World, Nora won all dances with the majority of firsts in three out of the five dances, in the samba and the rumba Nora had to rely on second or better marks to win. In the National Championship Senior 2 Nora took second in all dances.
Toni Mullins w/Tomasz Wlodarski placed fifth overall in the Open Senior 2 Championship 5,5,4,5,4. Toni did not participate in the National Championship. Diana Knight w/Nikolai Shpakov was awarded sixth place in the Open Championship 6,6,5,6,6, she faired a lot better in the National Championship where she placed fourth overall 3,4,3,4,4. Seventh overall in the Open went to Barbara Cheney w/Vlad Astafiev 7,7,7,7,8, Barbara was also seventh in all dances in the National Championship. In eighth position in the Open Senior 2 Championship was Joseph Hubchenko w/Denis Rivera 8,8,8,8,7.
Susan Tunick w/ Nikolay Voronovich did not enter the Open Senior 2 Pro/Am Latin Championship but did enter the National and here she won all dances over Nora Fox who as we mentioned earlier placed second in this same championship. Another person that participated in the nationals but did not enter the Open to the world event was Joan Endres w/Gene Bersten and they placed sixth overall 6,6,6,6,5.
With this we concluded the fourth day of the United States Dance Championships, we look forward to the National Professional Latin and Smooth tonight and tomorrow all the open events as well as the Pro/Am Ballroom Championships.
Great Expectations and the Goblet of Fire!
Last night at the USDC there were great expectations concerning the US Open Professional Cabaret, and the couples totally delivered.
Six couples were in this final and all couples gave excellent performances. As we sat there in amazement seeing all this impossible maneuvers like a magic show or a spell, we just wondered if they were competing for the US Championship or a “Goblet of Fire.”
In this US “Goblet of Fire” Professional Cabaret three excellent couples fought it out to become the US Cabaret Champions, it was beautiful to see so much talent gathered in just one place. Many of the programs we had seen in the past, but the majority were executed perfectly and we are sure that they left the judges with a terrible burden of where to place each one of these brilliant “magicians” of the art of Cabaret.
It was unimaginable that after Alyenendrov & Maria Tsorokean’s “Roman” number that went first and where Alyenendrov levitated Maria just above his head while he is curling into himself and shaping from one side of his body to the other on the floor and slightly off the floor, while holding her comfortably in the air with one hand, (like a Roman god holding a thunder bolt) you would have thought that was it, that would do it, no one can surpass that!
Our congratulations to these wonderful three couples Shane & Shannon Jensen who placed first with perfect scores, Travis & Jaimee Tuft, who took second place overall losing only 4 second place marks that all went to Alyenendrov & Maria Tsorokean who took third overall, dancing perfection is the word here today.
Wednesday in the land of the midnight sun the Pro-Am US Open Championships continued with the Smooth style and we have to say that this year’s Smooth Championships can totally be considered part of the “Goblet of Fire” especially the A category where more than one of the excellent young ladies participating could have easily taken first and they certainly did.
Alexis Salapatek w/ Stefan Ciubotaru placed fifth in all dances in this Open A event, but in the National they only manage to placed 6th overall 5,5,6,7. Elizabeth Cuevas w/ Mayo Alanen took sixth place overall 7,6,6,6, in the Open Event and did not compete in the National event. Seventh position overall in the Open To The World A Smooth event was awarded to Mackenzie Robbins w/ Volodymyr Barabash 6,7,7,7, this lady did compete in the National Championship and here she moved up to fifth position with these marks 6,6,5,5.
There was a lady that competed in both the Open to the world and the National Smooth Championships but only made the final in the National, this was Maxahna Brinkmeyer w/Danas Jaksevicius. In this National Championship Maxahna placed seventh overall 7,7,7,6.
In the Open B event third place overall was awarded to Kelly Prisco w/ Paolo Di Lorenzo 3,3,4,3, this lady was absent in the National event. In this same Open B event Nannel Wray w/ Enzo Zappia took fourth overall 4,4,3,5, and in the National event she placed sixth overall 7,6,6,6. Thara Salamone w/ Jim Maranto was fifth in the Open 5,6,5,4, but in the National they were eighth in all dances.
Natalia Zavodchikov w/Dmitry Demidov was sixth overall in the Open B Smooth Scholarship 6,5,6,6. Unfortunately they did not make the National final this time around . Last but not least, in seventh position in the Open B was to Kristine Buettner w/Ivan Markelov and she was seventh in all dances and did not compete in the National B event.
There were other ladies who did not do both events - Kimberly Bottini w/Aleksandar Vukosavjevics did not compete in the Open Championships but placed fifth in all dances in the National Championship. Same for for Mag Retelewski w/ Adrian Dydynski who also did not compete in the Open Championship - she placed seventh overall 6,7,7,7 in the National.
Third in the Open C Championships in all dances went to Nichelle Kennedy w/Aleks Nashev. She also placed third in all dances in the National event. Fourth in all dances in the Open C Championship was awarded to Gail Komar w/Nikolai Pilipenchuk, same but not all dances were given to her in the National Championship, in the Nationals she was awarded 5th in the Viennese Waltz. Fifth overall in the Open went to Janice Gonzalez w/Alexander Vukosavljevics 5,5,5,6. In the Nationals things were a little different, here she placed sixth in all dances. Sixth place in the Open championship went to Natalia Zavodchikov w/Dmitry Demidov but not in all dances she took fifth in the Viennese Waltz. In the National Championship Natalia took eighth place in all dances.
As in the other categories there were a few C division competitors that did not contest the Open Championships. In the C national division we had Natasha Copeland w/Vladislav Robatsenko who placed fifth overall in the National C Smooth Championships 5,5,5,4. We also had Amy Brewer w/Gunnar Sverrisson and they did compete in both championships but only made the final of the National Championship and here they placed seventh in all dances.
In the National Senior 1 event Lisa Lowery w/Artem Merenkov took fourth overall 4,4,5,4. Lisa did enter the Open but did not make the final round of competition. Sixth in this same National category was Penelope Fong w/Slawek Sochacki 5,6,6,5.
Third place in the Senior Open 2 Championship without any rule added was awarded to Cynthia Wolfsohn w/Alex Zagrean. Cynthya competed in the Nationals but was not able to make the final this time around. Fifth position in the Open Senior 2 was awarded to Linda Livingston w/Andrei Padlivakhin 7,5,5,4 on a Rule 10 decision against Karen Scott as we mentioned earlier. Sixth place on another Rule 10 decision 6,6,6,5 was awarded to Annete Burden w/ Tony Scheppler, Annete did not compete in the National championship. Seventh place after a Rule 10 was awarded to Jeanie La Favor w/Igor Afonkin 5,4,7,7, giving her 23 points tying with Annete Burden in this Open Senior 2 Championship, but as you read earlier Annete took sixth and Jeanie placed seventh. Without a ruling of any kind Isabella Berstein w/Jim Maranto took eighth in all dances.
“Crazy Mambo in the Land of the Midnight Sun”
Last “night” was the culmination of all the US National and Open to the World Pro/Am Championships in the Rhythm division and it was also the Pro/Am Mambo night.
Orlando must truly be the “land of the midnight sun” as the “afternoon” session concluded after 10:30 PM
In the mambo seven couples competed for the chance to become US Pro/Am Mambo Champion. But for us “it was all about the boys!” Two of the boys competing in this mambo championship, had great feel for this dance and also interesting choreography, to say the least
With the exception of the boys mentioned overall, many of the routines left lots to be desired in more than one way, and with two expert Invigilators making sure that all couples stayed to the rules of the Mambo Championship game, nothing passed their spying eyes and when all was said and done many competitors broke the music time limit and so many got penalty points. The rules say “The music for each round should be approximately 1:15 to 1:45 seconds. The time starts when the music starts.” And label as rule #2 it also said that “All finalist will dance a solo to the music of their choice, (not to exceed 1:45 seconds) prior to the final round. Another prominent rule on the rule list was rule #4 where they say “There are No Lifts Allowed.”
The problems began with Chasity Smith w/ Eddie Ares who apparently on the first announcement of the awards also broke the 1:45 time allowed for their solo, and so a one-place penalty was awarded making them take fourth place. The next couple that on that first announcement placed third Michael Butler w/ Oxana Kashmina also had a music problem and so they too lost a place. In second place were Adrian Kaiser w/ Evgeniia Elcoro who were also penalized because they broke rule number 4 “There are NO Lifts allowed.” And so the original winner ended up being Zaida Soroka w/ Andy Bradfield.
This was all okay because we understand that couples have to enter with the understanding that this rules are all there and that they must obey them. The judges actually placed the couples in the following order – 1st Kaiser/Elcoro; 2nd Butler/Kashkina; 3rd Smith/Ares; 4th Soroka/Bradfield. However, with the first 3 couples losing a place each, Soroka/Bradfield as the highest placed couple without a penalty, were declared the winners. Everyone clear so far?
Now on to the more “normal” divisions – the US National and Open to the World Open Scholarships. The USDC offers two divisions here, US National (that apparently include Canadian competitors) and Open to the World. In many cases but not all, the results from the Open to the World divisions mirror those in the National.
The B Division also had some variations in the results as not all contestants danced in both divisions. In the National Championship the winner was Chastity Smith w/ Eddie Ares and Chastity won all 5 dances. The runner-up, once again in all dances, was Mariana Boneo w/ Vlad Kosarev. 3rd in all dances was Juli Wolf w/ Gene Bersten. None of these top 3 ladies competed in the Open to the World. Andi Wolff w/ Decho Kraev placed 4th, 6,5,4,4,4. 5th Jill Winters-Bougard w/ Grigol Kranz 5,4,6,6,5; 6th Beatriz Colon w/ Hyak Balasanyan 4,6,5,7,7; 7th Mag Retelewski w/ Aaron DeSoto 7,8,7,5,6; 8th Thara Salamone w/ Jim Maranto 8,7,8,8,8.
In the C Divisions the first 3 places in both the National and Open Championships fell to the same 3 ladies. Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev won both divisions, Louise Shah w/ Andrew Escolme was runner-up in both and Janice Gonzalez w/ Alexandr Vukosavljevic was 3rd in both. The actual scores were a little different. In the National, Nichelle placed 1,1,2,1,1 and in the Open she won all dances. Louise placed 2,2,1,2,2 in the National and 2,3,2,2,2 in the World. Janice placed 4,5,4,3,3 in the National and 3,2,4,3,3 in the Open. Congratulations to all three of these ladies.
Fourth place in the National division went to Shari Oxman w/ Hyak Balasanyan 5,5,4,3,4; 5th Judith Spivey w/ Zhylenko 3,3,6,5,5; 6th Sandy Buckholz w/ Toshko Kondov 6,6,5,6,6.
Finally in the S2 divisions we saw the same champion crowned in both the National and Open and this was Janet Bruttell w/ Dmitry Zavialov. Janet won all dances in the National and placed 1,2,1,2,3 in the Open.
Last night we also saw the first of the professional divisions. The first National Title to be decided was the Theatre Arts Division. This event is in a way a “throwback” to the days when the “Theatre Arts” division had 2 dances – a compulsory dance where all couples danced at the same time to a pre-decided musical selection. The top 6 from this were then invited to perform a solo piece of their choice. Nowadays this division has been split into 2 separate competitions – the compulsory dance, now known as the Theatre Arts and the solo, now called the Cabaret.
Jang & Adele Don were 3rd. 4th Zachary Pohl & Ariel Freilich; 5th Jay Holmes & Andrea Rupley; 6th Devon McClish & Brooke Mortimer; 7th Daniel Reichert & Kristina Snitsar.
So all in all a good first 2 days for the USDC, today more National Championships and Open championships will be decided. Stay tuned for more!