Eastern US Dancesport Championships 2023

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Eastern Moves to Park Plaza

This year, Mark Nocera’s Eastern US Dancesport Championships moved to the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in central Boston with its glorious traditional ballroom.

The main competitive events in the Amateur and Professional divisions of the Championship were spread over Friday and Saturday nights. Both nights were packed full with great dancing.

Beginning on Friday night, the largest of the feature events was the Open Amateur Latin that began with a quarter-final round. Austin Joson & Liza Lakovitsky were the definite winners taking 40 of a possible 44 first places. We really like this new partnership, they really seem to enjoy dancing with each other and it comes across to the audience. Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze were the comfortable runners-up taking those 4 first places and clear majorities of seconds in all dances. Max & Nicole have really matured in their dancing this past year and have added subtlety to their power-packed performance. Dave Firestein & Kennedy Eaton were clearly 3rd with 3rd in all 5 dances. We are equally impressed with the “younger” Firestein partnership. Kennedy is a charming dancer. 4th Emil Martirosyan & Eva Tulchinsky 5,4,4,4,4; 5th Sergey Pirozhkov & Dasha Zhalo 4,5,5,5,5; 6th Sandu Babira & Emmy Chladek (Canada) 6,6,6,6,6,6.

The two Open Professional divisions were small but interesting. Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin were the judges’ clear choice in the Open Pro Rhythm – taking 64 of the 65 available first places. They had a very good night indeed and the immediate future of the Pro Rhythm division will be interesting to say the least. Also dancing very strongly on this night were Ivan Kudashev & Ksenia Sokolova who were 2nd in all dances and took that lonely first place in the cha cha (incidentally this came from Diana McDonald). Roger Romero & Arismel Naya were 3rd in all dances. We really like their “authentic” style and in mambo felt they could have placed 2nd. 4th Donovan Kirrane & Olga Goncharova 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Jose Zuquilanda & Annie Rockhill 5,5,5,5,5.

Only 2 couples entered the Pro Ballroom, but both couples were on form and they gave us a surprisingly close contest. The winners in all dances were Andrii Mykhailov & Ekaterina Popova over Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley. The waltz was extremely close with Andriy & Ekaterina taking it 7 firsts to 6. At 8 firsts to 5, the foxtrot was also quite close. For some lighthearted relief, the couples switched partners during the VW with Ekaterina leading Mariko and Andrii leading Nazar!

This was a very successful competition for Travis & Jaimee Tuft who won both the Pro Cabaret and Pro Showdance in Friday and the Open Smooth on Saturday. The Showdance had 6 contenders. Travis & Jaimee took 7 first places from the nine judges in the Showdance. Andrey Kitsun & Nicole Prosser were the runners-up and Roger Romero & Arismel Naya were 3rd.

In the Pro Smooth they lost only one first place mark in the whole event. Dave Hannigan & Stephanie Betts were 2nd in all dances and took that one first place in the tango. 3rd Ihor Chibishev & Diana Zhosan 3,3,3,4; 4th Alexander Romanov & Anna Blagodyreva 4,4,4,3; 5th Christian Lightner & Kia Kenney 5,5,5,5; 6th Donovan Kirrane & Olga Goncharova 6,6,6,6.

Perhaps the best event of the whole competition was the Open Amateur Ballroom that attracted some very high-profile couples. After 2 rounds, Nikita Druzhynin & Virginie Primeau (Canada) who had just placed in the final of the UK Championships, were the winners in the Open Amateur Ballroom. They won all 5 dances with a majority of first places. Danylo Dobrovolskyi & Anastasiia Malovana were quite close behind the Canadians as they were also at Ohio last year. They were 2nd in all 5 dances - tango and foxtrot were their best-scored dances. Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova were 3rd 3,3,4,3,3. 4th and 5th places were decided by a tie-break. 4th Alieksandr Lavrov & Vilhelmina Lavrov 4,4,5,5,4 and 5th Dennis Matveev & Anna Jonczyk 5,5,3,4,5. 6th place went to Arthur Nabok & Tais Zhukova 6,6,6,6,6.

The Pro Latin began as a semifinal. In the end it was a comfortable win for Andriy Besyedin & Amanda Besyedin who won all 5 dances with the majority of first places. Andrey Kitsun & Nicole Prosser were the runners-up and once again this was in all dances. Their best scored dances were samba and jive where they received 4 first places in each. 3rd Mikhail Kolosov & Elina Semka 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Giovanni D`Arpino & Nicole Heisler 5,4,4,6,5; 5th Kelvin Ong & Masha Kozobrod 6,5,6,4,4; 6th Karls Aniscenko & Dayana Nikon 4,6,5,5,6.

As has been traditional in the recent years of Eastern, Saturday included an Amateur Team Match. This year the Canadian Team, captained by Christiane Primeau, were the winners.

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