Winter Open Dancesport Competition 2023

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Winter Open Dancesport Competition - final report

With the cold outside keeping everyone indoors, Winter Open continues on with its Saturday itinerary of pro-am Latin and Smooth events.

Prior to the evening session, everyone was treated to a lovely dinner at the revolving restaurant at the hotel rooftop. We must acknowledge that the organizer’s attention to detail is very much noticed and appreciated: all the little details and the thank you notes.

In the evening, we were treated to some great dancing from Professionals and Amateurs. The Amateur Latin Scholarship, although only a 3 couple final, was electric. The three couples put on a fist class performance for everyone. The energy these couples exuded was electric. The winners were Max Firestein and Nicole Mtchdlidze winning all dances. Second went to Dave Firestein and Kennedy Eaton (22222). Third were Maksym Rodionov and Alexandra Miller from Florida, who earlier also won the U21 Latin. Even though each couple had the same placement in every dance, from our perspective Dave and Kennedy had a great night and could have even taken some dances from Max and

The Professional RS Latin was a four-couple final: first in all Mishiko Bregadze and Alena Knoroshevtseva, second in all - Nazar Zakharchenko and Anastasiia
Rozdabara, third Tilemachos Fatsis and Elisavat Mantani, with Zsolt Katona and Time Potys concluding the final.

The Professional RS Smooth was won by a rule 11. The ultimate winners were Alexander Romanov and Anna Blagodyreva from Texas placing first in Waltz and Tango and losing Foxtrot and V. Waltz to Jonathan Wolfgram and Danyelle Morley who were the runners up. Third in all went to Aleksandar Bonev and Yelena Bonev.

The Professional Open Ballroom was only one couple - Jang and Adele Don, the winners of the Open Professional Smooth from the previous night. We must say it was very nice to watch them in Ballroom. It brought back memories of when this couple used to compete in almost all styles. True professionals and beautiful people!

The Theatrical Cabaret was a great event with four couples dancing their hearts out. The winners with a strong and very committed performance were Brandon Barker and Chelsea Cherie form Ohio. Second went to Gene Bersten and Elena Bersten. Third were Mishiko Bregvadze and Alena Khoroshevtseva. Fourth - Alexander Romanov and Anna Blagodyreva. Great watching the artistic choices of the couples but it comes to theatrical cabaret, taking challenging choreography and making it look seamless, is surely appropriate and appreciated for this category.

The Professional Open Rhythm event was the biggest on the night, with seven couples taking the floor. The winners were Gene and Elena Bersten from Florida (11121). The judges weren’t as unanimous with their choice as their marks varied from first to even a few 4th and 5th places by one of the judges, Ms. Helle Rusholt-Yi. Second with a strong performance was a rather new partnership of Aleksandar Nashev and Evgeniia Elcoro (22212). Still new but very promising. The rest of Winter Open Dancesport Competition the final was very consistent in their placements. Third in all dances went to Richard Kaszas and Foteini Pangea. Fourth Senzo Makhale and Agnieszka Strojek. Fifth - Enoch Evans and Anastasia Gordeeva. Sixth Joshua Bradford and Regina Kaszas. Seventh - Zsolt Katona and Timea Potys.

We were treated to a short dance on presentation by the judges followed by the second half of the professional show, by World Latin Champions Dorin Frecautana and Marina Sergeevna. Simple and clean, beautiful performances with perhaps their final dance, the Rumba being our favorite. But we felt it left the audience wanting more. It was as if their emotional connection wasn’t authentic and a bit empty and they couldn’t capture the audience into their story of dance. But nevertheless a world class performance.

Sunday turned out to be a great kids day. We loved watching the solo stars and the talent that’s growing. There were some wonderful preteen and junior formations with cute and age appropriate numbers. Although many do not stay for this last day of the competition - calling it the kids day, but we feel it is sometimes the best part of the competition, when we can witness the joy, the thirst and excitement of dancing.

With this said, we would like to congratulate Mr. Pocius on his inaugural Winter Open and wish him the best for the future years.

Winter Open Dancesport Competition 2023

Trying to escape the drop of temperatures was not a successful attempt as we arrived at even colder and windier Chicago for the Winter Open Dancesport Championships, organized by Mr. Sid Pocius.

There is always a first, and this was his inaugural year not only running this competition, but running it in Chicago, as it was originally in Indiana. Despite our anticipation of the cold weather following us into the Ballroom, the Summer nights themed nightclub night was hot and bright. We must acknowledge the importance of music choice during competitions and here our DJ, David Innes surely did a fantastic job as we kept wanting to dance with each tune he played.

Friday was all about Pro-Am Rhythm and Ballroom, and although not big in attendance, perhaps due to the new location, the evening turned out to be quite exciting.

With the drop of snowflakes slowly covering Chicago streets with their brilliantly white canvas, we were treated with the professional events and as well as the first part of a great show.

The Professional Rising Star Rhythm was a five-couple final. Easy winners with almost all judges giving them first place marks were couple number 109, Richard Kaszas and Foteini Pangea from TX. Second went to couple 122, Enoch Evans and Anastasia Gordeeva from OH. Third were couple 102, Joshua Bradford and Regina Kaszas from TX. Fourth - number 108, Zsolt Katona and Time Potys. Fifth were couple 101 - Vicco Wojnicki and Elizabethe Grove from IL.

The Open Professional Latin and Open Professional Smooth were both four couple finals but all the couples put their best dance on. Overall winners of the Latin was couple 130, Ron Garber and Klaudia Petriti from FL, with the majority of first places. Their worst dance was the Samba with four out of nine judges giving them second. Easy second with a solid performance was couple 119, Mishiko Bregvadze and Alena Khoroshevsteva from MN. Third was couple number 107, Tilemachos Fatsis and Elisavet Mantani for TX. Fourth - couple 108, Zsolt Katona and Time Posys from CA.

The Open Professional Smooth was won by couple 134, Jang and Adele Don from Florida. What may
have seemed an easy win at first glance wasn’t as true when looking at the marks, as a few of the judges gave them second place marks. Second went to the local favorites, couple 120, Peter Minkov and Yuliia Sorokata. This couple had a great night. Third went to couple 125, Jonathan Wolfgram and Danyelle Morley from MO. Fourth - couple 111, Aleksandar Bonev and Yelena Bonev from IL.

The highlight of the night was the first half of the show by World Professional Latin Champions, Dorin Frecautanu and Marina Sergeevna. Their somewhat traditional choice of music for their cha-cha and samba and their approach to the show, was simple yet great. It’s refreshing to watch just really good dancing without extra gimmicks. A great demonstration of why quality is appreciated and valued.
We’re looking forward to the remaining part of their show dances on Saturday!

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