Southwest Invitational Dancesport Competition 2023

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D. F. W.

“Where the West begins!”

At this river junction, the US War Department in 1849 established Forth Worth as the Northernmost of a system of forts for protecting the American Frontier after the end of the Mexican-American War. Besides being the country’s largest land locked metropolitan area, Dallas Fort Worth has become a mecca for the urban arts and has one of the largest airports with thousands of passengers passing every day.

But Dallas Fort Worth is also famous for many other things; the infamous crime duo, Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow, were both born in Dallas and so was Barney the most famous dinosaur in the world. But it does not stop there, the Southwestern Invitational Dancesport Competition also takes place every year, bringing people from all over the USA to participate in this exciting, yet fun competition.

Saturday and Sunday were the feature evenings of this competitions. Saturday night was standing room only with the place totally filled to capacity. The Professional Smooth and Showdance were good choices of entertainment this evening, the audience were quite lively and so where the couples.

Travis & Jaimee Tuft won the competition by placing first in all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges in every dance. Although it was an easy win for them on paper, the chatter after the event was finished was that the runners-up, Aleksandar Vukosavljevic & Alexandra Smirnova, were totally on and could have easily won a dance and possibly two. With the exception of the Viennese Waltz we thought the judges very accurate, but we could also see that Aleksandar & Alexandra are totally closing in on this couple and we might see a lot more dissent on future outings from the judges.

Alexander Elsbury & Grace Gallagher were the closest to this due just mentioned in performances and they took third in all dances. Adam Telessy & Viktoria Juhasz were fourth and Trevon Anderson & Cristina Rivera placed fifth.

The ShowDance was the first professional event of Saturday night and although small it was mighty and here too Travis & Jaimee Tuft were in the victory box, winning this event with perfect scores from all judges. Devan & Brooke McClish took second overall with a cabaret performance, some of the lift elements were quite daring even though they could have just done a showdance like Tarvis & Jaimee. Deven & Brooke’s marks were 3,2,3,2,3,2,4.

Third place went to Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova even though they were not present for the award ceremony, we have seen this routine plenty of times and we feel perhaps this was the best we have seen from this couple. Fourth placement went to a very interesting number presented by Sebastian Quinones & Elina Sharipova it was an “Adam’s Family” theme, and it might not have had the dynamics of the top three, but it was very entertaining and well put together.

The Professional Latin and Rhythm were also of great quality, we were a little surprised with some of the placements in the Rhythm, but it totally made it interesting for us.

We were almost certain that Senzo Makhaye & Agnieszka Strojek might take first place home but it was not to be, they were not even second they took third overall on this outing. We thought they danced with a little more energy than usual without losing the character of the Rhythm dances, but we are just one pair of eyes. Senzo & Agnieska took these marks 3,3,3,3,1.

The judges awarded Richard Kaszas & Foteini Pangea first overall 2,1,1,1,3. We thought their work was very clear and easy to understand, but lacked the uniqueness of the Rhythm style. We must also point out that they did not win any of the dances with a full majority of firsts, they relied on seconds or better marks to take the three winning dances. Second in this interesting final was awarded to Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova 1,2,2,2,2. As you can see, the judges were a little divided if not uncertain, they gave this couple first in the cha, and second in the other four dances.

There was a tie for fourth place between Joshua Bradford & Regina Kaszás and Adam Telessy & Vivien Szoke with 22.5 points each. They both had two fifth places, two fourth places and a 4.5 each. In the end after a Rule11 decision Telessy & Vivien were placed fourth 4.5,4,5,5,4, and Joshua & Regina took fifth 4.5,5,4,4,5. And sixth in all dances was awarded to Eyne Palacios & Amanda Merritt.

In the Open Professional Latin Rangel Spirov & Veronika Chernyavska took all five dances with a majority of firsts in all dances. Second overall went to Malachi Osai & Anastasia Hrynnyk 3,2,2,2,4, as you can see second and third place was a lot more fought for, and with the exception of the first two dances, we felt that Mate Hetei & Melinda Papp, could have easily placed second in any dance. Here were their scores for a third place finish 2,4,3,3,2.

Fourth place overall was awarded to Polyhe Mate & Iszlatyi Kinga 4,3,4,4,3; Misha Roberts & Mariia Baikova placed fifth 5,5.5,5,5,6, and Gabor Szuper & Kitti Soos took sixth 6,5.5,6,6,5.

In the Open Professional Ballroom it was an easy win for Igor Mikushov & Valeriia Belozerova who won all dances with a majority of firsst in every dance. Riccardo Conte & Eleonora Filippi took second in all dances and they also managed to steal the most first places from the winning couple especially in the tango where they took 5 first place marks out of the 11 panel of judges. Following in their footsteps, not far behind in third position wwere Alexander Elsbury & Grace Gallagher.

Polyhe Mate & Iszlatyi Kinga took all fourths in this Ballroom competition and Alexys Campos & Vivien Szoke were fifth.

We want to congratulate the organizer Mr. David Kloss for what was a well-run dance competition but always with plenty of entertainment and lots of fun.

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