Platinum Dancesport Classic 2024

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Platinum - a Noble Metal!

Platinum is coveted for its rarity, resilience and versatility.

Its scarcity makes the noble metal exclusive and valuable, while its resistance to corrosion and ability to withstand extreme conditions make it ideal for various industries. If phrases like "platinum status" and "going platinum" are to be believed, the precious metal is the best and baddest in all the land. This year the “Platinum” Dancesport Classic totally lived up to its name with some terrific dancing in the Sunshine State.

This year as always the sun was welcomed by many visitors from out of state, and many come to the Platinum to soak up some sun, compete and have some fun. There were many excellent heats through the week, but Saturday night the professional heats were excellent with many of our US best on the floor.

The Professional Smooth for example brought out some terrific couples. The winners in all dances with perfect scores from the judges were Travis Tuft & Jaimee Tuft, and we too thought they were the best by far with an excellent performance. Second in all dances was also awarded to Volodymyr Barabash & Yulia Rudenco, and they too had a nice performance. At times we find them slightly hard so that might explain some of the third place marks awarded to them, but in general we thought they gave a good performance.

Jang & Adele Don took third overall in this professional Smooth, by placing third in three dances and fourth in the tango. We have to say that although they are fine dancers we had a hard time finding them within the seven couple final on the floor. It was easier for us to find Peter Minkov & Yuliia Sorokata who took fourth overall but were awarded third in the tango. We also nearly always enjoy Peter & Yuliia’s basic elements, giving them contrast to some of the somersaults we are becoming accustomed to from some other competitors. Fifth in all dances was awarded to Dmytro Pohybil & Alona Kushnir, sixth were Anton Chubykala & Josephine Auchterlonie, and seventh went to Dmitry Krasnyanskiy & Esther Frances.

The Professional International Latin was also a terrific heat. Six couples were called for the final and the winners of all dances were Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabrielle Sabler. On this outing we found Pasha & Gabrielle quite improved. We can see that the holiday break did them well with plenty of rehearsal and a new look was sported - a more relaxed and flexible approach that we think will serve them quite well for future outings. Pasha & Gabrielle only got the majority of firsts in their jive and had to rely on seconds or better to win the other dances, but we think this is a good start to a couple that last year was struggling to hold on to their finalist status.

Second in all dances went to Sasha Porozov & Arina Sokolova in this Latin heat, and we have to agree with many of the judges on the fact that this is a very talented partnership. Unfortunately for us, it is still a little uneven and unsettled making us look the other way on some occasions. Third in all dances was awarded to Andrey Kitsun & Nicole Prosser. We also find this couple possessing of some wonderful qualities and talent, but at times they could work less and showcase more finesse. A couple that on this occasion brought us to attention was Ron Garber & Klaudia Petriti who were awarded fourth in all dances and who for us could have been placed a little higher, but perhaps they pushed also a little too hard making some of the judges look somewhere else. Fifth overall went to Tilemachos Fatsis & Elisavet Mantani 5,5,5,5,6, and sixth were Eric Groysman & Nina Mayster 6,6,6,6,5.

Gene Bersten & Elena Bersten won the Open Professional Rhythm overall by placing first in four dances and third in the mambo. We have always enjoyed Gene & Elena. Unfortunately, to us they are not as solid in their performance as they once were. On this occasion they only lost the mambo but they only won the swing with a majority of firsts - that was 7 first place marks out of 13 judges. In the other two dances they won, they had to rely on seconds or better to win. We see a lot of determination on their part to secure their position, but with so many talent running behind they are going to have to double work to get better results, especially in the mambo where they have an obvious gap.

Second in this heat overall but with a majority of firsts in the mambo, were Kevin Ubillus & Milagros Lareto. I don’t think there were many people in the room that did not think they were by far the best in the mambo. Unfortunately for them, their basics in the other four dances sometimes leaves many of us a little cold? Take the swing, where very little swing action can be seen and leaving us with very flat triple steps, perhaps better usage of feet and legs and more body action could be used in the other four dances.

For us the best couple in this Rhythm heat was Roger Romero & Arismel Naya who placed third overall 3,3,3,3,2. They are not quite there yet by all means but we see not only clear potential but great strength in their basic communications. We obviously missed something because we were in the minority feeling that they should have been crowned on this night and look forward to seeing more of this couple and seeing why were so wrong in our prediction this time around.

Fourth in all dances went to Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova; fifth overall was awarded to Israel Borges & Samantha Borges 5,5,5,6,5, and sixth went to Dan Luca & Bianca Popa 6,6,6,5,6.

A five couple final took to the floor in the Open Professional Ballroom and here it was an easy task for Igor & Valeriia Mikushov who won all dances with a majority of firsts and from where we were they were the clears winners as well. Second in all dances went to Riccardo Conte & Eleonora Filippi who also stole the most firsts from Igor & Valeriia. For us as well Riccardo & Eleonora were easily second and with a little more effort could have stolen the tango. However, they still need a stronger performance in the other four dances to surpass Igor & Valeriia.

Florin Vlad & Natalia O'Connor took third in all dances; Ion Postolachi & Diana Postolachi were fourth and Dmytro Roshchupkin & Sanda Lungu placed fifth.

It was perfect scores for Austin Joson & Liza Lakovitsky in the Open Amateur Latin and for us they were by far the best in the group. It was also an easy night for Dave Firestein & Kennedy Eaton who also took all seconds. Oskar Rybczynski & Daniela Koretska were third overall 4,4,3,3,3, and Ihor Horobchenko & Alina Lisova took fourth 3,3,4,4,4. Fifth in all dances went to Alexander Sarkisian & Sofia Vantukh, and sixth was awarded to Alexander Vladimirov & Alissa Vladimirov.

The Pro Cabaret took place on Friday night and only 3 couples entered. Anthony Kantin & Olivia Card were the easy winners and have improved dramatically in the last few months. they received 9 of 11 first places from the panel. Alexey & Kseniia Grinev were 2nd and Alexey & Daria Smirnov were 3rd.

In an emotion-full moment, there was a video tribute to Irina Suvorov who had tragically passed away earlier in the week. We will all miss her incredibly and the tribute written by Sarika Pilipenchuk and read by Gary McDonald over the video made by Fredrick Havez was a a great tribute. The foxtrot in the Open Professional was also dedicated to Irina and danced to the Empress Orchestra's "Deep Purple."

  • Open Professional Rhythm from Platinum Dancesport Classic 2023

    Open Professional Rhythm from Platinum Dancesport 2023

    The Platinum DanceSport Classic Championships was held at the Luxury Hilton Blue Lagoon Miami Hotel on February 9-11th 2023. 

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  • Platinum Dancesport Classic 2023

    The Rhythm of Miami

    Miami is the USA’s center for Latin American heritage, so it was only fitting that the Rhythm style took center stage at this year’s Platinum Dancesport Classic.

    In a marathon night of dancing last night, the Professional Rhythm was undoubtedly the centerpiece of this year’s event and the reason was the long-awaited debut of Andrew Escolme & Asta Sigvaldadottir. Andrew is a former finalist in this division, but Asta, a former US Latin Champion, is new to the genre.

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