Atlanta Open 2104

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“And the Judges were (almost) Unanimous!”
Atlanta Saturday!        

Well not exactly :)  But close.

In a rare occurrence, the winners of all 4 professional divisions won almost every dance of their respective categories with the majority of 1st places.  So congratulations to Ivan Mulyavka & Loreta Kriksciukaiyte (Latin), Travis & Jaimee Tuft (Smooth), Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab (Ballroom) and Andre & Natlalie Paramonov (Rhythm).  The only exception was the Ballroom where Sergey & Yuliya lost the waltz to runners-up, Martin & Liene Reinbold.  Sergey & Yuliya still had more 1st places in that dance, but not the majority and strangely, to us, they had some 6th placements in this dance.
AO-IvanRunners up in the Latin, all dances, were Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets.  Their closest dance to the winners was jive, where they had 6 first places to Ivan & Loreta’s 8.  Sergey & Yuliya were 3rd in all dances and we thought this was some of the best Latin work we have seen from this consummate 10-Dance couple.  With 4,4,4,5,5, SergeyKorshunov & Michelle Hafle took 4th, 4,4,4,5,5, Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina were 5th, 5,5,5,4,4 and Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti were 6th.

"It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance." Travis & Jaimee were well clear in the Smooth, based on the judges’ scores.  The runners-up were Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sidnjova and they certainly had their supporters in the room with their powerful style of Smooth dancing.  Valdimir & Vera Kosarev were 3rd in all dances and their scores from the judges ran the gamut of 1st to 6th in all dances.  Stephen Smyth & Viktorija Kleyman took 4th in all dances and in a reverse of the RS results, Ben & Cheryl Seifert moved ahead of Dennis Woods & Amber Reich although the two couples tied in the waltz.

AO-AndreAndre & Natalie had strong majorities in all dances.  The closest race came in the mambo, but they still had 9 first places to the 4 of the runners-up, Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakhova who were 2nd in all dances.  We found the remaining places a little hard to call, but here is how it worked out.  Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyalkova (4,4,3,3,3);  Shane & Shannon Jensen (3,3,4,4,4); Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth (5,5,5,5,5);  Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov (6,7,6,6,6);  Stephen Smyth & Viktoriya Kleyman (7,6,7,7,7). Despite losing the waltz on ‘2nd or better’ scores, Sergey & Yulia came back strongly and had large majorities in the other 4 dances.  We agree with the judges that Martin & Liene’s best dance is the waltz and for us they were clearly unchallenged as the runners-up.  The judges’ scores were very mixed for the remainder of the couples who finished in the following order:  Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Kazukhina (4,3,4,3,3);  Gabor Seres & Mariya Vysotskaya (3,5,3,4,5);  Vladimir Triazin & Alicia Gruttadauria (5,4,5,5,4);  Dmitry Solomakha & Gabriele Sevillano (6,6,6,6,6).
Watch out for reports by Mark Brock (Rhythm), Shirley Johnson (Latin) and Pat Traymore (Smooth) all coming soon to Dance Beat.

"People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose. I was chosen to be a dancer, and with that, you live all your life." AO-CabThe last event of the competition was the Pro Showdance and Shane & Shannon Jensen wowed the crowd and the judges to take this division with 11 first places out of the fifteen.  Andre & Natalie Paramonov took 2nd and Travis & Jaimee Tuft, 3rd. During the day it was international day for the pro-ams.  In the ballroom, the B was the largest division and Jill Bradford w/ Gert Roslender won all 5 dances.  2nd went to Brynda Insely w/ Martin Reinbold again in all dances, and 3rd in all was Noriko Keirman w/ Eric Pali.  Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia won all dances in tAO-PABallhe C, followed by Rick Brooks w/ Shalene Archer (2,3,2,3,4) and Jennifer Donnell w/ Martin Reinbold (4,2,3,4,2).  There were only 2 contestants in the A and it went to Galina Livitina w/ Jari Muller (1,2,1,1,1) over Lauren Klaus w/ Ben Ermis (2,1,2,2,2).  Galina won the Best of the Best Challenge. In the Latin Open Scholarships it was a good day for teacher, Clement Joly whose students took 2 of the divisions – AO-ALatDasha Hemrick (A) and Mirra Blinova (B).  Both ladies won all dances and were both very impressive.  2nd in the A was Maria Seragou w/ Dimitrios Damalas and 3rd, Madeline Geiger w/ Enzo Zappia.  In the B Melanie Gold w/ Shandor Shtefil was 2nd and Peter See w/ Olga Kormanovskaya was 3rd.  Suzanne Saperstein w/ Ricky Bentzen took the C division (1,1,2,1,1).  Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia as 2nd, and Barbara Willis w/ Rainier Rics was 3rd. A Hot Night of Rising Stars All 4 styles of Pro Rising Stars were contested last night at Atlanta Open and all gave the judges some tough choices.

"You are unique, and if that is not fultilled, then something has been lost."
The largest and first division on the floor was the Rhythm that began with a semifinal.  This resulted in a fairly comfortable win for Max Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth in all dances.  They had the clear majority of 1st places in all dances except mambo.  The runners-up were last week’s winners from Emerald Ball, Standor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov.  They were 2nd in all dances but received an equal amout of 1st places in the mambo.  Third place went to
AO-RSBallRomney Reyes & Brooke O’Donnell, 3,4,3,3,3.   All three of these couples are from Florida. Next up was the Ballroom and here there were only 3 couples and apparently a very confused judging panel.  All three couples received 1st places in all dances.  The only dance won with a majority was the tango.  The final places were, 1st, Gabor Seres & Mariya Vysotskaya (1T,1,1,2,2T);  2nd, Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Karzukkina AO-RSSmooth(1T,2,2,1,2T);  3rd, Dmitry Sololmakhia & Gabriela Seviliano (3,3,3,3,1). Sergey Barsukov & Maria Sidnjova were easy winners of the RS Smooth.  They lost a total of only 3 first place marks.  Fairly secure and with 2nd in all dances were Stephen Smyth & Viktoriya Kleyman and 3rd in all were Dennis Woods & Amber Reich. The Latin was a strong event and in this Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina were the easy winners of all dances.  With the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores in all dances, Riccado Papi & Sabrina Moretti were the runners-up and taking 3rd in all dances it was Gene & Elena Bersten.
AO-NatalieThe pro-ams danced Rhythm today.  The Open Scholarships were smaller than in the Smooth the day before, but nevertheless, the standard of dance was very high.  The A divisions especially was very strong, bringing out some of the nation’s best.  Taking the top spot was Natalie Crandell w/ Decho Kraev and Natalie won all dances.  2nd in all today was Maria Papakonstantinou w/ John King and 3rd in all, Kia Malone w/ Eddie Rivera.



"To learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing, the principles are the same."


The B had only 2 contestants, but again they were two of the best.  Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika won all dances and 2nd went to Donna Sprano w/ Evgeny Dyachecnko. The C was the largest group and in this Evgeny moved to 1st place with his student, Cathy Fulham (1,1,1,3,1).  2nd spot fell to Quin Bommelje w/ Michael Neil (2,2,2,2,3) and 3rd to Lynn Murrell w/ Peter Perzhu (3,3,3,1,2).
AO-GiovanniGiovanni &
AO-MarianneJolanta won the Best of the Best Challenge. The evening ended with a celebration for Marianne Nicole who turns the grand 60 next week.




AO-DowntownDOWNtown but Upbeat
Atlanta Open 2014 The Atalnta Open got under way yesterday in the beautiful Hyatt Regncy.  This is a great competition venue, situated in the heart of downtown Atlanta and with a wonderful, large ballroom and comfortable accommodations.

"When you do dance, I wish you A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do Nothing but that." Yesterday was Smooth day and it was pro-am Smooth heats all day long.  All three of the Open Scholarships were strong events.  The A was won by Maria Papakonstantinou w/ John King (1,1,1,2).  This lady is relatively new to this style and is certainly improving every time.   We would like to see a little more floor coverage as there is  a lot of stationary material.  2nd today was a former World Pro-Am Champion in this division, Laurie Meer, now dancing with Ian Folker (2,2,2,1).  We could have seen Laurie a little closer in the scoring.  Pamela Bolling w/ Ben Ermis took 3rd (4,3,3,3);  Galina Livitina w/ Jari Muller was 4th (3,4,4,4) and Anita Fong w/ Jorge Morales was 5th.
Lynn Shanahan w/ Darius Mosteika won all dances in the B overtaking Wende Stambaugh w/ Ben Ermis who placed 2,2,3,3 and Donna Sparano w/ Evgeny Dyachenko (3,3,2,2).  In the single dances earlier in the day, the results between these three ladies were more mixed.  Jennifer Donnell w/ Rainier Rics was 4th.
The C was the largest of the 3 open scholarships and in this Lynn Murrell w/ Peter Perzhu was the winner in all dances.  Taking all the 2nds was Carolyn Woodruff w/ Alosha Anatoliy.  With 3,3,3T,4, Amy Hardy w/ Valery Ganiev was 3rd and close behind with 4,4,3T,3, Debra Hendrikson w/ Christian Lange.  Barbara Harris w/ Rainier Rics was 5th (5,5,5,6);  Pat Biggers w/ Timmy Merz was 6th (6,6,7,5) and Radhika Unnithan w/ Yusemi Cruz was 7th (7,7,6,7).
AO-LynnThe Scholarship divisions were used to select the contenders for the Best of The Best Challenges and in the Open division the winners of the B, Lynn Shanahan w/ Darius Mosteika was the overall winner and will represent Atlanta Open in this division at the Ohio Star Ball, Best of the Best finale.

"Wherever a dancer stands is holy ground."

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