Embassy Ball 2014

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Emb14-PerzhuSTheir First World’s!

Last night at Embassy Ball, one couple had the satisfaction of winning their 1st World Title. 

Peter & Alexandra Perzhu of Florida won the NDCA World Professional Smooth Championship taking over from last year’s champions, Slawek Souchaki & Marzena Stachura, who have retired.  The win was not unexpected as Peter & Alexandra have won their last few competitions and they were comfortable winners today with the majority of 1st places in all dances.  

REmb14-Mazenunners-up were Mazen Hamza & Izabellla who had some 1st places in all dances but never enough to threaten the Perzhus.  In fact they had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in only tango needing to rely on “3rd or better” to place 2nd in all 4 dances.  The couple moving up the ladder today were Nick CheremEmb14-Nickukhin & Viktorija who benefited from a Rule 11 tie breaker to take 3rd with 4,3,3,4 over Travis & Jaimee Tuft who were 4th with 3,4,4,3.  We thought Nick & Viktorija had a sensational night and were not at all surprised with their improvement in position.  In fact we were not surprised either by the 2 first places awarded to them by judge, Toni Redpath.  5th spot went to Mickolay Czarnecki & Victoria Malko 5,5,5,5, who are another couple that must surely be close to a breakthrough result.  Closing this truly great final were David & Natalie Shulz 6,6,6,6.  This was a strong placement for David & Natalie as this 6th place in the final was hotly contested.  Among others we noted in the semifinal were Nikolai Pillipenchuk & Natalia Skorikova, Kris Suakjian & Briana Haft and Sergey Shapoval & Ania Tarnowska.  The stage is certainly set for quite a showdown at the US Championships this week.

Bob Long will have the full report on this championship in Dance Beat soon.


AlEmb14-Riccardothough not a world championship, the Pro Latin was a WDC World Ranking event, as was the Ballroom the day before and it certainly attracted some of the world’s best including the current WDC World Champions, Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko from New York.  Riccardo & Yulia had little trouble taking this event losing only 2 first place marks from a total of 75.  During the first round Riccardo aggravated and injury to his leg and left the floor during the paso doble, the audience let out a gasp, but they were back for the jive and danced the rest of the competition apparently without problems.  

Both of those 1st places not awarded toEmb14-Stefano the winners were given to the runners-up, Stefano DiFillipo & Dasha (USA).  Sammy Stopford placed them 1st in rumba and Richard Porter in jive.  Stefano & Dasha easily secured 2nd place in all 5 dances and we at Dance Beat really enjoyed their performance today.  3rd in all dances went to Mirko Rissi & MarEmb14-Mirkoia Ermatchkova (England).  Since turning professional this duo seem to have acquired a new lease on life – for us their performance level and zest have quadrupled.  They had the majority of “3rd or better” scores in all dances except the paso doble.  Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina took 4th in all dances.  In paso doble they had 7 third place marks (1 less than the majority) so were unlucky not to place 3rd in that dance.  5th in all dances fell to Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk (Ukraine).  They received mostly 4th, 5th and 6th places marks but did receive 5 second places from judge, Donnie Burns MBE.  Kamil Studenny & Anna Pellypenko (Canada) took 6th place 6,6,6,6,6.  This was a terrific competition although a few of the USA’s leading contenders were not present – perhaps saving their strength for the upcoming US National Championship.  Sergey Ryupin will comment on this division for Dance Beat soon.

The two supporting eveEmb14-U21Ballnts tonight were both in the ballroom style.  The under 21 and over 35 – I guess if you were aged 21 to 34 you just had to sit down tonight!  England took the U/21 in a close contest.  Michael Foskett & Nika Vlasenko won the event 1,2,1,1,2.  2nd went to Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmarski (NY) 2,1,2,2,1 and 3rd to William Stansbury & Jenny Sokolsky (CA) 3,3,3,3,3.

In the O/35 Zingmin & Katerina Lu (NY) were the winners.

Embassy at Work!

The Embassy Ballroom Championships continues to be at work this weekend hosting and conducting some of the best international events in the USA today.

Last night in the Open Amateur Latin more than half the final was from outside the USA, there were also some couples in the professional Ballrooms and of course we had the NDCA Professional World Rhythm Championship.


The Professional Ballroom and the Open Amateur Latin had the most attendance. The Ballroom was excellent with what we will discribe as a fantastic, unconventional performance by Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva. Emb14-VictorAt first we thought that it was Victor’s home turf (California) causing all the audience to keep cheering them on, but as we got drawn to their performance we realized that it was the content of their performance that was making people rise out of their seats. We must tip our hats to this world renowned couple - their artistry last night along with their “out of nowhere,” unconventional maneuvers will keep us motivated for a very long time and yes, for those questioning our opinion at the moment - Ballroom can be astronomically fun. Victor & Anastasia took second in all dances but did manage to grab a few first places in a few dances.  (2 firsts in the tango and the quickstep from Toni Readpath, and one first in the quickstep from Alan Dixon.) Their worst mark was a third in the waltz and this came from Massimo Giorgianni from Italy.

The uEmb14-Arunasnmistakably winners from the judges’ perspective in this event, gave us what we can only describe as their trademark perfection from beginning to end, earning them perfect scores from all the judges in both the waltzes, and the majority of first from all the judges in the rest of the dances. The Embassy Ballroom Champions continue to be the incomparable Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova’s with first in all dances. It was such a pleasure to see this two great couples of the Ballroom style go head to head in a Ballroom arena, the Californian audience and we who were there are so lucky to witness this wonderful encounter.

From what we just mentioned you would have thought that only these two couples made a splash at the Embassy, but this is not the case the rest of the final was perhaps one of the best the world can offer. Third in this spectacular heEmb14-Maratat went to Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk who were the only other couple other than Victor & Anastasia to take a first place mark away from Arunas & Katusha - in the foxtrot. Marat & Alina were third in every dance.

Fourth in this excellent final went to Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva and as you will see the judges were not quite so sure from here down 6,4,6,5,4. And in a “rule 11” decision fifth place went to Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova 4,6,4,6,5. Last in this parade of stars was awarded to Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova. It is important to note that Mikhail & Olga were placed sixth only in the quickstep the rest of the dances they placed fifth or better 5,5,5,4,6, here again this placement was sorted by a “rule 10” and for those that want to know what rules 10 and 11 are, as Mr. John DePalma says, “read the manual.”

We thought that there were some excellent couples left out of this final but they were good enough to be there and with a little more confidence they could easily challenge.

TheEmb14-Emanuel Professional Ballroom was not the only international professional event here at the Embassy last night, the NDCA World Professional Rhythm Championship was also a feature event here last night. The panel of judges was filled with world-renowned adjudicators, we counted at least seven judges from outside the USA out of 15. It was unfortunate that some of our best Rhythm couples were not present.  It is quite a rare occasion to have such a distinguish panel of foreign judges added to the equation, you would have thought this to be a great opportunity for advancement. Nevertheless, Emmanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova, second in command at last year’s USDC but the defending World Champoions, won every dance with a majority of firsts from the judges. There were some odd marks for Emmanuel & Liana - a number of fourths and thirds were awarded to them.  Their worst judge was Richard Porter from England who awarded them 3 fourths, and he was joined by another English legend, Hazel Fletcher who awarded them 2 third place marks and a second.

Second in this Emb14-Rhythtop3NDCA World Rhythm event wen to Peter & Alexandra Perzhu and they placed second in four dances and third in the mambo. Alexandra sported a beautiful tight fitting black short dress for the final and her loose hair gave her a carefree appearance, totally sexy!  We are not sure about the loose hair though. Maybe it was Alexandra’s loose flowing hair but they too shared in some of those interesting marks from the judges.  Here Donnie Burns MBE, President of the WDC, awarded them four sixth place marks and one fifth, not far behind Richard Porter awarded them four 5th place marks and a fourth, they also manage to take a number of firsts from Emmanuel & Liane, two in the rumba, two in the swing and three in the bolero.

Third place in this World Rhythm went to Misha Vlasov & Vanda Polakova, here they placed third in every dance but the mambo where they took second overall. This was Richard Porter’s favorite couple he awarded them first in every dance but in the cha cha were he place them 2nd. Fourth wen to Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov and they placed fifth in the cha cha and fourth in the other four dances. New on the Rhythm scene Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti were fifth overall 4,5,5,6,6 and sixth was awarded to Sergei Shapoval & Ania Tarnowska who we had a hard time recognizing in the earlier rounds. They sported and outfit that was quite busy and made them both unrecognizable till the final, once here they placed sixth in three dances and fifth in the bolero and mambo. In case anyone is wondering or questioning, the US National Anthem was played at the start of the competition with all couples on the floor as all couples were from USA.


TEmb14-Troelshe Amateur Latin was a fantastic addition to this night of shining stars.  WDC World Amateur Latin Champions, Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova from Denmark placed first in every dance and took the Embassy trophy home. Troels & Ina won with a huge majority of firsts from the diverse judging panel, but here it was time for the US Judges to hit back.  Ronald Montez delivered the hardest punch awarding them three sixth place marks and a fifth in the cha cha and fourth in the samba. They got also some seconds, these came mainly from our Canadian neighbor, Aigars Stolcers who gave them second in every dance. Their worst dance according to the judges was the jive where even Shirley Ballas awarded them a third. Second in all danceEmb14-Ferdinandos was awarded to Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina from USA, who were Aigars’s favorite, he awarded them all firsts but in the samba where he placed them third. Third was also taken by Demark, but this time by Morten Lowe & Roselina Doneva and here they placed third in every dance.

Slovenia’s Damir Haluzan & Anna Mashchyts took the fourth overall and fifth in the rumba. Yes, there were many US couples in this heat and two more in the final. Pasha Pashkov & Daniela Karagach who took that fourth place mark in the rumba from Denmark and who placed overall fifth was one of them. The sixth place in this heat also went to the USA this time to Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina and they took sixth in every dance. To our neighbors up north wondering if there were any Canadian couples in this excellent heat, yes plenty but none made the final.


As Emb14-Cheyennewe mentioned earlier, the US National Anthem was played a number of times in the late afternoon fro the NDCA World Pro/Am Latin Championships.  One of those times for the “A” division and Cheyenne Murillo dancing with Sasha Altukhov.  They won the “A” by placing first in all dances. Cheyenne won with the majority of firsts in all dances, but here too some of the judges had the “low mark fever.” On this occasion Robert Long awarded her a 6th in the samba.  Second in the “A” went to Vera Xu w/Jakub Zeglen 6,2,2,2,2, and you can see how indecisive the panel was by the sixth in the cha.  Third was Michael Roberts w/Milana Pliner 3,4,3,3,4. Fourth in this excellent final wen to Sabrina Strasser w/Stanishlav Kochergin from Canada 2,5,5,5,3, fifth was Emily Takhtarov w/Evgeny Dyachenko 4,3,4,6,5, and sixth in this heat went to Grace Kuan w/Evgeny likhachev 5,6,6,4,6.


The “B” NDCA World Pro/Am Latin for us was very strong in numbers and in quality.  The final was quite hard-fought but in the end it all went to Russia and to Svetlanta Mukhametshina dancing with Alexander Chesnokov.  Here they placed first in four dances and second on the jive. We must point out that Svetlanta only won two dances with the majority of firsts, the cha cha and the samba, in the other three dances she only managed to capture 3 out of 7.  Second overall went to Tina Broccole w/Delian Terziev. She won the jive and placed second in the C,S,P but an unlucky third in the rumba sealed her fate.  Robert Long was her worst judge awarding her three fifth place marks. Third went to Rhonda Lee w/Daniel Gozzi 3,3,2,4,3, fourth was awarded to Maria Seragou w/Dimitrios Damalas 4,4,4,5,5, fifth was Sabrina Strasser from Canada who also competed in the “A” with Stanishlav Kochergin 5,5,5,3,4, this most have been a tough venture for Sabrina doing this competition with so many heats you have to really be in top shape and for us she is. Sixth in the “B” division went to Loan Lam w/Nikolay Voronovich and they placed sixth in every dance.


TheEmb14-Arlene “C” NDCA World Pro/Am Champion was Arlene Yu dancing with Nikolai Shpakov she took first in three dances, second in the jive and third in the cha cha. We must mention that Arlene only managed to win the rumba with the majority of firsts from the judges. Lisa Lowery w/Radek Wiatrowski placed second overall.  She won the jive, placed second on the cha cha, samba and third in the other two dances. Lisa tied for third in the rumba not with the Suzanne Saperstein w/Ricky Bentzen who was third but with Rhonda Lynch w/Stephen McCann who was fourth overall.  Suzanne’s marks for her third place finish were 1,3,2,2,4 and Rhonda’s marks were 4,5,3T,5,3. As you can appreciate the judges were all over the place on this one, even in the fifth place finish that was awarded to Tammy Knight w/Oleksii Lytvyn it was a bit crazy 5,4,5,4,6. Sixth was Joan Goddard w/Chris Johnston and they placed sixth in every dance but the jive where they placed fifth.

The Senior Pro/Am World Latin wEmb14-LatinSas also an excellent heat, here Teryl Anderson w/Marcus Johnston was first but not in every dance, in the jive they took second. Susan Sosin w/Roberto Cavallo was second in three dances and third in the jive. As you can see the Senior was a four dance Championship without the paso doble.  Third was delivered to Michaela Puno w/Slava Sergiev 3,3,3,1, as you can appreciate Michaela won the jive. From here down the judges taste for marking up and down settled a bit and fourth went to Penelope Parmes w/Mikail Watkins and they took fourth in every dance, fifth in every dance was Jane Carrus w/Edgar Osorio, sixth wen to Katie Braun w/Alexander Andreev 6,7,6,6, and seventh was awarded to Ilona Abraham w/Vadim Lyubushkin 7,6,7,7.

World Championships were also held in the pro-am junior categories and attracted strong entries.  THe winners were:  Daniel Novikov w/ Alla Novikova (PT);  Ashley Mattingly w/ Cristiano Calegari (J);  Sam Burekovich w/ Natia Kuprava (Y).

The NDCA World Amateur Smooth Title was awarded for the first time this year and it was won by Charlie Roberts & Emily Kapral

TheEmb14-Lee Embassy Ball hosts the US National Formation Championships in Ballroom and Latin and this year the BYU Team won both titles as they have done for as long as the event has been run.  At the conclusion of the awards it was announced that Lee & Linda Wakefield will be stepping down this year as trainers of the team.  What a run they have had!

Also this evening long time sponsor of dancesport throughout the USA, Josie Lee was inducted into the NDCA Hall of Fame.  The presentation was made by Brian McDonald, President of the NDCA.

As you can see it, was a busy and hard tasking day for the Embassy Ballroom Championships, but as always they continue to deliver great quality to the ballroom world.            

An International Flair at Embassy

As the Ballroom section of the NDCA Pro-Am World Championships brought a more international flair to the proceedings with several competitors from overseas contributing to the mix. 

In the final tally, the 4 winners in the open categories came from 3 countries, USA, Canada and Italy.


BeEmb14-Dellaginning with the A division.  The winners was Elisa Dalia Vecchia w/ Ruedeger Homm representing Italy.  Elisa placed 1,2,1,1,1.  In the dances she won, Elisa had the majority of 1st place scores and we felt she offered the best overall package of the final.  Taking 2nd but winning the tango (also with a majority of 1st places) was Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa.  You will note that these two ladies were also 1st and 2nd in the Smooth, but the result was reversed.  With 4,3,4,3,3, Jenny Kalish w/ Rafael Sabato.  We liked her dancing and judge, Taliat Tarsinov awarded were 2 first placements.  4th spot fell Jacob Tsai w/ Iveta Pauryte-Faraci 3,4,3,4,4; 5th  to Vinnie Miller w/ Anton Koukareko 5,5,5,5,6;  6th to Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Faraci 6,6,6,6,5. 


Celai ChoEmb14-Celiau w/ Erminio Stefano (USA) won the highly contested B division.  Celia received the majority of 1st places in all dances except the VW, although she received all 7 first place marks in QS.  Runner-up today went to Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet.  Beverly was easily 2nd in all dances, but surprisingly to us, she did not receive many 1st place scores.  Taking all the 3’s was Lilly Chang w/ Sergei Kiselev.  The judges were split on Lilly’s performance with some marking her in the bottom half of the final, but the majority placing her in the top 3.  We agreed with the majority!  5,5,4,4,4 gave Michelle Peng w/ Mikhail Avdeev the 4th place.  5th fell to Lengzi Gao w/ Kamil Urbanik 6,4,5,5,5.  This is lady we were certainly considering for a top 3 placement!  6th was Audrey Paek w/ Ronen Zinshtein 4,6,6,6,6 and 7th went to Lisa Berry w/ Rauno Ilo.


The C waEmb14-Lynns the largest of the divisions with 35 entries, the event danced over 4 rounds.  The winner of this marathon was Lynn Murrell w/ Alexander Voskalchuk (USA) who placed 1,2,1,1,1.  The scoring in this final was very erratic – the judges were quite at odds.  Lynn fared the best but did not have the majority of 1st places in any dance.  In fact she won the foxtrot without receiving a 1st place from any judge.  Nevertheless, this lady has made great improvement in this style – congratulations!  2nd place went to Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski who was 2nd in 4 dances and won tango.  Lisa has also made al lot of progress in this style.  With 3,3,4,5,4  Connie Edmonds w/ Emanuele Pacchini took 3rd.  4th went to Jill Bradford w/ Gert Roslender 4,4,5,4,3.  That left 2 couples, both of which we felt could have placed in the top half of the final.  5th went to Hye Kyong Park w/ Linas Korieva 5,5,3,3,5 and 6th to Hans Stork w/ Inna Berlizyeva 6,6,6,6,6.  Both of these unlucky couples received some 1st places.


CanaEmb14-SWda took the Open Senior - Margaret Loo w/ Joel Marasigan placed 2,1,1,1,1.  The runner-up today was Susan Walter w/ Emanuele Pacchini 3,2,2,2.  The winner of the waltz placed 3rd overall 1,3,3,4, and that was Yumiko Nakagawa w/ Robert Nemiro.  4th was Takako Trenholm w/ Valdas Padriezas;  5th Noriko Ide w/ Dariusz Michalski and 6th Gail Sherman w/ Slava Stefanov.

There was some good competition in the pro-am junior and youth divisions.  Lisa Dubinsky w/ Ronen Zinshtein won the Junior and Jacob Tsai w/ Iveta Pauryte-Faraci won the Youth


ThEmb14-Ende pro-am world championship divisions closed the afternoon session.  The main event of the evening was the Open Amateur Ballroom Championship, danced over 4 rounds.  Andres & Veronika End continued their US victory tour with an easy win here taking all dances with a huge majority of 1st places.  2nd went to Canada, the new partnership of JEmb14-Cutlerames Cutler & Virginie Primeau placed 2,2,2,5,2.  From 2nd to 7th the couples had rather mixed scores from the judges.  3rd place fell to Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhitarova 3,3,3,2,3;  4th to Michael Foskett & Nika Vlasenko (England) 4,5,4,3,4;  5th Ruslan Kalyuzhnyy & Kseniya Savenko 5,6,5,6,5;  6th Nicholas & Rochelle Kharlamov 6,4,7,4,7;  7th Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova 7,7,6,7,6.   Watch out for Igor Litvinov’s report in Dance Beat soon.

Two stEmb14-Spinderrong Pro Rising Star events were also featured.  The winners of the Smooth were Kyle & Allie Spinder 1,1,1,1.  2nd went to Adrian & Hannah Dydynski 2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow 3,4,3,3.

Vitalii Proskurin &Emb14-Vitalii Evgenia Shatilova won all dances in the RS Latin.  Jake Davies & Alyona Kalenina (England) were 2nd 2,4,3,2,2 and Pavel Balykin & Meagen Mendoza were 3rd 4,2,4,4,3.

Only 2 couples contested the Pro Cabaret.  Travis & Jamie Tuft were the winners over Ivan Berkovic & Dena Anne Weiner.

One other feature event was the U/21 Latin.  Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakotos-Hayward (Canada) won all dances.  Taking 2nd, and from the Ukraine, were Maksym Bodnar & Yelzaveta Vnuchkova, 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd were Dmytry Dmytrenko & Cheyenne Murillo 3,3,3,5,3. 

Emb14-SammyTwo achievement awards are customarily presented at Embassy Ball.  This year the John Ford & Marguerite Hanlon Award was presented to Michael Chapman.  Michael was unable to attend, so the award was accepted on his behalf by Rufus Dustin.  The Bill & Bobbie Irvine Award was given this year to Sammy Stopford.

A North American Draw!

Last night along with 2 renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner,” we also heard “Oh Canada” playing twice during the NDCA Pro-Am World Championships.


All the divisions were excellent so let’s look at them in order.  Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa won all dances in the A division and for us this lady is unchallenged in this category at the present time.  However, even though Melonie won all dances with a majority of 1st places she did have some judges not as impressed, most notably Hazel Fletcher who placed her 5,2,4,5.  2nd in all dances was Elisa Dalia Vecchia w/ Ruedeger Homm, but she had the majority of “2nd or better” scores in only waltz and in a vagary of the Skating System, Elisa received only one 2nd in foxtrot while still taking 2nd in that dance.  With 4,3,3,3, Christina Diaz w/ Kris Suakjian was 3rd, judge Hazel Fletcher awarded her all 1st places.  Irene Lee w/ Nick Cheremukhin was 4th 3,4,4,4, Liora Paniz w/ Leonid Burlo 5th in all dances, Elena Eroshin w/ Daniel Vasco 6th in all and Joel Jimenez w/ Lisa Cristiani Brown 7th.


The first of the Canadian victories came in the B Division as Joanne Smith w/ Sharon Levit took the competition 1,2,1,1, but it was a tight race with no competitor receiving the majority of 1st places in any dance and several sharing the 1st places.  2nd with 2,1,2,2 was Susan Sidman w/ Gleb Makarov and 3rd, Lisa Berry w/ Rauno Ilo 4,3,3,3.  The whole final was closely scored by the judges.  Sheila Davis w/ Sergey Barsukov was 4th 3,4,4,4; Kako Matumoto w/ Dave Hannigan took 5th 6,5,6,5 and Patricia Schneider w/ Slawek Souchaki was 6th 5,6,5,6.


Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet was back on top in the C Division to score Canada’s 2nd victory of the night, but it wasn’t a clean sweep, Beverly placed 2,2,1,1, with the majority of 1st places in the VW.  Lisa Lowery took the runner’s up spot w/ Radek Wiatrowski.   Her scores were 4,1,2,2.  Paige Riffle w/ Alex Zagrean was 3rd today with 3,4,3,3.  Taking 1st in the waltz, but 3,5,4 in the other dances, Lynn Murrell w/ Peter Perzhu was 4th, Monica Broch w/ Kris Suakjian was 5th 5,6,4,6 and Alla Neyshtadt w/ Erik Pali was 6th 6,5,6,5.


The second US victory was in the Senior division where Michaela Puno w/ Slava Sergiev took the title with 4,2,1,1.  This division was the most diversely scored by the judges with almost all couples taking a 1st place in each dance.  2nd went to Doreen Marchack w/ Youriy Pavlov 1,1,2,6;  3rd to Yiru Sethavanish w/ Kris Suakjian 2,4,4,2;  4th to Norio Yamamato w/ Anna Shabazyan 3,3,3,5;  5th to Kathy Boyle w/ Alexander Novikov 5,6,5,3;  6th to Sarah Spindler w/ Eddie Stutts 6,5,6,4;  7th Cher Cunningham w/ Daniel Vasco.

TEmb14-Iaroslavhere were two strong Pro Rising Star events danced tonight also.  The Ballroom was headed by two new partnerships.  The win fell to Iaroslav Bieliel & Olga Tsikaliuk 2,1,1,1,1, over Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova 1,2,2,2,2.  Oscar Pedreinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova took all the 3rds.  Mechyslav Pavlyuk & Gemma Arnold were 4th 4,5,4,4,6;  Simeon & Kora Stoynov were 5th 5,4,6,6,4 and Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Kazukhina were 6th 6,6,5,5,5.

TEmb14-Shandorhe RS Rhythm was also a strong division, we thought it was close between the top 4 couples, but agreed with the judges that Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov got the better of it.  They won all dances in the end.  2nd spot went to recent Rhythm converts Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti, although they scores 2,3,3,3,3.  Taking two of those elusive 2nd places were 3rd placed Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov 3,2,2,4,4 and the other 2nds went to 4th placed Andrei Svirydzenka & Yuliya Zubova 4,4,4,2,2.  All the 5ths went to Tommy Belmontez & Jessica Holty; 6th fell to Richard & Marianne Myers 6,6,6,6TEmb14-masters,7 and 7th to Martin Barthold & Natalya Bychkova 7,7,7,6T,6.

An upset in form gave the Amateur Masters (+50) Ballroom to John Chen & Jenny Du over Hans & Ans Stork.  It was a Rule 11 tie that broke in John & Jenny’s favor.

Star Spangled

Last night at the Embassy Ballroom Championships the Star Spangled Banner was played 4 times during the award ceremony for the NDCA World Pro/Am Rhythm Championships.  Four US contenders took the honors home.

This was not an unexpected occurrence, the majority of the competitors were from the USA, and right out of hand we only spotted less than a handful from outside the USA. One of the unusual countries participating was Australia, we are sure to get other countries as the weekend continues and the international style categories draw more participation.


Out of the 4 main Rhythm NDCA Pro/Am World Championships, the C, B, and senior were the most populated with a semifinal round in each. The “A” was nearly nonexistant with only two couples participating. As you can see although there were no major rounds to these championships the competitions were still of good caliber and the competitors had a good fight for top placement.


IEmb14-lisan the “C” category Lisa Lowery partnered by Radek Wiatrowski won all five dances but not all with the majority of firsts. Lisa had a majority of firsts in the cha and rumba, but in the other three dances she only manage to get 4 out of the nine firsts that could be awarded by the judges. When looking at the marks Lisa was given quite a collection of marks down to even a sixth in the mambo from Aigars StolcerEmb14-Cflags from Canada who was perhaps her worst judge on this panel.

Joan Goddard w/Chris Johnston took second in every dance overall and did manage a number of firsts including three in the rumba and three in the swing. Joan too managed to acquire a few sixes but for her they came from Ronald Montez and Toni Redpath who both awarded her two sixes each. From second down as you will see things got a little murkier Lynn Murrell w/Peter Perzhu were third overall but not in every dance 5,4,3,3,3.  Quin Bommelje w/Misha Vlasov took fourth 3,3,4,4,5. Renee Kuwahara w/Ilya Reyzin placed overall fifth 4,6,5,5,4, and to show you how varied this panel of judges were in their marks, Renee was the recipient of three first place marks form Aigars Stolcers from Canada. Last but not least in sixth position was Sally Bard w/Steve Vasco 6,5,6,6,6.


TheEmb14-susan “B” was also an excellent event and here Susan Sidman w/Gleb Makarov became the NDCA World Rhythm “B” Champion by winning four dances out of five. Susan took three dances with a majority of firsts, and in the swing she took four out of nine firsts and won. However, in the bolero although Susan took the same amount of firsts (4) she was still second because Shelia Davis dancing with Sergey Barsukov managed to get the majority of firsts in this dance. Overall Shelia Davis placed second and in all dances but the bolero were as we said she had the majority of firsts and was first.

Third in this NDCA Worlds was awarded to Jacqueline Bequette w/Daniel Lee Tran 3,3,3,4,5. Fourth went to Cindy Wang w/Steve Vasco 4,4,5,3,6.  In fifth position was Donna Sparano w/Evgeny Dyachenko 5,6,4,5,4, and in sixth place was M’Balia Tagoe w/Mariusz Zakrzewski 6,5,6,6,3.

Out of sucEmb14-RhythAh wonderful talent we have seen all year around at Manhattan, Wisconsin State, Empire and even NV Ball, it was a little sad to only have two couples entered the NDCA World Pro/Am Rhythm “A” category, however although this was a small heat it was still a mighty competition with two excellent ladies going head to head.  Nadia Kireyko who has turned from a junior to an incredible, highly skilled and talented lady won the category but not every dance. Nadia placed second in the cha partnered by her teacher, Daniel Vasco. Well knownn competitor Chasity dancing with renowned Rhythm dancer Eddie Ares took first in the cha cha and second in the other four dancing giving them second overall.

The NDCA World Pro/Am Senior division was also well attended with excellent ladies and certainly worth a mention. Quin Bommelje who plaEmb14-quinced fourth in the “C” division now won the Senior by placing first in all dances. Yiru Sethavanish w/Kris Suakjian placed second overall 2,2,3,2,3, and Sarah Spindler w/Eddie Stutts was third 4,3,2,3,2. The last three ladies in this final were also terrific and they were Cher Cunningham dancing with Daniel Vasco who placed fourth 3,4,4,4,4, Penelope Parmes w/Mikal Watkins took fifth in all dances and sixth was awarded to Ruby Yap w/Felipe Telona Jr.

As rumors had it, the now “Hotel Irvine” (formerly the Hyatt Regency) has ongoing renovations but arrangements have been made so that you can still enjoy a good meal as well as a fun time at the bar, now located in the lobby, for a nightcap if you wish following the competition. The hotel staff have been great and nothing has been missed, even a temporary gym has been set up.

Today we concentrate on the Smooth divisions and we are sure the NDCA World Championships are going to be great as usual.               


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