Autumn Classic 2014
And the Viennese Waltz!
Last night at the Autumn Dance Classic the Professional Ballroom competition came with a twist. It was the “Professional Ballroom and the Viennese Waltz,” meaning that the Viennese Waltz was a separate competition from the Ballroom that was then a four dance competition.
Are you still confused? So were we, and many of the entrants including Gary McDonald who questioned this from the standpoint of NDCA regulations. We are not sure as to what or how it all was resolved, except we concluded once we got going, that perhaps this was not a Championship since the event is just a competition and so not a championship, so the rules may not apply! Nevertheless, this broke the usual routine of a normal competition and made it very interesting for the viewers and for the competitors who got to make some extra “money” now participating in two separate competitions. It was very unique and from our point of view a win, win situation for everyone involved.
The winners of the Viennese Waltz were Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova, second was awarded to Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blimova and third was awarded to Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa. Fourth in this fun event was awarded to Gianni Caliandro & Arianna Esposito, fifth was Vladish Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova, and in sixth position were Stefano Di Brino & Bianra Zubrowska. 11 couples entered.
As you will see the actual Ballroom competition had a slightly different result. First of all it ended up being a seven couple final as 13 couples entered. The second difference was a major one, the overall winner of the four dance combined was Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blimova who placed first in three dances and second in the quickstep. Second overall was awarded to the winners of the VW competition Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova who placed second in three dances and won the quickstep. Like in the VW, Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa placed third in all dances, and from here down was the exact result as in the Viennese Waltz with the exception that Stefano Di Brino & Bianra Zubrowska who were sixth in the VW were also sixth in this competition but tied for 6th in the foxtrot with the additional couple who placed seventh overall, Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson 7,7,6T,7. Youriy & Sarika did not participate in the VW.
We think this was an excellent competition and we were glad the organizers thought of something new to separate them from the rest - promote, motivate and entertain their guests, some who, we are sure, are now a bit “jaded” with the same scheduled routine. It is great that regular competitions are able to try new things and make things a little different, otherwise the calendar of over 100 competitions a year would look a little bleak in excitement.
The Open Rhythm competition was also featured last night and here Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti, placed first in every dance taking the trophy home. Romney Reyes & Brooke O’Donnell were second in all dances and third was awarded to Jeremy Babagay & Carolyn Barreno 3,3,3,3,4. Fourth in this category went to Richard & Marianne Meyers 5,4,4,4,3, Daniel Lee Tran & Taylor Elizabeth Kinney were fifth 4,5,5,5,5, C.J. & Jenny Gomez were sixth in all dances and Zach Crawford & Kate Castor seventh.
The Amateur Latin, like the day before in the Ballroom, was also quite an excellent event. Here Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabrielle Sabler won all dances. A new pairing from New York of two experienced dancers. Kiril Kulish & Orsoyla Horvath took second overall but placed third in the Jive. Another new partnership, this time from California. Russia’s Michael Koptev & Alexandra Atamantsev placed second in the jive but overall placed third. It is interesting to note that here we noticed a glimpse of surprise in their faces when this was announced. Perhaps they are used to placing higher in their country or thought they would have an easy pass here. We are not sure but they looked surprised when they were called for third place. Fourth overall was awarded to Teleryck Ianakiev & Natalla Devitskaya 4,4T,5,4,4. We really liked this couple in particular the lady, Natalla, who we thought was perhaps the best lady on the floor last night. Fifth went to Umario Diallo & Natasha Zrazhevskaya 5,4T,4,5,5, and sixth was awarded to Italy’s Luca Di Pumpo & Laura Sassi and they took sixth in every dance.
World & US Champions, Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova performed their show, many of the routines new and very artistic. Many observers were very impressed wit not only the incredible level of dance but also the sense of showmanship they exhibited.
The evening concluded with the results and we all went to the “after party” where everyone casually enjoyed they rest of the time.
It’s All About the Music!
Last night at the Autumn Dance Classic it was all about the music! Composer Georges Lifermann (a lifetime friend of pro-am competitor, Catherine Gallo) with the assistance of our own DJ extraordinaire, Brent Miles, who arranged M. Lifermann’s original scores, porvided the music played for the Professional Smooth last night.
The 5-couple final was terrific especially the 2 top couples, US Champions Peter & Alexandra Perzhu and Nick Cheremukin & Viktorija. The composer presented the award at the end of this excellent final. Peter & Alexandra won all dances, Nick & Viktorija were second in all dances.
The rest of the Professional Smooth final was also excellent. Leading the way in third position were Nikolai Plilipenchuk & Natalia Skorikova. Fourth were Nathan Simler & Mireille Gineste 4,4,4,5, and fifth position was awarded to Slava & Valeriia Kostianets 5,5,5,4. The professionals seemed to enjoy the Smooth music. A first since John Montenegro in the 70’s composed the music for the US Championships.
In the Open Professional Latin all firsts went to Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova. Second in all was awarded to Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina and third in all were Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokona. In fourth place was Evgeny Likhachev & Maria Levina, fifth was Arjom Shmigeljuk & Oxana Kashkina and in sixth position were Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys.
The Professional Rising Star ballroom was the largest pro event of the night beginning with a semifinal. The winners were Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova, a new partnership now based in Florida. They won all dances. It was quite tight between 2nd and 3rd with the victory going to Stefano Di Brino & Bianra Zubrowska 2,2,3,3,2 over another new team, Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson 3,3,2,2,3. Alex & Grace Wang, new professional up from the amateur ranks were 4th, 5,4,4,4,4; Slava & Valeriia Kostaniets were 5th 4,5,5,6,5 and Dmitry Solomakha & Gabriella Sevillano were 6th 6,6,6,5,6.
The Professional Rising Star Rhythm was also a 5-couple final and here Rommey Reyes & Brooke O’Donnell took first in all dances. Second went to Jeremy Babagey & Carolyn Barrerto who placed second in four dances and third in the cha cha. Daniel Lee Tran & Tayloe Elizabeth Kinney were third overall 2,3,3,3,3. Fourth place in all dances went to C.J. Gomez & Jenny Lynn-Gomez and fifth were Zach Crawford & Kate Castor.
The Amateur Ballroom was also a terrific event, a seven couple final was called at the end and Dusan Dragovic & Greta Laurinaityle, from England and recent International finalists took first in all dances. Second in all dances went to the NDCA US Amateur Champions, Andres & Veronika End and third was awarded to Rusland Kalyuzhnyy & Kseniya Sovenko 3,5,3,3,3. Taking that 3rd in tango were Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhitarova 4,3,4,4,4. Russia scored the 5th place, Michael Koptev & Alexandra Atmantseva 5,4,5,5,5; Michael Vorobiev & Sonya Tsckanovsky were 6th 7,7,6,6,6 and from the Ukraine, Sergey Averkov & Oleana Bariva were 7th 6,6,7,7,7.
The Pro/Am Ballroom was also a highlight of this weekend of dance and here the Pro/Am Ballroom “A” was awarded to Julie Zhao w/Denis Kutepov, second was Rebecca Kuhn w/Andrea Faraci and third went to Irene Lau w/Mikhail Avdeev.
In an in an interesting twist, the “B” Scholarship was awarded to Michelle Peng w/Mikhail Avdeev, they took first in all dances. In second place was Julie Zhao w/Denis Kutepov and third went to Lily Chang w/Sergey Kiselev.
In the “C” division Lisa Liao w/Andrea Faraci won all dances, second was awarded to Takako Treholme w/Valdas Padriezas 2,2,2,2,3 and third went to Margaret Loo w/Joel Marasigan 6,3,3,3,2.
There were two other interesting performances, the Boy Band, Innovate (featuring the son of pro-am teacher Louis Bar) gave a high energy and well-rehearsed performance. A bit earlier, Dad, Louis gave a Peabody exhibition dressed as Charlie Chaplin with well-known pro-am competitor, Lauren LaPointe.