Nashville Starz 2105
All the ‘1’s?
It was a busy night Saturday at Nashville Starz with 5 open professional divisions, pro-am scholarships and the awards for the Dancers Cup Tour.
In the multi-dance professional divisions, most of the winners won by placing 1st in all dances.
The largest of the divisions was the Smooth that began with a quarter-final. Some last minute cancelations meant that there was no first round as scheduled. In fact 2 high-profile couples had to withdraw due to a family emergency – Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzill and Max Sintisa & Michelle Officer.
Reigning US Champions, Peter & Alexandra Perzhu, won all dances and lost a total of only 4 first place marks out of 60. We also thought they gave a strong performance. With 2,2,2,3, the fast-rising Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija were the runners-up. They received mainly 1st and 2nd places with only judge, Valentina Kostenko, seriously dissenting and placing them 5,6,6,5. Travis & Jaimee Tuft took 3rd in 3 dances and 2nd in the VW. They were also the winners of the Showdance division. Kyle & Allie Spinder took all the 4’s, Adrian & Hannah Dydynski all the 5’s and Vladimir & Vera Kosarev all the 6’s. Watch out for Slawek Sochaki’s report on this division.
Andre & Natalie Paramonov easily won the Rhythm, losing only 2 first place marks out of 60, both in the mambo. The new partnership of Andrei Abrashin & Mariia Gavrylova were 2nd, 2,2,3,3,2. It was great to see this former US 9-Dance Champion back on the floor. The middle of this final was very mixed. Andrei & Mariia had the majority of 2nd places only in cha cha. 3rd went to Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov 3,3,2,2,3 – as you can a close finish. 4th were Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov 4,4,4,4,4 and 5th Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth 5,5,5,5,5. This was a reversal of the placements from the RS. 6th spot went to Christopher Wayne and Juanita Simanekova. Terry Sweeney will report on this division soon.
Oskar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova won the Ballroom and had strong majorities of 1st places in all dances. This was the only straight final of the night. 2nd in all dances were Martin & Liene Reinbold, 3rd in all Dimitry Solomskha & Gabriela Solomakha, 4th in all Dumitru & Cristina Turcan and 5th, Manuel Trillo & Nelly Mustafayeva. Interestingly Manuel & Nelly competed in all 5 pro divisions tonight.
The Latin resulted in a good win for Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets who placed 1,1,2,1,1, but had the majority of 1st places in the 4 dances they won. They beat out Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova who won the rumba, although not with a majority of 1st places, and placed 2,3,2,3 in the other 4 dances. Certainly in the mix were 3rd placed Evgeny Likachev & Maria Levina who were 3rd with 3,2,3,3,2. All the 4’s went to Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab; 5th in all were Ryan Lewis & Tessa Marie and 6th were Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko. This event began with a semifinal.
The Open Scholarships in both the Ballroom and Latin were also on tonight. The Ballroom divisions were much larger. The B was won by Jill Bradford w/ Gert Roslender, 2nd was Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold and 3rd, Miwa Rifu w/ Peter Minkov. Galina Livitina w/ Jari Muller won the A, 2nd went to Pamela Bolling w/ Ben Ermis and 3rd to Ming Wang w/ Shalene Archer.
As Nashville Starz is the concluding event of the Dancers Cup Tour, the overall winners from 2014 were announced. It was 2 in a row for top Female Student, Lauren LaPointe, and her instructor, Louis Bar who won Top Teacher. Both were winners in 2013 also. Top Gentleman Student went to Gary Freidman with his teacher Angieszka Strojek, who placed 4th in the top teacher awards.
The Top 3 in all divisions were: Gentlemen – 2nd Lawrence Mitchell, 3rd Robert Hunt. Ladies – 2nd Sophia D’Angelo, 3rd Darcy Adamczak. Teachers – 2nd Shalene Archer, 3rd Gary Dahl.
Smooth Day in Nashville
It was a Smooth day in Nashville yesterday for the pro-ams and we felt the level in the Open Scholarships was generally a little higher than in the Rhythm the day before.
The Professional Smooth Rising Star was also among the strongest of the 4 pro divisions run. The Open A division was won by the nation’s leader in this style, Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa and she won all dances. There was a little shuffling of positions from here down with Christina Donelson w/ Peter Perzhu moving up the ladder to take the runners-up spot placing 2,2,3,2. Another experienced finalist, Elizabeth Rocco w/ Eric Hudson, placed 3rd, 4,5,2,3. We were a little surprised by her lower placements in the first 2 dances. Aiyesah Dey, now dancing with Mayo Alanen, placed 4th overall with 3,3,4,4 and listing from NY. Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer was 5th, 6,4,5,5. Stefan also won the Open 9-Dance. Ran Wei w/ Mikolay Czarnecki was 6th, 5,6,6,6 and Marcy Garson w/ Mazen Hamza was 7th.
The B Division was also strong and marked the return of Daniella Koren now dancing with Greg Fidurski. Daniella won all dances. 2nd went to Mary Lemmer w/ Tomas Milenicki 2,2,4,2. Wende Stambaugh w/ Ben Ermis took 3rd, 3,4,3,4; Mariana Lvoff w/ Vladimir Kosarev 4th, 5,6,2,3; Hope Huber w/ Troy Baeton 5th, 4,3,6,5; Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza 6th, 6,5,5,6.
Both of the American Style RS events began with semifinals. The Smooth was won by Adrian & Hannah Dydynski and they won all dances, rightly so we felt. 2nd went to a newer team, Peter Hahn w/ Jude Coraldi and they placed 3,2,2,2. Mark Short w/ Alyssa Kard took the 3rd spot, 2,3,4,3.
Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov won a strong Rhythm division, placing first in all dances. They also placed 4th in the Smooth, the first time we have seen them compete in that style. 2nd in all dances went to Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov and 3rd in all were Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth.
The international style divisions were both straight finals. Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko won all dances in the Latin looking the best we have seen from them. 2nd went to Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys 2,2,2,2,3 and 3rd to Srdjan Mikuljan & Carolina Avila 3,3,3,3,2.
Only 2 couples contested the Ballroom and the division went to Dimitriy & Gabriella Solomskha 2,1,1,1,1 over Dumitru & Cristina Turcan 1,2,2,2,2.
In true Nashville style, the evening ended with a country cook out in the ballroom. An all day was country western wear for spectators and officials alike.
Nashville Starz over 6500!
First comp of year for many
With over 6,500 entries this year, Nashville Starz, organized by David Hamilton, is proving a popular “first stop” competition for many. It’s underway right now. It is also the concluding event for the 2014 Dancers’ Cup Tour. Ultimate winers will be announced on Saturday.
Yesterday it was pro-am Rhythm all day with some very large heats, particularly in the bronze and beginners levels. 2 open Scholarships concluded the evening session, the largest was the B that began with a semifinal.
The winner tonight, as at Ohio and USDC, was Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika. Giovanni won 4 dances and placed 2nd in the swing. Perhaps this was not his best verall performance that we have seen, but he was for us still the clear winner. Taking 1st in the swing and 2nd in the other 4 dances was another very experienced competitor, Kathy Howell w/ Martin Cawston. With 3rd in all dances, Lucinda Poston now dancing with Jermey Gatlin was overall 3rd. It was good to see this talented lady back on the floor. 4,5,4,4,6, gave Marcy Garson w/ Mazen Hamza 4th place overall. Mariana Lvoff w/ Vladimir Kosarev was 5th, 5,4,5,5,4 and Ceci Torres w/ Eddie Rivera was 6th 6,6,6,6,5.
Kia Malone w/ Eddie Rivera won all dances in the A, showing her customarily exuberant style. Stephan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer was 2nd in all dances and Jeff Kissell w/ Anne-Marie Patterson was 3rd.
We also celebrated, Chairman of Judges, Leroy Walter’s birthday.