La Classique du Quebec 2015
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Friday was good but Saturday was fabulous at La Classique Du Quebec. This time there were tfour feature events - the Amateur Ballroom and the Professional Smooth, Latin and Showdance. Friday the Amateur Latin ruled but this was not the case Saturday night the Professional Latin and the Showdance for us were the headliners.
The Latin started with a healthy quarter-final and when it came to the final there was a very interesting mix of couples. Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko were by far the best when it came to quality and the judges rewarded them and gave them first in all dances. We were very impressed with them, however, not sure what was wrong with them last night but they constantly were losing their footing and nearly hit the floor a few times. That was a little off-putting considering they are such good dancers, nevertheless you could not have awarded them any less even if they fell on the ground that they managed to escape.
Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier placed second in every dance. We were not surprised that they placed second, however, we were quite surprised they did in every dance. We totally enjoyed their dancing but they were not consistent in their work or energy of performance, depending upon when you looked they were either hot or cold. Third was awarded to Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak in all dances, I could see them being placed second in a number of dances unlike the couple just mentioned they did manage to maintain a consistency on their work.
Fourth went to Francois Pruneau & Justine Rainville 4,4,5,5,4. This was perhaps the most exiting couple to watch in this final. Their energy was always high and they seemed to enjoy their dancing. We were very impressed with their first 2 dances in fact we would not have been shocked if they placed second in these two and also in the jive where we thought they were the best, hands down. Yes, they still have some issues to resolve with their programs but I think this couple have all the ingredients to be number one in the field in Canada. Dmytro & Nina Kovalenko placed fifth overall 6,6,4,4,5, and sixth went to Michael Kudriashov & Milla Sekrets 5,5,6,6,6.
The Professional Showdance was small but everyone in it was quite good. Without question Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva took the top place with a new number this time is a space fight, a very interesting concept but from their previous performances I think they could tighten it up a bit more. Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko took second with a very dramatic interpretive rumba, but here too I don’t think their stumbles were planned, it really, truly is disturbing being that they are such lovely dancers and it spoils their picture. This is not something that cannot be fixed with just work and settling on your feet. Dmitry Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn were third and quite deservedly so. Their lift work was breathtaking, however, they seemed to miss the “why?” There is no purpose to the routine so it tends to look more like an exercise. Last but not least, one of my favorite routines - Andrew & Erin Sniegocki who did a neat routine, with great elements of humor, it is always risky when you do humor because, the appearance is that it is easy and you are hardly working – not as in the face-pulling, constipated, emotional routines.
The Professional Smooth had a strong semifinal round but the quality of dancing was ordinary. Dmitry Ilyushinov & Kateryna Stytsenko took first in all dances, and from where we stood we thought it was an easy win for them. They were one of the few couples that could show some understanding of the style. Kirill Gorjatsev & Daria Zotova placed second overall 3,2,2,2, here we have a couple with great potential. Kirill is probably one of the best Smooth men in America, however, the partnership still needs to grow, it is in a very green stage right now. Third went to Dave Hannigan & Magdolna Toth. Basically it is the same here, the physical awareness is there but the transitions and connections with each other are still quite green for this art form.
The Amateur Ballroom was a little disappointing it was a walk in the park for James Cuttler & Virginie Primeau–Poirier who won all dances. Second went to Fernando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvill who in our opinion were very capable but lack subtlety of movement 2,3,2,2,2. In third place were Brenton Mitchell & Alexandra Sevastianova 3,2,3,3,3. Fourth were Marco Barbera & Rosella Saladino who were fourth in every dance. We were very surprised this couple placed this high, some of their movements and technique looked very green - lots of potential here but we felt it needed to be ripened. We were really surprised when Garpare Romano & Aurora Montalvo placed fifth 6,5,5,5,5. We though this couple was excellent. In some of the dances we could have easily seen them place second, well as you can see art like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Stefan Badea & Madalina Varlam placed sixth overall 5,6,6,6,6.
It was nice that La Classique Du Quebec awarded Beverly Moore an Achievement Award for her dedication and accomplishments in the world of ballroom dancing. Beverly, as it was announced, has won major events and world championships in all four styles and continues to dance and compete in all major events in North America. We here in Dance Beat want to take our hats off to Beverly Moore as well. Congratulations Beverly, well deserved!
We were a little surprised in how small the Ballroom Pro-Am Scholarships were especially because the couples were of a good level. The “C” had the most entries and this was won by Rosann Bonotto w/Alain Doucet. Second went to Nelly Huang & Vlad Vinogradsky 2,2,2,2,3, third was Vincent Feingold w/Fransiska Yordanova 3,3,3,3,2.
In the “B” division Beverly Moore w/Alain Doucet placed first in all dances. May Lim Chui w/Anton Lebedev were second in all dances and Noriko Keirman w/Erik Pali was third.
The “A” was also a four couple final and here Carol Simmons & Serghei Pogonet were first in all dances. Michelle Yeh & Anton Lebedev were second and third overall was Erica Kwizak w/Pavel Lebedev 4,3,3,3,3.
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Friday night at La Classique Du Quebec here in Montreal, Canada was a terrific night filled with excitement and expectations. Three major events were run all with an excellent amount of couples and excellent dancing, the Professional Rhythm and Ballroom and the Amateur Latin.
All three events just mentioned were terrific but the when it came to results the Amateur Latin trumped all. The obvious winners from Denmark, Morten Loewe & Rosalina Doneva. As expected they took first in all dances, but when it came to second and down the things got a little more shaky. Tall Livshitz & Ilana Keselman from the USA took second in four dances and third in the jive. For us it was all to close to call. From where we stood all three runners up could have easily taken second place, but in the end third went to possibly our favorite of the night Daniils Kutuzovs & Maria Shalvarova from Canada and they placed third in four dances and second in the jive. Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabrielle Sabler from the USA took fourth overall in all dances, and I mentioned previously they too could have easily been in the mix for second position.
Fifth went to Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward from Canada who placed sixth in C, S and fifth in the other three dances. Adam & Morgana were also a very capable couple, however, there was a few criticisms from the judges following the competition as to the young lady’s outfit, and yes it only took two steps for the outfit to be quite revealing. Perhaps couples should try practicing in their outfits before going out on the floor. Being over exposed in our opinion is not sexy and detracts form the artistic look they are trying to create. Finally in sixth position was Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova from USA. We went from being over exposed to a very charged outfit. It had beads, appliques - in our opinion a little to much going and quite distracting once again detracting from the actual art of dancing.
The Professional Rhythm event was nicely attended with a full semifinal round. In the end for us the top two were very close. It was in our opinion a matter of taste from each judge. Azamat Evgamukov & Kateryna Angelone from the USA, took first overall winning four dances and placing second in the bolero. We liked the unorthodox and raw way this couple attacks the Rhythm dances. Perhaps this might be what attracted the majority of the judges to their style. Second went to what we thought was clearly the cleanest couple in this final, their execution of each dance was perfection - Andrei Svirydzenka & Yuliya Zubava from the USA, but as you will see in the marks the judges were not to convinced - 3,2,4,1,2. For us they lacked the thrill of the unexpected and were perhaps a little too clean for some tastes. In Rhythm, as an old time and revered US Champions and hero “Bobby Medeiros” use to say, “You have to get down deep and dirty.”
Third was awarded to Jean Michel Erole & Larisa Mikryukova from the USA, they placed 2,4,3,3,3. The rest of the placements went to Canada, Dmytro Gurkov & Alexandra Efrenova took fourth 4,3,2,4,4, Simone Zat & Stephany Moujally were fifth in all dances, Dayan Mantecon Roldan & Kyra Kalweit were sixth and Mathieu Casavant & Melanie Martin were seventh.
The Ballroom was perhaps not as exciting for us as the Rhythm was but it was still an excellent semifinal. US’s Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk placed first in all dances. The surprise for us was the second place finish of Gaetano lavarone & Emanuela from Italy who placed second overall 2,2,2,2,3. Gaetano & Emanuela were both very capable but could have easily been overtake by the Canadian Ballroom Champions, Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch who although a little heavy at times, still had the power and swing to get our attention. But in the end Anton & Anna placed third in four dances but stole the quickstep away from Italy.
Ronen Zishtein & Mariam Izmaylova from USA took fourth overall 4,4,4,5,5. It most have been a disappointing result for Richard Tonizzo & Clair Hansen from Canada, who were fifth 5,5,5,4,4, and sixth was awarded to former Senior World Champions Volker Schmidt & Ellen Jonas from Germany.
In the Pro/Am it was Rhythm day and in the Rhythm World Dancesport Series the competitions were great especially in the “B” division where Canada’s Rhea Arida w/Volvick Edouard who took first in all dances. Faye Diamantoudi w/Tony Santana were second 2,2,3,2,2, and third was awarded to Tabuja Tharani w/Adrian Persad form the USA 3,3,4,3,4.
The “C” was only a four couple final but worth a mention. Lily Di Gregorio w/David Rodriguez placed first overall but not in all dances 2,1,2,1,1. Pascale Navarro w/Tony Santana was second 1,2,1,2,2, and third went to Louise Vignoul w/Simone Zat 4,3,3,3,3.
The “A” was only a three couple final and here the scholarship went to Nathalie Vuong w/Volvick Edouard who took first in all dances leaving second to Astrid Pacher w/Christopher Panasuk and they took all seconds and in 3rd Sophie Labelle & Dayan Mantecon Roldan.
It was a lovely evening, the MC’s managed to keep the pace going and upbeat until the end and we cannot wait for tonight when the Professional Latin and Smooth will be presented along with the Amateur Ballroom.
A Summer Night’s Dream!
With so much white snow blanketing the city of Montreal and with a winter wonderland decorating the ballroom it all seemed like a summer’s night dream here at La Classique Du Quebec! The Hilton Bonaventure continues to be a perfect venue for a ballroom event. The hotel sits atop an 18-floor structure, but the natural trees, fountains, walkways all surrounded by a small pool where ducks play make you feel as if you are in a winter wonderland.
The competition in the beautiful, natural ballroom one floors below the hotel is perfect and this time as we walked in, we could not help but take a breath as we admired the simple but beautiful decorations that enhanced the ballroom - the white materials, the fresh flowers, the dry white painted willow trees, the new and improved logo that is placed just right allowed the light to reflect a much bigger version on the curtains behind. All this in a very simple manner, yet beautiful with subtle accents and a touch of class, makes for us La Classique Du Quebec 2015 a perfect winter wonderland.
The competition inspired and complimented by the excellent acoustics of this ballroom made all the events interesting in this beautiful ballroom. The Pro/Am Smooth Scholarships were great. The largest entry came in the “C” division, where World Dancesport Series winner Beverly Moore dancing with Alain Doucet continued to take the lead and won all dances, second in this category went to Josee Dubuc w/ Christopher Panasuk and they placed second in all four dances, leaving third to Jan VanDuyn w/ Joe Born and they placed 4,3,3,3.
The “B” division had also a six-couple final but apart form the wining couple it was not very clear as to where everyone placed. Nadia Sicilia w/Christopher Panasuk took first in all four dances, Rhea Arida w/Volvick Edouard took second overall but not in every dance 2,3,2,3, this tie breaker must have been resolved by a rule 10 or rule 11, giving Brina Lewin & Tony Santana an overall third placed 3,2,3,2.
The “A” Division was only a four-couple final but with some good talent. Nathalie Vuong w/Volvick Edouard won all dances, a clear second place overall went to Astrid Pacher w/Christopher Panasuk, and third was Jessica Vane w/Sharon Levit who tied in the waltz for 3rd place with Martin-Luc Girard w/ Jessie Mineau who were fourth overall. Jessica & Sharon placed third in the other three dances and Martin & Jessie placed fourth in the other three dances.
The Pro/Am Grand-Slam showdance was also a feature this evening and the winning couple was Carlynn Rees dancing with well-known Cabaret dancer Carlos Zapata. Second was awarded to Jacquie Smith w/Rafael Steyners and third went to Costance Buki w/Dayan Mantenco Roldan.
The Amateur Senior 2 Latin was a five-couple final but one good enough to need a mention. Luc Lavigne & Josee Latulippe took first overall 1,1,2,1,1, Roger Korsiak & Holli Hornline took second 3,2,1,2,3, and third was awarded to Pierre Legault & Lyne Villeneuve 2,3,3,3,2.
The evening concluded with a show by US Professional Latin Champions and WDC World Professional Latin Champions, Riccardo Coccchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko. It was well received and a good ending to the first day of competitions here at La Classique Du Quebec.