Heritage Classic 2015

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“Kiss Me Honey, Honey, Kiss Me!


HC15-PaulIt was a blast from the past to see legendary Paul Killick dancing with world Cabaret and Latin icon, Hanna Karttunen, in the show at Heritage.


Their retro selection of music like “Kiss Me Honey, Honey Kiss Me” for the cha cha was very appropriate, the audience was very appreciative of their efforts standing up for them a number of times.  We were very impressed by their efforts especially with their rumba that not only touched our mind but our hearts.

The HC15-Zharinovtwo feature events of the evening were the Professional Smooth and the Latin. The Smooth was taken easily by Mikhail & Galina Zharinov who won all four dances, with the majority of firsts in each dance. Their tango was the only dance where they had more than two second place marks from the judges, to be precise six, but for us they were still the best by far. Second overall went to Tarvis & Jaimee Tuft who placed second in every dance and stole four of those first place marks in the tango from Mikhail & Galina, however, they were not as lucky with the marks they got some very low marks as well especially in the tango where they took 2 fourth place marks. Glenn Weisse was not a fan of their Smooth interpretation he awarded them all fourth place marks and a fifth in the Viennese Waltz.

Third overall were Vladimir & Vera Kosarev, they placed 4,4,3,3.  Their new look and work looks very promising, we are sure the judges had to take a look a number of times because their marks in some dances were all over the place, including a first in the tango by Patrick Johnson. Fourth went to Adrian & Hannah Dydynski 3,3,4,4, fifth place was awarded to Andrei & Elena Rudenco 5,6,5,5, and sixth was awarded to Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewski 6,5,6,6.


ThHC15-Nikishkine Professional Latin was also a terrific heat.  The fight for first was very intense between Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets and Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova. In the end the competition went to Dmitry & Olena four to one, 1,1,2,1,1. Roman & Alexandra took second overall and won the rumba, and in looking at the marks in some cases it was very close but a few of the judges diminished Roman & Alexandra’s possibilities by awarding them some very low scores.  Shirley Johnson was one of the judges who awarded them 6,3,5,3,4, and so it was Adele Hyland from Australia who gave them 5,6,4,5,3.

Third was awarded to Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab 3,5,4,3,3, fourth went to Adam Katona & Bella Gubzheva 5,3,3,4,4, fifth were Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina 4,4,5,5,5, and sixth were Jonas Kaslauskas & Kathleen Ilo from England who took sixth in all dances.


In the Pro/Am Open Ballroom Scholarships the “C” division went to Lynn Murrell w/Alexander Voskalchuk 1,1,1,1,1, second went to Lisa Lowery & Radek Wiatrowski 2,2,2,2,2 and third in all dances was April Haims & Ruslan Meshkov.


The “B” was an excellent event as well and this went to Beverly Moore w/Alain Doucet they won every dance but the waltz.  The waltz was won by Lisa Berry w/Rauno Ilo and she took second in all the other dances securing the second place finish overall. Third in all dances was Brynda Insley w/Martin Reinbold and she took third in all five dances.


The Pro/Am 10 dances came to its conclusion this night as well and here there were four contestants but all dances went to Yulia Rudenco w/Andrei Rudenco.

With this the 2015 Heritage Classic came to a finish. As always the organization was particularly perfect down to the timetable.  This time the attendees and audience got to enjoy some fabulous dancing and even, unlike previous years, some general dancing for themselves so we were all happy and looking forward to what 2016 will bring.  Congratulations Joy and Colin for a fabulous job!    

Great Dancing at the Heritage!

Yesterday was a day of great dancing at the Heritage, the feature events at night were terrific and the Pro-Am Latin scholarships were of terrific quality.

The HC15-Tuft picProfessional Cabaret was the first of the main feature events that we saw and every single couple in it had something to contribute.  The winners overall were Travis & Jaimee Tuft who from our prospective and that of the judges were by far the most proficient at their skill.  They got the majority of firsts and four seconds with only one judge awarding them a fourth place mark and that was Oksan Zolotarevckaya. Second in this excellent final went to Brandon Baker & Chelsea Cherie, third were Daniel Enskar & Ahtoy Wonpat-Borja, fourth went to Slava Panakshev & Daria Cebotaru, and last but not least doing a fabulous and complete ballroom showdance in fifth place were Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley. We say fabulous because although they took fifth their routine was excellent this should tell you the quality of all dancers.

HC15-Cabaret lineup

The Professional Rhythm was also a terrific event. Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova placed first in all dances and they were the audience’s favorite by far as well as the judges’. In their cha cha and swing Nazar & Irina took perfect scores from all the judges, in the rumba and the bolero they missed having a perfect score by two marks and in the mambo by one mark. In our opinion Nazar & Irina are poised to challenge for the highest position in the land and they will modernize the style. Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova were a comfortable second in this heat and they too did it with a majority of seconds with only a handful of judges awarding them a lower score. Third overall went to Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov, but here as you will notice their marks were more varied 4,3,3,4,3. Fourth place went to a fairly new partnership, Andrei Abrashin who was a US 9 Dance Champion, and his new partner Maria Gavrilova 3,4,4,3,4. Fifth went to Jean Michel Erol & Larisa Mikryokova fifth in all dances, leaving sixth to Timothy Pennenga & Tatiana Ramirez.

HC15-ProRhythm Lineup

THC15-Ballroom Winnerhe Open Professional Ballroom was also a good heat. Here seven couples were recalled, the winners in all dances and our favorite this evening were Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova.  Their control of movement and musicality got all our attention. Second overall went to Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya 3,2,2,2,2, we too like this partnership especially the lady who we always have thought to be one of the best ladies in this style. Third overall was awarded to Gianni Caliandro & Arianna Esposito who took second in the waltz and third in the other three dances.  Funnily enough we totally agreed with the judges on this one, however we were disappointed in their tango that is usually one of the best on the floor.  We wonder if the altitude might have spoilt it a bit. Fourth went to Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley 4,4,4,5,4, fifth were Yuriy Nartov & Sarina Hudson 6,5,5,6,5, sixth was Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab 5,6,6,4,6, and seventh was awarded to Dimitrijus Sazinas & Karolina Szpiech who were the crowd favorite even though they placed seventh in every dance, we wonder if being from North Carolina might have something to do with their strong fan base.


The pro-am Latin day was terrific and full of life.  The scholarships at night were excellent.  The “A” was the smallest of the three with only three couples in it, and here Dasha Hamrick w/Clement Joly took first overall 1,1,1,1,2, second went to Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenco who won the Jive but placed second in the other four dances, and in third position was Jessica Khamas & Daniel Gonzales.

Bothe the “B” and “C” categories had a five couple final, there was an upset in the “C” division.  Current NDCA World Pro-Am “C” Latin Champion, Beverly Moore w/Alain Doucet, was defeated by Lisa Lowery w/Radek Wiatrowski who won all dances and tied for second in the jive but not with Beverly who placed second overall (2,2,2,3,1) but with Janet Colleran w/Aleks Nashev 3,3,3,2,2T, who was third.

The “B” division was a little more routine, here Mirra Blinova w/Clement Joly were the winners in every dance. Christopher Surratt w/Tatiana Kazakova placed second and Letizia DiCarlo w/Mario Drobny took third in every dance.

PaHC15-Killickul Killick was awarded a Heritage Award for all his achievements in the field of ballroom dancing and he and Hannah Karttunnen will be performing on Saturday.

Last night we had a fabulous Heritage evening filled with great talent and fabulous dancing.  We expect this night to be the same or better. Our congratulations to Colin & Joy Hilary for a great job.    

Great day of Smooth at Heritage!

Last night was a great day of Smooth dancing at Heritage, all day we saw all levels in the Pro/Am category and in the evening the most attendance we had was in the Rising Star Smooth with a healthy semifinal.

The winners of this Rising Star Smooth were Andrei & Elena Rudenco placing first in all dances, however, for us it was a tight race between first and second position. Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewski placed second but for us it came down to when you were looking, they too could have easily taken top place. When looking at the marks none of the dances were won with a majority of firsts and in all the dances Radek & Denise took a minimum of two first places in each dance sometimes four.

Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov placed third in every dance, Dennis Woods & Amber Reich took all fourths, Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov placed fifth 5,5,5,6, and William Proper & Jennifer Elliott took sixth 6,6,6,5.


THC15-ProRisBallroomhe Professional Rising Star Ballroom was a five couple final and this was won by Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson.  Second went to Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Karzukhina placing second in all dances and third was awarded to Jonas Kaslauskas & Kathleen Ilo from England.

The Professional Rising Star Latin was a four couple final and this went to Adam Katona & Bella Gubzheva and they were first in all dances. Second was awarded to Felipe Gonzalez & Darinka Divjak 3T,3,2,3,2, and third went to Jonas Kazlauskas & Katleen Ilo from England.


The Open Pro/Am Smooth scholarships were excellent events both the “B” and “C” categories were very contested.  The “C” went to Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet who won all dances, however, from where we stood we thought they could have easily lost a dance or two.  There was lots of flaws throughout their programs with obvious mishaps, but the judges apparently were focused on other matter on the floor the majority of five awarded Beverly first in three dances, in the VW she was awarded only two firsts. The runner up was Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski and they placed second in all dances.  A number of the firsts taken away from Beverly were awarded to Lisa, especially in the VW where she got four first place marks. Third went to Darla Davies w/Jim Maranto 3,3,3,4. I have to say that this particular event was very exciting with some excellent ladies doing excellent work.

HC15-Pro-amSmooth C

The “B” Category went to Lisa Berry w/Rauno Ilo who won all dances.  Second was awarded to Aiyesha Dey w/Mayo Alanen and third in all dances went to Mariana Lvoff. The winner of the “A” was Yulia Rudenco w/Andrei Rudenco.   

End of Rhythm!

After two full days of Rhythm competition in the Pro/Am field here at the Heritage Classic, last night’s evening concluded with some fun Pro/Am scholarships and the Professional Rising Star Rhythm event, a perfect ending to the two Rhythm days.

ThHC15-RIsing ProRhythme Professional Rhythm division was quite small in attendance but the quality of the four couples are certainly worth a mention. Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov won all five dances, the cha cha with perfect scores from all the judges and the other 4 dances with the majority of firsts, however, in each of those four dances there were at least 3 to 4 judges that did not agree and gave them second and only one of this judges awarded them a last place in the rumba and that was Marina Tarsinov.

Second overall in this Rising Star Rhythm heat was Vicente Martinez & Megan Murphy and in the cha they managed to get all seconds in the other dances they were not as clear they got a number of first, thirds and even a fourth from from Cher Rutherford. Third overall went to Timothy Pennenga & Tiana Ramirez and they placed third in every dance, leaving fourth position to Timothy Polaschek & Katherina Hutchinson.


In the pro/am Rhythm Scholarships the strongest competition was in the “C” division.  This was won by Quin Bommelje w/ Mikhail Vlasov who placed first in four dances and second in the mambo. Gracelyn Tuoti w/Andrei Abrashin won the mambo but placed second in the other dances leaving them holding second overall. Third in this excellent “C” division was awarded to Hope Huber w/Troy Baeten 4,3,4,3,3.

The “B” cHC15-Pro-AmBLineupategory was only a two couple race between Mieko Okumura dancing with Zeki Maviyildiz and Eileen Princilla dancing with Golden Parker, this category was very close  Mieko got 2,1,2,1,2 and Eileen 1,2,1,2,1, so as you can see it was close but Eileen was the winner overall.

The senior was also fun to watch and that went to Leslie McLeod w/Melbin De la Cruz and the “A” Rhythm category was a one woman show and this went to Moriah Miller dancing with Zeki Maviyildiz.

Today we have already started with the Smooth categories, the heats are packed and we hope to see some terrific scholarships.

  • Heritage Dancesport Classic 2016

    “Amores Perros”

    Translation: “Love Dogs.” It is very difficult to translate this from a “love” language like Spanish, and it is the only way it can really be described is as a passion, a seduction, a love and the carnivorous desire that Slavik Kryklyvyy & Karina Smirnoff served on the floor last night at the Heritage Classic.

  • Heritage Classic 2015

    “Kiss Me Honey, Honey Kiss Me!”
    Heritage Classic Dancesport Championships

    Report By Didio Barrera
    Photos by Park West

    “Kiss me, honey, honey, kiss me!” Was the song that world Latin icons Paul Killick & Hanna Karttunen used as the opening number of their show for the impressive finale of the Heritage Dancesport Classic.

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