Millennium Dancesport 2015
Can the Candyman?
Click here for a tiny foretaste of the Millennium Show of Shows. Check your local listings for air dates on ASN network
Yes siree! The Candyman can, and did! For two nights in a row Mr. Michael Chapman, organizer and producer, of the Millennium Dancesport Championships, was able to deliver a show to be remembered. Coca Cola was the main theme featuring the trapese artists, men on stilts, a formation team, all a part of an opening act for Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko, World Latin Champions, who enthralled the audience to “Coca Cola,” that now very popular cha cha.
The Coca Cola formation and act could only be equaled by possibly the best performance we have seen from Peter & Alexandra Perzhu, US Professional Smooth Champions, who performed a dramatic waltz also to be remembered for time to come. The legendary team of Andrew Sinkinson & Charlotte Jorgensen also presented a waltz to "The Impossible Dream." The show was slightly shorter than the night before leaving us, unusually, wanting more, something that we usually crave but we never get. Our congratulations to Mr. Chapman for making it a perfect show of shows for us.
The evening would not have been complete without the usual lifetime achievement award and this time it went to a neighbor and a woman that we have all come to admire and respect for her contribution to ballroom dancing in Canada, Meryem Pearson. Meryem has taught many well-respected and established personalities in North American, such as Christiane Primeau, Stephan Champagne and Alain Doucet, who were all present and all Canadian Champions plus Pierre Allaire & Mireille Veilleur who made a surprise appearance. These dancers and others also became well known throughout the world and Alain Doucet & anik Jolicoeur became World Champions. We ourselves were very touched personally by this presentation, since Meryem also had a strong hand and influence in shaping both the editor, Keith Todd and the feature’s editor Didio Barrera’s careers. Meryem continues to contribute to the world of ballroom dance by running perhaps what began as the most significant competition in North America, La Classique du Quebec.
Last night was not only about world class performances and awards it also featured three major professional events, Cabaret, Rhythm and Ballroom. The Ballroom was a name-dropping event. Victor Fung & Anastasia, second in the world of professional Ballroom dancing, won all five dances with perfect scores from all judges, a somewhat rare occurence. Second overall went to Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk who took the majority of seconds in all dances. However, there were a few who dissented. The most noteworthy was Amy Anderson who awarded them all sevenths. In defence of Amy’s position we too, the Dance Beat Team, thought this not to be Marat & Alina’s best performance. Third overall was awarded to Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva who also placed third in every dance. Fourth went to Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova and they took fourth in every dance. Fifth were Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova placing fifth in every dance and sixth went to Iarolsalv Bieliei & Lilia Gladiuk. They placed sixth in four dances and seventh in the quickstep. The quickstep sixth position went to the seventh couple overall and that was Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova.
The Professional Rhythm was also an excellent event with great eye candy. Here it was an easy win for Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova who took first in all dances by a landslide of first place marks. Only a few judges awarded them less, the most prominent judge here was Shorena Gachechiladze who awarded them three thirds, a fourth in the swing and a second in the cha cha. Second in all dances went to Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova, however, they did get a few thirds and some firsts, but the most shocking marks came from Melanie LaPatin who awarded them a 6th in the cha, a fifth in the swing, a fourth in the bolero, and second in the other two dances.
Third was awarded to Andre & Natalie Paramonov and they also took third overall in every dance, however unlike Nazar & Irina, Andre & Natalie were only able to steal a small amount of first place marks, one in the cha cha and one in the swing from Dan Rutherford, and one in the mambo from Tony Meredith.
Fourth place in this excellent Rhythm competition went to Misha Vlasov & Vanda Polakova placing fourth in every dance. Fifth was awarded to Vard Margaryan & Mandy Carlisle but here they were fifth in every dance but the bolero where they took sixth. Sixth position in this heat went to Shane & Shannon Jensen and they took fifth in the bolero but sixth in the other four dances.
The Cabaret was also another feature in this year’s Millennium. 12 couples competed and a semifinal had to be run earlier in the day but in the end the first place award went to Shane & Shannon Jensen who were in our opinion perfection at work. They received 14 of the 17 first places. Second in this fantastic Cabaret was awarded to another couple who are very capable in this department and that was Travis & Jaimee Tuft. However, we totally agreed with the judges’ decision today. When comparing these two great exhibition couples, we have to feel that Shane & Shannon take a few more ricks in the work and are able to keep you in suspense through the entire routine. Perhaps Travis & Jaimee just have to go a little more on the edge to close the gap between them and overtake them. Whatever it is, we are so lucky in the USA to have such incredible Cabaret talent all here live and well.
Third in this fantastic Cabaret competition went to Michael Azarov & Tanya Makarenko, fourth were Clifton Sepulveda & Mar Martinez, fifth were Jamie Black & Robin Ray, sixth were Clyde Harris & Summer Black Elkin, and last but not least in seventh position were Daniel Enskat & Ahtoy Won Pat-Borja.
The Amateur Latin was a tough job for the judges and you can appreciate more when you look into their marks. The winners overall were Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina taking first in four dances and second in the paso doble. However, we must point out that in not one dance were they able to capture a majority of firsts from the judges. The closest they came to taking the majority was in the cha, where they took eight first place marks out of 17. From this dance on they got less first place marks. Their worst marks came from Meryem Pearson who awarded them 5 sixth place marks, and Shirley Ballas who awarded them 4 sixth places and a fifth. The marks got even more interesting when it came to second placed, Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladee. They placed second overall but not in all dances. They took third in the paso and fourth in the jive. When looking at Austin & Nino’s marks we can see how difficult of a decision it must have been for the judges. They got a variety of marks from first to sixth place in almost every dance. For us it was a little more clear, with the exception of what looked like Nina’s black robe, we were enthralled by this young lady’s talent and ability to Latin dance. Had we been judging I think we might have placed this couple higher in one or two dances at least. Third overall went to Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman and they were the recipient of that elusive first place mark missing from the winning couple 3,3,3,1,3. Fourth were Danils Kutuzovs & Maria Shalvarova 4,4,4,4,2, fifth was awarded to Artur Tarnasskky & Anastasia Danilova 5,5,5,6,6 and sixth were Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova.
The Amateur Junior II Latin event was sponsored by the CBZ foundation, here many of the juniors got scholarships (money) presented by Maria Kordit, director of the CBZ Foundation. The winning overall couple of this event was Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Spektor they won all dances as they had the day before in Ballroom. Second in all dances was awarded to Max Firestein & Nicole Mychedlidze and third were Denis Smotrov & Karina Mirochnik who took third in four dances and fourth in the cha cha. Fourth went to Dennis Matveev & Danielle Goldman 5,4,4,4,4, fifth were Matthew Lavitman & Olivia Agranovich 3,5,5,5,5, and sixth in all dances were Jackson Bayhi & Ashley Mattingly.
The Amateur Youth Latin was also a good event and here the winner was Clinton Cade Corder & Alexandra Gutkovich 2,1,1,1,1, second were Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze 1,2,2,2,3, and third were Gregory Rybakov & Ellen Anshelevich 3,3,4,3,2.
Pro/am was the biggest part for the Millennium this year, the impressive 5 day event. The Latin day was also packed with great dancing starting at 7AM but the Open Scholarships were late afternoon.
The winner of the A was Sabrina Strasser w/Stanishlav Kochergin from Canada and they won every dance. Second in this category was Vera Xu w/ Jakub Zeglen, however, her marks were more varied 3,2,2,3,2 and third went to Emily Tang w/ Delyan Terziev 6,3,3,2,4. Saina Hadden w/ Daniele Gozzi was 4th, 2,4,5,4,3; 5th Joanna Wu w/ Plamen Danailov 4,6,4,6,5; 6th Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrey Rudenco 7,5,6,5,6; 7th Maria Seva w/ Lubo Asenov 5,7,7,7,7.
In the B division the winners were Maria Seragou w/Dimitrios Damalas 1,1,1,2,4. Second overall was Mirra Blinova w/Clement Joly 2,4,2,1,1, and third was awarded to Jacqueline Soccodato w/Delyan Terziev 3,2,4,3,3. 4th Jelena Sevaljevic w/ Stanislav Kochergin (Canada) 4,3,3,4,2; 5th Suzanne Petersen w/ Damir Karaman 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Colette Marotto w/ Oleksii Lytvyn 7,7,7,7,7.
It was an 8 couple final in the C division and first was awarded to Lorraine Peoples w/Andrei Gavriline 1,1,2,1,1. Second this time went to Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski 2,2,1,2,3, and third went to former World pro/am Champion Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet from Canada 3,3,3,3,2. 4th Lynn Magnusen w/ Vard Margaryan 5,5,4,4,4; 5th Tasha Romero w/ Evgeny Likachev 6,4,5,5,5; 6th Nora Fox w/ Plamen Danailov 4,6,6,6,6; 7th Tammy Knight w/ Oleksii Lytvyn 7,7,7,8,8; 8th Sharon Iannacone w/ Genya Bartashevich 8,8,8,7,7.
Last night organizer, producer, Michael Chapman unwrapped his “Candy” and delivered another show of a lifetime! The “Debra Fontaine Show of Shows” was nearly out of this world “literally”, with trapeze artists hanging from the ceilings performing life-threatening maneuvers with no safety net and a cast of what seemed to be 60 people performing bellow, a potpourri of candy surprises.
The featured acts Peter & Alexandra Perzhu, American Smooth Champions, Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko World Professional Latin Champions, and Andrew Sinkinson & Charlotte Jorgensen were delivered to us all by the fabulous cast, who intermingled with them to make the show flow seamlessly for about 30 minutes. Our favorite number because of the way it was presented by the cast and feature performers was the Perzhu’s opening number “The Candy Man Can” an American style foxtrot, that opened all our senses for what was about to unfold.
Both Peter & Alexandra and Riccardo & Yulia were in top form as expected, giving us great quality and bringing the audience to a number of standing ovations. The “retro, vintage” performance by World Professional finalists and World Ballroom Amateur Champions Andrew & Charlotte gave the show a touch of history that we all loved, our minds all went to the time when these two, separately and together, brought hundreds of houses to a standing ovation and their simple but beautiful basic movements to “Over the Rainbow” sung by our own US National Smooth Champion, Michelle Officer and accompanied on the Piano by DJ extraordinaire, Brent Mills, was touching, moving some to drop a tear and the crowd to their feet at the end of the performance.
You would have thought this was all that was going on this night but no! This was just a treat for the audience served between rounds of the well-attended and very disputed competitions going on this evening.
The 2 feature events tonight were the Open Professional divisions in Smooth and Latin and both were cracking events, the Latin beginning with 36 couples. In no doubt at all were the winners, Canadian Champions, Maurizio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite who received every 1st place from every judge in all dances. Almost equally clear in the judges’ minds were the runners-up, Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova who had large majorities of 2nd places in all dances.
But from there down the couples were jockeying for positions. The big gain came for the 3rd place couple, Mykhalio Bilipukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina who scored 5,4,5,3,3 for their overall 3rd position. This was a big gain from one night before when they placed 2nd in the RS. We can understand this gain! This is a really talented and unique couple, a great recent gain to the US dance scene from, we believe, Ukraine. 3rd tonight, but obviously very close, were Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin who scored 3,3,6,6,4. 5th went to Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova 4,6,3,4,5T and 6th to the RS winners, Sasha Althukov & Cheyenne Murillo 6,5,4,5,5T. A quick bit of arithmetic will show you how close it was from 3rd to 6th places and how the luck of the draw (and the Skating System) meant that Sasha & Cheyenne placed 6th overall but actually placed 6th in only 1 dance.
Unfortunately Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina had to withdraw after the first round. Their presence would have been enjoyable in the final we are sure.
Gocha Chertkoev & Shorena Gachichiladze will have the report in Dance Beat soon.
The Smooth brought out all the nation’s best (with the exception of the Perzhus who were performing in the show). Mikhail & Galina Zharinov won all 3 dances, 2 with the majority of 1st places (waltz and foxtrot). Runners-up, Mazen Hamza & Izabella won the tango and were 2nd in the other 3 dances. Both couples were on form tonight. This was perhaps one of the best performances we have seen from Mikhail & Galina. The only point of interest when looking at the judges’ scores was that whilst Mikhail & Galina were fairly clear in their win, they did receive a few 6th places whereas the lowest score received by Mazen & Izabella were some 4th places.
3rd in all dances were Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija who continue to impress us with their beautiful dance action, particularly in waltz. Today VW was their best scored dance. Travis & Jaimee Tuft had a strong result with 4th in all dances and they picked up at least one 1st place in all dances. Kyle & Allie Spinder were 5th in all and we also noted great basic dance actions from this duo. The newcomers to the final were Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smimova who were 6th in all dances. Two judges really favored this duo, who we also found very impressive choreographically and physically and this was Nicole Caroll who placed them 2nd in all dances and Igor Litvinov who scored them 2,2,2,1.
Amy Anderson will report on this event in Dance Beat soon.
Although a straight final, the Amateur Ballroom was also of a high standard. It resulted in another win for Canada, as Jamie Cuttler & Virginie Primeau won all 5 dances. We were expecting an easy win for this couple but although they won all dances, they had the majority of 1st places in only foxtrot. Splitting the remaining 1st places were the two couples immediately behind them. Runners-up were Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova 3,3,2,2,2 and third, Lucca & Krizia Balestra 2,2,3,3,3. These are two couples of similar talent but very differing styles. 4th were Daniel Vesnovsiy & Emily Thorpe 5,4,4,4,4; 5th Brandon Buchthal & Natasha Barrera 4,5,5,5,5; 6th Jacob Tsai & Cara Yun Loo 6,6,7,7,6; 7th Danya Rubashevsky & Anastasiya Vysotska 8,7,6,6,7; 8th Yates 7,8,8,8,8.
Max Sinitsa will have a report on this division.
For the pro-ams it was a day of Ballroom and the Open Scholarships were as strong as you would expect in a competition of this size. The A division was won by Natalie Rezal w/ Sergey Kiselev 1,1,2,1,1, this is certainly one of the strongest ladies in this field currently. Receiving her 2nd nod as runner-up, Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa placed 2,2,1,2,5. Vinie Miller w/ Denis Kutepov took all the 3’s and Yulia Rudenko w/ Andrei Rudenco was 4th with 4,4,4,4,2. For us she could certainly have won the QS. Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Faraci was 5th 5,5,5,6,5; Kelly Long w/ Yevgeny Klyukin was 6th 7,6,6,5,6; Elena Kravchenko w/ Ivan Tarkhanov (Russia) was 7th 6,7,7,7,7 and Eliza Cheney w/ Yuriy Nartov was 8th.
It was in the B that we strayed most from form results. The winner remained constant – Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano placed 1st in all dances. 2nd in all was Julie Zhao w/ Denis Kutepov. We thought she had a good day and certainly challenged the winner. Also in great form today was Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold who was 3rd in all dances. Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson was 4th 5T,5,4,4,5. Elka Hristova w/ Artem Plakhotnyi was 5th 5T,6,5,5,4. We also liked this lady’s easy style and personality. Surprising us was the 6th place finish of a past winner in this division, Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet 4,4,6,6,6. We didn’t quite see any major problems here that would warrant this drop, but perhaps we were not standing where the judges were? Closing this final was Bo Chang w/ Giampiero Giannico in 7th place.
The always relaxed Hye-Kyong Park w/ Linas Korieva was a good winner in the C division, taking all dances. Also strong in 2nd was Leilani Viney w/ Kamil Urbaniak 3,3,2,3,2 and another one of our favorites, Connie Edmonds w/ Samuele Pacchini was 3rd 5,6,3,2,3. We don’t quite understand the 5th and 6th placements. Betty Yeh w/ Enzo Zappia was 4th 4,2,5,4,5; Tammy Knight w/ Artem Plakhotnyi was 5th 2,4,4,6,6; Beatrice Wang w/ Giampiero Giannico was 6th 6,5,6,5,4 and Annie Chen w/ Denis Kutepov closed the final.
In this busy day there were also 2 professional RS divisions danced. It was a good day for Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov who won the very strong Rhythm category with 3,2,1,1,1. We also liked the runners-up, Igor Ustymovich & Briana Santiago 1,1,2,2,3. 3rd tonight were Aaron & Iryna DeSotto 2,3,3,3,2.
In the corresponding Ballroom RS, Vladislav Shakov & Ekaterina Popova were the winners placing 1,1,1,1,2. Winning that QS and 2nd in the other dances were Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubrowska. 3rd in all were Youriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson.
The kids were also out in force last night at least in quality if not quantity. CBZ Foundation sponsored the Junior II Ballrom and the easy winners here in all dances were Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Soektor. 2nd went to Denis Smotrov & Karina Mirochnik 3,2,3,2,2 and 3rd to Dennis Mateev & Danielle Goldman 2,3,2,3,3.
The JI Ballroom was won by Leroy Shaigorodsky & Sonya Elkin, the Preteen I by Daniel Novikov & Natalina Chen and the Youth Ballroom by Jacob Tsai & Cara Yun Loo.
The Millennium traditionally awards their Hall of Fame on this night and tonight the honoree was none other than the “Goumada” – Marianne Nicole, famed coach and adjudicator. The preceding accolades were read by Marianne’s former professional partner, Rufus Dustin and for the award she was joined on the floor by husband, John DePalma who is a presenter for the ASN TV show.
In the end just when you thought it was over and it was time to take the elevator to your room, the seductive Hawaiian dancers were directing you into a fabulous after party with food, dancing and show. The free mai tais and chi chi’s were flowing but this time compliments of the Hawai'i Star Ball a competition hundreds of miles away in the Pacific where life is beautiful and people hang lose.
The Sweetness Continues!
Thursday was just as sweet at Millennium as we moved into the Pro-Am Smooth divisions and a very full day it was, beginning at 7:00 AM. The Open Scholarships were great – all danced at night and with TV coverage.
It was another win for Briana Yadgir, this time dancing with Chris Germain, in the the Open A Scholarship Smooth. She was the winner in the A Rhythm. This divisions was closer. Briana placed 2,2,1,1. Her runner-up, Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa placed 1,1,2,3. Overall we favored Melonie by just a little – but that’s why they have so many judges! Congrats to Briana. Taking 2nd in foxtrot but 3rd overall was Kat Wagner w/ Sergey Barsukov. Another really strong young lady, Yulia Rudenko w/ Andrei Rudenko was 4th in all dances. With 5,5,6,5, Natalie Rezai w/ Slawek Souchaki was 5th. 6th was the only gentleman in the final, Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer 7,6,5,6. 7th, Olivia Zettergren w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 6,7,8,8. 8th Ran Wei w/ Mikolay Czarnecki 8,8,7,7. As you can see, an excellent and close fought final!
The clear winner of the B division for us, and for the judges was Joann Smith w/ Sharon Levit (Canada) and she won all dances. Second in all was Aiyesha Dey w/ Mayo Alanen and 3rd in all was Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson. These top three seemed fairly clear in the judges’ eyes. 4th place tonight went to Shiela Davis w/ Vlasislav Shakov 4,4,5,5, 5th was Carolin Woodruff w/ Alosha Anatoliy 6,6,4,4; 6th Nikki Kennedy w/ Igor Afonkin 5,7,6,6; 7th Marcy Garson w/ Mazen Hamza 7,5,7,7 and 8th Kelli Moll w/ Eugene Graev.
The C Smooth is always a great division and we were not disappointed tonight. The winner, another double champion, was Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski and she won all 4 dances. This was something of an upset as the runner up was World Champion in this division, Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet (Canada) 2,2,2,2. Obviously these are two great lady competitors. We still favored Beverly slightly tonight. Lisa was a little hard to see find where we were sitting, perhaps the dark green dress did not help. 3rd was another really strong competitor, Sue Eldred w/ Artem Plakhotnyi 3,3,3,4. Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Rezin took 4th spot, 4,4,4,3. 5th Gracelyn Tuotti w/ Andrei Abrashin 5,5,5,5; 6th Darla Davies w/ Jim Maranto 6,7,7,6; 7th Sharon Sanchez w/ Sergey Barsukov 7,6,6,7.
Following these scholarship divisions there was a high-energy and lavishly costumed Pro-Am Team match featuring 4 teams – USA East, USA West, Canada and Rest of World. The result was an unbreakable tie between the two USA teams.
The night (early morning) ended with the first two professional events of Millennium 2015 – RS Latin and RS Smooth. Both were quarter-final events.
The Latin was won by Sasha Althukov & Cheyenne Murrillo 1,2,1,1,2. Obviously this was a close event and no couple received a majority of 1st places in any dance. We liked Sasha & Cheyenne. They do everything right. We did think it looked a bit like an “exercise” last night. We actually thought runners-up. Myhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina had an edge on the night. They placed 4,3,2,2,1. We really liked their casual but energetic approach. Also picking up a lot of 1st places from the judges were Stanislav Savich & Nicole prosser in 3rd place. Their scores, 2,1,4,3,4. Also in the mix, and taking more 1st places than anyone except the winners, were 4th placed Sergey & Dasha Chyslov. Overall they scored 3,4,3,4,3. 5th went to Adam Katona & Bella Gubzheva 6,5,5,5,5 and 6th, Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina 5,6,6,6,6.
The Smooth was a more settled result. The winners, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi won all dances with a majority of 1st places. Also clear, Adrian & Hannah Dydynski were 2nd in all dances. The remaining couples were much closer. 4,3,5,3 gave Andrei & Elena Rudenko 3rd place; 4th Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewski 3,4,3,5; 5th Sergey Smolin & Anna Tomasini 6,6,4,4; 6th Morten Jensen & Anastasia 5,5,6,6.
An interesting experiment, probably for TV benefit, was that all the semifinalists were called on to the stage and then the 6 finalists were called out in randem order to come to the floor leaving the unsuccessful couples standing on the stage. More drama? Hey! It’s a competition! Some win, some lose!
Stay tuned for today’s exciting events!
Something good to suck on!
Candyland at Millennium 2015
“Candyland” is this year’s theme at the Millennium and as we all come to expect, the set is lavish and extravagant and reflects the style of organizer, Michael Chapman.
Plus…… this event seems to be limitless. Over 15,000 entries this year make it the busiest Millennium to date, and the largest competition in the USA. The schedule is longer too, beginning on Tuesday morning and continuing through Saturday night. Plus…… TV is making an appearance this year. American Sports Network will film pro-am open scholarships, amateur and professional events – check back for air times.
The first 2 days were all about the beat – rhythm pro-am filled 2 full days of competition and concluded quite late last night with the Open Scholarships in A, B and C categories. All had great quality.
Brianna Yadgir w/ Evgenii Grytsak won all dances in the A. Brianna is a former US Champion in this category, but this is the first time we have seen her with her new professional partner. We felt she was the deserving winner. From there it was a tighter race. Chastity w/ Eddie Ares took the runners-up spot placing 3,2,2,2,4. She always has a great look on the floor and appeared in contention tonight. She could be a little more aggressive and forceful. Tatiana DaCruz w/ Nazar Norov took 3rd, 2,3,3,3,2. A new lady to us with great potential. A little quiet in the final, but again, always in contention. Isabelle Libertore w/ Charles Cunningham took 4th 5,4,4,4,3. Our perception was totally different to the judges’. We really liked her cha cha and felt she could have won that dance. We found her later dances a little disorganized. Nathalie Young w/ Volvik Edouard (Canada) wqas 5th, 4,5,5,5,5; Lauren Watkins w/ Michael Neil was 6th in all dances. Veronica Maoli w/ Hayk Balasanyan took 7th 8,7,7,8,7. We felt that this lady could have placed higher in some dances. Closing the final and also showing great improvement, we thought was Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer.
Surprisingly the B was the smallest division today, with a straight final of 7 couples. The winner was Kia Malone w/ Eddie rivera 1,1,1,2,1. Worthy of this placement in our view today. 2nd went to Sheila Davis w/ Vladislav Shakov 2,2,2,1,2. This is a new pro-am pairing and shows great promise. 3rd in all dances was Elena Cormio w/ Edwin Torres. Although placing 3rd in all dances, we felt she was always a strong contender tonight and certainly could have placed higher in some dances. 4th went to Heather Radke w/ Kiril Arsov 5T,4,4,4,4; 5th Micko Okumura w/ Zeki Maviyildiz 5T,7,5,6,5; 6th Chris Wilson w/ Emilia Goldberg 7,6,6,5,6; 7th Faye Diamantoudi w/ Tony Santana (Canada) 4,5,7,7,7.
The C was a great contest between some of the best in the land in this division. Winning comfortably in our view was Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Waitrowski – the judges also awarded her all dances. The remaining places were close fought. Taking 2nd was Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan 2,2,3,3,3. This followed on from her success at Emerald Ball. 3rd, also continuing to place well was Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin 3,5,2,2,5. Jennifer Marre w/ Plamen Danailov was 4th 4,3,4,4,4. Quin Bommeljie w/ Misha Vlasov took 5th 5,4,5,5,2. We thought this lady could have placed higher. Sharon Sanchez w/ Sergey Barsukov was 6th 6,7,6,6,7 and Gracelyn Tuoti w/ Andrei Abrashin was 7th 7,6,7,7,6.
Today we move on to the pro-am smooth and of course anticipation runs high for the Friday and Saturday highlights still to come.