Manhattan Dancesport 2015

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Picking Favorites
Saturday at Manhattan

Click here for video from SuperShag

With so much good dancing here at Manhattan yesterday everyone was picking their favorites – both the judges and the audience we assume!  While all 3 of the feature events last night, Open Pro Ballroom, Open Pro Rhythm & Open Amateur Latin, had clear winners, there was so much to look at every event was interesting.


SMan15-Arunastarting with the Pro Ballroom, WDC World Champions, Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova notched up a perfect score receiving every available 1st place from the judges.  We thought they were in great form too and did we even see some new styling from them in places?

Marat Man15-MaratGimaev & Alina Basyuk also had clear majorities of 2nd places to easily take the runners-up spot.  A couple of ladies on the judging panel, Maria Johnson and Iveta Lukosute, had them lower in all dances and they were joined by Mireille Veilleux, Jonathan Wilkins and Colin Hillary in some random dances.  The battle for 3rd – 6th was much tighter with the judges scoring the couples all over the place.  Even the final summary shows this.  With 3,3,4,4,3 Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva got the best of it but they did not have the majority of ‘3rd or better’ in any dance.  Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova were 4th with 5,6,3,3,4.  They did have a slim majority of ‘3rd or better’ in the foxtrot.  Canada sneaked in among the USA couple as Anton Lebedev & Anna Borsh took 5th with 4,5,5,6,5 and Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova were 6th with 6,4,6,5,6.  This was a splendid competition all the way from the 1st round.

Charlotte Jorgensen will report on this division for Dance Beat soon.


UMan15-EmanuelS Champions, Emmanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova, were the easy winners in the Rhythm.  They had almost all 1st place marks with a smattering of 2nd’s and only one lower score, a 4th in swing from judge Mark Weiss.  We liked Liana’s new, sophisticated look!

Similarly, Man15-NazarNazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were easily 2nd with strong majorities of 2nd places and very few scores lower than a 3rd.  They also received a 4th place, this time in rumba from judge Aigers Stolcers.  3,3,4,3,4 gave Andre & Natalie Paramonov a 3 to 2 scores over Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova with 4,4,3,4,3.  A tighter race than recently seen from these two although the Paramonovs did have the majority of ‘3rd or better’ scores in the 3 dances they placed 3rd.  However, we also thought that this was a very strong performance from Mikhail & Vanda.  Azamat Evgamukov & Kateryna Angelone were 5th with 5,5,5,6,5 and Danus Jaksevicious & Yuki Haragouchi were 6th 6,6,6,5,6.

Wendy Johnson will have the report on this division.


The Man15-MortenAmateur Latin for us was the most interesting event of the night and an almost impossible choice for the judges at every round.  Some great couples fell by the wayside early in the competition and to them we would only say, “don’t be discouraged” this was a tremendous event from round 1 and the choices the judges were faced with were miniscule in their differences.

The event did have easy winners and this was Morten Lowe & Roselina Doneva from Denmark who won all dances with clear majorities of 1st places.  The only really low score they received was a 5th in cha cha from judge, Mark Weiss.  

2nd in Man15-Pashaall dances went to Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach.  They had the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores in all dances except samba. Interestingly they received only one 1st place and that was from judge Keith Todd in rumba, but they had a number of judges placing them either 5th or 6th also.  The great success of the night was 3rd placed Alexander CMan15-Sahsahernositov & Arina Grishanina who scored 5,3,3,4,6.  Those final placements give you a sense of how tight this final was.  Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler were 4th with 4,4,5,5,3 and for us this couple showed the greatest improvement of the night.  Gabriella especially was on fire tonight in the faster rhythm dances.  Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina were 5th scoring 3,6,4,6,4.  They have a more serious demeanor than some of the other couples.  We felt their best dance was paso doble, although the majority of judges did not seem to agree.  Closing this final were Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman with 6,5,6,3,5.

Next into this final were Austin Josen & Nino Dzedneladze and we felt they did an outstanding job.  We were also impressed with the improvement in Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova.

Nadia Eftedal will report on this division for Dance Beat.

Travis & JMan15-CAbaimee Tuft won the 4-couple Professional Cabaret and gave what we considered a faultless performance of their style of cabaret performance.  It was great to see June Mavor, a pioneer of this style of dancing in the audience.  June and husband Roy, were the early directors of dance at BYU and great cabaret champions.  Travis & Jaimee are both alumni of BYU.

The daytime session was filled with pro-am Latin and what great Open Scholarships we saw.  Sabrina Strasser w/ Stanislav Kochergin (Canada) won all dance in the A division.  This young lady has improved so much over the last year.  Great job!  Sabrine won all dances.  The whole final was strong today.  2nd in all dances fell to Zoe Antoniou w/ Andre Strinado and 3rd in all was Joanna Wa w/ Plamen Danailov.  These two ladies are also both excellent but have very different styles and personalities.  Maria Ceva w/ Lyubomir Asenov was 4th 6,4,4,4,5;  Mona Xia w/ Andrew Phillips 5th 5,5,5,5,4;  Saina Hadden w/ Daniele Gozzi 6th 4,6,6,6,6.

A Latin

The B division went to Russia in a tight race.  Svetlana Mukhametshina w/ Alexander Chesnokov won the event 2,1,1,1,2, three dances to two over Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev 1,2,2,2,1.  Two great ladies in a great duel.  3rd went to Canada, Marialisa De Gasperis w/ Kamil Studenny who placed 3,3,4,3,3.  Maria Seragou w/ Dimitrios Damalas was 4th 4,4,3,6,5;  Jelana Sevaljevic w/ Stanislav Kochergin (Canada) was 5th 5,6,5,4,4 and Netsuyo Lipschutz w/ Nikolai Shpakov was 6th 6,5,6,5,6.

B Latin

USA took the C Division.  Lorraine Peoples w/ Andre Gavriline won the event 1,3,1,1,1, repeating her win from Millennium last week.  Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski was 2nd 2,2,2,2,3 and Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet (Canada) was 3rd 3,1,3,3,2.  As you can see this was quite a close race.  4th in all was Tasha Romero w/ Evgeny Likachev;  5th in all Nora Fox w/ Plamen Danailov and 6th in all Fifi Wang w/ Delyan Terziev.

C Latin

Today is junior day here at Manhattan Dancesport.  We’re ready for the madness!

Almost Perfect
Manhattan Friday

It was a night of spectacular dancing at Manhattan Dancesport last night and the winners of the two open professional divisions were “almost” perfect – at least according to the judges.


WorMan15-Riccardold WDC Latin Champions, Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko won all dances in the Open Pro Latin and had perfect scores of 15 first places from the judges in all dances – well almost.  They received two 2nd places from judge Shirley Ballas, one in rumba and one in paso doble.

Shirley’s Man15-Troelstwo 1st places went to the runners up, Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova (Denmark).  Their perfection of 15 second place marks in all dances was also spoiled by one judge, Chris Johnston awarded them 3rd in 3 dances, cha cha, samba and jive.

CoMan15-Kazlouskimpetition for 3rd place was tough and was decided by 3 dances to 2.  With 3,3,3,4,4, the 3rd spot went to Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir.  This was their first time back on the floor after a lengthy sabbatical.  They did not receive a majority of 3rd or better scores in any of the dances.  Always one of our favorite teams it was good to see them back on the floor – were they fully up to speed?  Let’s see how the reviews go in Dance Beat soon.  The other half of this tussle were Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina with 4,4,4,3,3.  Nikolai & Maria did receive the majority of 3rd or better scores in paso doble.

Two Canadian couples battled for 5th and 6th place but Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko came out clearly on top with majorities of 5th or better in all dances.  6th spot went to Jean-Philippe Milot & Larence Bulduc who we thought had a great semifinal round but faded a little in the final.

We also liked the winners of the RS, Mykhalio Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina, and indeed they were 7th well clear of the remaining semifinalists.

Klaus Kongsdal will have the full report in Dance Beat soon.


IMan15-Perzhun the Open Pro Ballroom, the winners, US Champions, Peter & Alexandra Perzhu also won by a large majority of 1st places in all dances, but there were a few judges spoiling their “perfection” also.  Most noticeable was Mireille Veilleux who scored them 6th in all dances.  They also picked up a 4th in foxtrot from John Nyemchek.  The rest of the panel placed them 1st with a couple of 2nds thrown in.

There Man15-Zharinovwere 2 couples fighting for 2nd and it was decided by 3 dances to 2 in the favor of Mikhail & Galina Zharinov 2,3,2,2 over Mazen Hamza & Izabela Jundzill 3,2,3,3.  Neither couple had the majority of 2nd or better scores in any dance.  They are very different in appearance and style – pay your money and take your choice!  4th and 5th was a split decision.  The result went to Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija 4,4,5,5 over Travis & Jaimee Tuft 5,5,4,4.  This marked a return to form for Travis & Jaimee who have received some lackluster results of late.  New to the division and now finalists at their 2nd major championship in two weeks were Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smirnova with 6th in all dances.  This was a 7-couple final and Kyle & allie Spinder were 7th in all dances, perhaps disappointing for them as they have beaten both Novikov/Smirnova and the Tufts in recent competitions.

Larinda McRaven will report for Dance Beat soon.


“Close toMan15-End” perfection continued into the Open Amateur Ballroom.  ABC U.S. Champions, Andres & Veronica End won all dances with large majorities of 1st place marks.  The lowest score they received was one 5th from John Nyemchek in VW.  2nd place was a USA/Canada battle that went to USA.  Marek Klepadlo &Man15-Marek Liana Bakhtiarova placed 2,2,2,2,3 to take the runners up spot.  James Cutler & Virginie Primeau were 2nd 3,3,3,3,2.  This was a reverse of form from last week at Millennium where James & Virginie won all 5 dances.  4th tonight were Luca Balestra & Krizia Balestra 5,4,5,4,4 who we thought had a very good night.  5th were Ruslan Kalyuzhnyy & Kseniya Sovenko 4,5,4,5,5 and 6th were Nicholas Kharlamov & Rochelle Kharlamov.  Interestingly there were 2 brother/sister teams in this final.

Pierre Allaire will comment on this division for Dance Beat soon.


FoMan15-jillr the pro-ams it was a huge day of Ballroom that culminated with the best Open Scholarships so far.  The Open C began with a 1st round of 3 heats, returning for a quarter-final.  It was quite close for 1st place, but the winner was Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano Stefano and she placed 2,1,1,2,1.  This was the first time we had seen this pairing.  The winner of this division at both Emerald Ball and Millennium, Hye-Kyong Park w/ Linas Korieva took 2nd here 1,2,2,1,2.  All dances except waltz were won with a majority of 1st places.  With 3,4,3,5,3, Rhonda Fisher w/ Gianni Caliandro was 3rd.  4th went to Beatrice Wang w/ Giampiero Giannico 4,3,5,3,5;  5th Connie Edmonds w/ Samuele Pacchini 5,6,4,4,4;  6th Annie Chan w/ Denis Kutepov 6,5,6,6,6 and 7th to Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski 7,7,7,7,7.


It Man15-Celiawas a good day for the Stefano brothers as Andrea’s brother, Erminio, won the Open B with his student, Celia Chou.  Celia won all dances with the majority of 1st places and perfect scores in the quickstep.  2nd in all dances, a marked improvement from last week’s scores at Millennium, was Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet (Canada).  3rd in all Leilani Veiney w/ Kamil Urbaniak.  With 4,6,6,4,4, Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold took 4th.  5th was Audrey Paek w/ Ronen Zinshtein 5,4,4,6,6 and 6th was Bo Chang w/ Giampiero Giannico 6,5,5,5,5.


ThMan15-ABallwinnere winner of the Open A was Julia Shen w/ Alexander Voskalchuk who had the majority of 1st places in all dances except the quickstep.  Runner-up today was Fuki Uekusa w/ Andrey Begunov.  Fuki was 2nd in all dances.  Canadian, Michelle Yeh w/ Anton Lebedev took 3rd, again in all dances.  Elaine Liu w/ Gary Foster (Hong Kong) was 4th 4,4,5,4;  Lin Meng w/ Kamil Urbaniak was 5th 5,5,4,5,6 and Lisa Liao w/ Denis Kutepov was 6th 6,6,6,6,4.

We must compliment the organizers, Gary & Diana McDonald, on an excellent schedule that saw us out of the ballroom well before midnight.  Gary shared with us that they had turned down late entries to preserve a comfortable schedule.

From All Quarters!
Thursday at Manhattan

The majority of the Thursday evening was dedicated to the professional rising star divisions – all four took place and all began with a quarter final except the ever shy Ballroom with only a semi.


IMan15-RSBalltop2n actuality the Ballroom gave us the tightest race with the winners, Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova, taking it by 3 dances to 2.  Vlad & Ekaterina won W,VW, F.  Their runners up were Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubrowska 2,1,2,2,1.  These two couples have been facing off all over the country recently in this division and both are improving on every outing.  Congratulations guys!  Another one of our favorite up and coming couples in this style, Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson took 3rd, 4,3,3,3,4.  Close behind them another couple whose quiet style is often overlooked, Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya 3,4,5,4,3.  Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Katsukhina took 5th 6,5,4,5,6 and Mechyslav Pavlyuk & Gemma Arnold were 6th 5,6,6,6,5.


In two of the RS divisions the winners were 1st in all dances beginning with the Rhythm won by Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov.  They have a light and engaging style on the floor that makes it very hard not to smile when watching them.  2nd and 3rd positions were also filled by very strong new couples.  2nd were Strahinja Lackovic & Irina Fedosova 2,2,2,3,2 and 3rd, Ilya Abdulin & Tara Barakova 3,3,3,2,3.  The scores for the last 3 positions were tight.  Kosta Trifunovic & Domante Padleckaite 6,4,5,4,4 were 4th;  Boris Vdovine & Patricia Estay were 5th 4T,5,4,5,5;  Eddie Rivera & Megham McNash were 6th 4T,6,6,6,6.


MyMan15-RSLatwinnerskhalio Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina won all dances in the Latin.  This couple is taking the Latin division by storm lately and we can see why.  They have a very unique presentation and exude confidence.   2nd went to Sasha Althukov & Cheyenne Murillo and they scored 2,3,2,2,2.  Stanislav Savich & Nicole Prosser were also strong in 3rd place with 3,2,3,3,3.  Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina were 4th in all dances, Ryan Lewis & Tessa Marie were 5th in all and Nikita Tsernov & Annie He Xiao were 6th in all.

ThMan15-jeanpaule Smooth division offered a very mixed bag of styles and the adjudicators were not consistent in their placements – understandably.  The winners were Jean Paul & Lana Rossi and they placed 2,1,1,1.  They have made great progress since switching to this style.  We would like to see some attention to use of feet in a more “ballroom” manner.  2nd was another one of our favorite couples, Adrian & Hannah Dydynski 1,2,2,2.  With 4,4,3,3, Dave Hannigan & Maggie Toth were 3rd and they dance what we would call a more traditional style of Smooth.  Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobeiewski were 4th 3,3,5,5.  We found them the least consistent – at times in winning form and at others seemingly a little lost.  We would like to see softer arm and hand lines from Radek.  Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow took 5th 5,6,4,4;  Morten Jensen & Anastasia were 6th 6,5,6,6 and John Campbell & Jaki Brokman were 7th in this very strong and interesting final.


RMan15-u21latun concurrently with these Rising Star divisions were some amateur events.  The U/21 Ballroom and Latin were both very strong divisions with couples from Canada & USA.  Nazariy Blagy & Michelle Kurpas won the Latin 1,1,2,2,2, Yevgenii Orlov & Maryna Yerina were 2nd 2,2,1,1,3 and Ryan Raffloer & Hanna Sverdlov were 3rd 3,3,3,3,1.  As you can see a very close finish at the top.

PaMan15-u21balltryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmarkski were the comfortable winners in the U/21 Ballroom.  Stanislav Pavlov & Sandra Spernacka were 2nd in all and Justin Lin & Sasha Dubinsky were 3rd in all.

We also saw the Senior II and Senior III Ballroom.  Thomas Yu & Yuko Nauluani Yu won the II and Thomas & Renee Malinowski won the III.

ForMan15-mayo the pro-ams it was Smooth day and in the Open Scholarships it proved to be a good day for professional Mayo Alanen whose students won two of the divisions.  Anna Derevyanchenko won the A with mayo, taking all dances.  A former professional partner of Mayo/s Michelle Officer, took 2nd with her student Stefan Tuomanen 2,3,2,2.  Melissa Jensik w/ Dave Hannigan was 3rd 3,2,3,3;  Samanta Rico w/ Morten Jensen was 4th 4,4,4,5;  Sarah Gladish w/ Ilya Reyzin was 5th 5,5,5,6 and Kailee Donovan w/ Gunnar Sverrisson was 6th 6,6,6,4.

Aiyesah Dey w/ Mayo was the winner of the B, again in all dances repeating her win from Emerald Ball last month.  Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson took 2nd in all dances and Amanda Levine w/ Morten Jensen took all the 3rd’s.  Daniella Koren w/ Greg Fidurski was 4th 5,4,4,4;  Mary Lemmer w/ Tomas Mielnicki was 5th 4,5,5,5 and Angela Morrison w/ Peter Santiago was 6th in all dances.


Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet  (Canada) was back on top in the C division overtaking last week’s winner at Millennium, Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Waitrowski by 3 dance to 1.  Beverly placed 1,1,1,2 to Lisa’s 2,2,2,1.  What a great competition between thesetwo very accomplished ladies!  Keep up the good work!  Lynn Shanahan w/ Darius Mosteika was 3rd in all dances and the winner of the Rhythm, Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin was 4th 4,4,5,4.  Alla Neyshtadt w/ Eric Pali was 5th 5,5,4,5 and Helena Kostik w/ Mazen Hamza was 6th, 6,6,6,6.


The Dance Beat Team took advantage of a short break to "Walk the Bridge."  Brooklyn Bridge, the oldest in NYC, offers a fantastic view of Manhattan and is only 2 blocks from the Marriott hotel!


Stay tuned for the first of the open professional and open amateur events pus the pr-am ballroom divisions!

“Everything Old Is New Again!”
Manhattan Dancesport 2015

Here we are back at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge for the Manhattan Dancesport – but wait where are we?  The Marriott has undergone a serious transformation since we were here last year.  The lobby and bar areas have a contemporary style rather than the “woody” gentleman’s club atmosphere of before.  Lets see how the dancers react to these changes in their R & R area.


One thing that never changes at Manhattan Dancesport is the quality of the dancing – you’ll always see the best in all levels at this event and we certainly got off to a good start with the pro-am Rhythm divisions yesterday.


TheMan15-sophia most interesting result came in the Open C Scholarship.  Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski has been unbeaten in this division of late, recently winning at Emerald Ball and just last week at Millennium.  But here Lisa had to be content with the runner-up position as Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilia Reyzin won the event by 3 dances to 2 – 1,2,1,2,1.  Lisa won the rumba and bolero.  So a good competition from two very strong ladies. (PS we liked Sophia’s New York skyline dress!)  3rd went to Jennifer Marre w/ Plamen Danailov 3,3,4,4,3;  4th Joan Goddard w/ Aaron Talbert 4,5,3,3,4;  5th Donna Sparano w/ Evgeny Dyachenko 5,4,5,5,5;   6th Natalie Kerr w/ Misha Konstantinov;  7th Heather Petros w/ Fonzie Zapata.


There wMan15-Stefanas a clearer result in the B with Heidy Kellison w/ Sean Tamashiro winning all dances.  The runner-up was Tracy Hannon w/ Misha Konstantinov 2,3,2,2,2 and Angela Morrison w/ Peter Santiago was 3rd 3,2,3,3,3.  Deb Muzio w/ Evan Wellemeyer was 4th 4,4,4,6,4;  Ingrid Pessa w/ Jean Michel Erole was 5th 5T,5,5,4,5;  Rick Shaw w/ Tina Meyer was 6th 5T,6,6,5,6.

There were only 3 contestants in the Open A and Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer was the winner in all 5 dances.  2nd in all was Veronica Maoli w/ Hayk Balasanyan and 3rd Sara Sharpe w/ Gunnar Sverrisson.

Today competition continues with the pro-am Smooth and various amateur and professional events at night.  Stay tuned!

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