Volunteer State 2015
Volunteer State launches TV World Network!
The Volunteer State Championship, organized by David Medeiros, was the location for the launch of the Dance Network. The Dance Network is going to be a television cable channel dedicated to dance and what we all love the most, ballroom dancing, this network will feature ballroom competitions as well as dance movies from Fred Astaire to Dirty Dancing, etc. and even their own programing will be featured there.
With a television studio the size of a football field, the Dance Network will be able to create their own programing, featuring all the different styles of dancing, tap, jazz, flamenco you name it. This multi-million dollar investment is the creation of David Medeiros, the organizer, and Julie Stadler who is a Pro/Am Ballroom fan and competitor. From their presentation we can see that this venture will be competing with networks such as the History Channel, Animal Planet and the Food Network. Finally we will have a Network that will cater to all dancing, and especially to ballroom Dancing. This is an incredible undertaking and one that we as a group should be proud. We should all stand behind it. As in everything viewership is everything and it is important that when it airs we watch and we stay tuned in.
Talking of viewership, the Professional “Star Rhythm Tour” was also a major success here at the Volunteer State. This was the third stop for the rhythm couples to accumulate points and win dollars to the tune of over $50,000.00. Each leg has been a little different and as the tour moves on the tension on all front mounts with anticipation as to who will take the $25,000.00 purse for first place. When it came to internet viewership this tour had the most so far with hundreds of devices being used and tracked. Viewership as I mentioned is the name of the game and on this leg of this tour we had a huge increase of people viewing the competition at home on their computers.
The winner of the tour will be determined by a combination of 3 different scores - or points given for the 3 different challenges. Firstly the group competition, secondly the solo exhibition and lastly the audience participation vote. On this leg the overall competition went to Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryshova who earned a total of 138.64 points. In the group competition they were second best overall. The judges’ scores on each dance were 2,3,2,2,2. This earned them a total of 24 points for their group effort. In their solo presentation they received the third best score of the evening from the judges, a 94.14 total. What put this couple above the rest in this third leg of the tour was the audience. They were the audience’s favorite when it came to the solo with 41% of their vote they managed to accumulate a total of 20.5 points towards their final tally, giving them an overall score of 138.64 points and so they won the Volunteer State leg.
Second on this leg was awarded to Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova. They of course were the favorite to win the group competition and this they certainly did, first in every dance from the group judging panel. This was a great push towards the finish line and the most you can earn on the group dances, 30 points or a perfect score. In the solo section of the competition they also shone with the best score of the night 95.43. However, their weakest this time was motivating their fans to vote. In the scheme of things they were third best with the audience but a sad finish that was only 5% of the popular vote, this was not good enough to push them to the top at this leg with only 2.5 points added for this effort. Overall they received 127.93 points total towards the tour, a difference of 8.71 between them and the leading couple on this leg. Most effort needs to be applied in awakening the interest of their fans to vote. We must also point out that the Star Tours are not a walk in the park. The different variables make it very interesting for us the viewers, something that we need in this industry (more fans and people watching) but this makes it a challenge for the couples that are new to this and do not always end in the position they are accustomed to. Emanuel & Liana are the perfect example, they placed last on the first leg in Colorado due to a time rule penalty, first in Twins Cities and now second on this third leg.
Third in this leg of the tour went to Andre & Natalie Paramonov. They placed third in four of the five dances of the group competition and second in the rumba, this effort gave them 21 points towards their tally. Andre & Natalie were the second best after Emanuel & Liana in their solo performance with 94.57 points awarded to them by the judges. In the popular vote they were fourth in this effort with only 3% of the vote, giving them 1.5 extra points. In the end their overall score for this leg of the tour came to 117.07.
We acknowledge a glitch that occurred immediately following the solo presentation. About 8 minutes following the solo Star Tour Challenge it was brought to our attention that on the TV screen in the ballroom the couple that was number 108, Andre & Natalie, appear as number 103. This was confirmed and changed right away. Although the error was on the screen, there were cards on the tables with their correct names and numbers. Also, the announcer read the correct name and number for each couple. For viewers voting on a computer device everything was correct.
To insure the integrity of the vote, every vote had to be looked at closely as to who voted, how it was voted and at what time. As we looked into this matter, we realized that at this competition the majority of the votes for all couples came from people at a computer looking at the show and not from texting on cellular phones. We were then able to look at a spreadsheet as to who got the text votes. In comparison with the other events the numbers were all very consistent. After looking over every vote for the past two days, we find that this glitch did not have any impact or consequence for the couples involved and is not significant to the final tally.
Fourth was awarded to Aaron & Irina Desoto. They placed fourth in all their group dances obtaining 15 points towards their final score. They were the fourth best solo with a score 90.29, their audience score was higher than Emanuel & Liana’s and Andre & Natalie with an 8% of the vote picking up 4 extra points for this, giving them the final tally of 109.29.
The second favorite couple of the audience was Daniel Lee Tran & Taylor Kinney, they came into the solo as the audience wildcard, getting only 3 points for this before the solos began. Daniel & Taylor have always been the favorite of the audience at every stop where they have competed and this time they almost did it again. They lost the audience favorite position to Nazar & Irina by 1 point with 40% of the audience vote. They might have lost the popularity contest by one vote but they still were awarded 20 points for this towards their final score. The judges were also not thrilled with Daniel & Taylor’s “Lion King” performance. Their routine was scored only 65.00 points awarded by the judges. Their overall score was of 88.00 putting them in fifth position on this the 3rd leg of the Star Rhythm Tour.
Christopher Wayne & Juanita Simanekova placed sixth overall on this leg of the tour. They made the final and placed 6th in every dance. They got a point per dance and so 5 points were awarded for their effort in the group final. Their solo was not marked in the nineties, but their score was not the lowest they got 81.14 towards the run. When it came to the audience their popularity was not as strong. They picked up 3% of the vote and got 1.5 extra points as did the Paramonovs. In the end adding these points up, their overall score was of 87.64. This score was good enough to keep them in play but not to go further than 6th position at this third leg of the tour.
Seventh position overall on the tour was awarded to Jonathan Green & Rachel Neilson. They placed fifth in every dance in the group competition. This effort gained them 10 points towards the final tally. Their solo performance was the lowest marked, perhaps due to the fact that they did not have a prepared routine. The judges awarded them 63.86. Their popularity with the audience totally fell with 0% awarded to them by the audience and so no points were awarded to them by the audience. Their final tally was the lowest of this leg of the Star Ballroom Tour a 73.86 total, putting them in seventh position.
Overall this leg of the City Lights Star Rhythm Tour was a fantastic success the amount of people watching on their computer monitors at home and away from the competition was amazing. We tabulated that close to 1,000 people or devices, 98% being computers, were in use, with I’m sure the majority or all watching the Star Rhythm Tour. With every stop the tour continues to engage more fans and more people. This is great for the industry since this will be what will get more sponsorship money for professional dancing in America for future endeavors. The City Lights Star Tours want to once again thank all the couples that are supporting this venture. And finally we want to remind the couples that you most attend and compete at the City Lights Ball in order to collect what is owed to you. Congratulations to all, and you can see the final tallies and where you stand after this leg at www.dancebeat.com.