Toronto Open 2015

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All About the Latin!

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YeTO15-Voscovosterday at the Toronto Open was all about the Latin, during the day there was a few hours dedicated to Smooth but the majority of the time was dedicated to Junior Amateur Latin events as well as Pro/am Latin. There was four feature events for the closing evening of the competition and two of them were Latin events, this is easy to understand since a big force behind the competition team is the WDC World Professional Latin finalists, Mauricio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite, Canadian National Champions, who delighted the audience as well with a three dance presentation.

ProLatin lineup

TTO15-Studeni2he Professional Latin was the best of all the feature events and it was a seven couple final. The Toronto Open Professional Latin Cup wen to Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko who easily took first in all dances.  We must add that this was a delightful couple to watch.  Anna is so steady on her feet and the maturity in their performance is close to world class.  I would not be surprised to see this couple soon make the world ranks in many major events around the world. Second overall went to Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier and they easily placed second in every dance.  Third was awarded to Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak and they placed fourth in the cha and third in the other four dances.

The ProfesCarlos Zapatasional Showdance closed the competition and although it was only two couples it was the perfect closing to a terrific weekend of dance. World Cabaret sensation Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva treated us to their “Intergalactic war dance” and it was great to have a front seat.  These two managed to do the impossible when it comes to lift work and as we discussed with them during the after party, their routine does not let up.  It’s about 5 packed minutes of nonstop thrills and lifts that made a front seat attendant feel as if you are on a roller coaster. The other entry who also placed second overall were Dmitriy Kuamen & Andrea Lynn.  Their routine was excellent with some very difficult lifts, but they could not come close to Carlos & Dora on this night, their routine was not strong enough to come near them.

The Under 21 Latin run earlier in the evening was also terrific here we saw some very promising talent.  Arturs Voicehovics & Albina Gorbachevskaya placed first in every dance but for us once again it was a close call between first and second. Arturs & Albina had the power and physical attraction that Latin requires but for us Vladislav Kvartin & Anna Prokodovicova had a very interesting look and unique interpretation. For us who have been here for so long we value anything different and creative and this couple have what it would take to make this a reality. Third in this excellent heat was awarded to Alex Maslanka & Sharon Tudorovsky 5,3,4,3,4.

Youth Latin

TheSmooth lineup Professional Smooth was the weakest link at the closing of the Toronto Open, and here the competition was between three well accomplished couples only. Our favorite of the three was awarded third place in all dances Christopher & Jenny Sochnacki, for us Christopher & Jenny were the only ones that showed any characteristics of what Smooth dancing should look like.  Yes, as they say here in the USA, “they were not the sharpest tools in the shed” but at least they were doing something (don’t mean to be rude) that resembled a style that I’m used to seeing here in the USA and not just bad standard that you must let go to be balanced with some tumbles and rumbles. For me the two top couples were doing Standard with some open movements but I suppose this was the flavor of the night and so Viktor Tkachenko & Yulia Lukina placed first in all dances and Dmitry Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn placed second.

In conclusion I thought the Toronto Open was terrific.  It is great to see such an entrepreneur couple taking the reigns on a competition that as I said will one day rival every major event in Canada.

Young but Promising!

The Toronto Open Dance Championships is young in years in fact we attended the first ever three years ago and it is impressive how this one-day event three years ago, has now turned into a two-day event, and it looks like soon enough we will close our eyes and it will be one of Canada’s premiere events to go to.

Yesterday the beautiful ballroom of the Hilton Garden Inn, in Toronto, Vaugham was packed to capacity through the day featuring the pro/am Rhythm and Smooth categories.  In the evening we had the seniors in the Latin and Standard (Ballroom) as well as the feature events the Professional Rhythm, Ballroom and what we thought to be the best, the Amateur Open Latin Championship.

ThTO15-Adam  Morganae Amateur Open Latin Championship last night was a six-couple final but the quality was excellent down to the sixth place finish.  The winners in all dances were Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward from Toronto.  They gave a very correct performance showcasing great quality of work and beautiful leg action and Latin body motion.  However, for us it was closer than that between first and the second place winners,TO-15-Ron  Liza Ron Garber & Liza from NY. We say it was close because when it came to the performance Ron & Liza’s musical interpretation and characterization of each dance but the paso was very clear and easy to understand and we were easily transported to the region and roots of the dance. However, we must clearly point out that we were not shocked to see Adam & Morgana win, as we mentioned their performance technically was down to perfection and we loved their unique yet traditional interpretation of what we consider to be a difficult dance, the paso doble.

From second place on, it was not as difficult of a decision to make for the judges.  Vladishlav Kvartin & Anna Prokodovicova from NY placed second overall 3,4,3,3,3. Their biggest competition came from Bogdan Oligov & Evelyn Vidal from Toronto, who placed fourth overall but third in the samba. Fifth went to Oleg Kreimer & Sharaf Malik 5,5,6,6,5 from Toronto, and sixth was Joe De Angelis & Elise Magliorchetti 6,6,5,5,6 also from Toronto.

The professional division were poorly attended but even in these small heats there was plenty of quality.  The Rhythm was uncontested but the couple was terrific giving us a show worth the time.

TTO15-Ballroom Lineuphe Ballroom was a challenge for us all including the runners up Bassam Hanafi & Natta Porn who placed second in all dances and managed to take our breath away litterly.  Bassam & Natta were not even near the bold part physically or skill wise to challenge the winners Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch, who could have walked with it just by standing still. When I look at a couple and they start breathing through their mouth it is not a good sign and Bassam & Natta did this from the first dance on, to the point that they were not able to execute some of their steps as well as we know they could have done. However, we must tip our hat to Bassam, a previous Canadian Champion, who for years continues to go out on the floor with no fear and with total love for the art, this is wonderful and something to be celebrated.

As I mentioned earlier the ballroom is beautiful and it transports you to an epic era of Ballroom dancing.  The organizing committee is also very caring and pays close attention to the needs of all their guess, this and all the other amenities keeps everyone wanting to come back and as we said earlier we could see it becoming a strength for Canada’s Ballroom dancing.

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