Chicago Harvest Moon Ball 2015

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No Surprises!  Pro Heats Great!

Yesterday we said we were surprised at the quality of the Pro RS divisions, so today it was no surprise that the Open Pro heats were so good.  3 had semifinals.


The Rhythm was dominated by the local Fred Astaire studios as their pros took the 1st 3 places.  Ilya Velednitskiy & Mariya Ilchenko won all 5 dances, 3 of them with the majority of 1st places.  We thought they gave the best overall performance without really standing way above the field.  Judge Boriana Deltcheva favored them the least scoring them 5,6,6,6,6.  2nd went to the tall Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshakka 2,2,2,2,4.  They did have the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores in 4 dances.  Rounding out the FADS trifecta were Aaron & Iryna DeSoto with 3,3,3,4,2.  The top 3 from the RS rounded out the final and finished in the same order.  Erwin & Iwona Rybczynski 4,4,4,3,3;  Jonathan Green & Rachel Grumblatt 5,5,6,6,5;  Roman Malkhasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman 6,6,5,5,6.


The hCHM15-mazenighest ranking couple of the competition, Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzil had an easy time winning the Smooth and received 10 out of 11 first places in all dances.  Only judge, Vito Bertucci demurred.  2nd in all dances went to Michael Choi & Erin Marie who continue to explore new avenues in this style.  3rd in all dances went to Adrian & Hanna Dydynsky.  Then it was over to the Rising Star couples from the day before but with a change in order.  This time Mykyta & Anna moved up a place, taking 4th tonight with 5,5,4,4.  We felt that their dancing was consistent with their performance the night before.  With 4,4,6,5, Roman & Viktoriya were one place lower in 5th place.  We thought their best round was the semifinal, but in the final they seemed a little stressed.  Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes were 6th, 6,6,7,6 and closing the final were Jimmy Mulligan & Dani Atkins  The scores at the lower end of this final were very mixed.


The CHM15-HaykLatin was also a semifinal.  Winning tonight were Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan.  They had the majority of 1st places in all 5 dances and were very strong tonight.  2nd with 2,3,2,3,2, were the RS winners Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova in a close race with Sergey & Dasha Chislov, 3,2,3,2,3.  We felt they were very strong tonight and could have seen them higher placed.  4th went to Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko 4,4,4,5,4;  5th to Andre Strinadko & Ching Kao 5,5,5,4,5 and 6th to Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko

The only straigCHM15-Martinht final was the Ballroom and the results mirrored the RS with the exception of the winners who did not enter the RS and this was Martin & Liene Reinbold.  We thought they were well clear but they did not receive every 1st place although they did have the majority in all dances.  The closest scored was tango that they won by 6 to 5.  2nd in all were Kharyton & Anastasiya, 3rd in all Dmitry & Cristina Turcan and 4th in all Dymytrii Gonchorov & Tatyana Lutsenko.

Nighttime highlights in the pro-am fields were the A and B Open Latin Scholarships.  The A went to a very accomplished lady who also had the top solo score of the competition, Masha Gasychenko w/ Max Kholostoy 1,1,1,1,1.  2nd was Jacqueline Steinbecher w/ Andrzej Przybyl 3,3,2,2,2 and 3rd Kubak Mateusz w/ Dasha Chislova 2,2,3,3,3.


In the Open B, Cindy Mishlove w/ Vartan Zakhariants was the winner, 1,1,2,1,1.  2nd was Joanmarie Vanaski w/ Andrzej Przybyl 2,2,1,2,3 and 3rd Carrie Steinmetz w/ Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine 3,3,3,3,2.

The Open B Smooth was also strong and this was won Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 1,1,1,1.  2nd was Emily Kirschbaum w/ Shapiachan Sevrin 2,2,2,2 and 3rd Colette Nolin w/ Atanas Pavlov 3,3,3,3.


Another feature of the night was a show, interspersed with the competitions, by Dancing With The Stars alumni, Alec Mazo & Edyta Sliwinska.

The ballroom was full for the whole night and there was great atmosphere.  That atmosphere continues today for the Junior Matinee session.

Strong RS Divisions at Harvest Moon

The Professional Rising Star divisions were surprisingly strong here at Chicago Harvest Moon Ball last night.  The Rhythm was a semifinal and the others finals.


The Rhythm was also possibly the toughest to judge as we felt there were 3 couples vying for that top spot.  In the end, experience paid off and Erwin & Iwona Rybczynski were the winners 1,1,2,1,1.  The winners of the swing, Jonathan Green & Rachel Grumblatt were 2nd overall 2,2,1,2,2.  They have improved greatly since we last saw them.  A new partnership, Roman Malkhasyan & Viktorija Kleyman, were 3rd in all dances, but we certainly saw them as part of this mix for 1st place.


3 couples shared the 1st places in the Smooth, a 7-couple final.  In the end, Roman & Viktorija moved up a notch to 1st overall with 2,1,1,2.  We thought they had the best movement around the floor.  Another 9-dance couple (although they did not enter the RS Rhythm) were the runners-up, Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka, 1,2,2,3.  3rd were Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes 3,3,3,1.


The RS Latin was also a 7-couple final.  For us the easy winners were Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova and they did win all dances.  They have been having considerable success since leaving the amateur ranks last month.  They also won the Showdance earlier in the evening.  2nd went to 10-dancers, Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko.  We thought Vlad & Jenya danced well last night and could have taken some of those 2nd places.

KharyCHM15-RSBallton & Anastasiya were the winners in the Ballroom, winning all 5 dances.  2nd in all five were Dmitry & Cristina Turcan and 3rd in all Dymytrii Gornchorov & Tatyana Lutsenko.

The pro-ams competed in 2 styles yesterday, Rhythm and Ballroom.  The best 2 open scholarships of the day came in the B divisions.

In the Ballroom Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold was the winner 1,1,1,2,1.  2nd went to Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 2,2,2,1,2 and 3rd to Sherry Borchelt w/ Andrea Stefano 3,3,3,3,3.


In the Open B Rhythm Akiko Birch w/ Jonathan Green was the winner 1,1,1,1,1.  2nd went to Dana Voigt w/ Randy Wilson 2,3,3,2,2 and 3rd to Maria Matulainiec w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 3,2,2,3,3.


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