We’re Spreading it! The Aloha!
The fabulous Hawai’I Star Ball continued yesterday with all the pro-am Ballroom heats and wound its way on a tropical breeze to a fabulous dinner with a 7-piece band and on to the professional events and half of great show by Emmanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova. They will dance the second half tonight.
The weather was kind and we jealously noted some natural tans on many of the dancers – no smelly, fake tan required here in Hawai’i!
Ivan Dishliev & Marietta Nedyalkova won the Pro Rhythm over Riccardo Papi & Sabina Moretti – it was a 3 to 2 dance decision with Riccardo & Sabrina winning cha and swing.
In the Ballroom, Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were the winners.
In an interesting happening the same gentleman student placed 1st and 2nd in the top Student Solo competition between the highest scoring solos of the week. Mark Jason won with a Fred Astaire routine partnered by Kyle Spinder and placed 2nd with a Charlie Chaplin routine partnered by Allie Spinder.
Tonight the Hawai’I Star Ball concludes with the Pro Latin and Smooth – plus more show from Emmanuel & Liana and other surprise performances.
A Little Alvarez Aloha!
Here we are again at the Hawai’I Star Ball held in the beautiful Shearton Waikiki ad under the direction for the 2nd year of David Alvarez & John Fishpaw. Unusually the event runs midweek – Monday – Thursday – although many dancers take advantage of being in Hawai’I and stay extra time in these delightful islands.
Monday begins with a starlight luau and traditional Polynesian show of dance and music. Everybody had a good time and we also got to enjoy judge, Dan Rutherford’s, interpretation of the Hula.
The next day everyone was ready for competition and there was a full day of pro-am dancing in 2 styles, Smooth and Latin.
In the evening package holders enjoyed a great dinner in the ballroom, the Hawai’I Star Ball still serves banquet style food every night. A jazz ensemble played during dinner for listening and dancing.
Dinner was followed by professional competition as the rising stars performed all 4 styles. The big winners were Jason Rivers & Elisa Seja who won both the Ballroom and Smooth. Local dancers, Jacob Himato & Jessica Dzienkowski won the Rhythm and Vasily Golovin & Anastasia Banderovskaya won the Latin.
It is great to see a sizeable contingent of dancers from New Zealand attending – pro-am, amateur and one professional couple.
Stay tuned for more!
All About the Latin!
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Yesterday 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.
The 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 Professional 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.
The 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.
The 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, 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.
The 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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Yesterday at the final day of the USDC, was mostly about the Open to the World Professional divisions in Ballroom and Latin (WDC World Series events) and the Open to the World Cabaret.
Many of the results mirrored those in the National Titles, but there were some changes as you can see below.
1. Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova 1,1,1,1,1
2. Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva 2,2,2,2,2
3. Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk 3,3,3,3,3
4. Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Ergorova 4,4,4,4,5
5. Rudy Homme & Katia Kanevskaya (Germany) 6,5,5,5,4
6. Iaroslav Bieliel & Lillia Gladiuk 5,6,6,6,6
Arunas & Katusha lost only 1 first place mark (in tango) and Victor & Anatasia lost only 2 second place marks (in VW and QS).
1. Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina 1,1,1,1,2
2. Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk (Ukraine) 2,2,2,2,1
3. Mykhalio Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Schchypilina 3,3,4,4,3
4. Gunnar Gunnarsson & Marika Doshoris (England) 4,4,3,3,4
5. Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir 5,5,5,5,5
6. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova 6,6,6,6,6
All of the dances were won with the majority of 6 first place marks, so a good win for Nikolai & Maria. An obvious improvement for Mykhalio & Anastasiia who jumped above Andrei & Asta.
In the Open Cabaret there was also a switch at the top. The runners-up in the National title, Travis & Jaimee Tuft, were the winners tonight and the National winners, Shane & Shannon Jensen slipped to 2nd place. The judges’ scores were very spread, perhaps because they once again had to place 11 couples. No couple had a majority of 1st place marks. Shane & Shannon had a problem with one lift and perhaps this is what caused some judges to place them lower. The remainder of the top 6 were: 3rd Mykhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko; 4th Clyde Harris & Summer Elkin; 5th Clifton Sepulveda & Mar Martinez; 6th Craig Smith & Micheline Marmol (S. Africa).
The traditional awards were presented last night. The John Monte Award was given to Corky Ballas and the USDC Hall of Fame Award went to Michael Mead & Toni Redpath.
The overall top teacher, as in 2014, was Sinisa Vasic and his total prize money was $33,000.
And Again The Champions Return!
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Once again last night as the US Championships we saw the 2014 National Champions re-crowned for 2015 – Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko in the Latin and Peter & Alexandra Perzhu in the Smooth.
Riccardo & Yulia, who are also the WDC World Champions, were never really in doubt and indeed they collected all but 2 of the total available first places. They received a 2nd in rumba and paso, both from judge, Corky Ballas.
It was a double celebration for Yuliya who was also celebrating her birthday today.
The rest of the final was tightly contested and with several of last year’s finalists no longer in the race, there were open spaces in this final. Runners-up tonight were Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina and they placed 2,3,2,2,3, a close race with 3rd placed Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir 3,2,3,3,2. Nikolai & Maria were 3rd last year, Andrei & Asta did not compete last year due to injury. These two couples received mostly 3rd and 4th places but each also had some lower half scores. Only the paso was won with a majority of “2nd or better” scores. Nikolai & Maria received Corky Ballas’ 2 first places.
Andrey Tarasov & Yuliya Kuznetsova, who were finalists last year, were 4th in all dances this year. Their best dance was the rumba where they received the same amount of 2nd places (4) as Andrei & Asta. The new kids on the block, Mykhallo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Schchypilina, who won the Rising Star earlier in the week, stormed into the final and placed 5th in all dances. Closing this final tonight were Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova 6,6,6,6,6.
Peter & Alexandra also won all dances and had the majority of 1st places in all of them. 3 judges, however, did score them 2nd overall – Nicole Carroll, Valentina Kostenko and Toni Redpath.
We saw an upset in current form in the runners-up spot as Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzill regained the upper hand placing 3,2,3,3. Placing 2nd in 2 dances, but also 4th in 2, Mikhail & Galina Zharinov slipped to 3rd this year 2,4,4,2. A difference of only 1 point between them. The couple that really changed this year’s final around was the newer partnership of Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova who got in among the seconds and placed 4th with 4,3,2,4. Yegor & Aleksandra received the most 1st places in a dance of any couple except the winners – 5 in the foxtrot. Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija were 5th 5,5,6,5 and Travis & Jaimee Tuft were 6th 6,6,5,6.
Last night we saw the first of the US Open Championships, the Open Amateur divisions. The Latin was the better of the events with a semifinal round. The final scores were some of the most varied we’ve seen in a while with 4 of the finalists winning a dance. Winning tonight were Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriela Sabler and they placed 2,1,4,2,1. 2nd tonight fell to Alexander Chernositiv & Arina Grishanina and their scores were 1,2,3,4,2. Next came Alexey & Vlada Karaulov, 4,3,2,1,5. The last of those elusive 1st places went to 4th placed Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze, 5,4,1,5,4. Unlucky and placing 3rd in 3 dances but ending up 5th were Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman 3,5,5,3,3. Closing the final were Tagir Mansurov & Alexandra Kondrashova.
Only 4 couples contested the Open Amateur Ballroom but it did go outside of the USA. The winners were Stanislav Portanenko & Nataliya Kolyada from Ukraine and they won all dances. 2nd went to Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova 2,2,2,2,2; 3rd Nicholas & Rochelle Kharlamov 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Brandon Buchtal & Natasha Barrera 4,4,4,4,4.
The Open to the World Pro-Am Ballroom Scholarships were decided today and once again the A1 Final was danced at night. In fact this division was disappointingly a straight final. There was a change in ranking from last week’s World Championship as 1st and 2nd places were reversed. This week Natalie Rezai w/ Sergey Kiselev was the winner and she won 4 dances and placed 3rd in quickstep. Last week’s winner, Julia Shen w/ Alexander Voskalchuk had to be content with 2nd today, 2,2,3,2,2. 3rd went to Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenco 3,3,2,3,1. 4th Rebecca Kuhn w/ Andrea Feraci 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Irene Lau w/ Mikhail Avdeev 5,5,5,6,6; 6th Irene Lee w/ Nick Cheremukhin 6,6,6,5,5.
The A2 went to Canada as Beverly Moore won her 2nd Championship of the week 1,2,2,1,1. With 4,1,1,2,2, Julie Zhao w/ Denis Kutepov was the runner-up and with 2,4,3,3,5, Lengxi Gao w/ Kamil Urbaniak was 3rd. As you can see this was quite a tight race and it continued as 4th placed Audrey Paek w/ Ronen Zinshtein placed 5,3,4,4,3. Also scoring 3rd in one dance but placing 5th overall was Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold 3,5,5,6,4 and closing this final was Michelle Peng w/ Mikhail Avdeev 6,6,6,5,6.
Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano had a fairly easy time in the B division winning 4 dances and placing 2nd in tango. Another of our favorites, Hye-Kyong Park w/ Linas Korieva won the tango but placed 2nd overall 3,1,2,2,2 and another lady who is proving a strong contender, Connie Edmonds w/ Samuele Pacchini was 3rd 2,3,3,3,3. Lynn Murrell w/ Alexander Voskalchuk took all the 4’s, Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia was 5th 6,5,5,5,6 and Paige Riffle w/ Iaroslav Bieliel was 6th 5,6,6,6,5.
Susan Walter w/ Samuele Pacchini was the clear winner of the C1 placing 1,1,1,1,2. The remaining placements were very mixed. Runner-up, Linda Dillman w/ Arturas Misurenkovas 2,2,5,2,3; 3rd Charlotte Carey w/ Kostadin Bidjourov 4,3,4,5,1; 4th Sherry Borchelt w/ Andrea Stefano 3,5,3,3,4; 5th Sharon Sanchez w/ Sergey Barsukov 5,4,2,4,5; 6th Avi Lazarovits w/ Anna Oblakova 7,7,6,6,6; 7th Vivien Chen w/ Mirko Selli (Hong Kong) 6,6,7,7,7.
In the evening we also saw the Open to The World RS Professional Ballroom and as in the National RS this resulted in a win for Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova 1,1,1,1,1. But 2nd place tonight went to Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubrowska 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Youriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson 4,3,3,4,3.
Champions Once More!
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Last night at all three National Champions from 2014 were once again voted champions by the 19 judge panel. Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova won the National Professional Ballroom, Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova won the National Professional Ballroom and Matt Hauer & Lauren Schelfhaudt won the National Professional Mambo.
In fact while it was a night of America’s greatest dancing, it produced few surprises with the majority of finalists from last year returning to the finals this year.
Arunas & Katusha won the Ballroom clearer than last year, winning all dances with the majority of 1st places. The closest dance was the quickstep. Here they received 10 first places while the runners-up, Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva received 7. Victor & Anastasia were clearly second in all dances receiving some firsts in every dance and only a total of 3 third places over the 5 dances.
New world finalists, Murat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk, were 3rd in 4 dances and 4th in quickstep, but had a much wider spread of marks than the fist two, including a few sixth placements. They did have the majority of “3rd or better” scores in W, T, F. The big gain tonight came from Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva who bounced back from a bad result at Embassy Ball last week to take 4th place here 4,4,5,4,3. They took 3rd in the quickstep on “4th or better” scores. Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova were 5th 5,5,4,5,6 and came close to 3rd place in VW where they lost on “4th or better” scores. Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova who had the best result of this group at Embassy, had to be content with 6th place tonight 6,6,6,6,5.
In the Rhythm, Emmanuel & Liana had the majority of first places in all dances. The closest dance was the rumba where they had 10 of the available 17. In all dances except the mambo the first places were shared between the top 3 couples. In mambo Emmanuel & Liana had 16 first places. They received no score lower than 2nd.
Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were 2nd in all dances. They received some first places in all dances (including 1 in the mambo) and overall they did not receive any score lower than a 3rd. Andre & Natalie Paramonov were 3rd in all dances and received 1st places in all dances except mambo, however, they did have some judges scoring them in the lower half of the final most notably Sveta Daily 4,4,5,4,6 and Bill Sparks 5,4,5,4,5. 4th tonight were Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakhova. They were 4th in all dances but picked up some 3rd places in all dances. Two Californian couples rounded out the final, Danus Jaksevicious & Yuki Haragouchi were 5th 5,5,6,5,6 and Vard Margaryan & Mandy Carlisle were 6th 6,6,5,6,5.
Seven couples entered the National Mambo and the result was unusual. The judges actually scored Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakhova to win. In fact they received 16 of the 17 first places. However, their solo routine was above the maximum time limit so after a penalty was applied they became 2nd. This meant that the runner-up and last year’s winners, Matt & Lauren became the champions once again. 3rd were Perez/Burkina, 4th Edouard/Spotar, 5th Martinez Murphy, 6th Polaschek/Hutchinson, 7th Wayne/Simanenkova. We were a little surprised that so many of the couples selected very slow music for their solo presentations.
For the pro-ams it was Latin day and the Open to the World Open Scholarships were of a very high standard.
The A1 final once again took place in the evening session and it became the 2nd pro-am scholarship to go north of the border. Sabrina Strasser w/ Stanislav Kocergin of Canada won all dances. 2nd tonight was Joanna Wa w/ Plamen Danailov 2,2,2,4,3 and 3rd Vera Xu w/ Jakub Zeglin 3,3,3,2,4 – a close race there. 4th fell to Saina Hadden w/ Daniele Gozzi 4,4,4,3,2; 5th Brittany Gonzalez w/ Ivan Dishliev 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Ivana Dragasevic w/ Jose Decamps 6,6,6,6,7; 7th Emily Tang w/ Delyan Terziev 7,7,7,7,6.
Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev was the confortable winner in the A2 division, taking all dances. Maria Seragou w/ Dimitrios Damalas was 2nd 2,2,2,3,2 and Marina Dzasokhova w/ Ivan Statsenko (Russia) was 3rd 4,3,3,2,3. Christine Sanko w/ Jean Paul took 4th 3,4,4,4,4; 5th Matthias Kirwald w/ Leanne Aranza 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Natsuko Lipchutz w/ Nikolai Sparkov 6,6,6,6,6; 7th Caroline Mao w/ Simeon Stoynov 7,7,7,7,7.
Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski took her second open to the world title this week, winning all dances in the B Latin. Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan was 2nd 2,2,2,3,2 and Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet (Canada) was 3rd 3,4,4,2,3. 4th Lorraine Peoples w/ Andrei Gavriline 4,3,3,4,4; 5th Tasha Romero w/ Evgeniy Likachev 5,5,5,6,6; 6th Iris Chang w/ Igor Colac 7,6,6,7,5; 7th Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia 6,7,7,5,7.
Also scoring her 2nd open to the world scholarship win was Susan Miller but this time dancing with Ricky Bentzen who won the C1 division 1,1,2,2,3. Janet Colleran w/ Aleks Nashev was 2nd 3,3,1,1,2 and Fifi Wang w/ Delyan Terziev was 3rd 2,2,3,3,4. Penelope Rostad w/ Nikolay Karchev was 4th 4,4,4,5,6. Winning the jive but placing 6,6,6,4 in the other dances, Olga Bassett w/ Petr Dubovsky was 5th and 6th Pam Olsen w/ Vadim Gazda 5,5,5,6,5.
Also run tonight was the Open to the World Professional RS Latin. This basically mirrored the results from the National RS division. Once again Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Schchypilina were the winners, Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova were 2nd and Sergey Chislov & Dasha Chislova were 3rd.
A 12-Couple Final!
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That’s right, 12 couples competed in the US National Pro Cabaret last night and the judges were asked to place them from 1 to 12 – no easy task.
But they did it and the win went to Shane & Shannon Jensen over their close rivals and fellow BYU alumni, Travis & Jaimee Tuft. But it was close! Shane & Shannon received 6 first places to Travis & Jaimee’s 5. But with a 15-judge panel this was not enough for a majority. However, the Jensen’s did receive more 2nd place scores than the Tufts and won the event with 12 “2nd or better” scores to 8. The only judge to radically disagree was Iveta Lukosuite who placed the Jensens 8th.
Mykhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko were 3rd and they had the majority of “3rd or better” scores and these included 2 first places. Clyde Harris & Summer Elkin were 4th. Clifton Sepulveda & Mar Martinez 5th; James Brann & Sayra Vazquez 6th.
The US National Titles for professional 9-dance and 10-dance are both held over 2 days and both came to a conclusion last night. In the 9-Dance, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi were the winners. Their scores, beginning with the Smooth were 1,1,1,2,3,2,1,1,2,1. Winning in the Rhythm but with much weaker placements in the Smooth, the runners-up were Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov 2,5,5,8,1,1,2,2,1,2. 3rd spot fell to Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka 5,4,4,3,2,3,3,4,3,3. Perhaps the most interesting scores went to 4th placed Roman Malkhasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman who went from placing 8th in waltz to 1st in VW. 5th overall went to Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth and 6th to Viktor Tkachenko & Yuliya Lukina.
Only 6 couples contested the 10-Dance and the winners were Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab who won 8 of the dances and placed 2nd in waltz and tango. 2nd place went to Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti who were the winners in waltz and tango and placed 2nd in the remaining ballroom dances. Their scores in the Latin were 2,2,3,3,3,2. Simeon Stoynov & Kora Stoynova were 3rd 4,3,3,4,4,3,3,2,2,2,3. Ruslan & Katusha Wilder were 4th, Dmitriy Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano were 5th and Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova were 6th.
It was 3 times in a row for Andre & Natalie Paramonov who won the US National Professional S. American Showdance title for the 3rd consecutive year. They received 9 of the 15 first place scores. Only 3 couples contested the event. Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan were 2nd and Tim Polaschek & Katherine Hutchinson were 3rd.
The US National RS Rhythm was also decided tonight and it was a very closely fought race. The winners by 3 dances to 2 were Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov 2,2,1,1,1 over Igor Ustymovich & Briana Santiago 1,1,2,2,3. No couple had the majority of 1st places. Aaron & Iryna DeSoto took the 2nd spot in mambo and 3rd overall with 3,3,3,4,2. Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov were 4th 4,4,4,5,4; Maksym Lototoskyy & Sarah Haworth were 5th 5,5,5,3,6 and Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti were 6th 6,6,6,6,5. This event was danced over 4 rounds with the final taking place close to 2AM this morning.
Running opposite the RS Rhythm was the US National Pro RS Ballroom, an event that did not start until after midnight. Despite the lateness of the hour we thought the couples in this division did a great job. The winners in all dances were Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova. They had the majority of 1st places in all dances. This has to be one of our favorite ladies in this style right now. It was a good night for Cristian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko who were the runners-up with 3,2,2,2,2. This was a few steps up from their position last week at Embassy Ball. 3rd went to Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson 4,3,3,3,3. Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubrowska were 4th 2,4,4,4,4; Evgeniy Mayarov & Olga Lisovskaya were 5th 5,5,5,5,5. Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Karzukhina were 6th 6,7,6,6,6. Victoria injured her ankle early in the final but was able to continue. Anatoli Repliuk & Ruslana Mamaysur were 7th 7,6,7,7,7.
The pro-ams completed their Smooth divisions yesterday and the Open to the World Open Scholarships were particularly strong.
Winning the A1 division was Melonie Krumer w/ Max Sinitsa. Melonie won all dances. 2nd in all was Brianna Yadgir w/ Chris Germain and 3rd in all Kat Wagner w/ Sergey Barsukov. 4th in all, Yulia Rudenco w/ Andrei Rudenco. We thought that these top 4 ladies were clear of the remaining finalists. 5th went to Irene Lee w/ Nick Cheremukhin 6,5,5,5; 6th Madison Striblin w/ Mayo Alanen 5,6,6,6; 7th Rachel Sayotovich w/ Ilya Velednitsky 7,7,7,7; 8th Megan Strong w/ Sergey Smolin 8,8,8,8.
In the A2 Aiyesha Dey w/ Mayo Alanen was the winner in all 4 dances. 2nd went to Elizabeth Rocco w/ Eric Hudson 3,3,2,2 and 3rd to Sirinda Sincharoen w/ Max Sinitsa 2,2,3,3. As you can see a very tight race between these two ladies. 4th went to Patricia Schneider w/ Nick Cheremukhin 4,4,5,4. We were surprised by the 5th place finish of Susan Sidman w/ Gleb Makarov 5,5,4,5 as we expected her to finish much higher than this. 6th was Joanne Tatum w/ Mariusz Zakrzewski 7,6,6,6 and 7th Amanda Levine w/ Morten Jensen 6,7,7,7.
Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet (Canada) was back on top in the B Division taking it with 1,1,3,2. Her close rival throughout this year, Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski was the runner-up, 4,2,1,1. Next is was the battle of the “Lynns!” Lynn Shanahan w/ Darius Mosteika was 3rd 2,5,2,3 and Lynn Murrell w/ Peter Perzhu was 4th 3,3,4,4. Sue Eldred w/ Artem Plakhotnyi took 5th 5,6,5,5; 6th was Robin Kencel w/ Sergey Vasiliev 6T,4,6,6 and 7th Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin 6T,7,7,7.
The C1 category was won by Charlotte Carey w/ Kostadin Bidjourov 2,1,1,1. We have long admired Charlotte’s passionate dancing and today she was really on form. 2nd went to another of our longtime favorites, Elaine Sheresky w/ Victor Russu 3,2,2,2. Also strong today was 3rd placed Pam Olsen w/ Vadim Gazda 1,3,3,3. Pat Luthy w/ Vladimir Popov was 4th 4,5,5,4; Madeleine Chung w/ Evgeny Dyachenko was 5th 5,4,4,5 and Michaela Puno w/ Slava Sergiev was 6th 6,6,6,6.
The Pro-Am 9-Dance divisions were also completed today. In the Open A division Brianna Yadgir w/ Chris Germain was the victor placing 1st in all 4 smooth dances and 2,3,2,2,3 in the Rhythm. 2nd went to Natalie Crandall w/ Decho Karev and she placed 3,3,5,4 in the Smooth and won all 5 Rhythm dances. 3rd was Stefan Tuomanen w/ Michelle Officer and he was 2nd in all the Smooth dances and placed 5,5,4,4,5 in the Rhythm.
Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin won the Open B 9-Dance placing (Smooth listed first) 4,2,2,2,1,1,1,1,2. The runner-up was Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan 2,3,3,3,2,2,2,2,1 and 3rd was Robin Kencel w/ Sergey Vasilyev 1,1,1,1,4,4,4,3,3.
US Starts with Show Dancing!
The United States Championships in Orlando, Florida had a full day of Pro/Am Rhythm yesterday finishing up two full days of Rhythm dancing but at the professional level it was all about the show dances with the US National titles in the Theatrical and Classic Show Dance up for grabs.
In the US National Professional Theatrical Dance Championship 6 couples took to the floor all at the same time to the same pre-selected music and showcased a combination of dance with lifts. Due to the amount of people on the floor at the same time and some of the death-defying maneuvers (lifts) being performed, this makes this competition one of the most thrilling of the week and we mean “scary like.” However, all couples were very capable and managed to get around without any incident and at the end the US Theatrical title went to Travis & Jaimee Tuft from New Jersey, with almost perfect scores. Only one judge, Lee Wakefield, awarded them a second place. Second was awarded to Shane & Shannon Jensen from Connecticut and they took that one first from Lee and the majority of seconds in this competition. Their lowest mark in this dance came from Iveta Lukosiute who awarded them a whamming 4th place finish, the other low marks came from Wendy Johnson & Gary McDonald who each awarded them third.
Third overall wen to Mikhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko, fourth was Serhii Kovalenko & Kimalee Piedad, leaving fifth position to Kosta Trifunovic & Domante Padleckaite, and sixth to Aaron Stowell & Rebecca Berryhill.
In the US National Professional Classic Show Dance Championships, the title stays in the hands of Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlanta Rudkovskaya, but not with a majority of firsts, they had to depend of 4th or better to acquire this placement. It was so close between first and second that it was down to basically one mark between first and second and the second place overall went to Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blimova. We are quite lucky to have two excellent couples going to represent the USA in this Classic Showdance. Both did what we consider to be quite difficult a bit of comedy in their routines and both won the hearts of the judging panel. We cannot discard the third place finishers, Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egora who also did a phenomenal job and managed to steal 3 first place marks from the two couples just mentioned ahead of them, too bad three couples cannot be sent to represent the USA or we would probably have all three up on top.
Fourth overall on this Classic Show Dance went to Paolo & Liene Di Lorenzo, fifth was Janis Kukainis & Aleksandra Mangileva, and sixth was awarded to Kosta Trifunovic & Domante Padleckaite, and seventh Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova.
Two Professional Rising Star events were also run this evening and the Latin was awarded to Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Schchypilina who took first in all dances but only one dance with the majority of firsts and that was the jive. Second was awarded to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova and they placed second in all dances, leaving third to Sergey Chislov & Dasha Chislova 3,3,4,3,3. Fourth place was awarded to Sasha Altukhov & Cheyenne Murillo 4,5,5,4,4, fifth went to Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova 5,4,3,5,5, and sixth was Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina 6,6,6,6,6. An interesting factor in this event was that two of the finalists turned professional very recently (and we mean in the last couple of days) that was Tarnavskyy/Danilova and Malakhov/Nadezda.
The Professional Rising Star Smooth was also an excellent event and a feature in this second evening of competition. Here, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi took the Rising Star title home by winning three dances and taking second on the VW. Second in those three dances just mentioned and first in the VW, making them a strong runner up was Adrian & Hanna Dydynski. Third was awarded to Mariusz Zakrzewski & Lynnsay Ray 3,3,4,3, fourth went to Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewski 4,4,3,4, fifth was Roman Malkhasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman placing fifth in all dances and sixth in all was awarded to Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow-Stefanov.
Concluding 2 days of pro-am Rhythm competition were the Open to the world Scholarships.
The A1 divisions resulted in a win for last week’s World Champion in this division, Nadia Kireyko w/ Daniel Vasco. Nadia won all dances. 2nd went to Rachel Sayotovich w/ Ilya Velednitsky 2,4,2,2,2. 3rd was Brianna Yadgir w/ Evgenii Grytzak 3,2,4,3,4. Brianna was the winner in this division last year. 4th Chastity Smith w/ Eddie Ares 4,3,3,4,3; 5th Isabella Libertore w/ Charles Cunningham 5,5,5,5,5 and 6th Megan Strong w/ Slash Sharan 6,6,6,6,6.
Defending Champion, Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika successfully defended his A2 title winning 4 dances and placing 2nd in swing. Newly crowned World Champion in the C (at USDC this is the B category) division, Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin was the runner-up 2,2,1,3,3. Susan Sidman w/ Gleb Makarov was 3rd with 4,3,3,2,4. Kia Malone w/ Eddie Rivera took 4th 3,4,4,4,2. As you can see these were close races. 5th went to Elena Cormio w/ Edwin Torres 6,5,5,5,5 and 6th to M’Balia Tagor-Guzman w/ Mariusz Zakrewski 5,6,6,6,6.
Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski won the B (C Division at other competitions) 1,1,1,1,2 having taken 3rd in this division last week at the World Championship. 2nd today fell to Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan 2,2,2,2,1. These top two were well clear in the judges’ scores. 3rd with 4,5,3,3,4 went to Gracelyn Tuoti w/ Andrei Abrashin. Joan Goddard w/ Chris Johnston was 4th 3,3,4,6,5; Quin Bommelje w/ Mikhail Vlasov was 5th 6,4,5,4,3. This was not quite as good a result for Quin who was 2nd in this division at the World Championship. 6th went to Jennifer Marre w/ Plamen Danailov 5,6,6,5,6 and 7th to Renee Kuwahara w/ Ilya Reyzin 7,7,7,7,7.
Susan Miller w/ Hayk Arshakian won the C1 (Senior) category 1,1,1,2,1. Runner-up was Quin w/ Misha 3,2,2,1,2. Penelope Rostad w/ Nikolay Karchev was 3rd 2,3,3,3,3; 4th Sharon Sanchez w/ Sergey Barsukov 5,6,4,4,4; 5th Janet Brutell w/ Michael Neil 4,4,6,5,6; 6th Beverly Marsh w/ Nazar Norov 6,5,5,6,5.
Tulip Ends on High Note!
Click here for video by SuperShag
The Spring Tulip Classic ended on a very high, note this past Saturday the 6th of June. The well sorted professional show featuring the three Canadian Champions, Anton Lebedev & Anna Borsch doing the Ballroom, Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva doing the Cabaret and Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelepenko, was a success featuring all the styles on a high level note!
There were also two professional events, the Smooth and Rhythm. The Smooth had four couples entered and was the most interesting of the two. Dmitry Ilyushenov & Kateryna Stytsenko won every dance quite easily from where we stood and they took the prize home. Their only challenge from the majority of the judges came from Viktor Tkachenko & Yuliya Lukina who placed second overall in two dances and third in the Tango. For us it was not as clear, we found Viktor & Yuliya’s Smooth a little over baring with lots of power, speed and they were hard to miss but with little substance in the end. Somehow it gave us the feeling we were watching a combination of bad Latin and Ballroom all chopped up and thrown in. We really enjoyed Christopher & Jenny Sochnaki’s interpretation, perhaps a little to subtle at times but with great possibilities 3,2,4,3. Fourth was awarded to Dmitriy Kusmeko & Andrea Lynn 4,4,3,4, and fifth went to Vadim Safonov & Alina Safonova and they took fifth in every dance.
There was only three couples entered in the Rhythm and the trophy went to Viktor Tkachenko &Yulia Lukina and they won every dance. Second were Dmitriy Kusmeko & Andrea Lynn 3,2,2,2,2 and third were David Valenzuela & Carolinna Pirvuica 2,3,3,3,3. It is wonderful to see Rhythm and Smooth really take root in Canada, the couples were all very proficient so we are sure to see some brilliant professional and amateur events take place between US and Canada soon.
The Pro/Am Showdance was also a main feature in this year’s Tulip finale. Here there were four couples entered, all very capable and very well sorted. The Tulip Pro/am ShowDance went to Carolyn Reed with teacher Carlos Zapata, who did not disappoint us and in Carlo’s style managed some very difficult and well-executed lift work. Second overall went to another gem when it comes to showdance and that was Marguerite Daniels w/ Tibor Kerekes. Marguerite did an interesting old western style west coast swing with horse and all and just like the number she performed earlier in the night (Jake the Pake) this too was brilliant, making it a difficult decision for the judges. Third was Jackie Marchegiano w/ Dmitry Ilyushenkov and fourth was Wendy Ziemiak w/Mohtar Sabir, all four excellent events.
The evening concluded with a fabulous after party where we ate and danced to our hearts’ content. Mr. Ruddick’s desire is to have what we know to be a fun event and this was accomplished here at the Tulip Classic two times over. I (Didio Barrera) absolutely loved my goose and I noticed the jealousy from a number of gentleman when I had my hands on “Smokey,” so much so that Carole had to give them all one each! I was happy for that, because on the last night I would not dare bring “Smokey” down for fear of abduction! Yes you heard it right! So there, everyone was happy, Eddie got his elk, Scot got his elk, Clement a loose goose, not “smoky” because he has class! And David got Beaver. I hope the boys go after David now and leave my “Smoky” alone.
Thank you Carole for my goose and Scott for putting on such a fun competition we all had a wonderful time and I think the students all had a blast.
Dance among the Tulips!
Click here for video by SuperShag
The Spring Tulip Classic here in Canada, so far has been a total “experience!” The first day we headed to a couple of wineries where we sampled and saw how wine is made. Canada, being known for there dessert wines, did not disappoint. Some were sweet and smooth like a tulip itself. The dinner following the excellent tour was also terrific.
Yesterday was a full day packed with Pro/Am Rhythm and Ballroom dancing. The ballroom was beautifully decorated and from beginning to end it was all about having fun while doing what we like best - Dancing.
The Canadian stuffed animals like the geese, bears and others were displayed and given to the children for their participation in the competition - an excellent idea. Many of them walked away with happy faces even when they placed second. Perhaps we should do this also for grownups, LOL. We now have a Dance Beat goose that will be migrating to South Florida, not sure how we came to own one, and no! We did not take it from one of the kids! Let’s just say we had too much fun.
Tonight is the finale and we expect to see some professionals take to the floor as well as some Smooth and Latin scholarships - so looking forward to more of the Tulip Classic.
Three In The Pocket!
Video by SuperShag - click here
Last night at the Embassy Ball in Irvine California, with a distinguished panel of 11 judges from around the world, the US manged to get three of our top Ballroom dance couples into the final of one of the most prestigious events in the world, the WDC World Professional Ballroom Championship - Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva, and Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk. This was not so unusual because for the longest time we have had two couples in the final but it certainly was unprecedented.
Fame and Fortune come to Capital!
This year with over 8,000 entries, it was the most successful year for the Capital Dancesport, but it was not all about the entries, some of the most prominent couples in America’s dancing were in attendance and so combined with great attendance and a fabulous audience it was a very special year for the Capital Dancesport.
World and US champions, Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, competed in the Professional Ballroom. As expected they won almost every dance with perfect scores and thrilled the audience with an outstanding performance separating them from the pack. However, their perfect record was spoiled by Glenis Dee-Creger who awarded them two seconds, one in the tango and one in the quickstep. Second in every dance was awarded to Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva, but here it was a different story. The judges’ marks varied from second to fifth position and as I mentioned only two firsts from Ms. Dee-Creger. Their worst marks came from Rickey Geiger and Didio Barrera. Rickey awarded them 5,5,5,5,4 and Didio 4,5,4,5,3, but we must point out that even though they got a variety of marks from all the judges they did obtain the majority of seconds in all dances but the foxtrot.
Third in this excellent heat was awarded to Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova who placed third in every dance. Alexander & Veronika were the recipients of the majority of seconds taken away from Artem & Inna. From here down the marks were even more varied giving every dance almost a different result as you will see, Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova took fourth overall 5,4,6,4,4. Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova took fifth 4,5,4,6,5, and sixth in every dance went to Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa. There will be a full write up here by Alan Dixon, so keep checking.
The Professional Smooth was also great and exciting. Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija won every dance and were clearly the favorite for the majority of the judges and the audience. When looking at the marks closely they only got a handful of second or less on their scorecard. To be precise only five or four judges dissented from marking them first nearly every time the same judges. The majority of low marks were mostly seconds and a few thirds, but there were three low marks that made a strong impression of disapproval by two judges. Rickey Geiger who awarded them a 6th in the waltz and a seventh in the foxtrot, and a sixth in the tango from Pat Traymore. Second place in every dance was awarded to Travis & Jaimee Tuft. They also were able to take the majority of second places and as mentioned before some firsts from Nick & Victoria. Travis & Jaimee also had some anomalies to their scorecard from a couple of judges, a sixth in the VW from Bruno Collins and two sixths from Dan Messenger in their tango and foxtrot.
Third in every dance went to a couple that just recently got together for the second time in a row, Mikolay Czarnecki & Victoria Malko. I think everyone was happy to see such a promising couple back on the floor. Fourth was also a surprise with a new couple moving up to a leading position in this field, Michael Choi & Erin Marie who just months back did their first event together. Fifth went to Kris Suakjian & Briana Haft also a couple that has been out of the East Coast scene for a little while and they placed 5,5,6,5. Sixth was awarded to a brand new partnership for this style that is quickly climbing up the charts, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi with 7,6,5,7, and finally this was a seven-couple final and this position went to Adrian & Hannah Dydynski 6,7,7,6. We must point out that there were some excellent couples that in the past have made some excellent finals of their own but were left out this time, we are sure this was a disappointing result for Vlad & Vera Kozarev. Watch out for Diana McDonald's review!
The Professional Latin went to a couple from the Ukraine, Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk and they won with a clear majority of firsts in every dance in particular the rumba where they only lost two first place marks, a second from Bill Sparks and a fourth from Pat Traymore. The majority of firsts taken away from Manuel & Natalia went to the second place couple, who placed second in every dance, Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir. We have to agree with the judges in the rumba, Emanuel & Natalia did an incredible job on this dance and you could have heard a pin drop by the end of their performance. However, in the other four dances we had to disagree with the majority we felt on this occasion their dancing was a little too casual as if they knew they would have it in the bag and decided to walk through it. We are major fans of this very talented couple, but on this occasion we must say that it looked almost to close to call. Clearly in third place in every dance and even taking a few firsts in a couple of dances from Manuel & Natalia, were Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin.
Fourth and giving and outstanding performance were Sergiy Samchynskyy & Yuliya Besarab placing fourth in all dances. Riccardo Pacini & Sonia Spadoni were fifth 6,5,5,5,5. Looking not very thrilled with the result and placing sixth were Stanislav Savich & Nicole Prosser 5,6,7,6,7. We said not very thrilled because there was a hint of confusion when taking a bow, we in America have become very complacent and as an audience expect for couples to be gracious acknowledging their result with a slight bow and continuing no matter the result, but we also notice that in other customs they perhaps do not do this, so in the couple’s defense we most tell the audience that we here in America continue to be culturally diverse and anything could happen no matter what. In seventh position were Pavel Balykin & Meagen Mendoza 7,7,6,7,6. Melanie Lapatin will review this style for Dance Beat.
The Rhythm had a huge entry, possibly the biggest of all four styles, but in the end with the exception of Andrei & Natalie Paramonov rated third in the country overall not being present it was a competition with great dancing but not many changes. Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liane Churilova won all dances with a huge majority of firsts in all dances. Most of the lower marks were seconds with the exception of Pat Traymore who awarded them a 4th in rumba, and a third in mambo. Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova were second in all dances. Their worst marks also came from Pat Traymore who awarded them 4,3,5,2,5. Third went to Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova, but here their marks were varied in all dances 3,4,3,4,3, fourth went to Shane & Shannon Jensen 5,3,4,3,4. Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi were fifth overall 4,5,5,5,5, and sixth were Ilya Velednitski & Mariya Ilchenko 6,6,6,6,6. See Bill Sparks' review of this division soon.
There was also a fun Amateur Latin event. This was a seven-couple final but the majority of the couples were terrific. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danikova placed first in every dance, Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasov were second and Alexey & Vlada Karaulov were third.
The evening concluded with a “champion of champions” show choreographed by Wendy Johnson, and added to this show were a few extra numbers performed by some pro/am competitors of the week. One interesting number to mention was the Isadora Duncan number performed by Carolyn Woodruff with Pro/Am teacher Alosha Antatoliy. We want to extend huge congratulations on an excellent job to Marianne Nicole & John DePalma for their success at this year’s competition, it was possibly the best so far and one of the best this year in the country.
Capital the Biggest Ever!
With over 8,000 entries this has been the biggest Capital Dancesport Championships we have ever attended. So far there have been two and three quarter days packed with competitions, and all events so far have been well attended with many quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.
The Professional Rising Star Rhythm has been the most attended so far with over 24 couples to begin in the first quarter-final of the competition. In the end there were some very interesting results. Six couples were called for the final and as you will see the marks from the judges were all over the place. Aaron & Iryra DeSoto won the competition overall but not all dances, they placed third in the cha cha, second in the rumba, bolero and first in the swing and mambo. From our perspective we think Aaron & Iryna have improved tremendously in the last few months and are becoming a major challenge in the style. Second overall was awarded to Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov, possibly one of our favorite couples of the night. Unfortunately, we think it was a very difficult decision for the judges since Aaron & Iryna have made such great improvement. Shandor & Alekandra won the rumba, placed second in the cha cha, third in the bolero and mambo and fifth in the swing.
Third were Igor Ustymovich & Briana Santiago and they also stole a dance from the winners they won the cha cha. In the other dancers they placed 3,6,4,2. Maksyn Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth were awarded fourth overall 5,4,2,1,4, possibly a very disappointing result for this couple who were possibly expecting to climb higher. Fifth were Jean Paul & Lana Rossi. This couple goes up and down, they win some they lose some, and we must say that they are very hard to place - great control and actions but perhaps lacking a little in the soul department. They placed 4,5,4,5,6. Last but not least were Erwin Rybczynska & Iwona Rybczynskaya 6,6,3,6,5. The Open Rhythm tonight should be huge and possibly the best competition of the weekend with many of the top couples in attendance.
The Professional Showdance took place early in the evening and here four couples took to the floor to showcase their routines. Shane & Shannon Jensen won, leaving second place to Travis & Jaimee Tuft. Third was awarded to Dmitriy Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn, fourth were Kosta Trifunovic & Domante Padleckaite. We must also mention that Shane & Shannon Jensen won the Compulsory Theater Arts and like in the showdance Travis & Jaimee Tuft were second.
Thursday night we had two good Rising Star events, but this time it was the Professional Ballroom and the Latin. The Professional Ballroom was won by Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Katzukhina, second went to Evgeniy Mayorov & Olga Lisovskaya and third was awarded to Dmitry Sviridov & Mariya Vysotskaya. The Professional Rising Star Latin was won by Jake Davis & Alyona Kalinina, second went to Riccardo Pacini & Sonia Spadoni, and third was awarded to Leon Turetsky & Kim Le.
The Amateur Ballroom was also a fun competition to see. Here Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova took first in all dances. Daniel Vesnovskiy & Emily Thorpe were second and third was awarded to Zhiwei Zhang & Ersi Nie.
So as you can see this was an excellent competition in one of my favorite ballrooms in America. The acoustics are so great that the music makes you want to dance. Tonight all the professional open events and a special show, stay tuned for more.
A Killick Night!
It was a Killick Night and day (Fabulous) at the Killick Klassik, it was a full day of Ballroom dancing during the day fro the Pro/Am’s and in the nighttime three spectacular competitions followed by a fabulous after-party.
The night included renditions of YMCA and Raining Men by Shirley, Paul and a select group of hte judges - plus of course an enthusiastic audience. Later in the evening, Derek Hough and Corky Ballas led the ensemble in an impromptu cha cha line dance.
The most impressive of the three featured evening events of the night was the Professional Latin competition, a healthy quarterfinal with over 20 couples on the floor for the start, but this was not about quantity it was more about quality. Down to the quarter final the majority of the couples were of excellent quality, we have not seen a Professional Latin event this great in a little while.
When it came to the final with the exception of Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko and the heir apparent Roman Kutsky & Anna Kovalova, it was a who’s who of the Latin American style world. US World Latin representatives Stefano DiFilippo & Daria Chesnokova from New Jersey were present and the audience were thrilled to see their charismatic performance rewarding them with applause at every turn. They as expected won all the dances and took the trophy home. When looking at the marks closely Stefano & Daria nearly got perfect scores from the judges but two judges deferred, Dan Rutherford who awarded them 3rd in every dance and DWTS featured star guest, Derek Hough who awarded them three 2nd places in the C,S,P.
Second in this fantastic final were Nikolay Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina who placed second in every dance and got all the three firsts from Derek and three from Dan on the S,P,J. Nikolay & Maria were also favorites on the floor and they also got the audience moving and screaming even when they announced the final tally.
From third down to sixth place the marks were more varied, even the third place couple shared on a couple of sixth places from a few judges. Third position was awarded to Mirko Risi & Svetlana Borisova from Italy, who placed third in four dances and fourth in the rumba. Fourth position went to Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova and here the marks could not have been more varied 4,5,3,4,4. Fifth place was awarded to Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir who placed 5,4,5,5,5, we must point out that Dan Rutherford’s other two 1st place marks were awarded to them. In sixth position were Dmitri Nikishkin & Olena Shvets and they placed sixth in every dance. Their best marks came from Derek Hough who awarded them 2 thirds, 2 fourths and a fifth.
The Professional Smooth was also an impressive heat and here the winner in every dance was Peter & Alexandra Perzhu who got perfect scores in both the waltzes and nearly perfect scores on the other two dances. In the tango two judges awarded Peter & Alexandra seconds - Louise Garvie and Forrest Vance, and in the foxtrot they got a second from Dan Rutherford. Second in all dances went to Yegor Novikov & Sasha Smirnova, and they won the two first place marks in the tango from Louise and Forrest, and the first in the foxtrot from Dan.
Jean Paul & Lana Rossi placed third overall 4,3,3,3, Vladimir & Vera Kosarev took fourth 3,4,4,4, Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewski were fifth 6,5,5,5, and Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth were sixth 5,6,6,6. As you can see the judges were very unsettled with the waltz, we wonder why?
The Open Amateur Ballroom was a straight final, easily won by James Cutler & Virginie Primeau. Every judge marked them to win except Corky Ballas who placed them 2,4,2,2,1. With 3,2,2,2,2, Daniel Vesnovskiy & Emily Thorpe were 2nd. 3rd were Brandon Buchthal & Natasha Barrera 2,3,3,3,3. This pair were Corky’s winners. 4th in all dances were Andrew Sim & Emily Cobb-Hines.
Energy and Glamor at the Killick Klassic!
Yesterday here at the Killick Klassic was all about the glimmer and glamour of the competition, so perfectly fitted to the ambiance of this this iconic hotel.
First in the early afternoon, it was the “Meet and Greet” with Derek Hough. For those of you that don’t watch TV he is one of the celebrity ballroom dancers on the now iconic show, “Dancing with the Stars.” We were a little late for the affair as most Floridians or should I say South Beach Floridians are, but it was a good thing. We got to ride in the elevator with Derek’s own personal entourage and looked totally part of the “Elite.” When he first entered the room you could hear the cameras clicking away and I just hope we, the Dance Beat team, are not in half your pictures, LOL.
Derek was a delightful guest and entertainer answering every question for his adoring fans, (mostly women). He managed to answer the questions and elaborate into some very interesting things we did not know about him. He talked about some of his personal challenges and how he prepares before going out on the floor and how he copes with different challenges every week (in our words, he takes it all in stride one step at a time). He said a wonderful thing to the fans many of them dancers, “you create your pain you create your fears, no one does it for you. If you can talk yourself out of it, you will just be fine.” I wish many of our dances will take this very sound advice from this young man, because it is the truth, we create many of the obstacles we see and they don’t need to be there.
He talked about what the show has done for him personally and in his life, some of his explanations were very detailed making him seem real and almost like your best friend. The attendees were treated to some champagne and food before Derek got there and some beautiful views from the 25th floor suit where it was being held. As we looked out we thanked heaven for Florida, we sure love our home state, not one cloud in the sky, just blue all over from the sea to the sky, you could see for miles across the Intracoastal Waterway.
Later in the ballroom, Derek led a high-energy conga line with most of the audience and many of the judges joining in!
In the ballroom sparks flew with some of the best professional ballroom dancers form across the world in attendance. Also in Rhythm we had some excellent couples and the Amateur Latin had some wonderful couples but we were a little surprised that it was only a semifinal round considering both the organizers are Latin Stars and Icons in their own right.
In the Ballroom it was an easy job for Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva who placed first in all dances with perfect scores from the judges in every dance. Perhaps this mix of international and national judges tended to lean more towards the Latin genre, but as we have always said, judging is overrated, the most important thing when you are being judge is honesty and in our opinion these Ballroom couples got and excellent panel of judges. Second in this who’s who of a final were Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk, and they took second in every dance but unlike Victor & Anastasia, not from every judge, they got three 4th and a 5th in the waltz, two 3rds and a 5th in the tango, three 5th and three 3rds in the VW, two 5ths and a 3rd in the foxtrot, and in the quickstep a 6th, a 5th and a 3rd. Their worst marks came from Leisa Howard who awarded them that last 6th place and some of the other very low scores.
With 4,3333, Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova were 3rd. They did receive the majority of 3rd or better scores in the T,VW,F,Q. They also received a handful for 2nd places over the 5 dances a few 5ths but no 6ths. Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova were 4th with 3,4,4,4,4. They also received the majority of 3rd or better scores in the waltz. With all the 5’s Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were 5th and Gianni Caliandro & Arianna Esposito were 6th.
Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova won all dances in the Rhythm and dropped very few 1st place marks. They received perfect scores in the mambo. Their lowest score was a 4th in swing from Louise Garvie. Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova were 2nd in all dances and were the only couple to take a few 1st places away from the winners. Their worst scores came from Karen Hardy who awarded them 4,3,5,5,4. For us the top two couples were well clear.
3rd tonight with 4,4,3,3,3 were Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov and splitting the 3rd and 4th places with them were Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti 3,3,4,4,4. Obviously a tough call for the judges between these two couples.Rising Star winners Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth were 5th in all dances, Erwin & Iwona Rybczynska were 6th in all and Pavel Volynskiy & Anastasia Levadnia were 7th in all.
The Amateur Latin was easily won also by the current ABC US National Champions, Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina who lost very few first place marks and had perfect scores in cha cha and jive. With the majority of 2nd or better scores in all dances, Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach were also easily 2nd. In fact, although the judges sprinkled their scores around quite freely most of the couples earned their placements with the majority scores. 3rd in all tonight were Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler. 4th in all were Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova. 5th were Kiki Nyemchek & Magdalena Fialek 5,6,5,5,5 and closing the final, from Italy, were Cristian Priori & Eleonora Riccardi 6,5,6,6,6.
5 couples entered the Showdance/Cabaret division and the winners were Mykhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko.
The pro-am Latin took up all of the daytime session and the open scholarships were danced at night and were the best so far here at the Killick Klassic.
Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev won all dances in the B. 2nd in all was Maria Seragou w/ Dimitrios Damalas and 3rd, Tomoko Fujiwara w/ Rangel Spirov.
Results from A and C divisions coming soon.........
Killing It With Klass At KK!
The 2015 Killick Klassic is underway in the world famous Boca Raton Hotel, in Boca Raton, Florida. This iconic hotel is so suitable for a dance competition and especially one run by Latin icons, Paul Killick & Shirley Ballas.
The event began with a very successful Dance Camp, Monday and Tuesday that concluded with a cruise on the Intra Coastal Waterway for camp members and competitors who arrived early.
The first 2 days have been about American Style pro-am with all the heats for Smooth and Rhythm taking place. Last night concluded with the rising star professional divisions in all 4 professional styles. Not surprisingly, the Latin was the strongest but the Rhythm also began with a quarter-final.
For us 2 couples really stood out in the RS Latin and the judges seemed to agree as these 2 couples were awarded 1st and 2nd places. The winners with 1,1,1,2,2 were Sasha Althukov & Cheyenne Murillo and the runners-up, with 2,2,2,1,1, Sergey Chislov & Dasha Chislova. For us this result could have gone either way and we would have been happy. 3rd in all dances fell to Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina and they too showed great improvement. Ryan Lewis & Tessa Marie took all the 4’s. Jonas Kazlouskas & Kathleen Ilo were 5th, 5,5,6,6,5 and Stefan Glubovic & Uliana Maslovskaya were 6th 6,6,5,5,6.
Maksym Lototskyy & Sarah Haworth won the Rhythm placing 1,1,2,2,1. In their second outing the Rhythm field, Jean Paul & Lana Rossi were the runners-up, 3,2,1,1,2. They also won the Smooth, so this must place them in a strong position for the US National 9-Dance next month. 3rd place in the Rhythm went to Erwin & Iwona Rybczyski 2,3,3,4,4. Strahinja Lackovic & Irina Fedosova were 4th 4,4,4,3,5; Tamas Kardos & Mariya-Khristina Shurupova were 5th 5,5,5,5,3 and Eddie Rivera & Meghan McNash were 6th in all dances.
As we mentioned above Jean & Lanna won the Smooth and they won all dances. The rest of the final were all from Florida. 2nd were Andrei & Elena Rudenco 2T,2,2,2. 3rd was the new partnership of Roman Malchasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman 2T,3,3,3. Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewski were 4th in all dances, Maksym & Sarah were 5th 5,6,5,6 and Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov were 6th 6,5,6,5.
The Ballroom was the only straight final and it was won easily in our view by Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova who did indeed win all dances. 2nd went to 10-dancers Jonas & Kathleen 2,3,3,3,2. We liked 3rd placed Anatoli Repliuk & Ruslana Mamaysur who scored 3,2,2,4,4. In this close event, Aleksandr Skriptsov & Aida Skriptsov were 4th 4T,4,4,2,3 and Dmitry Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano were 5th 4T,5,5,5,5.
The largest of the open pro-am scholarships so far was the Senior Rhythm. In this Quin Bomalje w/ Misha Vlasov won all dances with a great performance. 2nd went to Susan Miller w/ Hayk Arshakian again in all dances and 3rd in all was Beverly Marsh w/ Nazar Norov.
The action was hot in the ballroom but just as hot in the bar later when several of the judges attracted non-dance hotel guests with their energetic salsas and merengues! That was certainly something to see.
The Florida weather has been great and many of the dancers are enjoying the 5-star luxury this hotel offers - a grea pool, spa and everything else you would expect. A great dance-vacation with an all-star panel of judges and fabulous pro and amateur competitions.
Stay tuned for much more from the KK, with the open pro and amateur events beginning today.
Doing it Dance By Dance at Empire
Once again last night, Empire State, ran the open professional events on a dance by dance basis meaning that there was the potential for different finalists to be called for each dance. This is what occurred in one style but not in the other. In the Rhythm the same 7 finalists were recalled for all 5 dances, but not so in the Ballroom.
The rhythm brought together the number 1 and number 2 couples in the USA currently, Emmanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova and Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova. Emmanuel & Liana, current US Champions, won all 5 dances. They received perfect scores (17 1st places) in mambo. The closest scored dance was swing where they won by 11 to 6. Interestingly no other couple received a 2nd place except Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov. Pat Traymore marked them 2nd in mambo and Nazar & Irina 4th.
The rest of the final was much more even. 3rd were Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov 5,5,3,3,3. 4th overall went to Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti with 3,3,5,5,4. Donovan & Rose ended up 5th 4,4,4,4,5; Eddie Rivera & Meg McNash were 6th 6,7,6,7,6 and Andrei Svirydzenka & Yulia Zubova were 7th 7,6,7,6,7.
Marat Giamev & Alina Basyuk easily won all 5 dances in the Ballroom. Only 1 judge seriously dissented on their win and that was Michael Mead who placed them 4,3,4,2,3. Actually 5 couples made all 5 of the finals and they finished in the following order: 2nd in all dances were Anton Lebedev & Anna Borshch; 3rd in all Iaroslav Bieliel & Lilia Gladiuk. 4th overall went to Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya 5,4,4,4,4 and the last couple to make all finals, Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were 5th 4,5,5,5,5. Making the top 6 in 3 dances, Igor Mikushov & Ekaterina Romashkina were 6th 6,6,7T,7T,6. Richard Tonizzo & Claire Hansen placed 6th in VW and 7th overall and Vladislav Shakhov & Ekaterina Popova were 6th in FT and 8th overall.
The Pro Cabaret had 9 entries of varying quality. The winners were Travis & Jaimee Tuft who were in exemplary form last night and we agreed with the judges’ decision. Craig Smith & Micheline were 2nd but had some rough moments in their routine we thought. 3rd were Daniel Enskat & Ahtoy Wonpat Borja and one of our favorites, James Brann & Sayra Vazquez were 4th.
The Open Amateur Latin was a royal match up of some of the leading couples in North America. Not surprisingly no couple received a majority of 1st place marks in any dance. However, winning 4 dances and placing 2nd in cha cha were Tal Livshitz & Ilana Kesselman – a much better result for this couple than at Manhattan Dancesport a month ago. 2nd by placing 1,2,3,3,2, were Sasha Chernositov & Arina Grishanina. This couple has taken the world by storm lately and this was still a good result for them. Andrei Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova were 3rd, 3,3,2,2,5. 4th place tonight went to Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriela Sabler, 4,6,4,4,3. Interestingly Pasha & Gabriela received the most 1st places of any couple in a dance – that was 6 in the jive. 5th and 6th fell to two u/21 couples. Austin Josen & Nino Dzneladze 5,4,5,5,4 were 5th and Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayword were 6th 6,5,6,6,6.
The Empire is Back!
The Empire State Championship is back but this time in the heart of Manhattan at Times Square in the Marriott Grand Marquis. You step out and you’re in the middle of the square surrounded by hundreds coming to see where it all happens!
And it's all here! The Empire last night had three major feature events the Professional Latin & Smooth and the Amateur Ballroom, all had great participation and terrific entries.
The professional events were judged a dance at a time meaning you could make it into the final of the cha cha but not the samba and every dance in both the Latin and the Smooth was judged the same, separately.
The obvious winners to us in the Latin were Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk. They won by a dance by winning the S,R,J and placing second in the other 2 dances.
For these two professional events it was open marking and there was a few oops and ahs from the attending audience. One judge dissented and placed the winners 6th. Wait for the full article for details on this and other events.
Second in this excellent heat and winning the Cha and the PD were Nikolay Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina. They too had plenty of fans in the audience making it an exciting final to watch. Third overall in this parade of stars was awarded to Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko 3,4,3,3,4.
Eugeny Likahachev & Marya Levina were fourth overall 4,3,6,4,7. Fifth went to Mykhail Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina 6,5,5,5,3. Jean-Philipe Milot & Laurence Bulduc were sixth overall 5,6,4,6,6. Seventh was awarded to Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets 7,8,7,7,5. Daniel Juvet & Zuzana Sykorova were 8th 8,7,8,8,8
The Professional Smooth was also run one dance at a time but here there were few or no any variables. Mazen Hamza & Izabella won all four dances, Travis & Jamie Tuft took all seconds, and Kyle & Allie Spinder took all thirds. All fourths went to Jean Paul & Lana Rossi. Fifth in all was awarded to Dmitry Ilyushenov & Kateryna Stytsenko and all sixths went to Morten Jensen & Anastasia, leaving 7th place for Shandor Shtefil & Aleksandra Barsukov.
The Amateur ballroom all dances went to the Ends. Second overall was Klepadlo/Bakhtiarova they placed second in every dance but the quickstep where they took 4th. Third place overall went to Cutler /Primeau, they took third in w,t,VW, fourth in the fox and second in the quickstep. Fourth was awarded to Plozaj/Kaczmarski 4,4,4,3,3 and fifth was Hacke/Hermanova and sixth was Pavlov/Spernacka.
The evening concluded with high-energy local team match! Everyone had a great time the only problem is that it took us into the morning hours, making the after party less desirable to attend. Or at least for the Dance Beat group. However, the competition was worth the time, in our opinion it was an excellent night for the Empire at Times Square, New York City.