The DBDC 2023

(1 Vote)

A Magical Fairy Tale in Boston

Once upon a time a few dance enthusiasts, Chris Johnston, Frank Miranda and Audrey Paek, came together to organize a competition that wasn't ordinary but had a magical touch.

An experience which would send one back in time into the history of the ballroom world, introducing legends of this glamorous industry, their personal stories, their journeys to success and people they touched.

Each year we come back to Boston to the DBDC in anticipation of witnessing what the organizers with its expanded team, including Didio Barrera and Andy Fishel, have prepared. This year, what may have seemed typical at first, had its own twist. The Nightclub night at Didio's Hideaway was a huge success with the room packed the whole night. The Chicago theme seemed to have attracted even more attendees this year. It was wonderful watching the formation, the special performance by a group of people from about six different studios, collaborating and putting on a show as if the Chicago musical was in town.

Friday started bright and early with all the Rhythm, followed by the Latin events. Out of habit, some of the attendees kept going to the Grand Ballroom for the competition. But surprisingly that wasn't where the events were held. A somewhat smaller, and a more modern looking room had become the venue for Friday events, a space which no one was even aware existed. The atmosphere though was fantastic the whole day with the room packed. Some would argue that for the evening events the floor was perhaps too small. But in my opinion, the lack of space allowed couples to actually showcase their abilities of navigating the traffic as well as separate those who actually danced with each other, creating a bubble which no one could affect. It is a great skill to dance to a maximum in a limited space, and those who can master it, are able to showcase their abilities and talents despite the limitations.

Amateur Latin was a terrific event. The winners, Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina received the only “perfect” result of the competition taking all 11 first place marks in all dances – congratulations to them! 2nd in all dances fell to Mykyta & Lyndsey Vasylenko and 3rd in all to the Canadian team of Idan Daich & Anastasia Simyavskaya. All the 4’s went to Maksym Rodionov & Alexandra Miller; 5th Emil Maritrosyan & Eva Tulchinsky 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Oskar Krimus & Shayna McDonald 6,6,6,6,6.

Rising Star Smooth was perhaps the tightest and it was split into two heats. The winners, however, took 1st in all dances and they were Stefan Badea & Whitney Myers.

Riccardo Conte & Eleonora Filippi also won all dances in the Rising Star Ballroom as did Ron Garber & Klaudia Petriti in the Rising Star Latin

The only Open Professional event of the night, was the Professional Rhythm where for the first time Bob Powers and Julia Gorchakova's Perpetual Trophy was presented to the winners. And this year's easy winners were crowd favorites, Francesco Arietta and Jesse Mae Briones. Dmytro Gurkov & Celeste Bailey from Canada took second. They were also secure in this position taking 2nd in all dances. Equally secure, 3rd in all dances went to Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina. 4th Jani Bogre & Tjasa Novak 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova 6,6,5,5,5; 6th Donovan Kirrane & Olga Goncharov 5,5,6,7,6; 7th Joseph & Madalina Lettig 7,7,7,6,7.

Saturday morning was quite gloomy. But once everyone entered the DBDC's natural habitat, the beautiful Grand Ballroom with its crystal chandeliers and surrounding walls and balconies dressed in gold embroidery, mood and energy was instantly elevated. The Saturday matinee was dedicated to American Smooth events, with some fantastic semifinals.

But what a Fairy Tale without royalties and castles. As we were approaching the time of the Gala Celebration and the Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony of this year's honorary, the fabulous Wendy Johnson, we were guided, not to the usual Ballroom (The Georgian Room), but to the Castle across the street. Yes, a true castle, nesting confidently outside the Park Plaza Hotel, waiting for the Queen's arrival. Everyone was treated to an elegant dinner. Tears of joy and laughter were shared by all, while going through Ms. Johnson's journey in the Ballroom world. This award was even more special, as besides fellow professionals and friends, her family was present. Her son, daughter and one of the youngest family members, her grandson, presented her with the crystal award and one of her close friends and fellow world-class professionals, Ms. Hanna Kartunnen specially flew in for the Gala and presented a short speech.

But like every Gala, this too had an end, and everyone had to get back to the Grand Ballroom for the continuation of the competition. As if all the little twists weren't enough, this year Nature had its own surprise. It started pouring with rain. It was like a movie scene: elegantly dressed men and women filling the rainy streets of Boston, lightning striking in the dark sky, dresses swishing, water splashing under the feet, cars honking as a music tune to which the visual was as if everyone was dancing in the rain, with black umbrellas rolling in their arms.

At 9:15 by the Ballroom Clock, all were back in the Plaza ready for the night affair. In addition to the three Open Professional events, this was the Finale of the Under 21, Ballroom Spirit Foundation Tour. There is unbelievable talent in this field, that's dynamic and exuberant yet classic and elegant. The format of the finale is a 5-dance competition and a solo presentation. The solo is judged by 9 randomly selected judges and the audience in the ballroom and watching online also had a vote. Here was the final result:

1. Andre Cutashevskii & Anna Vasina – 1st in 5-Dance, 1st in Solo, 2nd Audience
2. Parley Ford & Natalie Jolley – 4th in 5-Dance, 2nd in Solo, 1st Audience
3. Nathan Zaytsev & Alisa Bankova – 3rd in 5-Dance, 3rd in Solo, 4th Audience
4. Roman Shchochka & Marta Tyutyunnyk – 2nd in 5-Dance, 4th in Solo, 6th Audience
5. Mykola Hudz & Stanislava Klishch – 5th in 5-Dance, 5th in Solo, 5th Audience
6. Matthew Holyoak & Olivia Cowan – 6th in 5-Dance, 6th in Solo, 3rd Audience

The Peter Eggleton Cup for the Professional Ballroom had new winners this year, Dan Malov & Anna Bohachova who won in a 3 dance to 2 contest with Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley. The scores were 2,2,1,1,1 and 1,1,2,2,2. None of the dances were won with a majority of first places – so it was a very close contest. Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna took 3rd 3,4,3,3,3. With 4,3,4,4,4, Ricardo Conte & Eleonora Filippi took the 4th spot. 5th went to Alieksandr & Vilelmina Lavrov 5,5,5,6,5. 6th Christian Radvan & Anna Zotova 6,6,6,5,6; 7th Florin Vlad & Natalia O’Connor 7,7,7,7,7.

Winning the Bob Medeiros Medal in Professional Latin for the first time this year were Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk. They won all dances taking 11 firsts of the 13 in cha cha and 9 firsts in the remaining 4 dances. Most of the first places no awarded to Manuel & Natalia went to Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman who were 2nd in all dances. Andriy & Amanda Besyedin were 3rd in all dances and Ron Garber & Klaudia Petriti were 4th in all. 5th Kostiantyn Samarskyi & Margarita Golubeva 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Dmitry Barov & Sarina Wright 6,6,6,6,6.

This was the second year The DBDC has offered the Ken & Sheila Sloan Smooth Trophy and the new winners this year were Yegor Novikov & Tatiana Voilokova but it was quite a tight race. They placed 1,1,1,2. The only dance won with a majority of first places was the waltz where Yegor & Tatiana took 7 of the 13. All other dances were won using “2nd or better” scores. The winners of the VW were Tykhon & Yana Zhyvkov and they were the runners-up in all other dances and the competition. The Canadian 9-dancers, Dmytro & Celeste were 3rd 3,3,3,4 and the new partnership of Leonid Burlo & Mariia Usan were 4th 4,4,4,3. 5th Vladyslav & Brianna Nalyvaychuk 5,5,5,5; 6th Stefan Badea & Whitney Myers 6,6,7,6; 7th Radek Wiatrowski & Denise Sobiewsky 7,7,6,7.

Canadian Champions, Nikita Druzhynin & Virginie Primeau won the Ballroom placing 1,1,2,1,1. They had the majority of first places in waltz and tango. 2nd place was also a very tight race – between Andrii Cutashevskii & Anna Vasina and Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova. It went to Andrii & Anna 2,3,1,3,2. Samuel & Katarina were 1 point behind with 3,2,3,2,3. 4th Nathan Zaytsev & Alisa Bankova 5,4,4,4,4; 5th Roman Shchocka & Marta Tyutunnyk 4,5,5,5,5; 6th Bohdan Aleksiriev & Kateryna Vutatenko 6,6,6,6,6.

It's such an illusion that organizing a dance competition is easy and anyone can do it. Being an organizer myself, I know how much work it takes to put together a weekend event that comes alive as if instantly, without effort. Ah, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just sprinkle some magic sparkle or tap a magic wand to make it all appear. Unfortunately, this only works in children's tales. There is only one secret ingredient - the right team that works for tireless hours to make the magic happen and everything run smoothly. So I would love to extend my sincere admiration and congratulations to this unbelievable team of organizers for yet another successful year and wish them much inspiration for the years to come as this Fairy Tale continues.

  • Report by:: Anna Shahbazyan
  • Photos by:: Cindy Muller and Dance Production House

Social Share

Advertise with us

Are you looking for a new client?.. We will help you to find them cost effectively!..

Advertise with us!Advertise with US!


Do you want to get access to all articles and pdf issues?.. Join us now!

SubscribeDance Beat Membership