Dance Beat Team

Dance Beat Team

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35 Years in the Making!


This year was the 35th anniversary of the San Francisco Open, and to celebrate many of the finalists and winners performed in a 2-part show last night.  This on top of two high quality open professional competitions.

TheSFO15-Perzhu Open Smooth really brought out an interesting group.  US Champions, Peter & Alexandra Perzhu were entered and they had little trouble winning all dances, each one with a large majority of 1st place marks.  The runners-up, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija were equally clear in 2nd place.  Judge Beth Knoll awarded them 1st place in all dances.  3rd spot, again in all dances, fell to Evgeny Malko & Anna Shabazyan, who looked more relaxed and in control tonight as they continue to gain experience together.  4th in all dances went to Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow who always give a light and bright performance.  Back on the scene here in the USA after some time away were Mark & Melanie Perkovich from Australia and they took 5th in all dances.  Closing the final were Drew Miller & Krista Humphrey.


Andrey Tarasov SFO15-Tarasov1& Yulia Kuznetsova were clear winners in the Open Latin from the judges’ perspective and from the audience’s.  They had clear majorities in 4 dances and won the paso doble, also with a majority of 6 firsts to 4 from the runners-up.  The runners-up were Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets who scored 2,2,3,2,2.  Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova took 2nd in the rumba and 3rd in the other 4 dances.  Pavel Balykin & Meagen Mendoza were 5th, 5,5,5,6,5 and Simeon Stoynov & Kora Stoynova were 6th, 6,6,6,5,6.


For tSFO15-PABallhe pro-ams it was a day of Ballroom and the Open Scholarships were some of the best of the weekend.  The largest open scholarship this year was the Open Senior Ballroom with 12 entries.  The winner was Gail Sherman w/ Slava Stefanov.  Another good event was the Open B Ballroom and here the winner in all dances was Michelle Peng w/ Mikhail Avdeev.

The Pros Come Out!

Last night we saw the first of the Open Pro divisions here at SFO.  The Rhythm and the Ballroom both began with semifinals.

WSFO15-Nazarith a 2014 US finalist couple in both divisions, the result seemed pretty sewn up going in and indeed, both couples won their respective division by winning all dances.

Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova had the majority of 1st places in all 5 dances although there were  a few loose firsts floating around.  Runners-up, Danus Jaksevicious & Yuki Haraguchi received at least 1 first in all dances as did 4th placed Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti.  We felt Nazar & Irina were pretty clear.  One judge, Aira Bubnelyte did not see it this way placing them 4,4,4,4,4 and Colin James also placed them 3rd overall.


Danus & Yuki, recently returned to the floor, received 2nd in all dances and had a very appealing presence on the floor.  All energy, Andri Abrashin & Mariia Gavrylova were 3rd in all dances, but did not receive any 1st place marks from the judges.  Riccardo & Sabrina were 4th in all dances and as we said, had their supporters on the judging panel, receiving 1st places in all dances.  Ivan Dishliev & Marietta Nedyalkova were 5th in all dances and Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman were 6th.

MikhSFO15-Mikhailail & Olga were easy winners in the Ballroom losing very few 1st place marks and with a perfect 11 firsts in Viennese Waltz.  Igor Colac & Roxanne Milotti took 2nd in all dances.  They did have the majority of 2nd or better in 3 dances but also had scores all over the final.  We thought they were certainly the best choice for runners-up.  For here down the results became much less clear.  With 3,3,3,4,3, Stefano DiBrino & Briana Zubrowska were 3rd and are rising very fast here in the west coast competitions.  They were also the rising star winners.  Another newer couple to the pro floor, Christian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko, took 4th with 5,4,5,3,4.  Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija were 5th 4,6,45,6.  This was not quite as good a result as they achieved in the RS.  Closing the final were Simeon Stoynov & Kora Stoynova with 4,5,6,6,5.


It was left SFO15-Tarasovto the amateurs to provide us with the closest finish of the night and that was in the Amateur Latin.  The winners, by 3 dances to 2, were Nikolai Tarasov & Amanda Herrschaft.  They placed 1,2,2,1,1.  This young couple seem to improve from comp to comp and already looked stronger than in Provo 2 weeks ago.  Runners-up were Kiril Kulish & Orsolya Horvath who won the other 2 dances but placed 2nd in cha cha and 3rd in paso and jive.  Going in we felt this would be the winning couple and they certainly have great floor presence.  But the energy level and consistency was not there tonight in the final.  With 3,3,3,2,2, Andrey Voloshko & Kateryna Krylenko were 3rd.  Daniel Rubashevsky & Anastasia Vysotska were 4th in all dances.  6,5,5,6,5, gave Hai Tran & Stacey Chuang 5th place and with 5,6,6,5,6, Maksim Kalmanovich & Danielle Rayzberg were 6th.  This was an all California final.

TSFO15-PALathe pro-ams danced both Smooth and Latin today and we thought the Open B Latin Scholarship was the best of the day.  This was won by Tina  Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev and she won all dances.  2nd in all was Li Liu w/ Andrey Tarasov and 3rd in all Michelle Peng w/ Nikolai Voronovich.

This is the 35th anniversary of the SFO and we know there are some special events planned for tonight.

Sunny & HOT!
San Francisco Friday

Sparking sunshine over San Francisco Bay greeted dancers as they arrived at the Marriott Hotel for the San Francisco Open’s first day.

And if it was warm outside, things got hot in the ballroom last night, with the heat coming from the Amateur Ballroom Scholarship that pitted many of the USA’s top couples against the Canadian Champions and one of the world’s top six from Poland.

SFO15-SadeckiAndrez Sadecki & Karina Nawrot from Poland have finished in the top six in international events and were 4th at the UK Open this January. So we certainly considered them the favorites to take the event last night here in San Fran.  But it was not to be.  The victory went to US (NDCA) Amateur Champions, Andres & Veronica End who won all dances.  However, the Ends did not have the majority of 1st places in any dance.  The judges seemed uncertain tonight and the 1st places were spread aSFO-Endmongst several couples.  The worst scores for the winners came from Mark Weiss who placed them 6,4,4,4,3.

Andrez & Karina must certainly have been disappointed with their result.  They actually placed 2,2,2,2,3.  So what happened?  To us, they appeared the best on the floor at least in most dances, but did they really stand out – perhaps not.  We saw them get hung up in corners a number of times, for example.  Their worst scores came from Irina Suvurov who scored them 6,5,5,5,6.

3rd spot went to USA again.  Oskar Wojciechowski  & Karolina Holody 3,3,3,3,2.  As tall as the winners, it is great to see this couple back on the floor following a long hiatus.  We just wish they seemed happier to be there – always a very serious demeanor from Oskar!  Anton Belyaev & Antoanetta Popova from Canada took all the 4’s.  We have not seen them dance in some time and felt they showed considerable improvement in this style (they are 10-dancers).  Ruslan Kalyuzhnyy & Kseniya Savenko were 5th 5,5,5,5,6 and Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova were 6th 6,6,6,6,5.  Altogether this was a very impressive competition.


WSFO15-Smythe also saw all 4 styles of the professional rising star divisions and they were reasonably strong although only the Rhythm had a semifinal round.  The most successful couple of the night were Stephen Smyth & Viktorya Kleyman who won the Rhythm and placed 2nd in the Smooth.  

Their scores in the Rhythm were 1,1,1,1,2.  Runners-up were a strong couple from Canada that we had not seen before, Dmytro Gurkov & Alexandra Efremova who scored 2,2,3,2,1.  3rd spot fell to Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman with 3,3,2,3,3.

In the SmooSFO15-Stefanovth Slava Stefanov & Jessica McMorrow were the comfortable winners we thought and they won all dances.  Stephen & Viktoriya were 2nd in all and Brandon & Kirsten Perpich were 3rd in all.

TheSFO15-DiBrino RS Ballroom turned into quite a tight race.  The win went to the quickly rising Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubrowska who placed 1,1,2,1,2.  Smooth stars, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktoriya were the runners-up with 2,2,1,2,4 and 3rd went to Cristian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko,  4,4,3,3,1.  We were once again impressed with Yuriy Nartov & Sarika Hudson who were 4th tonight placing 3,3,4,4,3.

Simeon Stoynov &SFO15-Stoynov Kora Stoynova were comfortable winners in the Latin, taking all dances.  2nd went to Artjom Shmigeljuk & Oxana Kashkina again in all dances and 3rd to Zsolt Katona & Timea Potyz also in all dances.

For the pro-ams it was Rhythm all day.

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Tri-State Shows Its Strength - Dancing!


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Last night the Tristate Championships showed us their strength and that is the ability to bring great dancing to their competition. The Professional Challenge of Champions was a perfect example of this great finale here at the Tristate.

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A Study in Red & White!
Saturday in Provo


Red was a popular color for the ladies last night in the Marriott Center.  Although generally not so much in demand for ballroom gowns, there was a lot of red on the floor, including 3 dresses in the final.


As in the Latin the night before, the Amateur Ballroom was danced over 5 rounds before an audience that was larger than the night before.  While the ballroom perhaps did not generate quite the excitement we saw in the Latin, it was still, in the words of one judge after the event, “the best overall quality event (in this style) for the past 8 years or so.”

OProvo15-Endnce again the semifinal was a tough round for the judges, although to us it seemed that the choice for the final six was clearer than in the Latin, although there were perhaps one or two couples that could have also claimed a spot.

The duel for the Championship remained as it was in 2014 – between the two giants (both the gentlemen stand well over 6’) of this division – Andres & Veronica End and Provo15-OskarOskar Wojciechowski & Karoline Holody.  What made this a little more interesting is that these two have not been head to head since this time last year as Karoline has been recovering from a foot injury.  As it turned out tonight, Andres & Veronica were the winners as they were in 2014.  Tonight they won all dances and had the majority of 1st places in 4 dances.  In the VW they had 8 firsts to Oskar & Karoline’s 7.  Andres & Veronica received mostly 1st and 2nd places, only judge Ken Sloan placed them lower, awarding them two 4th places and a 3rd place.  Oskar and Karoline also received mostly 1st and 2nd places although they did get a smattering of lower marks and judge Shirley Ballas ranked them 5,4,6,5,6.  Although they are of similar stature, these two couples have very different styles and we look forward to more battles throughout the year.


The rest of the final was more closely fought with marks going everywhere.  Coming out in 3rd place overall were Luca Balestra & Krizia Balestra 4,3,4,3,3.  They stood out as the couple with the most aggressive style in the final (or the competition for that matter), and as expected, we thought tango was by far their best dance.  In fact both Igor Litvinov and Ken Sloan placed them 1st in this dance and we can understand why.  Ruslan Kalyuzhnyy & Kseniya Sovenko were 4th, 3,5,3,4,4.  They are the antithesis to the couple above them showing soft, willowy dancing that fares well in the swing dances.

The newest couple to this division, Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli were 5th 5,4,5,5,5.  We were a little disappointed with their showing in the final.  They were stronger the week before at Vegas Open.  Perhaps it was the Provo altitude?  Closing this final were Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova with 6th in all dances, but certainly in the general mix as they received scores as high a 2nd.


Provo15-YusifRunning opposite the Amateur Ballroom once again was the Junior II US Championship, this time in the Latin style.  The result gave us a “switcheroo” at the top.  Last night’s runners-up in the Ballroom were the winners tonight in the Latin.  Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Spektor won all dances tonight, but only cha cha and paso with the majority of 1st places.  We thought they were the best couple tonight. Erik Linder & Rickie Taylor, last night’s winners, took 2nd in all dances.  It was also a “switcheroo” for 3rd placed Kristers Smits & Sophie Shvartsman who fared far better in the Junior II than they had earlier in the day in the Junior I.  They placed 3rd tonight with 3,3,3,3,4.  D’Angelo Castro & Amanda Carbarjeles were 4th 4,4,4,4,3, and gave a more mature performance thaProvo15-Cartern we have seen from them in the past.  Max Firestein & Nicole Mitchedilidza were 5th, 6,5,5,5,5 and Carter Williams & Anika Baker were 6th 5,6,6,6,6.

Here’s what’s interesting here.  Just a few hours before Carter & Anika were the winners of the Junior I placing 1,2,1,2,1, whereas Kristers & Sophie took 2nd 2,1,2,1,2.  Obviously it was a different judging panel and these two young and talented couples have very different styles.  3rd in this division were Kevin Filipczak & Elizabeth Gotovsky 3,3,3,3,3.  We really liked the mature style of this duo.  Another rapidly improving couple, Jonas Terleckas & Ruby Castro were 4th, 4,4,4,4,4.  Audence darlings, Tyler Li & Anjelica Lowe were 5th 5,5,5,5,5;  Timofei Plekhanov & Dascha Jayne Wright were 6th, 6,6,6,6,7 and Anthony Tedesco & Katya Ivahno-Kalinuka were 7th 7,7,7,7,6.


Patrick Plozasj & Anna Kazmarski became double champions here as they also won the US National Youth Ballroom Championship to add to the U/21 Title they already had.  Results to follow.


Austin Josen & Nino Dzneladze were the runaway winners of the US U/21 Latin Championship losing only 3 first place marks from a total of 45.  We thought they could have been included in the final of the Open Amateur the night before, so we were not surprised by this success.  2nd spot went to Vladisalv Kvartin & Anna Maria Prokopovicova 2,3,2,2,2 and 3rd to the winners of the Youth Latin, Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets 3,2,3,4,4.  4th went to Yevgenii Orlov & Marina Yerina 5,5,4,3,3;  5th Ryan Raffloer & Hanna Sverdlov 4,4,6,5,6;  6th Eric Ascione & Grace Anderson 6,6,5,6,5.

ThProvo15-Cabe US National Amateur Cabaret Championship is always a highlight, but this year we were disappointed that there were only 4 entries, although all were of good quality.  Each of the top 3 couples missed one lift keeping things nice and even!  The new champions are Josh David & Kelli Foster who performed a delightful “modern dance” piece with some nicely executed high-risk lift work.  The runners-up performed in a more traditional “ballroom adagio” style and again had some well executed lift-work, Benjamin Ralph & Kayci Treu.  A previous 2-time champion, Trevor Guthrie now dancing with his wife Emily, was 3rd and they also performed in a “modern dance” vein.  4th were Logan Barnes & Natalie Savage.

For the Pre-Teens it was Latin day.  The US National Pre-Teen II Championship went to Alex Sarkisian & Beanna Dzhaniashvilli 2,2,1,1,1.  2nd Easton Brotherson & Rylee Arnold 1,1,2,2,4;  3rd Kristian Alexander Evstigneev & Victoria Sepishvilli 6,4,3,3,2;  4th Matthew Bezzant & Kennedy Miller 4T,6,4,5,3;  5th Griffin Cooney & Josephne Taylor 4T,5,5,5,4,5;  6th Freddie Kleynburg & Elizabeth Shapshal 3,3,6,6,6.

TProvo15-PT1Lathe winners of the Pre-Teen I Latin had also won the ballroom the day before and they were Daniel Novikov & Natalina Chen  (The rest of the result coming soon).

Watch out for reports of many of these divisions from our expert Dance Beat contributors.  All coming soon in the members’ section.  So be sure to subscribe!

A Night with Wow Factor!

Friday night at the US National Amateur Championships (run under license from American Ballroom Company) in Provo was a night to make you go, “Wow!”

TProvo15-Flaghe headline event was the Amateur Latin and we had 5 rounds of great dancing.  The finalists from 2014 who were here received a by from the first round.  Right from the start it was clear that every progression from round to round was going to be a challenge.  Nowhere was this more apparent than in the semifinal where it seemed to us and to most of the judges that almost any one of the 12 couples could make the final.  In fact we were only one mark away from having a 7-couple final and then one more from an 8-couple final.

BuProvo15-Ferdinadot in the end 6 couples were selected.  The champions from 2014 were able to easily retain their title winning all dances with a clear majority of 1st places – Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina.  While they were clearly the winners they did not in fact receive perfect scores in any on the dances.  The two judges who clearly did not favor them were Valentina Kostenko who scored them 6,6,6,6,6 and Wendy Johnson with 5,5,4,4,4.  For the rest they received an occasional 2nd and the rest 1st places.  Speaking with some observers after the event, the only complaint we heard about this couple was that they spent too much time playing to the very vocal audience and not enough time dancing.

2nd Provo15-PashaPin all dances went to Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach.  They had the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores in all dances but they also had some detractors on the judging panel, most noticeable were Eugene Katsevman, Ron Montez and Allan Tornsberg who all scored them in the lower half of the final.

It was a good night for Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler who took 3rd overall with 3,3,4,4,4 in a tight race with one of our favorites of the night, Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman who scored 4,4,5,3,3.  Both of these couples were on form tonight!

In 5th place were Artur Tarnovskyy & Anastasia Danilova (5,5,6,5,5).  After a rather lackluster semifinal round, from our perspective, they stepped it up for the final.  Closing the final 6,6,3,6,6 were the always elegant Alexey & Vlada Karaulov.


This was the first competition where many of these amateurs danced to the new, slower NDCA tempi.  We wonder how they liked them?


Provo15-LinderThe new champions in the US National Junior II Ballroom that shared the billing with the Amateur Latin are Erik Linder & Rickie Taylor who won all dances with the majority of 1st place marks.  They have a nice soft style.  We were also very impressed with the runners-up, Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Spektor, who were 2nd in all dances.  The judges were undecided with this couple as they received 1st to 4th place in all dances.  3rd tonight were Murat Medzhidov & Valerie Dubinsky 3,3,3,3,3;  4th were Kristers Smits & Sophie Shvartsman 4,4,4,4,4;  5th Tyler Li & Anjelica Lowe 6,6,5,5,5 and 6th Daniel Melnik & Maria Volski 5,5,6,6,6.

During the daytime, the premier event was the US National U/21 Ballroom.  This resulted in an easy win for Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmarski who won all dances with almost all the 1st places.  The only judge to seriously disagree was Ken Sloan who scored them 3,2,3,2,4.  Michael Vorobiev & Sonya Tsekanovsky were 2nd in all dances, Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova were 3rd in all.  With 4,5,5,4,5, Florin Vlad & Natalia Linda O’Connor were 4th; Stanislav Pavlov & Sandra Spernacka were 5th 5,4,4,5,6 and Gregory Rybakov & Ellen Anshelevich were 6th 6,6,6,6,4.


Running opposite this U/21 event was the US National Junior I Ballroom Championship.  Kristers Smits & Sophie Shvartsmann in their 1st final of two they made today were the winners in all dances and they had the majority of 1st places in all dances.  Also in two finals on the day, Tyler Li & Anjelica Lowe took 2nd here with 3,2,2,2,2.  Jonas Terlekas & Ruby Castro were 3rd with 2,3,3,3,3.  Timofei Plekhanov & Dascha Jayne Wright were 4th, 5,4,4,4,5;  5th Ivan Shneerson & Empria King 4,5,5,5,4;  6th Matvey Korsunkiy & Alisa Kashkeyvych 6,6,6,6,7;  7th Griffin Cooney & Josephine Taylor 7,7,7,7,6.


The Pre-Teen divisions were smaller, but both the US National Championships in Pre-Teen I and Pre-Teen II Ballroom were held today.  The winners of the Pre-Teen I were Daniel Novikov & Natalina Chen 1,1,2,1,1.  2nd went to Daniel Shtem & Avital Ayzerov 3,3,1,2,2;  3rd Daniel Evstigneev & Angelica Gloria Groysman 2,2,3,3,3;  4th Eric Kashkeyvych & Daria Andreyev 4,4,4,4,4;  5th Nathan Smith & Jocelyn Osmond 5,5,5,5,5.

Griffin Cooney & Josephine Taylor moved up from their 7th place in the Junior I to win the Pre-Teen II Ballroom, placing 1,1,1,1,2.  Runners-Up were Kristian Aleksander Evstigneev & Victoria Sepiashvilli 2,2,2,2,1.  3rd were Gabriel White & Lyubov Morgan 3,5,3,3,4;  4th Dave Firestein & Nicole Shterm 5,3,4,4,3; 5th Freddie Kleynburg & Elizabeth Shapshal 4,4,5,6,7;  6th Andrew Keck & Nicole Ascione 6,6,6,5,6;  7th Sam Peyton & Gem Hersh 7,7,7,7,5.


Xingmin & Katerina Lu were again the Champions in the US National Senior I Ballroom winning all 5 dances with the majority of 1st places.  2nd today were Thomas Yin & Kelly Cheng who also placed 2nd in all dances.  3rd in all were Turtle Brennen & Regina Paregis.  4th Gene Tseng & Hui Zhang 4,5,5,4,4;  5th Denis Kojinov & Jeanette Chevalier 6,4,4,5,5;  6th Lars & Holly Linder 5,6,6,6,6.  Lars & Holly also won the Senior II Ballroom Championship.

Winners and runners-up in the championship divisions all received cash from the NDCA to assist in their travel to the WDC Amateur League World Championships that are always held in Paris, France during December.

Stay tuned for more results from the Saturday sessions here in Provo.

Building Up Steam!

The United States National Amateur Championships in Provo, Utah are building up steam with great dancing and fabulous competition!

Last night at the BYU Marriott Center Sports Arena the competition began to heat up with the United States National Amateur Smooth Championships.  After a number of rounds the competition came to a finish with six couples in the lead. The competition was hard fought and the winners, Trevor & Emily Guthrie, won all dances, however, they did not win any dance with a majority of firsts.  The closest they came to a majority of firsts was in the foxtrot and Viennese Waltz where they took 9 firsts out of the 19 judges assigned to this task. Their two worst marks came from Igor Litvinov and Erminio Stefano.  Igor awarded them a sixth in the foxtrot and Erminio a sixth in the VW, but their overall lowest scores were awarded to them by Rita Algarra who awarded Trevor & Emily all fifths and a fourth in the tango.

Collin Williams & Ashley Nixon were the runners-up overall but not in all dances, they placed second in the foxtrot and VW but third in the waltz and tango. Their worst marks came to them from Erminio Stefano who placed them sixth in three dances but when it came to their VW he thought they were the best by far and awarded them a first. Third overall was awarded to Aaron Holmes & Katelyn Holmes.  Here the judges were very undecided they awarded them 4th in the waltz, 2nd in the tango, and third in the other two dances.


Charlie & Emily Roberts were fourth overall placing 2nd in the waltz and fourth in the other four dances. In looking at the marks we are not really sure the judges knew what to do with this couple.  In the waltz their best overall performance, they got a potpourri of marks from first to sixth place, that was a tremendous variety.  In the tango five judges though they should have won that dance and awarded them five firsts, their foxtrot was the only dance where they only got one first.

Fifth overall went to Sterling & Nicole Stolle and they placed fifth in every dance, and in sixth position was Adam Coker & Kyla Zenger and they took sixth in every dance.  

So far this afternoon, Provo15-Bumchina highlight has been the US National Youth Latin Championship an event that started with over 80 couples.  The final was great and had the judges in a quandary.

The winners were Bumchin Tegshjargel & Michelle Klets and they won all dances but not all judges agreed.  They had the majority of 1st places (5) in the jive only.  In the samba they only received 1 first place but still won the dance.  Nadia Eftedal and Mary Murphy, were the two judges who scored them in the lower half of the final.

All the seconds went to Mike Monokandilios & Sophia Brodsky.  They had some 1st places in all dances – the most in samba and jive (4), but again they had some judges scoring them in the lower half of the final.  3rd spot in all dances went to who we had considered the favorites going into the event, Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu.  But this was not their day from the judges’ perspective.  4th fell to Jacob Murillo & Sydney Tormey 4,4,4,5,5;  5th to Eric Ascione & Grace Anderson 5,5,5,4,4;  6th Robert McShinsky & Peyton Munson 6,6,6,6,6.


Stay tuned tomorrow for the exciting US National Amateur Latin and much more!     

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A Lot of Everything!

Videos by SuperShag - click here


Saturday offered a lot of everything at Vegas Open – a lot of great dancing, a lot of people and a lot of partying!

The vibrant night session featured the 4 open professional divisions and 2 open amateur.  We saw US champions and finalists in almost all of the divisions.  It’s hard to pick a “best of” so let’s just look at them in order of performance.  All pro divisions were semifinals.

VO15-SueFirst up was the ballroom – now called the Brian Puttock Award in memory of the much loved US Icon who passed away last year.  Sue Puttock was there to judge and present the award and the organizers of the Vegas Open also presented her with an achievement award.

Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva won all 5 dances and had a clear majority of 1st places in all dances.  Also clear was the runners-up position that went to Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova who had the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores in all dances.  Perhaps the most interesting race was for 3rd place and this went to Iaroslav Bieliel & Olga Tsikalyuk who scored 4,4,3,3,3.  They had scores all over the board including all 7th placements from 2 judges, Jennifer Booth and Mark Weiss.  We really liked their performance tonight, but were startled by the announcement following the results (see below).  The other half of this race was Andrew Begunov & Anna Demidova who placed 3,3,4,4,4.  They received 1st placements in all dances (unlike Iaroslav & Olga who received no 1st placements).  One judge, Sharon Savoy, placed Andrey & Anna 1st in all 5 dances.  5th in all dances went to Oscar Pefrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova; 6th were Richard Tonizzo & Clare Hansen 6,7,6,6,6 and 7th, Stefano DiBrino & Bianka Zubovska


Watch out for Igor Litvinov’s report on this division in Dance Beat soon.

At VO15-olgathe conclusion of the presentation for this division Olga Tsikalyuk announced her retirement from professional competition, we were somewhat surprised to see her go, but wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

NVO15-paramonovext up was the Rhythm and here we had an obvious form winner in Andre & Natalie Paramonov and they did indeed win all dances with the majority of 1st places.  The closest race was surprisingly in the bolero, what we consider one of their better dances.  In this dance they had 9 first places out of a possible 16.  The couple pushing them the hardest was Danas Jaksevicious & Yuki Haraguchi who were US finalists in 2013 but were off the floor throughout most of 2014.  They were 2nd in all dances and had 5 first places in cha cha, swing and bolero.  3rd, with 3,3,4,3,3, were Ivan Dishliev & Marietta Nedyalkova.  They received two 1st places marks, both from Ken Sloan.  Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti were 4th, 4,4,3,4,4.  We thought this was a particularly relaxed and rhythmic performance from these two.  Aaron & Iryna DeSoto were 5th, 5,5,5,6,5, and Ryan Lockhardt & Danelle Newman were 6th, 6,6,6,5,6.

Carolina Orlovsky-Telona will have a report on this division.


The only reigning US Champions in attendance were Peter & Alexandra Perzhu in the Smooth and they were the easy winners taking the vast majority of 1st places in all dances, 14 out of 15 in the waltz.  The only other couple to take some firsts were Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija who were 2nd in all dances.  Kyle & Allie Spinder took 3rd in all dances and Evgeniy Malko & Anna Shabazyan were 4th in all, the latter couple looking measurably more together since we last saw them.  5th in all dances went to Mariusz Zakreski & Lindsay Ray whose energetic performance was softened somewhat since we last saw them.  6th in all dances went to Peter Hahn & Jude Coraldi and 7th were Kyle & Christina Campbell.


ElVO15-Tarasovizabeth Knoll will have the full report for Dance Beat.

We had another easy winner in the Latin.  Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova showed us their crisp, accurate dancing to take the overwhelming majority of 1st places.  Only 1 judge, Sharon Savoy, demurred, placing them 5,5,5,5,2.  The partnership of Sasha Althukov & Cheyenne Murillo were 2nd in all dances.  It is amazing to think that this young lady was so recently dancing pro-am.  Well done!  Sergiy Kvashyn & Olga Ginzburg were 3rd in all dances and really gave a great performance.  This man has such a lithe and rhythmic body.  One judge, Chantal Leclerc, placed them to win 1,1,1,2,1.  4th in all dances fell to Pavel Balykin & Meaghan Mendoza;  5th were Simeon & Kora Stoynov 5,6,6,5,5 and 6th, Maxim Kapitanikov & Natalia Fridmanovich 6,5,5,6,6.

Giocomo Steccaglia & Melissa Dexter will report on this division for Dance Beat.


The Open Amateur Ballroom gave us a good competition for 1st place.  NDCA US Champs, Andres & Veronika End held on and won all dances but they were pushed hard by recent immigrants, Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli in waltz where both couples took 4 1st places and by Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtiarova in the foxtrot.  Angelo & Clarissa were 2nd overall 2,2,2,3,2 and Marek & Liana were 3rd overall, 3,3,3,2,3.  Ruslan Kalyuzhnyy & Kseniya Sovenko were 4th in all dances, 5th went to Jonathan & Hannah Baily 5,6,5,5,5 and 6th Tyler Wilson & Annie Seeley 6,5,6,6,6.


For us on the sidelines, the Amateur Latin was the hardest to call, but the judges had fairly clear winners.  Francesco Bertini & Sabrina Hanzi won all dances, all but rumba with a majority of 1st placements.  2nd in all dances were Ron & Liza Garber.  With 3,4,3,3,3, Andrey Voloshko & Kateryna Kyrylenko took 3rd.  We had never seen this couple before.  They started very strongly in the semifinal but faded somewhat in the final.  4th were Teleryck Iankiev & Natella Devitskaya 4,3,5,5,4.  We were a little surprised at those 5th placements for this couple.  5th were Stepan Yeritsyan & Nadia Kyrylenko 5,5,4,4,5 (Nadia also competed as a pro-am) and 6th, Trevor & Emilie Guthrie.


The Pro-Am Open Scholarships closed the afternoon session and were some of the strongest pro-am divisions of the week.  Sincha Sincahoen w/ Max Sinitsa won the A. Division 1,1,1,2.  2nd and 3rd in this division were decided by a Rule 10 tiebreak.  Kelly Morikawa w/ Jonathan Atkinson was the runner-up with 4,2,3,1 over Natalie Rezai w/ Slawek Sochacki 2,3,2,3.

Joanne Smith w/ Sharon Levit was the easy winner in the B, taking all dances with clear majorities.  2nd was Joanne Tatum w/ Mariusz Zakrzewski 2,2,2,2 and 3rd, Susan Haynes w/ Sergey Nekrasov 3,3,3,4.

Rising star, Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin won the C taking all dances with clear majorities.  2nd was Sue Eldred w/ Artem Plakhotnyi 3,3,3,2 and 3rd Charlotte Carey w/ Kostadin Bidjourov 4,2,2,5.


In a tradition begun last year, the evening concluded with a rowdy party featuring Brent Mills, Mark Weiss, Eddie Melendez and organizer Mikal Watkins in an all star band for dancing and singing.  Paul Holmes even led the ensemble in a British version of “Ride Sally Ride.”  Perhaps the open bar lent tune to his vocals?

This was the biggest year so far for the Vegas Open and we’re sure it will only continue to grow if today’s extravaganza is any indication!

Dancesport’s Busiest Day!

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In what we think may be the busiest day at a dancesport competition so far in 2015, Vegas Open began at 7:00 AM yesterday with barely a break until the end at around midnight.  It was pro-am rhythm day and it was certainly all about rhythm yesterday. With many quarter-final and semifinal rounds at all levels.

For the professionals we switched to the international styles for the Rising Star divisions.  Vlad Shahov & Ekaterina Popova were the winners of the Ballroom, taking 1st in all dances.  They had the majority of 1st places in four dances but a couple were closer than we might have thought.  They won the waltz 6 to 4 and the QS 7 to 5.  There were 13 judges.  They had mostly 1’s and 2’s but did pick up 5th place in all dances from judge, Linda Dean.  Stefano Di Brino & Bianka Zubrovska were 2nd with 2,2,3,2,2 and they were the couple that took the majority of the 1st places not given to the winners.  Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija were 3rd, 3,3,2,3,3, and they had 1st places in all dances except the QS.  4th were Christian Radvan & Kristina Kudelko 5,4,5,4,4;  5th Oleksiy Buravenko & Victoria Karzukhina 4,5,4,5,5;  6th Slava & Valeria Kostaniets.


SasVO15-Sashaha Althukov & Cheyenne Murrillo were the easy winners of the Latin with a perfect score of 13 first places in the jive and samba and almost all firsts in the other dances.  It was a much closer race for second resulting in a 3 to 2 decision.  Maxim Kapitanikov & Natalia Fridmanovich were the victors placing 3,3,2,2,2 over Simeon & Kora Stoynov with 2,2,3,3,3.  With 4,5,4,4,4 Oleksiy & Carley Lytvyn were 4th.  Artjom Smigelju & Oxana Kashkina were 5th 5,4,6,6,5; Kirill Nikitin & Jenya Kanchukova were 6th 6,6,5,5,6 and Artyom Klimenov & Giulia Nuzio were 7th.

KVO15-Spinderyle & Allie Spinder won the Open Pro Showdance.

The Open Pro-Am Scholarships were danced in the evening session.  In the B, Elena Cormio w/ Edwin Torres won all 5 dances.  2nd went to Anush Boyajian w/ Mariusz Zakrzewski 2,2,2,3,2 and 3rd to Bernadette Straatsman w/ Felipe Telona Jr. 3,4,4,2,3.

Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Rezin did a great job to win all dances in the Open C.  2nd place fell to Nancy Rappoport w/ Sergey Shapoval, again in all dances and 3rd went to Pat Bodin w/ Antonio Conde, 3,4,3,3,4.

A very strong Nadia Kireyko w/ Daniel Vasco won all dances in the A followed by Jessica Sweeney w/ Jeremy Piling with all 2nd’s.  3rd in all was Nicole Huerta w/ Edwin Torres.Today is all about the Smooth for the pro-ams with another 7:00 AM start and tonight we look frweard to all the Open Professional and Amateur divisions.

Vegas Open over 8,000

This year’s Vegas Open is the largest in its history with over 8,000 entries.  The event began with the international styles – both ballroom and Latin – for the pro-ams.  This was truly a full day of dancing.

VO15-CBallThe largest of the open scholarships in both styles were in the C divisions.  The C Ballroom was the tightest event but the winner overall was Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia 3,2,2,1,1.  Close behind was Deborah Errico w/ Dariusz Michalski 1,3,1,2,3.  Taking the last of those 1st places and 3rd overall was Annie Chen w/ Denis Kutepov 4,1,3,3,2.  Marina Sanchez Torres w/ Andrea Faraci was 4th, 2,4,4,4,4;  Jeanine Cutter w/ Giocomo Agrello was 5th in all and Charlotte Carey w/ Kostadin Bidjourov was 6th.  This began as a semifinal.

The A and B Ballroom divisions were both straight finals.  Vinnie Miller w/ Denis Kutepov won all dances in the A.  Runner up, also in all dances, was Irene Lau w/ Mikhail Avdeev, 3rd went to Chritine Yang w/ Mariusz Zakrzewski 3,3,3,4,3 and 4th to Jenica Kalisch w/ Raffaele Sabato 4,4,4,3,4.

MicVO15-BBallhelle Peng w/ Mikhail Avdeev won the B, placing 2,1,1,1,1.  Erika Hristova w/ Artem Plakhotnyi won the waltz and was 2nd in the other 4 to take 2nd overall.  Laura White w/ Andrea Faraci was 3rd 4,3,3,3,3;  Joyce Lo w/ Guennadi Iakounine was 4th 3,4,4,4,4 and James Coltharp w/ Olga Chekhova was 5th.

In the C Latin Rhonda Lynch w/ Stephen McCann was a comfortable winner in all dances.  Debbie Wright w/ Mark Baker took 2nd with 2,2,3,4,2.  Sally He w/ Enzo Zappia added a 3rd place here to go with her win in the Ballroom, placing 3,3,2,2,3.  4th was Michael Roybal w/ Carly Lytvyn 4,4,4,3,4;  5th Janet Shemanske w/ Genadi Lulchev 5,5,6,5,6;  6th Olivia Hudson w/ Marcus Johnson 6,6,5,6,5.


SVO15-ALataina Hadden won all dances in the A, the smallest open scholarship of the night.  2nd went to Brittni Gonzalez w/ Ivan Dishliev 3,2,2,2,3 and 3rd to Vera Xu w/ Jakub Zeglin 2,3,3,3,2.

Cindy MiVO15-cindyshlove w/ Vartan Zakhariants won all dances to take the B Latin.  Colette Marotto w/ Oleksil Lytvyn was 2nd in all dances and Jennifer Chan w/ Denis Podolsky was 3rd in all.  Joyce Lo w/ Guennadi Iakounine was 4th 4,4,4,4,5 and Olivia Hudson w/ Marcus Johnson was 5th 5,5,5,5,4.

TVO15-RShere were also 2 Rising Star Professional events, both in American Style and both starting with semifinals.  Aaron & Iryna DeSoto had a fairly easy time with the Rhythm, winning all dances with a clear majority of 1st places.  We agreed with the judges that they were easily the best.  2nd spot went to Slash Sharan w/ Meghan Anderson 2,2,2,2,3 and 3rd to Jonathan Green w/ Rachel Neilson 3,3,3,3,2.

The Smooth was a little closer but the winners were Mariusz Zakrzewski & Lynnsay Ray, home town favorites.  They won 3 dances and placed 2nd in foxtrot.  They had the majority of 1st places in the 3 dances they won.  Winners of the foxtrot were Adrian & Hannah Dydynski and they placed 2nd in the remaining 3 dances.  3rd spot in all dances fell to Slava & Valeria Kostaniets.


Today is even busier than yesterday with the pro-am Rhythm heats beginning at 7:00 AM and continuing throughout the day.

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“Kiss Me Honey, Honey, Kiss Me!


HC15-PaulIt was a blast from the past to see legendary Paul Killick dancing with world Cabaret and Latin icon, Hanna Karttunen, in the show at Heritage.

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At the end anything goes!



FS15JensenThe Superstars Dancesport Championships concluded with the finest in all styles taking to the floor and showing us the “best they got.” Shane & Shannon Jensen proved to have what it takes and they managed to take the biggest title of the night, the best in all styles.

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Are You “in love” with Platinum?
Valentines Day Gala Saturday



Saturday night at Platinum Dancesport became a Valentines Day Gala.  Guests were encouraged to dress in theme and the evening began with a sit-down dinner, served in the ballroom.  Live saxophone jazz music serenaded the diners and this was followed by local entertainment from three hip hop dancers and salsa from International Dance Studio.

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Fabulous Saturday!

Check out the videos by Supershag - Here


Friday was good but Saturday was fabulous at La Classique Du Quebec. This time there were tfour feature events - the Amateur Ballroom and the Professional SmLAC15-Studinniooth, Latin and Showdance. Friday the Amateur Latin ruled but this was not the case Saturday night the Professional Latin and the Showdance for us were the headliners.

The Latin started with a healthy quarter-final and when it came to the final there was a very interesting mix of couples. Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko were by far the best when it came to quality and the judges rewarded them and gave them first in all dances. We were very impressed with them, however, not sure what was wrong with them last night but they constantly were losing their footing and nearly hit the floor a few times. That was a little off-putting considering they are such good dancers, nevertheless you could not have awarded them any less even if they fell on the ground that they managed to escape.

Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier placed second in every dance.  We were not surprised that they placed second, however, we were quite surprised they did in every dance.  We totally enjoyed their dancing but they were not consistent in their work or energy of performance, depending upon when you looked they were either hot or cold. Third was awarded to Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak in all dances, I could see them being placed second in a number of dances unlike the couple just mentioned they did manage to maintain a consistency on their work.

Fourth went to Francois Pruneau & Justine Rainville 4,4,5,5,4. This was perhaps the most exiting couple to watch in this final.  Their energy was always high and they seemed to enjoy their dancing.  We were very impressed with their first 2 dances in fact we would not have been shocked if they placed second in these two and also in the jive where we thought they were the best, hands down. Yes, they still have some issues to resolve with their programs but I think this couple have all the ingredients to be number one in the field in Canada. Dmytro & Nina Kovalenko placed fifth overall 6,6,4,4,5, and sixth went to Michael Kudriashov & Milla Sekrets 5,5,6,6,6.

LAC15-ProLatin lineup

The Professional ShowLAC15-Zapatadance was small but everyone in it was quite good. Without question Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva took the top place with a new number this time is a space fight, a very interesting concept but from their previous performances I think they could tighten it up a bit more. Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko took second with a very dramatic interpretive rumba, but here too I don’t think their stumbles were planned, it really, truly is disturbing being that they are such lovely dancers and it spoils their picture. This is not something that cannot be fixed with just work and settling on your feet. Dmitry Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn were third and quite deservedly so.  Their lift work was breathtaking, hLAC15-Showdancelineupowever, they seemed to miss the “why?” There is no purpose to the routine so it tends to look more like an exercise. Last but not least, one of my favorite routines - Andrew & Erin Sniegocki who did a neat routine, with great elements of humor, it is always risky when you do humor because, the appearance is that it is easy and you are hardly working – not as in the face-pulling, constipated, emotional routines.

The ProfeLAC15-Smooth winnerssional Smooth had a strong semifinal round but the quality of dancing was ordinary. Dmitry Ilyushinov & Kateryna Stytsenko took first in all dances, and from where we stood we thought it was an easy win for them.  They were one of the few couples that could show some understanding of the style. Kirill Gorjatsev & Daria Zotova placed second overall 3,2,2,2, here we have a couple with great potential. Kirill is probably one of the best Smooth men in America, however, the partnership still needs to grow, it is in a very green stage right now.  Third went to Dave Hannigan & Magdolna Toth. Basically it is the same here, the physical awareness is there but the transitions and connections with each other are still quite green for this art form.

The Amateur Ballroom was a little disappointing it was a walk in the park for James Cuttler & Virginie Primeau–Poirier who won all dances. Second went to Fernando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvill who in our opinion were very capable but lack subtlety of movement 2,3,2,2,2. In third place were Brenton Mitchell & Alexandra Sevastianova 3,2,3,3,3. Fourth were Marco Barbera & Rosella Saladino who were fourth in every dance.  We were very surprised this couple placed this high, some of their movements and technique looked very green - lots of potential here but we felt it needed to be ripened. We were really surprised when Garpare Romano & Aurora Montalvo placed fifth 6,5,5,5,5.  We though this couple was excellent. In some of the dances we could have easily seen them place second, well as you can see art like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Stefan Badea & Madalina Varlam placed sixth overall 5,6,6,6,6.


It was nice that LAC15-Lifetime AchivementLa Classique Du Quebec awarded Beverly Moore an Achievement Award for her dedication and accomplishments in the world of ballroom dancing. Beverly, as it was announced, has won major events and world championships in all four styles and continues to dance and compete in all major events in North America. We here in Dance Beat want to take our hats off to Beverly Moore as well. Congratulations Beverly, well deserved!

We were a little surprised in how small the Ballroom Pro-Am Scholarships were especially because the couples were of a good level. The “C” had the most entries and this was won by Rosann Bonotto w/Alain Doucet. Second went to Nelly Huang & Vlad Vinogradsky 2,2,2,2,3, third was Vincent Feingold w/Fransiska Yordanova 3,3,3,3,2.

In the “B” division Beverly Moore w/Alain Doucet placed first in all dances. May Lim Chui w/Anton Lebedev were second in all dances and Noriko Keirman w/Erik Pali was third.

The “A” was also a four couple final and here Carol Simmons & Serghei Pogonet were first in all dances. Michelle Yeh & Anton Lebedev were second and third overall was Erica Kwizak w/Pavel Lebedev 4,3,3,3,3. 


Good Friday!

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Friday night at La Classique Du Quebec here in Montreal, Canada was a terrific night filled with excitement and expectations. Three major events were run all with an excellent amount of couples and excellent dancing, the Professional Rhythm and Ballroom and the Amateur Latin.

ALAC15-mortenll three events just mentioned were terrific but the when it came to results the Amateur Latin trumped all. The obvious winners from Denmark, Morten Loewe & Rosalina Doneva.  As expected they took first in all dances, but when it came to second and down the things got a little more shaky. Tall Livshitz & Ilana Keselman from the USA took second in four dances and third in the jive. For us it was all to close to call.  From where we stood all three runners up could have easily taken second place, but in the end third went to possibly our favorite of the night Daniils Kutuzovs & Maria Shalvarova from Canada and they placed third in four dances and second in the jive. Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabrielle Sabler from the USA took fourth overall in all dances, and I mentioned previously they too could have easily been in the mix for second position.

Fifth went to Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward from Canada who placed sixth in C, S and fifth in the other three dances. Adam & Morgana were also a very capable couple, however, there was a few criticisms from the judges following the competition as to the young lady’s outfit, and yes it only took two steps for the outfit to be quite revealing.  Perhaps couples should try practicing in their outfits before going out on the floor.  Being over exposed in our opinion is not sexy and detracts form the artistic look they are trying to create. Finally in sixth position was Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova from USA.  We went from being over exposed to a very charged outfit.  It had beads, appliques - in our opinion a little to much going and quite distracting once again detracting from the actual art of dancing.


The ProLAC15-ClassicAzamatfessional Rhythm event was nicely attended with a full semifinal round.  In the end for us the top two were very close. It was in our opinion a matter of taste from each judge. Azamat Evgamukov & Kateryna Angelone from the USA, took first overall winning four dances and placing second in the bolero.  We liked the unorthodox and raw way this couple attacks the Rhythm dances.  Perhaps this might be what attracted the majority of the judges to their style. Second went to what we thought was clearly the cleanest couple in this final, their execution of each dance was perfection - Andrei Svirydzenka & Yuliya Zubava from the USA, but as you will see in the marks the judges were not to convinced - 3,2,4,1,2. For us they lacked the thrill of the unexpected and were perhaps a little too clean for some tastes.  In Rhythm, as an old time and revered US Champions and hero “Bobby Medeiros” use to say, “You have to get down deep and dirty.”

Third was awarded to Jean Michel Erole & Larisa Mikryukova from the USA, they placed 2,4,3,3,3. The rest of the placements went to Canada, Dmytro Gurkov & Alexandra Efrenova took fourth 4,3,2,4,4, Simone Zat & Stephany Moujally were fifth in all dances, Dayan Mantecon Roldan & Kyra Kalweit were sixth and Mathieu Casavant & Melanie Martin were seventh.

LAC15-Classic ProRhythm lineup

The BallroomLAC15-Classic Marat was perhaps not as exciting for us as the Rhythm was but it was still an excellent semifinal.  US’s Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk placed first in all dances. The surprise for us was the second place finish of Gaetano lavarone & Emanuela from Italy who placed second overall 2,2,2,2,3. Gaetano & Emanuela were both very capable but could have easily been overtake by the Canadian Ballroom Champions, Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch who although a little heavy at times, still had the power and swing to get our attention. But in the end Anton & Anna placed third in four dances but stole the quickstep away from Italy.

Ronen Zishtein & Mariam Izmaylova from USA took fourth overall 4,4,4,5,5.  It most have been a disappointing result for Richard Tonizzo & Clair Hansen from Canada, who were fifth 5,5,5,4,4, and sixth was awarded to former Senior World Champions Volker Schmidt & Ellen Jonas from Germany.

LAC15-ProBallroom lineup

ILAC15-Pro-AmBRhytmn the Pro/Am it was Rhythm day and in the Rhythm World DancespoLAC15-ProAmBRhythm Champsrt Series the competitions were great especially in the “B” division where Canada’s Rhea Arida w/Volvick Edouard who took first in all dances.  Faye Diamantoudi w/Tony Santana were second 2,2,3,2,2, and third was awarded to Tabuja Tharani w/Adrian Persad form the USA 3,3,4,3,4.

The “C” was only a four couple final but wortLAC15-Classic pro-AmC Rhythmh a mention. Lily Di Gregorio w/David Rodriguez placed first overall but not in all dances 2,1,2,1,1. Pascale Navarro w/Tony Santana was second 1,2,1,2,2, and third went to Louise Vignoul w/Simone Zat 4,3,3,3,3.

The “A” waLAC15-Pro-AmARhytms only a three couple final and here the scholarship went to Nathalie Vuong w/Volvick Edouard who took first in all dances leaving second to Astrid Pacher w/Christopher Panasuk and they took all seconds and in 3rd Sophie Labelle & Dayan Mantecon Roldan.

It was a lovely evening, the MC’s managed to keep the pace going and upbeat until the end and we cannot wait for tonight when the Professional Latin and Smooth will be presented along with the Amateur Ballroom.      

A Summer Night’s Dream!

With so much white snow blanketing the city of Montreal and with a winter wonderland decorating the ballroom it all seemed like a summer’s night dream here at La Classique Du Quebec! The Hilton Bonaventure continues to be a perfect venue for a ballroom event.  The hotel sits atop an 18-floor structure, but the natural trees, fountains, walkways all surrounded by a small pool where ducks play make you feel as if you are in a winter wonderland.

LAC-Winter wonderland

The competition in the beautiful, natural ballroom one floors below the hotel is perfect and this time as we walked in, we could not help but take a breath as we admired the simple but beautiful decorations that enhanced the ballroom - the white materials, the fresh flowers, the dry white painted willow trees, the new and improved logo that is placed just right allowed the light to reflect a much bigger version on the curtains behind. All this in a very simple manner, yet beautiful with subtle accents and a touch of class, makes for us La Classique Du Quebec 2015 a perfect winter wonderland.


The competition inspired and complimented by the excellent acoustics of this ballroom made all the events interesting in this beautiful ballroom. The Pro/Am Smooth Scholarships were great. The largest entry came in the “C” division, where World Dancesport Series winner Beverly Moore dancing with Alain Doucet continued to take the lead and won all dances, second in this category went to Josee Dubuc w/ Christopher Panasuk and they placed second in all four dances, leaving third to Jan VanDuyn w/ Joe Born and they placed 4,3,3,3.


The “B” division had also a six-couple final but apart form the wining couple it was not very clear as to where everyone placed. Nadia Sicilia w/Christopher Panasuk took first in all four dances, Rhea Arida w/Volvick Edouard took second overall but not in every dance 2,3,2,3, this tie breaker must have been resolved by a rule 10 or rule 11, giving Brina Lewin & Tony Santana an overall third placed 3,2,3,2.

The “LAC-Pro-AmASmoothA” Division was only a four-couple final but with some good talent.  Nathalie Vuong w/Volvick Edouard won all dances, a clear second place overall went to Astrid Pacher w/Christopher Panasuk, and third was Jessica Vane w/Sharon Levit who tied in the waltz for 3rd place with Martin-Luc Girard w/ Jessie Mineau who were fourth overall. Jessica & Sharon placed third in the other three dances and Martin & Jessie placed fourth in the other three dances.

The Pro/Am Grand-Slam showdance was also a feature this evening and the winning couple was Carlynn Rees dancing with well-known Cabaret dancer Carlos Zapata.  Second was awarded to Jacquie Smith w/Rafael Steyners and third went to CostancLAC-Pro-AmGrandSlamShowdancee Buki w/Dayan Mantenco Roldan.

The Amateur Senior 2 Latin was a five-couple final but one good enough to need a mention. Luc Lavigne & Josee Latulippe took first overall 1,1,2,1,1, Roger Korsiak & Holli Hornline took second 3,2,1,2,3, and third was awarded to Pierre Legault & Lyne Villeneuve 2,3,3,3,2.

TLAC-RiccardoYulia2he evening concluded with a show by US Professional Latin Champions and WDC World Professional Latin Champions, Riccardo Coccchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko.  It was well received and a good ending to the first day of competitions here at La Classique Du Quebec.  

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