Friday night the new partnership of Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Natalie Crandall won the Rising Star Smooth, Saturday they followed that with a win in the Open Smooth. They placed 1,1,1,2 and had a small majority of 1st places in the 3 dances they won. Adrian & Hanna Dydynski were 2nd 2,2,2,1. We were expecting Adrian & Hanna to be the winners in this division but it was not to be. We did note that they were often “tied up in traffic.” All the 3’s went to another experienced team, Matt Rivers & Maliwan Diemer. Dmitry & Oksana Volodko took 4th with 4,4,4,5; Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford were 5th 5,5,5,6 and Prezmek Fokt & Kat Baumgartner were 6th 6,6,6,4. Incidentally we felt this last couple danced much better in this Open division than in the RS.
Aaron & Iryna DeSoto won the Open Rhythm, taking all dances with a large majority of 1st places. The remaining places in the final fell as they did in the RS. Toshko Kondov & Kristen Dobson were 2nd in all dances (they were the RS winners). Senzho Makaye & Agniezka took all the 3’s. 4th Sean Lyons & Anastasia Gordeeva 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Aleksandar Bonev & Anna Strojek 6,5,5,5,5; 6th Nicolas Rodriguez & Paulina Struk 5,6,6,6,6; 7th Cody Arndstoon & Paris Becker 7,7,7,7,7.
The reigning US 10-Dance Champions, Jonas Kazlouskas & Kathleen Ilo, were here for the night and were one of only 2 couples entered in both the Ballroom and Latin. In the Latin they were the easy winners in all dances. Vaitkus & Pav were 2nd. In the Ballroom Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were the easy winners and Jonas & Kathleen were 2nd.
The headline performers this year were the current US & World Pro Rhythm Champions, Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova.
Despite some rather bad weather on the night, the audience turnout for Satruday was really good.
The pro-ams concluded their events Saturday with Smooth and Latin divisions and all day Sunday was devoted to junior divisions.
Smooth Definitely Rising at Harvest Moon
Last night at Chicago Harvest Moon Ball we saw all of the Pro Rising Star divisions.
Of the 3 danced, the Smooth was the strongest, beginning with a semifinal. Clear winners were the new team of Oleksiy Pigotsky & Natalie Crandall. They received almost all the judges’ 1st place marks and had a perfect 9 in the Foxtrot. After that the scores were much more varied and most couples received scores from 2nd to 6th in all dances. With 2,2,5,2, Dmitry & Oksana Volodko were the eventual winners of 2nd place. 3,5,3,3 gave Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford 3rd spot. 4th Vladyslav & Brianna Nalyvaychuk 4,4,2,4; 5th Prezmek Fokt & Kat Baumgartner 5,3,4,5; 6th Joshua Gilchrist & Samantha Trinidad.
The RS Rhythm was a 7-couple final and again we had clear winners in Toshko Kondov & Kristen Dobson. They won all dances loosing a total of only 3 first place marks from the judges. Taking those 3 first places and every other 2nd place were Senzho Makaye & Agniezka. These 2 couples were well clear of the field in our view. 3rd were Sean Lyons & Anastasia Gordeeva 4,3,3,3,3; 4th Aleksandar Bonev & Anna Strojek 3,4,5,4,4; 5th Nicolas Rodriguez & Paulina Struk 5,5,4,5,5; 6th Cody Arndstoon & Paris Becker 6,6,6,6,6,; 7th Mike McAllister & Nikki McElvain 7,7,7,7,7.
Possibly due the International Championships being held in London this week, the International styles were not well attended. No couples competed in the Ballroom and only 1 couple contested the Latin.
As well as the RS categories there was a very good Cabaret division with three very proficient and varied presentations. The winners were Tsorokean & Wheeler with a very high risk routine. They received all the judges’ 1st places. 2nd went to Nick Haklin & Sarah Ford with a highly dramatic piece and 3rd to Joshua Gilchrist & Samantha Trinidad with a more traditional ballroom TA routine.
The pro-ams completed 2 styles over the first 2 days – Rhythm & Ballroom. Today they dance Smooth & Latin and in the evening we are anticipating the Open Pro Divisions and a show by US & World Rhythm Champions, Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova.