And yet, we were left a little empty seeing only a field of greens and no fully developed roses. The Junior II Latin the second billed event of the Saturday night at BYU was excellent - making a choice was probably a sweating exercise for the judges. Even down to the semifinal we felt it must have been quite a task for this elite panel of adjudicators.
We will tell you more about the juniors’ performances and how the US Open Amateur Ballroom championships developed but first we must point out that during the opening parade, Dawid Shulz led the way, in a gesture of solidarity with the people of Ukraine the management of the United States Amateur Championships felt it appropriate for the Polish born but now US citizen to walk right behind the US flag in the opening ceremonies and stand next to it when the National Anthem was sung. This for the majority of attendees was a nice gesture that brought a round of applause.
In a field of their own we have to announce that Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli won the United States Amateur Championships for the second time, they won all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges. When we say in a field of their own we really mean it, in this heat they were possibly the only couple with full understanding and development of this style. They were musical and from where we were, we could see it was quite an easy task for them or should we say a “walk in the park?” Following the results Angelo & Clarissa announced that from this point forward they will be competing in the professional division. We wish them the best of luck.
We were quite surprised when we saw the marks for this US National event and read that Angelo & Clarissa only won the Viennese Waltz and foxtrot with seven first place marks out of 15 judges, we expected them to win but by a landslide as they were the only couple with “enough sauce for their meat!” Well, we figured wrong! In the Viennese they lost 6 first place marks four to the couple that placed second overall, Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova, and two to Alex Dubovyk & Rickie Taylor Dubovyk who were third overall. In the foxtrot it was even worse, Angelo & Clarissa lost eight first place marks total, six to Alex & Rickie and two to Samuel & Katerina, I suppose we should say that it was not all as clear as we thought it to be!
Samuel Hacke & Katarina Hermanova placed second overall and stole quite a few first places from the winners and for us they were the clear second not by performance but by correctness. We missed some of the flare this couple normally brings to the floor. Let’s just say we could not fault them on anything major, they were clear in their work and managed to stay above their competition in the majority of their dances. In the marks from the judges we can see that even for them it was not clear who should be second or third - 3,2,2,3,2 were Samuel & Katerina’s final placements.
Third overall by taking second in the waltz and foxtrot and third in the other three dances were Alex Dubovyk & Rickie Taylor Dubovyk. We were quite impressed by the fact that they stole six first place marks in the foxtrot from Angelo & Clarissa, and yes we have to agree that there is plenty of talent in this partnership for future champions and had they had more understanding of the music they were hearing, they might have stolen the night.
We must clarify that even though we expected more from Samuel & Katerina and Alex & Rickie we consider ourselves lucky to have so much talent in one place and we are happy to see that the future of Ballroom dancing is secure, alive and well in the USA. The problem for us was that this was the highest ranked competition for amateur dancing in the USA and we got so used to seeing fully developed talent on this floor. Unluckily for the US Championships, many of the high-ranked couples of the past are now part of the professional field, leaving the amateur status all at once feeling a void now being filled but so many super young competitors many who are possibly still competing in youth categories.
Fourth in all dances went to Maksim Berenshteyn & Annika Mugin and what a result for this couple who had just won both the Youth and U/21 Championships and are still under 18 years of age. Fifth overall was awarded to Arthur Nabok & Tais Zhukova 6,5,5,6,5, and sixth place went to Erik Linder & Shelly Linder 5,6,6,5,6.
The second feature event this Saturday evening, the Junior II Latin. Like the Amateur Ballroom it started with a first round of competition, but for us it was a breathtaking event form the start. When we looked at the marks for this excellent Junior II event we could see that the judges were also working hard trying to sort this event out. For us from the stands we figured Daniel Novikov & Mishella Vishnevskiy had it quite easy but once we looked at the marks and it was announced it was not to be. Ethan Hayutt & Anna Jgenti, won the event by placing second in two dances and winning the samba, rumba and paso doble. And we do have to say that we were quite impressed with Ethan & Anna’s performance on this night, we just felt that Daniel & Mishella’s dancing was a little more mature and secure, but perhaps too secure and we most have missed something on this one.
Third overall went to Ervinas Valskys & Alexa Sosna and yes this was perhaps the best placement for this couple at the moment. For us Ervinas & Alexa have great potential but quite a lot of work to do to move up to a higher position, this is a difficult age for kids who are going from a child age to more maturity on all counts. We would like Alexa to stop looking or stooping so much to the ground and for Ervinas to be more assertive as to what he wants to accomplish throughout. Ervinas & Alexa placed fourth in the cha cha and third in the other four dances.
Fourth in this Junior II event was awarded to David Maimon & Alisa Guzman, who placed third in the cha cha and fourth in the other four dances. Fifth place in all dances went to Robby Milstead & Emily Tatoosi and sixth place was awarded to Dallin Keck & Mya Tuaileva.
The US National Adult Amateur Cabaret also took place this evening and even though this heat always gets a fantastic reception from all gathered, unlike in the past we were left a little empty wanting more. In the past we can remember many routines that kept us thinking for years to come, like the “Stone” routine where the characters made rocks come alive or the one where a gentleman who was not the best dancer but did some amazing lifts one that we remember the lady went head first down to the ground and he captured her just before she hit the floor. Not super clear for us, because it has been quite a long time ago, but for sure moments in time that are unforgettable. Well as we said before with all our respects, this last cabaret unless we look at the photo not many memories come to mind.
Having said that, the winner of this Cabaret, taking five first place marks enough to get them over the fence and enough to win overall, were Sawyer Stolle & Serena Keck. I suppose for us they were a good choice - their work was faultless and their music, look and grooming were to perfection and yes they got 9 out of 11 judges’ second or better marks. Their dancing was also good with well executed lifts, entrances and exits and at no time we felt he was going to drop her, this is always a plus when we are watching!
Second overall stealing four first place marks from the winning couple, were Nathan Cook & DeeDee Smith. If we really had to make a choice this would have been our winner, they were very pleasant to watch. Getting a great reception from the audience and placing third from the judges were Logan R. Barnes & Katey Cox, perhaps the audience should have more to say than we do, since we didn’t really understand why this couple in particular received such a great reception. Fourth were McCarty Carter & Autumn Hawkes, fifth went to Matthew Edwards & Sarah Vanderhoven-Edwards, and sixth were Johnathan Tanner & Anna Tanner Duvall.
We must also mention that a stalwart of the BYU dance program, Marcie Edgington, announced her retirement after 35 years on the faculty. She received a heartfelt ovation from the crowded arena.
Once again the daytime session was packed with outstanding talent as the young dancers switched styles from the day before.
Maksim Berenshteyn & Annika Mugin notched up their second win of the tournament by prevailing in the Youth Ballroom and as you read above, they went on in the evening to place in the final of the US National Amateur Championship, a great accomplishment for a couple not yet 18 years old. This afternoon they won all 5 dances and did have the majority of first places in all. But such was the depth of talent in this event that several couples also rated first place from many judges. Nathan Zaytsev & Alice Bankova placed 2nd in all 5 dances and we must say that this duo exudes the “classic English” style if such a thing can still be named. 3rd and 4th places were quite tight - Parley Ford & Natalie Jolley took 3rd with 3,4,3,3,4. We loved their classic, easy movement across the floor in all dances. 4th with 4,3,4,4,3 were Daniel Novikov & Mishella Vishnevskiy. This couple is all energy, sometimes this can work to their disadvantage in this style, but today they kept is stylish. 5th Samuel Kolovyansky & Alexis Kolovyansky 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Dallin Keck & Arynne Cole 6,6,6,6,6.
The JI Latin was also a close division with a 3 to 2 result for the win. Leo Kolmykov & Katya Storchevaya made it a double by winning the Latin to go with the Ballroom title they won the day before. Today they placed 1,2,1,2,1. With 2,1,2,1,2 Kirill Zakirzyanov & Valerie Snitko were the runner-up, just as they had been in the Ballroom. Alexander Makhmutov & Amina Shirieva took 3rd overall, scoring 3,3,3,4,3. 4th Yegor Zhukov & Adyson Cherkas 4,4,5,3,4; 5th Matthew Kotlyar & Katherine Nazarenko 6,5,4,5,5; 6th Eli Noudelman & Adela Yanev 5,6,6,6,6.
Vadym Pidhoretskyy & Ruby Castro won all 5 dances in the U/21 Latin, but considering their placement in the Open final the day before, they lost a surprising number of first places. They had the majority of first places in 3 dances. Dave Firestein & Kennedy Eaton, the winners of the Youth Latin, were 2nd in all dances and took most of the first places not taken by the winners. Other favorites of ours, Kevin Filipczak & Sophia Marriott, took 3rd in all dances. 4th Kristers Smits & Shelly Umansky 6,5T,4,4,4; 5th Vladyslav Pohorilyi & Ceilidh Mcseveney 5,4,5,5,5; 6th Danny Zhelasko & Eva Tulchinsky 4,5T,6,6,6.
Once again the pre-teen categories were outstanding, today we saw the kids demonstrate their Latin skills. Amazingly, the Pre-Teen II had 4 rounds of competition and the Pre-Teen I had 3.
Michael Novikov & Angelina Novikova repeated their win in the ballroom to take the Pre-Teen I Latin by winning all 5 dances. Great promise for the future for these two young dancers. The runners-up, also in all dances, were Mark Tovmasyan & Stella Brinkerhoff. 3rd Mykhaylo Khomyn & Zlata Chumachenko 3,3,3,3,4; 4th Christian Grigori Mironov & Diana Shirieva 4,5,5,4,5; 5th Adriano Faraci & Victoria Kharatyan 5,4,4,5,6; 6th Peter Gorbis & Mila Dragunov 6,6,6,6,3.
We also saw the same winners in Pre-Teen II Latin as in the Ballroom, Sean Ginko & Maya Sinelnikov and they placed 1,1,1,2,1. And also repeating their runner-up position from the Ballroom were Max Mingioni & Zoe Estrina 2,2,2,1,2. Michael & Angelina took the 3rd spot 3,3,4,3,3. 4th 4T,4,3,4,4; 5th Brian Khelmer & Emma Sherman 6,5,5,5,5; 6th Nathaniel Mains & Juliana Gekker 4T,6,6,6,6.
All Three for 1!
Last night at the United States National Dancesport Championships the Amateur Latin was a rare occasion for us and possibly a number of the judges.
Three couples all with beautiful different skills and tremendous talent took to the floor in the final of the Open Amateur Latin and truly all three could have won the number one spot in the country at any time. Unfortunately, the judges most only come up with one couple as a winner and one couple alone, the other two must accept second or third placement. As a magazine we have hardly ever seen this type of a match where three couples are so different and yet all so right in their performance. We will continue to speak about this further down this blog.
In other rare occurrences the opening ceremonies with the parade of champions and national anthem, this year included a special presentation in honor of the struggle going on in Ukraine. Sasha Althukov, a Ukrainian born dancer who is usually always here in support of the US Championships, walked behind the flag having become a citizen in the past year. The national anthem was sung and the feature events began.
The US National Amateur Latin Championship was the main item this evening of competitions. This event started with a first round and after a full night of difficult decisions for the judges they brought back seven couples into the final. Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina, Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze, Ron Garber & Klaudia Petriti, Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze, Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman, Vadym Pidhoretskyy & Ruby Castro, Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets. You would have thought that with Austin & Nino’s popularity this Championship would have been a walk in the park for them and they would have won every dance with perfect scores and yes they did manage to get the majority of firsts in every dance but for many of us, the audience and some of the judges this was not the case. In the cha cha, Austin & Nino won, but from the sidelines we thought that Alexander & Arina had it all going for them and this is when we realized that this was possibly not going to be as easy as first thought. Alexander & Arina had a contagious rhythm and musicality that kept us going back to look at them, even though as we mentioned earlier the other three also had plenty to offer.
The samba also went to Austin & Nino but we felt that perhaps this dance should have gone to Tal & Ilana who for us totally got it together and brought a complete package on this dance. We did notice that two of the three first place marks that Austin and Nino lost went to Tal & Ilana. However, for the rest of the panel there was no swaying it, Austin & Nino were the best and second best was Alexander & Arina. In the rumba Chris Johnston was the only one that stood his ground and was not swayed by Nino’s beautiful rumba walk and Austin’s amazing partnership, Chris awarded them a third place mark on this dance, the rest of the panel awarded them first. In the paso three judges did not mark as the majority of the judges in awarding Austin & Nino first place marks, two of them thought Alexander & Arina had that dance and one felt it should go to Tal & Ilana who we most totally agree do the best paso doble we have ever seen in this arena.
In the jive four judges dissented with the group and felt that Alexander & Irina were better than the winners, Austin & Nino. We kind of agree but this dance could have gone anywhere that is how close these three magnificent couples were last night. As we mentioned earlier, we know this is very difficult especially for the judges holding the pen and with such little time to evaluate three magnificent couples and three more waiting to be put in the mix, it certainly is not a job anyone would want even though last night was a complete honor for anyone called to make this extremely difficult decision.
Fourth in this Latin parade of talent went to Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets, who we have to agree were right on from the start and gave a terrific performance earning them fourth place in four dances and fifth in the paso doble. Fifth place overall and placing fourth in the Paso were Ron Garber & Klaudia Petriti, and here are all their marks 6,6,7,4,5. We are usually a fan of this couple but I think perhaps on this outing they were looking a little lacking in inspiration, unlike the other couples who brought such an environment of freshness and unique styles to the floor; here they seemed to be playing it safe and choosing consistency over going out on a limb, especially in the final.
A very young couple were brought to this Latin final and we were so happy to see them be counted in - Vadym Pidhoretskyy & Ruby Castro, and even happier to see that they were placed in sixth place overall 5,7,5,7,6. In Vadym & Ruby we see strong fundamentals of Latin dance overtaking the breakdance, twirlls, slam, and spin on the head we were kind of getting used to seeing from the amateur couples. Here we are seeing a good mix of good, strong old fashioned Latin fundamentals meeting some interesting material, along with youth and incredible talent. In seventh place overall were Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze with these marks 7,5,6,6,7. Here is a couple that has made tremendous strides in this past year or so. They really used the covid time to study and tighten the ship. However, I still find that at times the recklessness we have witnessed in the past might still slightly filter with excitement, and it is not a bad thing I think by curbing this energy and using it as they are 75% of the time doing now to make better dancing is a great thing and it will serve them well in the future.
The Junior II Ballroom was also held last night as a feature event along with the National Amateur Latin. And here the event also started with a first round of competition, and in the end six great couples were called back for this final. The winners, with a majority of firsts in all dances, were Daniel Novikov & Mishella Vishnevskiy, and for us this was totally deserving on all counts. In the past for us this couple tends to over energize everything making them look a little frantic and rushed, something that we personally do not care for in this style. However in this final, they were perfect, allowing us to absorbe what they have to say clearly. Perhaps the fact that they danced all day nonstop might have something to do with this unusual performance, that was totally controlled and musical. Whatever it was, this was a terrific performance for this very talented couple whose talent and maturity showed clearly on the floor.
Second in this final and in every dance went to Samuel Kolovyansky & Alexis Kolovyansky, this is another excellent couple who, had Daniel & Mishella not been on their top form, could have pushed higher, but not on this night and on this performance. Third overall went to Dallin Keck & Arynne Cole 3,3,5,3,3, who we thought also had a terrific night. We were totally happy that no judges tended to take into account the bushy yellow feathers that in a way detracted from their terrific performance. Fourth was a tie between Samuel Khelmer & Julia Sherstnyova who had 23 points at the end of the final, and Liran Lander & Julia Shvartsman who also had 23 points when the event concluded. After going through their marks Samuel & Julia we believe placed fourth due to their final marks 4,4,4,6,5, leaving Liran & Julia holding fifth place overall 5,5,3,4,6. Sixth position overall was awarded to Jake Berg & Jaslyn Kwan with these marks 6,6,6,5,4.
The daytime events were packed with great dancing in the National Championships. Here are some of the highlights.
The US National U/21 Ballroom began with a quarter-final round and for us had 2 stand out couples from the beginning and they did end up placing first and second although the win was perhaps a little easier than we might have expected. Maksim Berenshteyn & Annika Mugin won all 5 dances and lost a total of only 3 first place marks from a total of 45 possible. Our other selection, Parley Ford & Natalie Jolley placed 2nd in all dances and had exactly 5 “2nd or better” scores in each dance – just enough for a majority. The race was very close for 3rd place, with no couple scoring a majority of “3rd or better” scores in any dance except the tango. 3rd Ben Maier & Elisabeth Thompson 3,4,3,3,3 and 4th Matthew Matusovskiy & Nicole Klavansky 4,3,5,5,5. Interestingly, Matthew & Nicole had more 2nd places than any Ben & Elizabeth in all dances, narrowly missing tieing for 2nd in foxtrot. 5th were Caleb Judd & Kyra Christensen
5,5,6,4,4 and 6th went to Ilya Ignatyev & Jacqueline Pop 6,6,4,6,6.
The Firestein Family notched up a second win yesterday when younger brother Dave Firestein and partner, Kennedy Eaton, won the US National Youth Latin Championship 2,1,1,1,2. We loved their beautiful feet and legs. A great win for this couple. 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions were very closely contested. Ethan Hayutt & Anna Jgenti took the runner-up position with scores of 1,2,2,3,4. 3rd were Daniel Novikov & Mishella Vishnevskiy 3,4,4,2,1 and 4th were Maksym Rodionov & Daria Karpukhina 4,3,3,4,3. Interestingly, almost all couples in the final received scores from 1st to 6th in all dances. But that is often the case in Youth and Junior events. 5th place went to Vladyslav Pohorilyi & Ceilidh Mcseveney 5,5,5,6,6 and 6th were Nathan Zaytsev & Alice Bankova 6,6,6,5,5.
Leo Kolmykov & Katya Storchevaya won the US National JI Ballroom winning all dances with a majority of first places. The event began with a quarter-final round. Kirill Zakirzyanov & Valerie Snitko took 2nd in all dances and had 3 of the 9 firsts in both waltz and foxtrot. 3rd Yegor Zhukov & Adyson Cherkas 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Alex Shvartsman & Sophie Doliwa 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Evan Tkatch & Irina Maltseva 5,5,6,6,5; 6th Alexander Simakov & Phoebe Wolf 6,6,5,5,6.
We must say that what has really impressed us so far at this year's Nationals is the quality of dancing demonstrated by the pre-teen categories. Yesterday afternoon we saw the kids dance their Ballroom and it was pure joy to watch.
In the Pre-Teen 2, that began with a quarter-final, the winners were Sean Ginko & Maya Sinelnikov who placed 1,2,1,1,1. 2nd Max Mingioni & Zoe Estrina 2,1,2,2,3; 3rd Brian Khelmer & Emma Sherman 3,3,3,3,2; 4th Michael Novikov & Angelina Novikova 6,4,4,4,4; 5th Garrison Baker & Kalea Chantry 5,6,5,5,5; 6th Leo Liu & Nicky Lin 4,5,6,6,6.
In the Pre-Teen 1, Michael & Angelina moved up to first place. In a close race they placed 1,2,1,2,1. Nicholas Kartashov & Sophia Kartashov were the runners-up with 2,1,2,1,2. 3rd Maksim Mkrtchian & Lucy Kobylyanskyy 3,3,3,3,3; 4th Levi Ziering & Sarah Hajduk 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Yasha Pogreb & Milada Myronenko 5,5,5,5,5.
On this day we also saw a full field of senior competitors with 4 divisions this year (Senior 4 was added this year). Most couples danced in 2 age groups - a brave choice at this altitude!
The Senior 1 began with a semifinal and resulted is a close race, between 3 couples, for the championship title. It went to Pavel Kravchenko & Luisa Bykova 1,2,1,1,2 over Xingmin & Katerina Lu 2,1,2,3,3 and Thomas Yim & Kelly Cheng 3,3,3,2,1. Thomas & Yuko Naululani Yu were 4th 4,4,4,5; 5th Paul Bohman & Elkin Hossoy 5,5,5,5,4; 6th Nigel Chiu & Robin Yao 6,6,6,6,6.
We saw a change in fortunes for the Senior 2, perhaps corresponding to a change in judging panel. Here the winners were Thomas & Kelly who placed 1,1,3,1,1 over Xingmin & Katerina who 2,2,2,2,3. The winners of the VW were Ibrahim Fatkulin & Amy Jennings and with 3,3,1,3,2 they were 3rd overall. 4th Louis Riendeau & Tracy Wynn 4,5,4,4,4; 5th Paul Bohman & Elkin Hossoy 5,4,5,5,5; 6th Nigel Chiu & Robin Yao 6,6,6,6,7; 7th Denis Kojinov & Jeanette Chevalier 7,7,7,7,6.
In the Senior 3 we had a Rule 11 tiebreak for first place and it fell to David Getchell & Allison Gonzalez 1,2,2,1 over Thomas & Yuko Yu 2,1,1,2. 3rd in all dances were Jon & Elaine Chow. 4th Robert & Diana Diana 6,4,4,4; 5th John & Kathy Linn 4,5,5,5; 6th Donald Isenor & Fannia Xu 5,6,6,6; 7th Greg & Shivonne Tuoti 7,7,7,7.
Running for the first time, the Senior 4 gave us another Rule 11 tiebreak for first place. The win once again went to David & Allison 2,2,1,1 over Gelnn Okazaki & Anne Ho 1,1,2,2. 3rd Song Kim & Nicole Suh 3,3,3,3; 4th John & Kathy Linn 5,4,4,4; 5th Adel Ghoneimy & Karen Chow 4,5,5,5; 6th Donald Isenor & Fannia Xu 6,6,6,6.
Amateur American Style Comes of Age
For years the American Style categories have been somewhat of the “poor relations” of the Amateur divisions.
But not this year in 2022. We are back in the Marriott Arena on the BYU Campus after a 2 year break for the US National Amateur Championships and the first 2 days of competition saw the major titles in the American styles decided.
Last night the Open Amateur Smooth was the headline event, and it was a sizzler, danced over 4 rounds. The majority of the couples were from Utah that has really become the center of American Smooth in the USA.
The fight for the Championship once again came down to the battle of the siblings. The defending champions, Brandon Keck & Kaylee Patillo, and Brandon’s sister, Serena with her partner, Sawyer Stolle. As it turned out, the win was quite clear with Sawyer & Serena winning all dances with the majority of first places in all. We had to agree with the judges on this occasion. Sawyer & Serena were really on form and produced clear readable dancing that also had great intensity and drama. Brandon & Kaylee danced well, but their sense of drama was not as developed and a lot of their dances had the same character. They placed 2,2,2,3.
3rd place went to Parley Ford & Natalie Jolley, the youngest couple in the final and the winners of the National Youth Smooth Championship the day before. They placed 4,4,3,2. For us this couple were the revelation of this competition. They produced smooth, flowing movement that was light and effortless. Natalie is perhaps one of the most promising smooth ladies we have seen in some while. We would not have been surprised if they had received more first places. (They received one in VW). Just 1 point behind Parley & Natalie came Ben Maier & Elisabeth Thompson, 3,3,4,4. This is also a young and promising couple who for us, did not quite have the flow of the couple above them, but still showed well in this final. Mason Simkins & Yuuka Fujii were 5th 5,5,6,5 and the only non-Utah team, Ilya Ignatyev & Jacqueline Pop were 6th 6,6,5,6.
This was a sensational competition.
The National Open Amateur Rhythm Championship was held on the first night of competition and this to was surprisingly strong and began with a quarter-final round.
The winners in all dances were Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze. They had perfect scores (9 first places) in cha cha and swing, but were pushed harder in the other dances, which surprised us a little. For sure, Max & Nicole are more known for their Latin and do not often compete in Rhythm, but we still felt their strength and power overshadowed the other finalists. The runners-up were Brandon & Serena Keck (dancing together in this division). They placed 2nd in all dances and took 3 first places in both rumba and bolero, their best scored dances. The winners had only 4 first places in bolero. Also taking some first places were 3rd placed Tyler Harding & Misha Crawford who scored 4,3,3,3,4. 4th Tristan Moe & Margaret Safarova 3,4,4,4,3; 5th Jai Knighton & Brittany Knighton 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Logan R. Barnes & Jennifer Watts 6,6,6,6,6.
As we mentioned above, Parley & Natalie won the National Youth Smooth. They won all dances with a majority of first places. The runners-up were Ilya Ignatyev & Jacqueline Pop who were 2nd in all dances and fared proportionally better in this division than in the Open Amateur. They took first places in all dances, 3 in each of the waltz and tango, only 2 less than the winners. Another of the Keck family took 3rd, Dallin Keck & Arynne Cole 3,4,3,3 and they also won the combined Junior 2 Smooth Championship. 4th Jaxon Humphrey & Jiaxin Haslam 4,3,4,4; 5th Porter Bankhead & Ashlyn McAllister 5,5,5,5; 6th Noah Scribner & Sophia Ruiz 6,6,6,6.
Dalin & Arynne won all dances in the National J2 Smooth Championship. 2nd Noah Scribner & Sophia Ruiz 2,2,2,2; 3rd Ethan Smith & Alyssa Thunell 4,4,3,3; 4th Blake Mecham & Katelyn Maner 3,3,6,4; 5th Brennin Williams & Kennedy Miller 5,5,4,5; 6th Travian Haslam & Aislynn Bucy 6,6,5,6.
Stay tuned for the exciting Latin & Ballroom divisions that start today and promise some really exciting dancing.