Michigan Dance Challenge 2022

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Michigan Dance Challenge

Day 4 - March in Michigan seems gloomy and grey, rainy and cold.

But for the final day of the festivities, the weather decided to throw in some color, the shade of purity and new beginnings as the white snowdrops covered the roofs of the buildings and the naked branches of the trees. Perhaps the season was in synch with the schedule and the program itself, as we all prepared for the final day, the purest form of the styles - the International Ballroom and the Open Professionals in the evening.

The winners of each professional style competed in the Grand Championship - Winners were the representatives of the American Smooth, Roman Malkhasyan and Galina Detkina with a lyrical and very emotional number. Francesco Arietta and Jessa Mae Briones, winners of the Rhythm, also produced a beautiful performance. The numbers of the Ballroom and Latin representatives left us wanting more, nevertheless showcased their styles well.

There was a special retirement dance by Richard Tonizzo and Claire Hansen, who retired in 2019, were supposed to dance their final dance in 2020 but couldn't due to known circumstances. It was even more special having performed their last dance at the Michigan Dance Challenge, as we found out that Mark Brock was Claire's first teacher. Congratulations to them on a great run and best of luck with their future endeavors.

We would like to congratulate Mr. Brock on another very successful event, filled with warmth, making everyone feel welcome and special. Can't wait for next year.

Results as follows

Open Cabaret
1. Alyenendon Tsorokean and Maria Tsorokean
2. Brendon Barker and Chelsea Cherie

1. Francesco Arietta and Jessa Nae Briones (11111)
2. Toshko Kondov and Kristen Dobson- Kondov (22222)
3. Richard Kaszas and Foteini Pagnea (33333)
4. Arten Shiller and Ginny Ray Shiller (44444)
5. Renzo Zegarr and Andrea Zegara (55555)
6. David Estrada and Ksenia Stavrica (66656)

1. Roma Malkhasyan and Galina Detkina (1111)
2. Travis and Jaimee Tuft (2222)
3. Tykhon Zhyvkov and Yana (3333)
4. Peter Minkov and Yuliya Sorokata (4444)
5. Evgenii Rozenfeld and Mariia Shumaker (5555)
6. Trevor and Emily Guthrie (6666)

1. Artur Tarnavskyy and Anastasia Danilova (11212)
2. Valentine Voronov and Anna Pelypenko (22121)
3. Aleksei Minaev and Elena Minaeva (33333)
4. Eli Rosenstein and Nicole Heisler (4444)

1. Aleksei Minaev and Elena Minaeva (11111)
2. Jonathan Test and Tatiana Mescheryakova (22222)

Day 3 - the morning was all about Pro-Am Latin.

Here as well the Ukrainian Challenge was great, thus far raising over $5500 for this wonderful cause.

Something aside from dancing that caught our attention, as we were walking through the hallway to the ballroom through all the vendors, was the color pallet of the fabrics of the shoe vendor, Aida Dance Shoes. It almost seemed as if the art of experimenting with colors, had evolved past the artwork on the walls onto the competitive and practice dance shoes. Must say the vibrancy of those colors simply uplifted one's mood at the least. The color scheme and the dazzle of the dress vendors weren't far behind, expanding their shine across the floor for all the competitors.

The past couple of days something that kept coming up amongst the adjudicators, while observing the competitors throughout the day, was the remark "old school." It was repeated on multiple occasions with so much appreciation of the quality, and the simplicity without superficial additives. Truly it is nice that we still have people who dance and teach this way.

Evening brought the Best of the Best Solos and the Rising Star Professional events in all four disciplines. Rhythm was the only semifinal, but nevertheless all events were competitive despite the number of attendees. A word that kept coming to mind while watching the RS events was "Blurry", yet they perhaps have an excuse - as someone said "they are all babies" and have a lot to learn. And of course, the conclusion of the night was the Rising Star Grand Championship where all discipline winners competed for the overall winner. Some were strange choices of dances performed as the idea is to represent the style they each won; however, we don't have control over what each couple’s preference and choice is, even if not the wisest.

The student appreciation party following the event was lovely. Mr. Brock gave out a single rose to each lady in appreciation of their support and attendance. These are the little nuances that are so important.

For now we await for the final day of the event - International Ballroom and all the Open Professionals.

RS Rhythm
1- Richard Kaszac and Foteinei (12121)
2- Artena Shiller and Ginny Ray Shiller (21213)
3- Ivan Sovetov and Valerie Mkrtchian (43334)
4- Renzo Zegarra and Andrea Zegarra (36552)
5- David Estrada and Ksenia Stavrica (54445)
6- Brad Montagnese and Tania Triguli (65666)

RS Smooth
1-Ivan Sovetov and Valerie Mkrtchian (1111)
2-Evgenii Rozenfeld and Mariia Shumaker (2332)
3-Trevor Guthrie and Emily Guthrie (3244)
4-David Moon and Jessica Mancini (4423)
5-Gage Clark and Karen Jacobs (5555)
6-Adam Edwards and Kimberly Edwards (6666)

RS Latin
1-Aleksei Minaev and Elena Minaeva (11111)
2-Eli Rosenstein and Nicole Heisler (22222)

RS Ballroom
1- Aleksei Minaev and Elena Minaeva (11111)
2-Jonathan Test and Tatiana Mescheryakova (22222)

Day 2 sailed off smoothly as the music changed the mood with a soothing Waltz commencing the session.

The day was filled with beautiful dancing across all levels, with most events commencing as semifinals. Some were quite difficult to judge, as any of the top three or four couples could have been the winners, depending on the moment one focused their attention on.

The Ukrainian Smooth Challenge was absolutely fantastic with a 23-couple quarterfinal. So great to witness the support of all the students and teachers.

In the evening it was The Man and His Glass, greeting all with class, looking all dapper in his White jacket. What the choice of wine was for the given evening remains unknown as we simply didn't have time to ask. It was a Black and White glamour night for the officials. These two basic colors, despite their simplicity, bring so much elegance. All the Smooth scholarships were run this evening and all were well attended.

Although it seems to be the case at most events, the C Scholarships are becoming the most attended and competitive. The closed Ladies C Silver Scholarship was a strong six couple final.

1- Agniezka Wilkins and Kamil Urbaniuk (1111)
2- Marguirute Pinard and Ilya Reyzin (2222)
3- Kara-Lee Barrow and Dmirty Ilyushenov (3344)
4- Catherine McCarthy and Viktor Tkachenko (4533)
5- Krista Hughes and Tykhon Zhyvkov (5455)
6- Anna Carrion and Toshko Kondov (6666)

The open scholarships were run in the conclusion of the evening and again the Open C was the highlight of the night. Due to some scratches this ended up being just an 8 couple final but it sure didn't disappoint us in quality and level of dancing.

The easy winners were Jill Bradford and Andrea Stefan (1111)
2- Charlene Proctor and Mikhail Zharinov (2222)
3- Marguerite Pinard and Ilya Reyzin (3334)
4- Natalia Zavodchikov and Dmitry Demidov (4443)
5- Michael McCarthy and Yuliya Lukina (5556)
6- Susie Sills and Richard Tonizzo (6665)
7- Rene Dumas and Martin Perez (7777)
8- Robert Dumas and Lilian Stranaham (8888)

Will find out what the Latin day has to offer soon.

Michigan Dance Challenge 2022

Slightly cool outside as we step out of the airport on our way to the glamorous Henry Hotel for the Michigan Dance Challenge.

They say if it rocks, it's from Detroit. Well sure enough, we were greeted by the utterly charismatic organizer himself, Mr. Mark Brock, in his Detroit Rock City T-shirt and a glass of fancy red wine (the choice for the welcome night to rock the start of a successful weekend was the Spanish Juan Gil Blue Label). As if going in harmony with the glamour of the event, was the spectacular hallway of the hotel, opening its doors as an ally of arts, with beautiful paintings, capturing the guests' attention; each floor of the hotel representing a different artist from Peter Max to Itzchak Turkay, Michael Chevel to Chris DeRubeis, and many more.

Not too far off from the vibrant colors of the art guiding one's way to the ballroom, were the shining gowns of the competitors, rushing for their first heat of the day. Day 1 was dedicated to the Rhythm events, bright and early, with some outstanding competitions throughout the day, and strong 7 and 8 couple finals. The 17-couple Ukrainian 3-dance challenge was amazing, with special medals and Ukrainian flags awarded to all the finalists.

Nightclub occupied the evening half of the session. It was perhaps the biggest and the most attended nightclub event, with over 6 hour duration. The energy in the ballroom was magnetic: the organizer was joining in the fun through the night, dressed as the jedi, and most of the dancers, including a few adjudicators taking it all the way, dressed as their favorite movie/tv characters, from Mary Poppins to Harry Potter. The culmination of the night was another Ukrainian Challenge with 8 wonderful couples supporting the cause. Needless to say, the night was warm and cozy, extremely fun and inclusive with popcorn and refreshments adding a nice touch to it all.

What the rest of the weekend is going to be, remains a matter of anticipation!


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