As far as the actual open professional events went, even though it was only a four couple final, the Ballroom stole the night on all counts.
The winners of the Open Professional Ballroom in every dance were Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya who were only a few marks from winning all dances with perfect score from the judges. In the waltz, tango and foxtrot they missed having perfect scores by one mark. In the Viennese and quickstep they missed it by two marks. For us they were clearly the winners especially in the tango where they were by far the best of the group. They also received double honors in the Mary Gill Grand Challenge, where they went head to head with all the other winners of the other styles and came first. Here they won with a majority of seven out of thirteen judges. We have to say that we were quite impressed by their tango both in the Challenge and in the group competition and we must say that if they are going to Blackpool they look quite prepared for that challenge as well.
Second in this excellent final was awarded to Krizia Balestra & Luca Balestra and they took second with a majority of second place marks in every dance and managed to steal five first place marks in this final from the couple previously mentioned. Almost every first that Rudy & Katia lost. Krizia & Luca placed second in all dances. The only other couple that stole two first place marks from the winners were Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva who were awarded one first place in the waltz and one in the Viennese Waltz, and they placed third overall. Fourth in this heat went to Evgeni Chaoulski & Sara Schilling.
In the Smooth Professional Championship the winners were Volodymyr Barabash & Yulia Rudenco and in the best result of the night they won all 4 dances and lot only 1 first place mark (in the waltz) and received perfect 13 first places in the other 3 dances. Allie Kushnir & Dima Pohybil, the winners of the RS the night before, were 2nd in all. The new partnership of Kosta Trifunovic & Valeria Vasilchenko were 3rd in all. 4th Misha Ostryakov - Gioia Reni 4,4,4,4; 5th Esther Frances - Dmitry Krasnyanskiy 5,5,5,5; 6th Staz Dawson - Jackie Gonyea 6,6,6,6.
The Open Latin basically followed the placements from the RS. Fedor Artemev & Ekaterina Artemeva were once again the winners and they had large majorities of first placements in all dances. Caitlin Andersen & Maurizio Conte were 2nd in all. 3rd Alexander Chudin - Natali Didyk 3,4,3,3,4; 4th Alexey Grinev - Kseniia Grineva 4,3,4,4,3; 5th Nora Garcia - Dylan Jenkins 5,5,5,5,5.
As we reported above, Rudy & Katia won the Grand Challenge with their tango. Stanislav Morozov & Kseniia Tashkinova were the runners-up, representing the Cabaret division and they received 3 first places from the judges. Also receiving 3 first places were Volodymyr & Yulia and they were 3rd. Fedor & Ekaterina were 4th. No couple represented the Rhythm division.
Sunday ended the Crown Jewel with a new kids day and then everybody said goodbye to the beautiful Ritz Carlton until next year.
Back to the Jewelry Box!
We are back at The Crown Jewel of Dancesport in Naples, Florida, a competition managed by a jewel of a team, Iveta Lukosiute & Gherman Mustuc.
The venue is the Ritz Carlton Naples. So far it has been a few days of great, fun dancing and entertainment and for those that love to golf and some time in the the sun, a paradise in and out of the ballroom.
Last night it was a short but delightful evening featuring the Open Professional Rhythm and the Open Professional Cabaret. There was a full semifinal round in the Open Professional Rhythm and six couples were called back for the final. The winners taking all five dances were Tania & Brad Montagnese, they won the first four dances with a majority of firsts from the judges but in the mambo they came very short only four judges out of the thirteen awarded them first so they won this dance with the help of “second or better” on their scorecard. For us we felt that the top three were close in talent, but one of this couple’s features was that the work was very clean and easy to read.
Second overall in this category went to Arkadi Atasuntsov & Areanna Triliegi, who placed second in four dances and third in the rumba. On the scale of things, we felt that Areanna was perhaps one of the best ladies in this final with major “Rhythm” attributes. However, her partner, even though he was very skilled, seemed to not be as confident and this made him look more like a supporting actor rather than an actual player. I think this might be due to confidence in the style not lack of knowledge or skill. Third in this excellent heat was awarded to Roberto Fernandez & Laura Panameno who took second in the rumba but placed third in the other four dances. Of all the couples just mentioned, for us this was our favorite couple here. We felt that their approach was more artisanal to the Rhythm style, perhaps at times feeling the music and its intricacies better than the last two couples mentioned. We do not think that Roberto & Laura had the cleanest work on the planet, but totally lots of soul.
Fourth in this Rhythm final was awarded to Stanislov Morozov & Kseniia Tashkinova, and they took fourth in all dances. In fifth place were Hughes Napoleon & Uttara Vaidya, and sixth place went to Blake Formanek & Veronika Suyupova.
In the Open Professional Cabaret we have to point out that Stanislov Morozov & Kseniia Tashkinova won these category with a majority of firsts in their dance, and yes we felt that some of their lift work was certainly very impressive even when at times it took our breath away, making us feel a little uncertain and not relaxed from step to step. Second went to Fedor Artemev & Ekaterina. We felt this to be the most solid routine overall. Their lift work was very secure even though they did not give us many overhead thrills, when it came to the ground work it was very precise and yes, they did take 5 first place marks from the winning couple. Third overall was awarded to Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva, their routine was excellent but perhaps a little too dramatic at times with not enough build up. Fourth in this final was Daniela Moreno & Gonzalo Pavez, this is a very talented couple but still a little green in this field with more work and time this couple could easily challenge on future outings.