Construction began in 1927 and upon completion, The Statler (now the Boston Park Plaza) was the tallest building in Boston and the eighth largest hotel in the world. Among Statler’s brilliant ideas: Every room offered a private bath, a radio, a headboard-mounted reading lamp, a daily newspaper, a telephone, stationery and writing utensils, a servidor panel allowing valets to deliver laundry, and the forerunner of the Do Not Disturb sign. Each floor had a concierge-style attendant, and the hotel also offered a lending library.
Adding to the sumptuous feel were gold leaf-accented coffered ceilings, Terrazzo flooring, painted tiles from Seville, and travertine stone columns sourced from volcanic formations below Mt. Vesuvius.
Even that paled with the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, inspired by the Palace of Versailles. Think parquet floor, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, an 18th-century museum-quality Flemish tapestry, and period sconces.
With history like this, The DBDC dedicates Sunday to honor the “Grand Ballroom” at the Park Plaza hotel, and so it is the Ballroom style that takes place this day of competition for the pro-am competitors. This Grand Ballroom was made for this style and we hope that the couples enjoyed dancing here as much as we did watching you all.
Once again we saw a very high standard of dancing.
A Real Upset!
The Last night of the DBDC was super exciting with lots happening.
It was the culmination of the Ballroom Spirit Latin Tour, an under 21 Latin competition that started last year at the Ohio Star Ball. The DBDC also had two wonderful professional competitions, the Peter Eggleton Ballroom Cup for Pro Ballroom and the Open Professional Rhythm, where the current US and World Champions, Andre & Natalie Paramonov were defeated by the fairly new partnership of Jessa May Briones & Francesco Arietta. This was an unprecedented upset, setting up the Open Professional Rhythm Championships and competitions to come for an interesting and uncertain future that will certainly bring some excitement to this popular style.
First we should start our reporting by going over the result of the Open Professional Rhythm event, and yes Jessa May Briones & Francesco Arietta won the event 3 dances two 2. They won the Cha Cha, Bolero and Mambo, leaving Andre & Natalie Paramonov, the Current United States Champions, holding second by placing first in the rumba and swing and second in the other three dances. As all of you could imagine it was a thrilling night of emotions for the new partnership of Jessa & Francesco who hugged, kissed and cried all at once. It must have been also a very tough night of emotions for Andre & Natalie who must now figure out their strategy for getting back on the horse and ride forward without looking back only forward an onward. We must commend Andre & Natalie for their warm applause for tonight’s winners. Before we move on to report other placements we most also point out that both Jessa May & Francesco as well as Andre & Natalie won all dances their dances with a full majority of first place marks from the judges in each dance.
Third in this wonderful parade of Professional Rhythm dancing went to Canada’s Dmytro Gurkov & Celeste Bailey with this marks 4,3,3,3,4; fourth place went to Ivan Kudashev & Ksenia Sokolova 3,4,4,4,3; taking fifth in all dances were Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina and sixth was awarded to Michael Ulbrich & Lindsey Melville.
In the Ballroom Spirit Under 21 Latin Tour, taking the $5,000.00 firs,t prize Dave Firestein & Kennedy Eaton were the winners overall. They placed second in all the Latin Dances getting a total of 25 points for that; in the solo presentation they got 94.43 points from the judges and from the audience vote they got 16.6 points, giving them a total of 136.03 and they took the purse plus a gigantic trophy home.
Second in the Ballroom Spirit tour was awarded to Vadym Pidhoretskyy & Ruby Castro who won all five Latin dances giving them 30 points for that challenge. In their solo presentation they got 92.43 points, and in the audience vote they took 7.83 points for a total of 130.26 making them second in this grand tour. Third place in the tour was awarded to Sebastian Lennox & Veronica Baranova who in the Latin dances were 5th in the C,S,R and 4th in the paso and jive, this gave them a total of 12 points for that challenge. Their solo was their strong point, they got 93.57 from the judges (2nd place) and from the audience they got 10.9 (also 2nd place) and so with a total of 114.19 they were awarded third overall.
Fourth place in the tour went to Kevin Filipczak & Sophia Marriott. They placed third in all 5 Latin dances and so they were awarded 20 points for that challenge. They took 89.29 from the judges in the solo performance and 4.905 from the audience giving them a total of 114.19 and a fourth place finish. Fifth in this Latin tour was awarded to Nathan Zaytsev & Aliza Bankova they were 4th in the first three Latin dances and fifth in the paso and jive and for this effort they were given 13 points; they took 91.43 points from the judges in their solo presentation and 4.61 from the audience giving them a full total of 109.04 and a fifth place finish. Sixth in this Latin tour was Emil Martirosyan & Sophia Shvartsman, they placed sixth in all the Latin dances and they got 5 points for this effort. In the Solo competition Emil & Sophia were awarded 88.57 points, and the audience gave them 5.155, (a 4th place) their total was 98.73 points and a sixth place finish for this tour.
Vinie Miller, President and Founder of The Ballroom Spirit Foundation and Karlis Treijs, the Grant Co-ordinator, presented the awards.
In the Peter Eggleton Ballroom Cup, the winners were Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya, winning the waltz and foxtrot with perfect scores and the rest of their dances with a majority of firsts. Bust we must point out that they missed perfect scores by one mark in the tango, and in the Viennese and quickstep by two marks. This was their second consecutive win of the Eggleton Cup. Second in this excellent heat went to Serhiy Averkov & Olena Barna and they placed second in four dances and third in the quickstep. Third was awarded to Dan Malov & Anna Bohachova and they took third in four dances and second in the quickstep. Fourth place went to Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley who took fourth in four dances and tied for fourth in the Viennese waltz. Fifth overall was awarded to Oreste Alitto & Zhenia Casanave, and they placed fifth in four dances and tied for fourth with Nazar & Mariko for the Viennese Waltz. And sixth in all dances went to Mirko Spano & Pamela Romano.
The event that really put a golden touch to this wonderful evening of dance and entertainment at the DBDC was the Lifetime Achievement Gala for Mr. Rufus Dustin held before the competition began in the Georgian Room of the Park Plaza hotel. Everyone was dressed to the nines and it was a white glove affair. The emotional video put together by Frank Miranda the co-organizer of the event, was as always a hit and many tears were shed by honoree himself as well as those attending. We want to congratulate Mr. Dustin for this award and thank him for all that he has contributed to the world of ballroom dancing in America and around the world.
They evening was also enhanced by the Amateur Open Latin Competition where Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina gave a stellar performance to win all dances. In the paso and rumba this couple received perfect scores. In the other three dances they lost perfect scores by one mark in each dance. Vadym Pidhoretskyy & Ruby Castro were second overall in the Open Amateur Latin. They took second in four dances and third in the samba. Vadym & Ruby were the recipients of the one first place mark that Alexander & Arina lost in the cha cha. Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidze took third overall by placing third in four dances and second in the samba. Max & Nicole were also the recipients of 2 of the first place marks that Alexander & Arina lost one in the samba and one in the jive.
Fourth place in all dances of this amateur open Latin went to Oskar Krimus & Shayna McDonald, fifth place was awarded to Emil Martirosyan & Sophie Shvartsman, sixth went to Sean Lama & Anastasiya Datsenko, and seventh in all dances were Haley Edgar Yegorov & Anastasiia Lemishko.
The Open Amateur Ballroom was also a fabulous event - danced as a straight final. The winners, from Canada were Nikita Druzhynin & Virginie Primeau from Canada. They finished 1st in all dances and had the majority of 1st places in all dances. Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova were 2nd in all dances and managed to take some first places in all dances. Another Canadian team, Vladyslav Komelkov & Alexandra Sevastianova were 3rd in all dances. Their best dance was the quickstep where they had 4 first places. 4th Nathan Zaytsev & Alina Bankova 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Johnathan Liu & Oleksandra Basko 5,5,5,5,6; 6th Eric Newbury & Evgeniya Gorobets 6,6,6,6,5; 7th Gokturk & Asli Yurtyapan 7,7,7,7,7; 8th Christian Larsen & Lara Beecher 8,8,8,8,8.
For the pro-ams, Saturday was devoted to Smooth and there were some interesting divisions including the Open Scholarships.
A Legendary Night!
Last night at the DBDC it was a “Legendary” night.
In the two open professional events the “Bobby Medeiros” medal was once again presented to the highest placed couple in the Open Professional Latin field and in the Open Professional Smooth the “Icon” himself, Mr. Ken Sloan, presented the Ken & Sheila Sloan Open Professional Smooth Trophy. Both competitions were excellent with some of the best couples in the world competing within the beautiful “Grand Ballroom” of the Park Plaza Hotel, where so many historical and “Legendary Celebrations” have taken place (All but one of the Presidents of the United States have stay at the Park Plaza and many have given memorable speeches in this beautiful historical, monumental ballroom.
The winners of the Open Professional Latin were Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova, who gave a stellar performance, making their presence and superiority in this Latin style noticed from every corner of this Grand Ballroom. Troels & Ina’s experience, dancing to the highest balconies in Blackpool and many world events was totally felt and noticed last night. You could feel their presence and their contagious, rhythmical performance in every corner of this beautiful ballroom. Troels & Ina were awarded perfect scores in the cha cha and the samba, and were awarded nearly perfect scores in the other three dances, missing perfect scores in the rumba by one mark and the other two dances by two marks.
Second in this legendary heat went to another wonderful, traditional couple Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina who also gave a stellar performance earning them second in every dance. From where we stood it was like a tennis match going from one stellar couple to the other. The majority of firsts stolen from Troels & Ina went to Mykhailo & Anastasiia. Not far behind these two world class acts were Valentin Voronov & Anna Pelypenko who came from Canada, placing third in all dances and who too gave an amazing performance stealing a first place mark also from the winners in the paso doble.
Fourth in all dances went to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova, fifth went to Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabrielle Sabler, and sixth was awarded to Amanda & Andrei Besyedin.
Speaking of perfect performances, Travis & Jaimee Tuft were also on fire last night in the Ken & Sheila Sloan Open Professional Smooth. Like Troels & Inna, they too got perfect scores in the waltz, the first dance and in the other three dances won with a huge majority of firsts loosing 2 marks in the tango, and Viennese and one mark in the foxtrot. But like Troels & Ina their energy was also felt in every corner of the Grand ballroom. The “Icon” Ken Sloan, presented them with the Ken & Sheila Sloan perpetual trophy and it was well deserved and quite an honor to have them be the first couple who will be engraved on this award.
Second in all dances and in this stellar heat were Aleksander Vukosavljevic & Aleksandra Smirnova and they too gave a wonderful performance. This couple can really spread their wings and in this heat, as in the Professional Latin, they too got us all looking back and forth. Third in all dances went to Volodimir Barabash & Yulia Rudenco, fourth went to Dmytro Gurkov & Celeste Bailey from Canada and that was in all dances, fifth was awarded to Vladyslav & Brianna Nalyvaychuk and sixth were Pavel Lebedev & Ekaterina Romashkina.
The “Legendary Celebrations” continued with a tribute Pro/Am Theatrical solos presentation dedicated to Mr. Rufus Dustin who will be honored tonight, in the DBDC Lifetime Achievemnt Award dinner. Four of the world’s top Pro/Am cabaret couples were invited by The DBDC and presented four amazing routines. They were Jake Mazhar w/ Yuliya Besarab, Judith Spivey w/Mykhailo Azarov, Linda Miller w/ Carlos Zapata (from Canada), and Martina Di Pasquale w/Roman Chagay. Every single routine was totally different with a tremendous amount of difficulty. It was amazing to see four of the top pro-am theatrical couples perform all in one place with the iconic atmosphere of the “Grand Ballroom.”
We must also mention one of the signature pieces of the DBDC and the organizers and that is the “Legendary Nightclub” session. The theme of this nightclub phenomenon this year was “West Side Story” and it certainly lived to that name. 98% of the attendees were in full “shark” or “jet” costumes in the packed basement ballroom of the Park Plaza, that was converted to a nightclub by the DBDC team. The hostess “Maria” played by the co-organizer, Mr. Didio Barrera, was “stunningly” beautiful as described in the legendary West Side Story” movie! His supporting cast “Anita” was just as stunning and their looks took everyone aback! (literally) As always the leading male part was played by the birthday boy, Mr. Tibor Kerekes. The formation led by Mr. Kerekes was quite impressive, two big dance studios took part in the Legendary ““shark” and “jet” formation - Ballroom Empire and SuperShag and it was the largest participation that we have seen to date! There were great laughs and great moments in this DBDC’s signature event.
The daytime was a marathon day of pro-am Rhythm and Latin dancing.
The competitions at The Boston Park Plaza were preceded by the La Vida Loca Boston – an addition to the regular packages for those who wish. This year DBDC returned to The Inn at Hastings Park in historic Lexington, MA – the site of the very first battle of the American Revolution.
The theme this year was “One Nation Under Rum” and the tour included two historic taverns in Lexington that were key sites in that first battle and also explored the strong part played by rum in the lead up to the American Revolution (it wasn’t all about the tea!).
Trisha Perez Kennealy, the owner of The Inn at Hastings Park, hails from Puerto Rico and as two of the organizers of DBDC, Didio Barrera & Chris Johnston, are also organizers of the Caribbean Dancesport Classic, held in Puerto Rico – the ties to rum are very strong!