Ohio Star Ball Championships 2022

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The Final Roundup

As the Ohio week comes to an end, it's finally the turn for the Open Scholarships in the Ballroom divisions to take to the floor

Here are the results this year.

Open A World Dance Sport Series Scholarship
1. Julia Chen w/ Rudy Homm 1,3,1,1,2; 2. Courtney Delmonico w/ Erick Pali 2,2,2,3,1; 3. Naujokas Naujokas w/ Martin Reinbold 3,1,3,2,4; 4. Angeline Pi w/ Dan Malov 4,4,4,4,3; 5. Arun Garg w/ Varlam Lettig 5,5,5,5,5; 6. Jen Mo w/ Karlis Treijs 6,6,6,6,6.

Open B World Dance Sport Series Scholarship
1. Natasha Janey w/ Iaroslav Bieliei 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Sabrina Zagolin w/ Yuriy Kravets 2,2,2,2,2; 3. Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold 3,3,3,3,3; 4. Janet Simsic w/ Andrea Stefano 4,4,4,4,5; 5. Dana Miller w/ Oreste Alitto 5,5,5,5T,6; 6. Bo Chang w/ Valerio Colantoni 6,6,6,5T,4.

Open C World Dance Sport Series Scholarship
1. Jill Bradford w/ Andrea Stefano 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Wendy Eubank w/ Mikhail Avdeev 2,2,2,2,2; 3. Annie Chan w/ Christian Radvan 4,3,3,3,3; 4. Kristine Riemer w/ Erick Pali 3,6,5,4,6; 5. Hans Stork w/ Inna Berlizyeva 6,4,4,5,5; 6. Yu Ping Ting w/ Leonid Burlo 5,5,6,6,4.

Open M1 World Dance Sport Series Scholarship
1. Agnes Mah w/ Stefano DiBrino 1,1,1,1,1; 2. Paige Riffle w/ Iaroslav Bieliei 2,3,3,2,2; 3. Linda Gill w/ Luca Balestra 3,2,2,3,3; 4. Charlene Proctor w/ Andrey Begunov 4,4,4,5,5; 5. Shirely Chan w/ Evgeny Mayorov 5,5,5,4,4; 6. Baoline Chen w/ Igor Litvinov 7,6,6,6,6; 7. Denise Layfield w/ Emanuele Pappacena 6,7,7,7,7

Open M2 World Dance Sport Series Scholarship
1. Sheila Abrahams w/ Bondarenko 2,2,1,1,1; 2. Lynn Murrell w/ Andrea Zaramella 1,1,2,2,2; 3. Vicki Sato w/ Nazar Batih 4,3,6,5,3; 4. Charlotte Carey w/ Andriy Mykhailov; 5. Song Chen w/ Avdeev 3,6,5,3,6; 6. Gloria Genevieve w/ Samuele Pacchini 5,5,4,7,7; 7. Melba Lewis w/ Denis Generalov 6,7,7,6,5.

Open M3 World Dance Sport Series Scholarship
1. Linda Huntress w/ Andrea Stefano 1,1,1,1; 2. Maria Fila w/ Kamil Urbaniak 2,2,2,2; 3. Nordis Glasoe w/ Anatoli Gorolevici 3,3,3,3; 4. Noriko Sekine w/ Lukas Spisak 4,4,4,4; 5. Edith Springer w/ Erick Pali 5,5,5,5.

Serious About The Series!

Last night was the best of the best of the Ohio Star Ball, and everyone serious about the World DanceSport Series were awarded.

This included the Top Teacher, Mr. Tommy Raydon who took home a whopping $30.000.00. The dancing was also worth the attendees’ tickets this evening. Unlike the night before, the solo numbers in both the Open Professional Latin and Smooth were very interesting to say the least and the group competitions on the floor were fierce.

As good as the dancing was last night, the night belonged to the World Dancesport Series top teachers and students who keep our industry moving. As we mentioned earlier, Tommy Radon won Top World Dancseport Series Teacher and took home 30K. Second place, not far behind, was Mr. Michael Neil who won $15,000.00, and third was awarded to Christopher Wayne and he was awarded $10,000.00. These teachers worked all year round including the last competition here at Ohio to accumulate enough points to be number one in the country and take these excellent purses home.

The teachers were not the only ones celebrated last night we also had the people that make the industry thrive and that is our students. The top gentleman student was Mr. Donald Gingery, and the top female student was Ms. Elaine Krieger. We must also not forget an important part of this equation, the dance studios or schools that are behind all of this. The Top Studio for 2022 was Storm Ballroom Dance Center, second was SuperShag and third, The Ballroom of Nashville.

Now for what we all came to Ohio for, the dancing on the floor. Last night both competitions, the Open Professional Smooth and Latin were terrific, and so were their solo numbers, everyone took the time to make sure they had something worth the eye.

In the Open Professional Smooth the winners by far with perfect marks in the waltz and nearly perfect marks in the other three dances, losing only a few first place marks in each, were Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina. Here we have poetry in motion Roman & Galina’s choreography and work is out of this world, totally unique to themselves. Even the solo number was something special to see with Galina coming out with a slick “cat woman” pant suit and fur. The routine progressed bringing the audience right up to the edge of their seats, and then filling them with laughter when they went into a cha cha - all timed just right. At the finish the audience burst into unstoppable clapping. This is a very special couple that will cement their craft into the American Smooth hall of fame. Roman & Galina were awarded 9 first places out of the 11 judges in the showdance portion of the competition and so they also won this challenge.

Second in this excellent Smooth heat went to Travis & Jaimie Tuft. They placed second in all dances and that included the solo portion of the competition. Travis & Jaimee also had a perfect second place run in their waltz and like Roman & Galina also lost a few seconds in the other 3 dances but many were replaced by firsts. Here for sure we have the second best and as we mentioned in past writeups, they seem to really be enjoying their dancing together and have fully secured this position. They for certain stole the show with the little sharky routine we saw a few years back. Travis and Sharky Jaimee were “Reunited” for this year. It had sense of humor and the fact that they still were able to do some difficult maneuvres even while wearing this crazy “shark” outfit makes it the second position the perfect spot for them in this part of the competition. There were a few judges that awarded them fourth place and we are usually not for funny without a good performance but here we had both and we have to tip our hat to them on this one.

We were very happy to see Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasiia Zhuchenko back to form on this style. The night before in Rhythm was not as good, but on this night they were totally on and totally deserving of the third place finish and that was in all dances. When we say they were on we mean both were quite energetic the transitions were perfect and they seemed to be really enjoying it. Their solo was also excellent it was not just a dance it was a show and a very intricate at that, but with one too many lifts, they were awarded a penalty for this extra lift and were dropped a place, in the show dance they should have been third but were dropped a place and were awarded fourth place. Couples should probably read the rules they are posted on the website for this particular event at the Ohio Star Ball. This event has its own rules it does not follow the NDCA rules for Showdance and in this particular case only 2 lifts are allowed per show if you happen to make it into these prestigious finals.

Fourth overall in this final was Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko 5,5,4,5 and here we stand corrected. In the past we missed what they are all about and not that we had a chance to really look at their work we think it’s a little subtle and easy to miss, but very strong in partnership technique, and we are quite happy to have spent a lot more time watching this very talented couple in action. Their solo dance was not their strong feature in this event but the quality was good enough to awarded them a 5th place finish in this venture.

Fifth place overall went to Tykhon & Yana Zhyvkov 6,6,5,4, another amazing addition to this final even though on this outing they were a little shy in their performance, but their solo dance made up for their slight set back in their group competition. In the solo performance it was a third place finish for them. They began their solo with a “lip lock,” well executed lift and a very uplifting performance.

Sixth in the group competition was awarded to Volodymyr Barabash & Yulia Rudenco 6,6,5,4, this is a very talented couple, with tremendous potential. In looking at the marks I can see why their marks go up and down but I think here it’s just a matter of a little more maturity. The lady is super plyable and Mr. Barabash is perhaps one of the best gentleman on the floor. You can see their potential in their solo number. We loved the “cello” idea that was brilliant but lacked a little in keeping the theme together throughout the entire dance. But with this couple it’s just a matter of time before they make a huge climb up the ladder.

The Open Professional Latin was also a fantastic competition for this night of stars. The winners of all dances and of the hearts of the people including ourselves were Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina. Here we were a little surprised that they did not get perfect scores in any of their dances but perhaps we are a little prejudice and drawn to their traditional style of dancing, they did get a majority of firsts in all their dancing and we should just say that that speaks for itself. Their solo number brought the house down and for us it was perfection, they too missed perfect marks by two judges and we totally do not see how this could have been possible, but there were 9 judges out of 11 that thought this was a perfect number. It was a tribute to “rock an roll” and from the moment they walked in they were in character and every element was perfectly timed, choreographed and displayed. To us this was the number of the night stealing the spotlight even from “sharky.”

Second was awarded to Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk and they took second in all dances, they totally have improved their game, what they lacked in personality they made up in clarity of work. Their solo was also quite good but here they too received a penalty for doing too many lifts and instead of being third in this challenge they dropped to fourth position.

Third placed in the group competition and in all dances went to Artur Tarnavskyy & Anatasiya Danilova, we would have not being surprised if they had placed second in some dances, this couple are now dancing with great energy but yet with a playful style that draws you to it and wants to make you dance. They placed second to last in their solo performance and as someone around us said the number did look a little tired, not really sure what they meant by that but perhaps this sixth place finish might explain what was on the judges’ minds.

Danill Tymoshenko & Vladyslava Vursalova were fourth overall 4,4,5,4,6, this was a lovely surprise in this final for us, turning professional not long ago this couple have made great strides in the professional field and they for sure showed in this venue. Their Latin was quite impressive and unlike so many of the other couples quite fresh and rhythmical. Their solo number left a lot to be desired and you can see it by the judges’ marks, they placed seventh in this challenge. In their defense we’re not sure they expected to be in this final so perhaps they were not prepared to do a solo at this time.

Fifth place was awarded to Nikolai Tarasov & Sarah Nolan 6,5,6,5,5 we are a little torn here Sarah is a beautiful dancer and superficially they look well together but there are some basic issues that need to be addressed landing or using the outside of your feet for support should not really be seen at this stage of the game in Latin American dancing. The solo number was well-choreographed and although it left us a little empty in the theme department, the judges found a lot to like an awarded them 2nd place.

Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriele Sabler placed sixth overall in the group competition 7,6,4,7,4, as you can see by the marks the judges have a hard time placing this couple. Pasha & Gabriele have everything it takes but they need to now go out on a limb and begin to find their own way of doing things to separate themselves from the group and create their own genre. Their solo was amazing and totally separated them from the rest of the main group here you can see it by the judges’ marks - they placed them third overall but really had they not done that extra lift they would have been second. Pasha & Gabriela was another couple with a penalty for doing an extra lift.

In seventh position were Andriy & Amanda Besyedin 5,7,7,6,7 whose persistence over the year has paid off in placing them in this prestigious final. The judges appreciated their solo also, scoring them 5th.

The Open Amateur Ballroom also took place this evening and here the winners in all dances were Nikita Druzhinin & Virginie Primeau, second in all dances was awarded to Danylo Drobrovolskyi & Anastasiia Malovana and they too placed second in all. Third overall went to Mikhail Vorobiev & Anna Sydgalieva 4,3,3,3,3. Bohdan Dovhalov & Sofia Iudina placed fourth 3,4,4,4,4, Aleksandr Riabtsev & Mariia Oblakova took fifth 6,5,7,5,5, sixth was Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermenova 5,6,6,6,6 and seventh place was Denys Savytskyy & Mila Kovalova 7,7,5,7,7.

The first leg of the Ballroom Spirit Foundation Ballroom Tour was run in the early morning and some amazing under 21 couples took part. The winners of the invitation to the finale of the tour and the winners in all dances were Andrei Cutashevskii & Anna Vasina placing first in all dances. Second place was awarded to Roman Shchochka & Marta Tyutyunnyk 2,2,3,2,2, third overall in this excellent event were Nathan Zaytsev & Alisa Bankova 3,3,2,3,3, fourth place went to Ilya Ignatyev & Daria Korth 5,4,4,4,4, fifth were Zorik Moldavsky & Vikanat Govorum 4,5,6,5,6, and in sixth position were Parley Ford & Natalie Jolley 6,6,5,6,5. The next leg of the Ballroom Spirit Foundation Ballroom Tour is at City Lights Open, in San Jose, California – January 2023.

Saturday night also had a retirement announcement, this time Cabaret champions, Alyenendrov & Maria Tsorokean are moving off the competition field.  They dedicated their routine of the night to their coach, the late Mark Brock.  They received a momentous standing ovation at the close.

Ohio Crowns New Champions!

Last night at the Ohio Star Ball new Champions were crowned in the Open Professional Ballroom and in the Open Professional Rhythm.

The two styles ran back to back and the Open Professional Rhythm was won by Francesco Arietta & Jessa Mae Briones, and the Ballroom by Valerio Colantoni & Anna Demidova.

Both the events started with a quarter-final round and the Rhythm finalized with a six couple final, and the Rhythm was won by Francesco Arietta & Jessa Mae Briones and they placed first in four dances and second in the swing. We totally agreed with the judges’ decision. For us Francesco & Jessa were the best overall, and we also fully agreed that Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin’s swing is top of the line and fully deserving of this placement. In the other four dances Francesco & Jessa were able to produce a more musical performance with an upscale and very unique style of movement.

It is also interesting to see that even though the mambo king and queen who nearly always have the upper hand on the mambo and were competing in this final last night, Kevin Ubillus & Milagros Lareto, were not able to take this dance. Francesco & Jessa managed to clearly win the mambo with a majority of firsts from the judges. 12 first place marks were awarded to them in this dance. Perhaps the lack of basic understanding of rhythm foot and leg action by Kevin & Milagros contributed to their second place finish in this dance rather than first. We, like the majority of people that have seen Kevin & Milagros compete in the past, are totally taken by their rhythmicality and understanding of mambo and the other music in the other South American based dances in the Rhythm. If they were to work heavily on this “weakness” they could be challenging not only in the Mambo, but could be fighting for top placement in this style! Unfortunately that basic understanding of foot action is not there to support the excellent body rhythm they have. Feet and legs are the foundation of brilliant dancing no matter what style you decide to dance. Kevin & Milagros placed second in the mambo and fifth in the other four dances and were awarded fifth overall.

Going back to the lineup, third overall in this very interesting heat went to Shane & Shannon Jensen with these scores 4,4,3,3,4. Here we have a couple that has the world at their feet when it comes to Cabaret dancing but for us their musicality and understanding of the Rhythm dances is not quite at the same level. They should be knocking at the winners’ door, but so far have not staked their claim on this style.

Missing third place by one point were Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasia Zhuchenko 3,3,4,4,5 for a total of 19 points, Shane & Shannon had 18 points so they placed third and Oleksiy & Anastasia took fourth place overall. We were a little disappointed with Oleksiy & Anastasia’s performance last night but we looked at the marks and we thought - “5th in the mambo?” We are not sure this fifth place mark was quite deserved, but there you go, that decision was given by a panel of 21 judges, many of them must have seen something we missed. We must also point out that Oleksiy & Anastasia got one first place mark in the mambo, a second a few thirds and a fourth. Closing this final were Toshko & August Kondov and they placed sixth in all five dances.

The Show portion of the competition for us, in both styles, left a lot to be desired from all couples. Francesco Arietta & Jessa Mae Briones also won the Showdance in the Rhythm. Their costumes in the end left little to the imagination. Overall we think that more thought needs to be placed in this category. We know it’s quite short, but I think at this level of dancing we expect more from these professionals when it comes to ideas and performances. They were awarded 4 first out of 11 judges. Second in the showdance were Kevin Ubillus & Milagros Lareto and they did - a mambo! 2 first places were awarded in this dance to them. Third were Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasia Zhuchenko who did for us one of the nicest showdances but what was it? A bolero? And they got 4 first places in this dance. Fourth were Dmitry & Olena Nikishkin and they go no first place marks for this dance. Fifth were Shane & Shannon Jensen and we are still scratching our heads trying to figure out what this routine was about. Sixth were Toshko & August and they also did what was basically a “competitive routine.”

The Open Professional Ballroom Competition like the Rhythm was very exciting and there was lots of talent beginning to end. The newly Crowned World Champions, Valerio Colantoni & Anna Demidova were excellent and they were rewarded by being placed first in all dances with perfect scores in the Viennese Waltz and with nearly perfect scores in the other four dances – they received all firsts but one third in the waltz, the same in the tango but this time they got one second, they also got one second in the foxtrot and quickstep.

Second in all dances was awarded to Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova. We were totally impressed with their performance that has matured a hundred times over. Their softness of movement is beautiful to see and it is great to see we have this quality of Ballroom dancing in America. We were a little taken aback that three of the judges awarded them sixth place in a number of dances.

Third place overall was awarded to Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli 3,3,5,4,3. As you can see the judges were quite undecided about this couple and we quite understand their dilemma. Depending upon when you’re watching them it could be up or down, brilliant of poor. Fourth place went to Andres & Veronika End 5,5,3,3,4 who from our perspective did not have the best run, we felt that in the earlier rounds they had something special going on. In the final it was all work and no play.

Fifth place was awarded to Andrii Mykhailov & Ekaterina Popova 4,4,4,6,5. This is a talented couple who are striving to get a grip and stay with this excellent company, here too it all depended when your eyes fell on them. Yes, we agree their dancing is taking a nice step in the right direction, but they need a consistency that they lack at the moment. In sixth place were Igor Mikushov & Valeriia Belozerova 6,6,6,5,6. We always enjoy this couple’s natural feeling and movement but were not surprised with this result. In this company every good quality has to come together and they were very deserving of being in this final but not quite there yet.

The Showdance portion for us was also very disappointing, perhaps not as bad as the Rhythm but close. Most routines lacked a real theme and development. The winners, Valerio Colantoni & Anna Demidova did one of their dances and as lovely as it was, it left us wanting a little more, but we totally understand the judges awarding them 9 first places out of 11 judges. Second place went to Igor Mikushov & Valeriia Belozerova it was as you can see all very red! Third was awarded to Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova who had perhaps the best theme and development. In their routine they started dancing as young people and by the end with little fuss they transitioned to when they were dancing in their old age. It was quite clever and perhaps the best developed routine of the night. Fourth place was awarded to Andrii Mykhailov & Ekaterina Popova and they did some kind of interpretation of the “Phantom of the Opera” a good enough theme but it has been used so many times by everyone, but we most give them credit for trying to have some kind of a theme. Fifth position went to Andres & Veronika End who at this point we cannot tell you exactly what it was, and sixth place doing a dance wearing a unitard were Angelo Gaetano & Clarissa Morelli.

The showdance portion of the professional events at the Ohio Star Ball was developed specifically for the TV audience. Now without the TV, we wonder if it’s time to put this to bed. It creates a lot of extra work for the couples and perhaps this is work that they do not really want to do!

The Professional Cabaret took place this same night. Five couples entered and it was great from beginning to end getting everyone pumped and at the edges of the seats. The winners with the majority of firsts were Craig Smith & Andrea Harvey who performed their usual thrilling, death defying lifts. Second performing a beautiful number to “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” were Travis & Jaimie Tuft. They had a couple of minor issues in some of their transitions that kept them from challenging the top, but were certainly good enough to secure second position. There were at least four judges who awarded them fourth place, presumably due to this, but as we mentioned they were minor issues and good enough for second position.

Third place was awarded to Zachary Pohl & Ariel Freilich who have a new number that could go either way. Some people really like it others do not. Their theme is “50 Shades of Grey.” Fourth were Stanislav Morozov & Ksenia Tashkinova who performed the best we have seen with perhaps some changes in their choreography, but it was right on the money. We don’t think it was good enough to unseat the couples on top, but good enough for this position. And in fifth place was Brandon Barker & Chelsea Cherie. We have not seen this couple previously and they did do a good number of lifts, however, their technique was not as good and the work was not as clean as all the other couples on top so we see why they were awarded fifth.

The Amateur International Latin also took place and here the overall winners were Vadym Pidhoretskyy & Ruby Castro 2,1,1,2,1. We must also point out that the same day Vadym & Ruby also won the Under 21 Championship wining all dances. Second overall in this open Amateur Latin went to Max Firestein & Nicole Mtchedlidzen 1,2,2,1,2; third position and with an interesting twist went to the Max’s brother, Dave Firestei,n & Kennedy Eaton and they took third in all five dances. Fourth was awarded to Edgar Khachaturov & Monet Pinkett 6,6,4,4,4; fifth went to Idan Daich & Anastasia Sinyauskaya 4,5,6,5,5, and sixth place went to Kristers Smits w/ Shelly Umansky 5,4,5,6,6.

There were plenty of solos this weekend from what we talked about but also within the Pro/Am field in the Best of the Best. Half a day was devoted to these solos. There was a very interesting trend this year and that was, like in the professional showdances of the past, the men dressed in drag. This year the turn to dress in drag was in the Pro/Am “best of the best” field. There were quite a few numbers some with theme others were just “men in a dress,” but there seemed to be a lot of that. The winning performances in the Best of the Best, were invited to perform in this evening session.

The Ohio Star Ball is a traditional venue for many couples to announce their retirement and tonight we saw just one such - Rudy Homm & Kaita Kanevskaya, finalists at all major events here in the USA in the Ballroom division, announced their retirement from competitive dancing.  We wish them well in their future endeavors.

Yesterday was a day of Pro/Am dancing and the World Pro/Am DSS Latin Scholarships took place in the late afternoon.

In the World Pro/Am DSS Latin B Scholarship, the overall winner was Missy White w/ Genya Bartashevich 1,2,1,1,2. Second overall was awarded to Gaelle Benchetrit w/Nino Langella 2,1,2,2,1, and in third place was Deborah Tiple w/Paul Richardson 3,3,4,3,3. Irma Wang w/Daniel Hustiuc took fourth 4,4,3,4,4; fifth went to Mirra Blinova Thorpe w/Clement Joly 5,5,5.5,5,5,and sixth was Bethanie Picerno w/Andrew Escolme 6,6,5.5,6,6.

The World Pro/Am DSS Latin Scholarship in the C division went overall to Sophia D’Angelo w/Vitalii Proskurin 1,1,2,1,1. Second overall was awarded to Nichelle Kennedy w/Aleks Nashev 2,2,1,3,2, and third went to Kimberly Bottini w/Aleksandar Vukosavljevic 3,3,3,2,3. Marialisa DeGrasperis w/Stanistav Kochergin placed fourth 6,5,4,4,4. There was a tie for fifth place that had to be broken by a (Rule11) between Michelle Mazel w/Roman Italyankin 5,4,5,6,6 total of 26 points and Gisa Dilorio w/Stefano Placidi 4,6,6,5,5, total of 26 points, after the rule Mazel took fifth and Gisa placed sixth.

There was an 8-couple final in the World Pro/Am DSS Latin A Scholarship, and here Anna Brown w/Andrey Tarasov took first overall with this marks 1,1,1,2,2, Second place went to Ariel Xu w/Daniel Hustiuc 2,2,2,1,1, and third was awarded to Irene Caredis w/Francesco Bertini 4,3,3,4,3. Celene Parragh w/Jozsef Parragh placed fourth overall 3,4,4,3,4; Kaylee Schwarz w/Evgenii Grytsak took fifth 5,7,6,5,5, and sixth was awarded to Anvelyn Pi w/Pasha Stepanchuk 7,5,7,6,6. Seventh was Nicoletta Agostino w/Sergiy Georgiyev, and in eighth place was Jessica Stone w/Sergey Korshunov.

In the World Pro/Am DSS Latin Masters 1, Joan Goddard w/Andrew Escolme won all dances. Second overall went to Lisa Lowery w/Artem Merenkov 2,2,2,2,3, and third was Scott Magnesen w/Sabrina Manzi 3,7,5,4,2. Nancy Murdock w/Roman Italiankin placed fourth 5,5,3,5,4. There was a tie for fifth place that had to be broken by a (Rule10) between Marina Lagocha w/Tamerlan Gadirov 4,6,4,7,5 total of 26 points and Patricia Killpack w/Evgeny Dyachenko 6,3,7,3,7 total of 26 points, after the rule was applied Marina placed fifth and Patricia took sixth. Beth Kaplan w/ Genya Bartashevich was seventh overall.

In the World Pro/Am DSS Latin Masters 2, the overall winner was Nora Fox w/Plamen Danailov 1,1,2,1,1. Second overall went to Judy Markell w/ Pavel Cherdantsau 2,2,1,2,2, and third in all dances was Alice Lekht w/Igor Derimov. Fourth in all was Pamela Melton w/Stefano Placidi, fifth went to Mary Joe Voelpel w/Manuel Favilla, sixth overall was awarded to Richard Boudreau w/Inga Sirkaite 6,6,6.5,6,6, and seventh was Alice Porter w/Lukas Spisak 7,7,6.5,7,7.

In the World Pro/Am DSS Latin Masters 3, Scholarship, Susan Sordoni w/Francesco Arietta took all firsts, second was Nancy Politzer w/Andre Paramonov, and third was Maria Fila w/Kamil Urbaniak

The Smooth Day at Ohio!

The World Pro/Am DSS Smooth Scholarships were all quite large with a huge amount of entries in all of them.

The Masters 3, for example started with a first round of competition with 34 couples present at the start. The judges for the final brough back seven couples and Lesley Brookman w/ Sergey Barsukov won all dances all with a majority of firsts.

Second in this Master 3 Smooth Scholarship was a tie between Tricia Kassling w/ Dmitry Demidov and Susan Sordoni w/ Francesco Arietta that had to be broken with a (Rule 11), both couples had 10 points each, once the rule was applied Tricia w/Dmitry was second 2,2,3,3, and Susan w/ Francesco placed third overall 3,3,2,2. Fourth place went to Ann Goldstein w/ Andrey Gergel in all dances and Buck Lindsay w/ Shannon Jensen took fifth overall 5,6,5,5. Michael Tuckett w/ Jolanta Mosteika was sixth 6,5,6,6, and Edith Springer w/ Erick Pali took seventh.

During the World Pro/Am Smooth DSS in the earlier rounds they ran the Amateur Smooth Championships that started with a semifinal round and at the end a seven-couple was called. Parley Ford & Natalie Jolley won all four dances. Second in this terrific heat and in all dances went to Benson Maier & Elisabeth Thompson, third was Sawyer Stolle & Serena Keck. Fourth overall was awarded to Ilya Ignatyev & Jacqueline Pop 4,4,5,4, fifth went to Tanner Cole & Jacie Yardley 5,5,4,5, sixth in all dances went to Jaxon Humphrey & Jiaxin Haslam and seventh place was Baker & Heiner.

In the World Pro/Am DSS Master 2 Smooth Scholarships Connie Caruso w/ Kamil Urbaniak won four dances and placed second in the Viennese Waltz. Second in this excellent heat went to Janet Bruttell w/ Dmitrii Zavialov and they won the Viennese Waltz and took second in the other three dances. Third overall was awarded to Judi Markell w/ Pavel Cherdantsau 3,3,4,4. The marks for fourth fifth and sixth were also shared Karen Scott w/ Vladimir Kosarev placed fourth 6,4,3,3; Annette Burden w/ Tony Scheppler took fifth 4,6,5,5 and sixth went to Jeanie LaFavor w/ Igor Afonkin 5,5,6,6.

In the Masters 1, Simona Bebi w/ Nazar Norov won four dances and placed second in the Viennese Waltz. Second overall was awarded to Helena Kostik w/ Nikolai Pilipenchuk with these marks 3,2,2,1. Third went to Irene Fong w/ Sochacki 2,3,3,3, Fourth place was awarded to Charlene Proctor w/ Mikhail Zharinov 5,4,4.5,5 as you can see they tied for fourth in the foxtrot with Sandy Kirby w/ Radek Wiatrowski who took sixth overall 6,5,4.5,6. In fifth position was Kathy Steward w/ Mayo Alanen 4,6,6,4.

The World Pro/am Dance Sport Series Smooth C Category began with a full quarter-final round of competition and in the end a six-couple final was called. It was one of the best heats of the night when it comes to competitive dancing and here it was an easy win for Patricia Schneider w/ Salwek Sochacki who won all dances. Second in all dances was awarded to another well-known player, Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev and third in all dances went to another pro/am icon, Sophia D’Angelo w/ Max Sinitsa. Fourth place was awarded to the Master 1 winner, Simona Bebi w/ Nazar Norov and she took fourth in all dances; fifth overall was Natasha Copeland w/ Vlad Robatsenko 5,5,6,5, leaving sixth to Janice Gonzales w/ Aleksandar Vukosavljevic.

In the B World Pro/am Dance Sport Series Smooth, Celia Chou w/ Erminio Stefano won all dances with a majority of firsts from the judges. Second in all dances was awarded to Selene Steelman w/ Travis Tuft. From third place down the marks were quite divided. Aja Pascale w/ Sergey Samchynskyy placed third overall 3,3,4,3, fourth went to Mariana Boneo w/ Vladimir Kosarev 4,5,3,4; fifth place was awarded to Stacy Tilford w/ Josh Tilford 5,4,5,5, and in sixth place was Nannel Wray w/ Enzo Zappia and they took sixth in all dances.


he A division of the DSS World Pro/Am Series was also terrific and here it was a walk in the park for Morgan Wissel w/ Igor Dogoter who took the majority of firsts in all dances. Second went to Alexis Salapatek w/ Stefan Ciubotaru and that was in all dances and third also in all dances went to Marko Namen w/ Marina Vlasova. In the lower part of the final the scores got more divided here Mackenzie Robbins w/ Volodymyr Barabash placed fourth 5,4,4,4; Elizabeth Cuevas w/ Mayo Alanen took fifth 4,6,6,5, and sixth was Mazhana / Danas Jaksevicius 5,4,4,4.

Wednesday at the Ohio Star Ball

The Ohio Star Ball started Tuesday the 15th of November with the Pro/Am events and this year it seems larger than ever - more people participating and more categories, it is great to see that everyone wants to ballroom dance.

Wednesday night the heavy hitters of Pro/Am Rhythm got to compete in the Open Rhythm Scholarships, many of them beginning with full quarter-final rounds and semifinals, here is how it panned out and where everyone placed.The World Pro/am Dance Sport series Master 1 Rhythm Category began with a quarter-final round and the overall winner with the scores of 1,2,1,1,1 was Joan Goddard w/Andrew Escolme. Second went to Margarite Pinard w/ Ilya Reyzin 2,1,2,2,2, and third place was awarded to Lisa Lowery w/ Artem Merenko. In fourth position in this heat was Tillie Stacker w/ Nazar Norov and she placed 5,5,4,4,4; fifth was Sandy Buckholz w/ Toshko Kondov 4,4,5,5,6, and sixth was awarded to Scott Magnesen w/ Sabrina Manzi 6,6,6,6,5.

The World Pro/am Dance Sport Series Rhythm C Category started with a semifinal and a seven-couple final was called back, the winner by placing first in all dances was Nichelle Kennedy w/ Aleks Nashev. Second overall was awarded to Louis Shah w/ Andrew Escolme with these marks 4,4,2,2,2. Third overall went to Marguerite Pinard w/ Ilya Reyzin 2,2,4,4,3. In the second part of this final the overall fourth place went to Janice Gonzalez w/ Aleksandar Vukosavljevic she placed third in four dances and fourth in the mambo. Fifth place overall was awarded to Ana Capo w/ Luis Lopez 5,6,6,5,5; sixth was Amy Law w/Eddie Stutts 6,5,5,6,6, and seventh position in all dances went to Michelle Loeb w/ Aleko Khutsidze.

In the World Pro/am Dance Sport Series Rhythm B Category, the winner was Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika with the majority of firsts in all dances. Second in all dances was Mariana Boneo w/ Vladimir Kosarev and third overall was awarded to Michael Butler w/ Oxana Kashkina 3,3,3,4,3. In the second part of this seven couple final fourth position was awarded to Brittan Elizier w/ Sergiy Samchynskyy 4,4,4,3,4; fifth in all dances went to Andi Wolff w/ Decho Kraev; sixth was awarded to Mag Retelewski w/ Aaron DeSoto and seventh place was Lila Winiarski w/ Vlad Astafiev.

The A World Pro/am Dance Sport Series Rhythm Category went to a man also - Marko Namen w/ Marina Vlasova and he won all dances with a majority of firsts. Second overall was awarded to Alexis Salapatek w/ Egor Likhachov 3,2,2,2,2. There was a tie for third place that had to be broken by a (Rule10), in the end Adrian Kaiser w/ Evgeniia Elcoro took third place 4,4,3,3,3 total of 17 points and Sophia Santiago-Burgos w/ Dannas Jaksevicius took fourth 2,3,4,4,4 a total of 17 points. Hanna Reich w/ Ivan Kudashev placed fifth in all dances; sixth went to Roo Hiremath w/ Joseph Letting, leaving seventh overall to Cassidy Johnson w/ Christopher Wayne 8,8,7,7,7, and eighth overall was Elizabeth Kelly w/ Lurii Kora 7,7,8,8,8.

In the World Pro/am Dance Sport series Master 2 Rhythm the winner in all dances was Janet Bruttell w/ Dmitrii Zavialov. Second overall was awarded to Karen Scott w/ Vladimir Kosarev 3,2,2,2,2, and third position went to Leslie McLeod w/ Melbin De la Cruz 2,4,3,4,3. Jeanie LaFavor w/ Igor Afonkin took fourth position 4,3,4,3,4; fifth overall went to Diane Coyne w/ Ivan Kudashev, and in sixth place was Annette Burden w/ Tony Scheppler 6,5,6,5,6.

Susan Sordoni w/ Francesco Arietta won the World Pro/am Dance Sport series Master 3 by placing first in three dances and second in the swing. Second went to Anne Goldstein w/Andrey Gergel 2,2,1,2. In third place was Lois Fein w/ Luis Lopez and fourth was Cindy Lindsay w/ Shane Jensen 4,4,4,3.

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