Sunday A Good Finish For IGB
Sunday night was a good finish for the IGB. 2 good open pro divisions and some interesting U/21 divisions, one of which produced a different result to the Youth division.
Of the two open pro divisions the Smooth was larger and began with a semifinal. Basically two couples were far ahead of the field and these were the eventual winners, Yegor Novikov & Alexandria Smirnova and the runners-up, Evgeny Malko & Anna Shabazyan. Yegor & Alexandria won all dances with the majority of 1st places. They produce wonderful, elongated lines and seem to get more settled each time we see them. Evgeny & Anna have a more dramatic style and this was the best performance we have seen from them so far. They were 2nd in all dances. 3rd went to Peter Hahn & Jude Coraldi, 4,3,3,3. This duo also continues to improve. It was good to see Eric Koptke & Chelsea Farrah back on the floor after an extended layoff. They were 4th with 3,4,4,4. Kyle & Christina Campbell were 5th in all and Jonathan Atkinson & Lrena Bravo were 6th in all.
The Open Latin finished as a straight final after a couple of cancelations. The winners in all dances were Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova. They put in a strong showing and were the audience favorites, but they had to give up some 1st places in all dances to the Rising Star Winners, Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasiia Shchypilina. The closest fought dance was the cha cha that Andrey & Yulia won by 7 first places to 4. Comfortably 3rd in all dances were Maxim Kapitanikov & Natalia Fridmanovich. 4th Artjom Shmigeljuk & Oxana Kashkina 5,5,4,4,4; 5th Vasily Anokhin & Kristina Androshenko 4,4,5,5,5; 6th Kiril Nikitin & Jenya Kanchukova 6,6,6,6,6.
The U/21 Ballroom was interesting because the 1st and 2nd places were reversed from the same style of the Youth. Tonight Justin Lin & Sasha Dubinsky were the winners 1,2,1,1,2 over Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu 2,1,2,2,1. Both couples are great additions to this style and we did think that Justin & Sasha danced the best and most consistently that we have ever seen from them. 3rd were Jacob Tsai & Cara Loo.
The U/21 Latin was an 8-couple final and the winners were Giulio Ferrante & Lidia Martinez Espinosa 1,1,3,3,1. All couples were at a high level in the final and the results were anything but clear. 2nd were Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Klets 2,2,1,2,2 and 3rd, Mike Monokandilos & Sophia Brodsky 3,3,2,1,3. These 3 couples are all from the Bay Area. 4th, from MA were Steven Varshavsky & Karolina Loutnikov 4,4,4,4,5 and also from MA Murat Medzhidor & Valerie Dubinsky were 5th 6,5,5,5,4. Lance Yasinsky & Annabelle Vinckur were 6th 5,7,7,6,6; Zika Trajovic & Scarlett Liafer were 7th 8,6,6,7,7 and Adrian Grobeiny & Tanya Smith were 8th 7,8,8,8,8.
There was also a fun youth and junior team match that the audience seemed to very much enjoy.
At the end of the evening we celebrated the 84th birthday of the incredible Mr. Ken Sloan.
Avdeev/Blinova Take 2nd leg of Star Ballroom Tour
Last night marked leg 2 of the Star Ballroom Tour sponsored by City Lights here at IGB. It resulted in a win for Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova. They swept the board tonight winning the Freestyle, the Showdance and the Audience Vote. Following the first leg at Yankee Classic they were in 4th place and this win moves them up to 2nd. The overall leaders after 2 legs are Alexander Voscalchuk & Veronica Egorova who were the runners-up here tonight, again in all 3 categories. Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova remain in 3rd place overall. The full results from the Star Tours will soon be available here. Check the rankings. Look out also for an analysis by Keith Todd and video commentary by Stephen Cullip on the Freestyle section and Michael Mead & Toni Redpath on the Showdances. All coming soon!
Michael Towslizew & Tiffany Fung were the 7th couple to dance a solo as they were the audience's "wildcard" selection from the semifinalists.
The 5-Dace Open Pro Ballroom was extremely tight tonight. Mikhail & Olga won the division but it was a Rule 11 tie between them and Alexander & Veronika. Mikhail & Olga placed 1,2,2,1,1T and Alex & Veronica 2,1,1,2,1T. There is very little light between these two couples and we are all looking forward to more exciting duels. Things were also tight between 3rd and 4th but by two points Andre Begunov & Anna Demidova took it, placing 4,3,3,4,3 and in their first competition back on the floor, Denis Kutepov & Lesya Sinitsa were 4th, 3,4,4,3,5. And in the 3rd of the tight races Igor Colac & Roxane Milotti were the winners taking 5th spot with 6,5,5,6,4 over Ronen Zinshtein & Mariam Izmaylova 5,6,6,5,6.
The other Open Pro event of the night was Rhythm and this was comfortably won by Danus Jaksevicious & Yuki Haraguchi 1,1,1,1,1. 2nd with 2,2,2,2,3 were Riccardo Papi & Sabrina Moretti. 3rd were Ryan Lockhart & Danelle Newman 3,3,3,4,4 and with the widest range of scores, 5,4,4,5,2, Jeremy Babgay & Carolyn Barreno took 4th. 5th fell to David Moon & Sydney Petersen 4,5,5,3,5 and 6th to Richard & Marianne Myers.
The Open Amateur Latin was a very strong event with competitors from both coasts. Taking all dances and giving a totally “in command” performance were Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler who easily won all dances. Nikolai Tarasov & Amanda Herrschaft were the runners-up scoring 2,2,2,2,3. The second of the East Coast couples in the final, Allen Rudman & Svetlana Lisnaya were 3rd 3,4,3,3,2. Giulio Ferrante & Lidia Maria Espinosa were 4th 6,3,4,4,4. Two youth couples closed the final, Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Kletts in 5th 4,5,5,5,6 and Mike Monokandilios & Sophia Brodsky 6th 5,6,6,6,5.
Ilya Rezin will have a report on this division.
It was a great night for Junior II competitors Eric Linder & Rickie Taylor who won both the Ballroom and Latin divisions taking all dances in both divisions. Tyler Li & Angelica Lowe were the runners-up in both and also were 2nd in all dances. Continuing the tradition, Jared Alley & Sabrina Bezzant were 3rd in both. These were scholarship divisions sponsored by the CBZ Foundation.
The Youth Latin was an excellent 8-couple final that was a nightmare for the judges. We thought it was a great race for 1st between the top two couples. Winning by 3 dances to 2 tonight were Bumchin Tegshjargal & Michelle Kletts 1,1,2,2,1 over fellow Bay Area competitors, Mike Monokandilios & Sophia Brodsky 2,2,1,1,2. We thought thesetwo couples were well clear, but the rest of this excellent final was up for grabs. Erik & Rickie moved up from the J2 division to take 3rd 3,3,3,4,4. Lance Yasinsky & Annabelle Vinckur were 4th 6,5,4,3,6; Murat Medzhidor & Valerie Dubinsky 5th 4,6,7,6,3; Tyler Adler & Makayla Bezzant 6th 7,7,5,5,5; Daniel Bernecker & Charity Anderson 7th 5,4,6,7,7; Zika Trajkovic & Scarlett Liaifer 8th 8,8,8,8,8.
Youth & Amateur Ballroom Headline at IGB
For us the flavor of the night was Ballroom and that means the Open Amateur and Youth divisions. Both semifinals and both filled with quality dancing.
The Youth was first on and we saw the great dancing in this division that the Bay area has, plus a few good “outsiders.” The winners were Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu 1,1,1,2,1. This is Mr. & Ms. Perfect – rarely do we see them out of position or sometimes it seems even breaking a sweat. This is their strength and their weakness we believe. Winning foxtrot and placing 2nd in the other dances were Justin Lin & Sasha Dubinsky from MA. These are rather the antithesis of the winners. They dance with much passion but sometimes get stuck in some awkward positions. We loved their waltz & foxtrot. 3rd in all dances were Mike Monokandilos & Sophia Brodsky. Another great SF team, they sometimes seem a little tight to us, but move beautifully. MA took the next position also Murat Medzhidor & Valerie Dubinsky 5,4,4,4,5. A new partnership that exhibits great, free flowing movement and should be strong contenders soon. Jacob Tsai & Cara Loo were 5th with 6,6,5,5,4. They too show great promise once some positional problems are addressed. We were also impressed with the clean performance of 6th placed Daniel Bernecker & Charity Anderson from UT 4,5,6,6,6. Perhaps they need to let go a bit more.
Comfortable winners of the Open Amateur were Marek Klepadlo & Liana Bakhtierova who won all dances deservedly in our view. From our perspective it was a little closer for 2nd but the Runners-up Ferando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvili were 2nd in all dances and 3rd placed Florin Vlad & Natalia Linda O’Connor were 3rd in all. These are two couples with very different appearances and styles. Mike & Sophia also danced in this division and were 4th 5,4,4,4,5. 5th went to Daniel Rubahevsky & Anastasiya Vysotska 4,5,6,5,4 and 6th to Christian Solares & Whittney Myers 6,6,5,6,6.
All 4 styles in the Pro Rising Star were also held – all straight finals. The best we thought was the Latin. This was a showcase for Mykhalio Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina who have made such an impression recently. They won all dances. 2nd in all went to Maksim Kapitanikov & Natalia Shchypilina and 3rd in all were Artjom Shmigeljuk & Oxana Kashkina.
Kyle & Christina Campbell won the RS Smooth – all dances, Jonathan Atkinson & Loreno Bravo were 2nd in all and Kelton & Jessica Johnson were 3rd in all.
Jeremy Babagay & Carolyn Barreno won the RS Rhythm 1,2,2,1,1. David Moon & Sydney Petersen were 2nd 2,1,1,2,2 and Alejandro & Lucelia Falcon were 3rd in all dances.
Stay tuned for tonight’s results that include the 2nd leg of the Star Rhyhtm Tour.