After the prize presentation the couples were ask to remain on the floor and MC, John DePalma, read a letter to the public from Peter & Alexandra Perzhu thanking everyone that has helped on their journey and announcing not a retirement from the dance floor but what seemed to be a break of a partnership.
See their retirement dance - click here
Among tears and hugs many surprised and many not too surprised, Peter & Alexandra are no longer going to dance with one another, ending a month of speculation and background talk from the public and the industry. The so called “retirement” letter appeared to leave open the possibility of them coming back to the dance floor with different partners. It was a sad moment for all since their performance as many described was an unforgettable one, possibly the best everyone has seen from both. We at Dance Beat wish them both the very best for years to come!
The rest of the final was almost a copy of the US championships with only one couple missing and that was Mikail & Galina Zharinov. Mikhail is apparently recuperating from knee surgery. Mazen Hamza & Izabella placed second in every dance, Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija placed third in three dances and fourth in the foxtrot awarding them an overall third finish. Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirmova were fourth 4,4,3,4. This was a reversal of form from USDC for these last two couples. Travis & Jaimee Tuft placed fifth overall and in all dances, leaving sixth position to Kyle & Allie Spinder.
In the showdances the Smooth Showdances was stolen by the first couple out Travis & Jaimee who performed a hard rock routine, wig and all. Second was awarded to Peter & Alexandra with some of their fans protesting when the position was announced. Third went to Mazen & Izabella, fourth was Yegor & Aleksandra, fifth was awarded to Kyle & Allie and last were Nick & Viktorija.
In the Professional Latin it was perfect scores in all dances for Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko - not one mark was taken away from this couple on this night. The rest of the final was quite disputed. Favorites going in Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk were not as well received as expected, the judges awarded them second overall but as you will see not in every dance 2,3,2,2,4. Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova were third overall but here are their marks 3,2,3,3,2, as you can see this second position was very disputed and we can honestly say that below Riccardo & Yulia there was very little difference between all couples, a sad state of affairs for this style in our opinion. Fourth went to Mykhailo Bilopukhov & Anastasia Shchypilina 4,4,4,4,3, we expected some fireworks from this couple but in the end all we got was perspiration not inspiration. Fifth was awarded to Dmitri Nikishkin & Olena Shverts 6,5,6,5,5, sixth were Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova 5,6,5,6,6, and seventh position went to Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova.
In the solo presentations things shifted a little bit. Riccardo & Yulia took first position as well, however, few of the Latin finalists strayed far from the tried and trusted competitive routines. Mykhailo & Anastasia were second with a cat number perhaps they did what looked like a rumba, Manuel & Natalia also did a sexy rumba. We presume that is the best dance choice to “emote” your way to the top. Our favorite routine was the 70’s medley from Dmitry & Olena. It had a great sense of fun with a little more than just faces and emoting. They placed fourth. Andrey & Yulia were fifth, Roman & Alexandra were fifth. This routine had lots of potential, we liked the fact they got out of the box and added some interesting lift work. Seventh went to Artur & Anastasia who were in apache camouflage gear, but not sure why?
In the Amateur Ballroom Oskar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody were first in every dance. James Cuttler & Virginia Primeau-Poirier (Canada) were second in every dance and Ruslan Kalyzhnyy & Kseniya Sovenko were third in all. Form here down things got a little different in each dance. Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmazski were fourth overall but not in every dance 4,5,4,4,4; Fernando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvili were fifth overall 6,4,5,6,5 and Mikhail Vorobiev & Sonya Tsekanovsky were sixth 5,6,6,5,6.
Tonight also marked the end of the 2014/15 World Dancesport Series for the pro-ams and for the first time in the series’ history returning champions took the titles for Top Overall Student and Top Teacher and this was the duo of Lauren LaPointe and Louis Bar. Look out for an interview with Lauren and Louis in Dance Beat soon. Top Overall Male Student was Eric Leininger.
On Saturday during the day in Battelle Hall we saw the Junior Ballroom events and the day started with some very strong heats in the Gentlemen’s Ballroom divisions. Hans Stork & Anna Oblakova won the hotly contested Open Division.
The Junior Ballroom Grand Slam was won by Erik Linder & Rickey Taylor. Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Specter were 2nd and Christopher Kantorosinki & Anna Jonczyk were 3rd.
Sunday closes with the Open Scholarships in the Pro-Am Ballroom as well as all the Pro Rising Star divisions. Results were as follows: A Ballroom – 1. Shen/ Voskalchuk. 2. Rezai/Kiselev. 3. Miller/Kutepov. 4. Kuhn/Feraci. 5. Rudenco/Rudenco.
B Ballroom – 1. Chu/Stefano. 2. Moore/Doucet. 3. Zhao/Kutepov. 4. Paek/Zinshtein. 5. Insley/Reinbold. 6. Gao/Urbaniak. 7. Chang/Giannico
C Ballroom – 1. Bradford/Stefano. 2. Murrell/Voskalchuk. 3. Park/Korieva. 4. He/Zappia. 5. Viney/Urbaniak. 6. Lowery/Wiatrowski. 7. Knight/Abashkin.
Senior 1 – Walter/Pacchini. 2. Errico/Michalski. 3. Chen/Selli. 4. Lin/Feraci. 5. Sato/Issaev. 6. Richter/Veyrasset.
Pro Rising Star Winners were: Ustymovich/Santiago (Rhythm), Tarnavsky/Danilova (Latin), Zakrzewski/Ray (Smooth), Radvan/Kudelko (Ballroom).
The Battelle Hall
Friday night was the fist night at Battelle Hall and it was the turn for the Professional Ballroom and Rhythm to take to the floor along with the Professional Cabaret and the Amateur Latin. The Ballroom was missing some of the top guns such as Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova, Victor Fung & Anastasia and Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk to name a few, but as you will read, their not being there gave great opportunity to the up and coming professionals to make their stand and show us what they had.
US finalists, Artem Plkhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva, were the overall winners taking all dances with a huge majority of firsts in all five dances. Second went to Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egora 2,2,2,2,3, and third was awarded to Canada’s Anton Lebedev & Anna Borshch 3,3,3,3,2. Iaroslav Bieliei & Lilia Gladiuk placed fourth 4,4,4,4,5; Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were fifth 6,5,6,5,4 and Igor Mikushov & Ekaterina Romanshkina, sixth 5,6,5,6,6. All finals were privileged to perform a solo performance in the hall also. Usually the whole evening is filmed by the PBS cameras of Aida Moreno but this was not to be this year. However they still performed their “made for TV” solo routines and here things got a little different the “Barby & Ken” number by Alexander & Veronika won the hearts of the audience and that of the judges and they took the showdance prize home. Artem & Inna’s “blinded” foxtrot took second place. Many wondered about the blindfolds they both sported. Third was awarded to Iaroslav & Lilia’s tango, another favorite of the audience and of us as well. Fourth were Igor & Ekaterina, fifth went to Anton & Anna and sixth were Oscar & Lenka.
The numbers were fun to watch. Many wondered why the Dance Network was not filming this sensational evening since PBS was MIA. Speaking of MIA, Anna Demidova & Andrey Begunov were not competing either due to some of the flight cancelations coming out of the Northeast of the country.
The Professional Rhythm had all the top guns in the house but here there were very few surprises. Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova took first in all dances, leaving second position to Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova who placed second in all dances. Andrey & Natalie Parmonov were third in all the dances and Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Palakova were fourth. Fifth overall went to Shane & Shannon Jensen who did not get all fifths but had to share some sixths 6,6,5,5,5, and in sixth were Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi 5,5,6,6,6.
The Solo performances changed as well here in the Rhythm. Nazar & Irina were elevated to first position with a very interesting number, it was a “NASA” experience out of this world and back. Emmanuel & Liana took second, and Andrey & Natalie placed third. Shane & Shannon Jensen were awarded fourth to the surprise of a few of the attendees because this is usually their forte and Mikahil & Vanda took fifth, leaving sixth to Danas & Juki.
In the Amateur Latin, Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabrielle Sabler placed first overall but not in all dances 1,1,1,2,2, the Paso and the jive first place marks went to Tal Livshitz & Ilana Kesselman 2,2,2,1,1. Third went to Alexey & Vlada Karaulov and they took third in all dances. Nikolai Tarasov & Amanda Herrschaft took all fourths, Giulio Ferrante & Lidia Martinez placed fifth 5,5,5,5,6, and Vladislav Kvartin & Anna Maria Prokopovicova were sixth 6,6,6,6,5.
The Cabaret was originally scheduled as a semifinal, but ended up as a straight 6-couple final. The winners were Shane & Shannon Jensen who had a very busy night. They received 9 of the 11 first place marks. 2nd went to Mykhailo Azarov & Tetyana Makarenko. 3rd were Clyde Harris & Summer Black-Elkin (they received 1 of the missing 1st places). The other first place went to 4th placed Brandon Wayne Barker & Chelsea Cherie. 5th were Vicente Martinez & Megan Murphy and 6th Dmitriy Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn.
In the Regency Ballroom the day was about Latin and it ended with the Pro/Am Open Dancesport Series Championships. As in the Smooth we saw some changes in the top placements.
The Open A Latin went to Canada. Sabrine Strasser w/ Stanislav Kochergin was the winner with 1,2,2,1,1. This lady has been successful all year. Vera Xu w/ Jakub Zeglin was quite close behind in 2nd spot with 3,1,1,2,3. 3rd was the only gentleman in the final, Michael Roberts w/ Milana Pilner 2,3,3,3,3,2. Maria Ceva w/ Lyubomir Asenov was 4th 4,5,5,4,5; Zoe Antinou w/ Andre Strinadko was 5th 6,4,4,5,6; Yulia Rudenko w/ Andrei Rudenko was 6th 7,6,6,6,4 and Olekdandra Vereshchak w/ Evgeny Dyachenko was 7th 5,7,7,7,7.
We had a new winner in the Open B, Nathalie Belanger w/ Genya Bartashevich 2,1,1,1,2. This was a 3 to 2 decision over the favorite, Tina Broccole w/ Delyan Terziev who was runner-up this time with 1,2,2,2,1. Third went to Russia’s Marina Dzasokhova w/ Ivan Statsenko, 3,3,4,4,5. Christine Stanko w/ Jean Paul was 4th 4,4,5,3,3; Maria Seragou w/ Dmitrios Damalas was 5th 6,5,4,5,4 and Isabel Deich & Maxim Fromin from Canada was 6th 5,6,6,6,6.
Lorraine Peoples w/ Andrei Gavriline took the Open C, 1,1,1,1,2. Again, the favorite, Lisa Lowery w/ Radek Wiatrowski was the runner-up today 2,3,4,2,1. A new lady to us, Elle Jaszerenyi w/ Francis Lafreniere from Canada was 3rd with 3,2,2,5,6. Another past winner of this division, Beverly Moore w/ Alain Doucet, also from Canada, was 4th 4,5,3,3,5. Suzanne Saperstein w/ Ricky Bentzen was 5th 5,4,5,4,3 and Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan was 6th 6,6,6,6,4.
Susan Miller repeated her win from the US Championships and took the Senior I Open Latin, winning all 4 dances. 2nd was Deborah Leibow w/ Slava Gorbunov from Canada 3,2,2,3. 3rd Rita Mercier w/ Roman Malkhasyan 2,4,3,2; 4th Vera Gutierrez-Clellen w/ Danas Jaksevicious 4,3,4,4; 5th Ibis Wu w/ Mykhalio Bilopukhov 6,5,5,5 and 6th Elizabeth Apesos w/ Plamen Danailov 5,6,6,6.
In the Battelle Hall during the day there were some great junior and pre-teen events. The headline event was the Junior Latin Grand Slam that was danced over 3 rounds. Yusif Amsatr & Naomi Specktor were the winners. Krister Smits & Sophie Shvartsman were 2nd and Eric Linder & Ricky Taylor were 3rd.
Watch out for articles by Maria Hansen, Clive Phillips and Ilya Ifraimov on some of these events in Dance Beat soon.
It’s a Smooth Worlds!
Photos coming soon!
Yesterday night the major part of the time was about the World Pro/Am Dancesport Series in the Open Smooth divisions, the heats were huge and they did not disappoint.
The “A” division was a tough heat but in the end it went to Kat Wagner dancing with Sergey Barsukov, who won 3 dances and placed second in the foxtrot. We must point out here that the dances that Kat won were all with a huge majority of firsts and in the dance she lost she got very close with 6 first place marks out of 13 and the rest were seconds. The runner up and winner of the foxtrot was Yulia Rudenco with her father Andrei Rudenco, they got the majority of firsts in foxtrot, 7 to be precise, and 5 seconds and a fifth place mark that came from Ms. Pat Traymore and we must point out that Ms. Traymore awarded Kat fifth in every other dance. Third went to Pamela Bolling w/Ben Ermis, but here things got more disputed as you will see by these marks 4,3,4,3, it took a rule eleven to break the tie between her and Natalia Crandall w/Decho Kraev who placed 3,4,3,4. Fifth position went to Jennifer Juergensen w/Mazen Hamza 5,5,5,6, and sixth was Madison Stribling w/Mayo Alanen and they got 6,6,6,5.
A big upset happened in the “B” Smooth division. Last year’s World Pro/Am “B” Dancesport Series Champion, Joanne Kay Smith w/Sharon Levit, lost her title to Aiyesha Dey with Mayo Alanen. Joanne was only able to win the Waltz, Aiyesha took the tango, foxtrot and VW, so the tittle is back in US hands for now. Kim Hardin w/Billy King took third in every dance, and Selene Steelman w/Travis Tuft took fourth overall but not in every dance 5,5,4,4. Fifth position was quite murky with Amanda Levine placing fourth in two dances but sixth in the foxtrot and fifth in the VW, Amanda danced with Morten Jensen. Sixth was a little clearer and this went to Patricia Schneider w/Nick Cheremukhin with the scores of 6,6,5,6.
In the “C” division there was also a change of the guard. Lynn Shanahan dancing with Darius Mosteika won the World Series Smooth Championship overall, but her marks were quite varied 1,3,1,2, and we must point out that the only dance she won with a clear majority of firsts was the foxtrot. Lisa Lowery w/Radek Wiatrowski placed second by wining the VW, placing second in the waltz and tango and third in the foxtrot. We must add that in the tango Lisa took 5 first place marks from the winner but the rest of her marks in this dance were third to fifth place marks no seconds. A World and US Smooth Champion, Beverly Moore dancing with Alain Doucet, was awarded third position in this year’s World Dancesport Series and she also took a first from Lynn in the tango, but placed third in the waltzes and second in the foxtrot, enough to keep her in third position. Lynn Murrell w/Peter Perzhu was fourth in every dance, Sophia D’Angelo w/Ilya Reyzin was fifth overall with the scores of 5,6,5,5, and Sue Eldred w/Igor Ustymovych placed sixth 6,5,6,6.
The “C1” division was very contested, so much so that the judges brought 8 couples to this final, but in the end a new person was crowned and that was Patricia Mooney w/Travis Tuft. She won three of the dances and placed 3rd in the waltz. Seasoned player Elaine Sheresky w/Victor Russu took second in every dance and Sharon Sanchez w/Sergey Barsukov won the waltz but placed third in the other three dances giving her and overall third position. Fourth was Annette Van Ommeren w/Sergey Vasilyev 4,5,4,5, fifth went to David Schmit w/Michelle Hudson 6,4,5,4, sixth position was awarded to Cynthis Wolfsohn w/Alex Zagrean 5,6,6,6, Gloria Baker w/Nazar Norov took seventh 8,7,7,7, and Linda Gill w/Ruslan Meshkov was eight 7,8,8,8.
There was also a Senior three dance Smooth and this went to Linda Mason w/Danny Pugh 1,3,1, second was Julia Tse w/Ian Folker 2,1,2 and Doreen Marchck w/Youriy Pavlov was third 3,4,3.
This evening also marked the conclusion of the the 2 Open 9-Dance events. Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin was the winner in the B (winning all 9 dances). Natalie Crandell w/ Decho Kraev won the A.
Earlier in the evening there was the madness that is the World Dancesport Series Team Match. Once again Team Canada proved unbeatable, winning the match for the 3rd consecutive year.
We also saw the last of the Best of the Best divisions – the Gold. Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika was the winner out of 18 routines.
Today 2 ballrooms will be used for the major events of the day Battelle Hall, and the Regency ballroom and we never know what we are going to get, just like a box of chocolates!
Be sure to check out the livestream from Ohio Star Ball on www.DanceNetwork.TV
There is something about people that makes everything wonderful, you can have 5,000 entries but it’s not the same as having hundreds of people. Here at the Ohio Star Ball you do not have to go in the ballroom to get the excitement of competition, there are dance people everywhere about town. Dance Beat ventured for a meal or two outside the venue and you cold see by the working hair and makeup all around that they are here to dance and they are all here for the Ohio Star Ball. Just this early afternoon while we are writing this blog the Rising Star C Smooth started with 46 couples participating.
We had nearly two days of Rhythm competition at the Regency Ballroom and last night concluded with the World Pro/Am Dancesport Series Rhythm Championships.
The “A” category was very contested with great quality dancers all around but in the end it went to a very accomplished lady, Natalia Crandall dancing with Decho Kraev and she won four of the dances with a huge majority of firsts, the only questionable dance was the Bolero and she missed the majority by one first place mark. Natalia only had 6 first place marks total in this dance. The rest of the marks in the Bolero were second with the exception of Ms. Wendy Johnson who awarded her a third in this dance and in all the other dances. We were not that surprised with Ms. Johnson’s marks because the top three were excellent dancers in their own right with interesting, different styles and sure worth the mention in this same paragraph. Areanna Pulliam w/Joe Trovato who placed second in all dances and Matthew Shimizu w/Jessica Nicol who took all thirds. We must also point out that Matthew was the only gentleman in this final heat and he stood out from the first round of competition. Fourth in this “A” division went to Isabella Liberfore w/Charles Cunninghan, fifth was Pamela Bolling w/Ben Ermis, Georgie Anderson w/Eric Hudson was sixth, and seventh was awarded to Megan Strong w/Slash Sharan.
Speaking of gentlemen, the “B” division was won once again by Giovanni Fortezza dancing with Jolanta Mosteika and he won every dance with a huge majority of firsts in every dance. Giovanni in our opinion brings a balance to the table and although he has maintained this title for a number of years, we still continue to see huge improvements in his dancing. In the past we have critiqued the isolation in the upper body and this time we saw a step ahead in this criteria. We can easily see how Giovanni is able to maintain his Ohio title after a number of years, congratulations to him! Second position went to another excellent dance, Kathy Howell dancing with Martin Cawston, but here things got a little murkier. Kathy placed second in three dances and third in cha and rumba. Third went to a dancer that has tremendous enthusiasm and joy when she dances, Kia Malone dancing with Eddie Rivera. We could actually see her placing higher but we could see how some of the judges might have placed her lower. Her shoulder and neck line can sometimes be questionable and sacrificed for body rhythm. With a little more attention to this, this lady could easily see herself on the top podium. Fourth place went to Elena Cormio w/Edwin Torres, fifth place was awarded to Akiki Birch w/Joanthan Green and sixth went to Mytia McNeil w/Damir Karaman.
The “C” category was just as tough as the rest of the competitions if not tougher with some excellent ladies taking the lead. Here you will see by the marks how the judges must have been sweating it out when making their decisions. The overall winner, Sophia D’Angelo partnered by Ilya Reyzin won 2 dances, placed second in the rumba, mambo and was third in the cha cha. A competition cannot get more disputed than this. One of our favorite ladies of the night to watch out on the floor took second overall Lynn Magesen w/Vard Margaryan and here things got really Murky. She won the Cha and the Mambo, placed third in the rumba, bolero and second in the swing. Perhaps one of the favorites going into this competition placed third overall to the shock of many, Lisa Lowery w/Radek Wiatrowski took first in the rumba, second in the cha and bolero, third in mambo and fourth in the swing. As you can see your marks cannot get more varied than this. After the competition was over in some of the chatter we picked up in the gathering places some felt that perhaps the beautiful black dress might not help this lady, some said they mised her on the floor. We must say that in the first heats we too had a hard time locating her in a few dances. Fourth position went to Quin Bommelje w/Mikhail Vlasov 4,4,3,4,4, fifth place was Joan Goddard with Aaron Talbert 6,5,5,6,5, and Lucinda Poston with Jeremy Gatlin placed sixth 5,6,6,5,6.
The Senior 1 World Pro/Am Dancesport Series Championship also had some excellent ladies on the floor and here’s is how it came out, Quin Bommelje w/Mikhail Vlasov who placed fourth in the “C” division won the event and all four dances. Susan Miller w/Hayk Arshakian took all seconds, Lucinda Poston who placed sixth in the “C” division placed fourth in the cha and third in the other three dances. Leslie MaLeod & Melbin De La Cruz was fourth with the scores of 3,4,5,4, Karen Scott w/Vladimir Kosarev was fifth 5,5,4,6, and Sharon Sanchez w/Sergey Barsukov was sixth 6,6,6,5.
The Ohio Star Ball is also the culmination of the Best of the Best. Winners from competitions around the country compete in solo routines in three levels. Last night the Bronze and Silver divisions were decided. Both had over 20 entries. In the Bronze Akiko Birch w/ Jonathan Green was the winner. Mariana Luoff w/ Vladimir Kosarev was 2nd, Katy Tombaugh w/ Diego Semprum was 3rd. In the Silver, Kristi Nadvornik w/ Mayo Alanen was the winner. Lynn Magnesen w/ Vard Margaryan was 2nd and Charlene Procter w/ Michael Choi was 3rd.
The Pro/Am World Dancesport Series Championships in Smooth will take place later on tonight and we will be there keeping an eye for you so take a look and see how we saw it from our perspective.