The Professional Ballroom was excellent with some terrific candidates taking to the floor and giving us some excellent performances. Andrew Begunov & Anna Demidova took the King’s crown home by winning four dances and placing second in the waltz. Their worst judge in this competition was Alessia Manfredini from Italy who awarded them four fifths and a fourth in the waltz. The waltz went to Igor Mikushov & Ekaterina Romashkin and they placed second overall in the other four dances. We must point out that although Andrew & Anna got quite a number of first place marks, they lost the waltz to Igor & Ekaterina because they got the majority of seconds in this dance and a few firsts. Third in all dances was awarded to Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kolvacikova. Fourth were Sterban Radu & Cletova Xenia 4,4,4,4,5, and fifth went to Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley 5,5,5,5,4, the sixth place position went to a dancer that is back at the scene with a new partner, Lukas Chokuba & Angelina Oh and they took sixth in every dance.
The Professional Rhythm had its share of good and bad, the winners Ilya Andullin & Tara Barakov placed first in every dance and we felt that their performance was totally worth their position. Second was awarded to another very competent couple and that was Andrei Svirydzenka & Yuliya Zubava who placed second in every dance. We must point out that for us it was quite close, we would not have been surprised if they had won a few dances.
From third place down the Rhythm was quite green, leaving us all wanting more but not of the same. I think a number of judges might agree that any one of these couples could have been placed anywhere it just depends when you were looking at them. Unlike the Ballroom event, the range between second and the rest was not a small gap. Rostislav Toporski & Sphia Zazeneuve placed third overall and in every dance, Joe Hasson & Natalie Hokonen placed fourth, and fifth in every dance went to Alexander Konovalov & Ecaterina Liubenco, living sixth to Kennedy Barreto & Valerie Sisco.
The mix of incredibly good and bad was quite prominent in the Professional Showdance. The number by Pavel Cherdantsau & Svetlanta Rudkovskaya who won the event, was excellent. There was a lot of thought going into this number, the driving “car” sequences were very clever and totally worth of this position. We must point out that they won this event easily with a huge majority of firsts. Second overall was awarded to Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova and they did an “African” themed number. Our only observation is that it lacked originality for some of us who have witnessed somewhat similar numbers a time or two in our judging lifetime. Speaking of originality we most congratulate Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley who did a terrific ballroom number with what can only be described as an “S&M twist.” The other two numbers left lots to be desired. At times the music overpowered them and at times the dancing itself was not good enough for the interesting music itself. Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova placed fourth and Manuel Trillo & Anna Belyavtseva were sixth.
The Amateur Latin was a great event with very high energy. Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler were the easy winners taking every dance. Equally secure in the runners-up spot were Alexey & Vlada Karaulov and they were 2nd in all dances. From there down positions were less secure. 3rd were Alexey Sorokin & Sasha Nissengolts with 4,3,3,3,3. We liked them tonight. 4th fell to Malachi Osai & Annabella Waszkiewicz 5,4,5,4,4; 5th Steven Varshavsky & Karolina Loukhnikov 3,5,4,5,5; 6th Jose Zuguilanda & Adriana Chavez 6,6,6,6,6.
The largest event of the night was the Youth Latin. The winners were Jaryd Farcon & Kyla Dzhaniashvili and they won all dances. Denis Smotrov & Karina Mirochnik took 2nd, 2,2,2,2,3 and Anthony Mancuso & Rachel Privler were 3rd 3,3,3,3,2.
The highlight of the night was an incredible show by Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova plus the Brooklyn Dancesport Show Team. This fast-paced and very emotional performance encased 6 routines, both solos and group numbers. Most of the numbers were new to us and they were certainly some of the most moving and entertaining numbers of this type that we have seen.
The King’s Ball!
There is only one King’s Ball and that is at the Meadow Lands, NJ, only a few miles from New York City, but away from the high prices and the congestion the Big Apple brings. Last night we had two terrific professional events, both well attended and with excellent quality, the professional Smooth and Latin.
In the Professional Smooth US second in command, Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzill won every dance with a majority of firsts. They only got three third place marks and they were from Andrew Byshchik. Second place in every dance went to Jean Paul & Lana Rossi, who took some of the firsts away from Mazen & Izabella but who also managed to get three fifth place marks and this came from Diana McDonald. Third overall were Michael Choi & Erin Marie, fourth were Ilya Abdullin & Tara Barakov, fifth went to Leo Mora & Christina Garzed and sixth were Christian Lange & Nevena Urosevic.
The Professional Latin had a bit more of a shakeup. Up and coming Dmitri & Olena Nikishkin lost their first place to newcomers in this professional field, Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasia Danilova in a three/two decision. Dmitri & Olena’s marks were 2,2,1,1,2, and Artur & Anastasia’s marks were 1,1,2,2,1. There was also a three/two decision for third and fourth position. Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasov were third 3,4,4,3,3 and Daniel Juvet & Zusana Sykorova were fourth 4,3,3,4,4. Fifth went to Vesko Matakov & Andrea Mariscal and they took fifth in all dances and sixth were Andre Strinadko & Ching Kao.
The open Amateur was a small group but with good content. Vadym Negrebetskyi & Bettina Hatfield from England placed first in all dances, Brandon Buchthal & Natasha Barrera were second in all dances and third went to Stephen Nadeau & Jessica Smith.
The Youth was also an excellent addition to this night at the King’s Ball, with an excellent final and here Denis Smotrov & Karina Mirochnik placed first overall 1,1,2,1,1. Second went to Gregory Rybakov & Diana Byk 3,2,1,2,3, and third were Jaryd Farcon & Kyla Dzhanishvili 4,3,3,3,2. After this heat we were left with an incredible feeling that Ballroom dancing will have a wonderful future here in the USA and specifically in the Northeast of the country.