Emerald Ball 2021

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Emerald Ball 2021

Change is known to be the only constant in the universe and our Ballroom world is no exception, as it is living through a new awakening resulting from the pandemic effects.

The Emerald Ball Dancesport Championships this year was held at a new venue in Dallas, Texas, leaving LA, its home base for over three decades. For the sake of symbolism, Emerald is known to be the abundance crystal, with its green color relating to renewal and growth, and it is also known for helping one to make the right decisions. Well, for the organizers of one of the biggest and most anticipated competitions in the US, Wayne and Donna Eng, the decision to move it to Texas for this year, was an absolute success. The beautiful grand ballroom allowed space to run an event of this size while following all possible health guidelines.

The weekend (well - actually the whole week) was filled with well-attended sessions featuring a high level of dancing, ranging from pro-ams to professionals, most starting with quarter finals. Everyone was just thrilled to be back on the floor, and the motivation and passion for the performed art was so apparent that it made our job as adjudicators very difficult. While it was exciting to witness the return of many, rejuvenated with new energy, it was also fascinating watching the new partnerships and the high level of performances. This escalated the challenge for the judges, making it tough to recall from the first rounds on.

It’s very inspirational to be part of “change” or at least to observe it. A lot of times, we are so busy with and focused on whatever goals and tasks we have at hand that we lose our awareness of our surroundings. We chase for the sake of chasing and to not be left behind, so that we lose the sight of why we started it all in the first place. Despite the negative effects of this pandemic, there was a beauty within it as well, allowing us, our glamorous world of dance, to re- evaluate what truly matters. The professional events were a perfect example of this reappraisal, every one packed with all the top couples present, commencing with very strong quarterfinals or first rounds. The marks for most couples in the finals, covered the full range, making the competition results perhaps more authentic and objective without being biased by preconceived expectation. It was a fascinating feeling to sense yet again that anyone who performed over the weekend had an equal chance of winning based on their performance, that the past didn’t always predict the future, and that change could happen at any unexpected moment. Results were as follows:

1. Iaroslav & Liliia Bieliei 1,1,1,1,1
2. Rudy Homm & Katia Kanevskaya 2,2,2,2,2
3. Alexander & Veronica Voscalchuk 3,3,3,3,4
4. Valeriu Ursache & Liana Bakhtiarova 4,4,4,4,3
5. Andres & Veronika End 5,6,5,5,5T
6. Gianni Caliandro & Ariana Esposito 6,5,6,6,5T

1. Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir 1,1,2,1,2
2. Mykhailo Azarov & Anastasia Shchypilina 2,2,1,2,1
3. Francesco & Sabrina Bertini 3,3,3,4,3
4. Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastas Danilova 4,4,4,3,5
5. Sasha Altukhov & Cheyenne Murillo 5,5,5,5,4
6. Ivan Kudashev & Ksusha 6,6,6,6,6
7. Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova 7,7,7,7,7
8. Nikolai Tarasov & Sarah Nolan 8,8,8,8,8

1. Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija 1,1T,2,1
2. Roman Malkhasyan & Galina Detkina 2,1T,1,2
3. Travis & Jaimee Tuft 3,3,3,3
4. Aleksandar Vukosavljevic & Alexandra Smirnova 4,5,4,5
5. Oleksiy Pigotskyy & Anastasia Zhuchenko 6,4,5,4
6. Nikolai & Sarika Pilipenchuk 5,6,6,6

1. Andre & Natalie Paramonov 1,1,1,1,1
2. Danas Jaksevicius & Yuki Haraguchi 2,2,3,2,4 (R11)
3. Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin 3,3,2,3,2 (R11)
4. Andrew Escolme & Amy Baker 4,4,4,4,5
5. Kevin Ubillus & Milagros Lareto 5,6,5,6,3
6. Ryan & Danelle Lockhart 6,5,6,5,6

  • Report by:: Anna Shahbazyan
  • Photos by:: Charles Ryder Photography

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