Dance Beat Team

Dance Beat Team

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All 1’s for Nazar & Irina on Last Night!

On the last night Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova won the Pro Rhythm and also the overall prize in the Star Rhythm Tour, round 4.

10 for 10!

Last night at the WDC World 10-Dance Championship, held at the Grand Nationals, new World Champions were crowned, and it was Nikolay Govorov & Eugeniya Tolstaya from Russia and they won all 10 dances.

Pro Ballroom & Amateur Latin Take the Lead

Both danced over 3 rounds, the Pro Ballroom and Amateur Latin were the feature events at the San Francisco Autumn Classic last night.

A Smooth Night at OCDC!

The last night of the Orange County Dancesport Challenge went quite smoothly with only two professional events, the Smooth and Latin and just a handful of other competitions. When a competition ends on a Sunday it is nice to have a strong but quick easy finish so locals can go home and everyone can just relax and finish at a reasonable hour to prepare for their next day journey. This for us was a perfect finish to a fun weekend of dance competition.

No Surprises!  Pro Heats Great!

Yesterday we said we were surprised at the quality of the Pro RS divisions, so today it was no surprise that the Open Pro heats were so good.  3 had semifinals.


The Rhythm was dominated by the local Fred Astaire studios as their pros took the 1st 3 places.  Ilya Velednitskiy & Mariya Ilchenko won all 5 dances, 3 of them with the majority of 1st places.  We thought they gave the best overall performance without really standing way above the field.  Judge Boriana Deltcheva favored them the least scoring them 5,6,6,6,6.  2nd went to the tall Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshakka 2,2,2,2,4.  They did have the majority of ‘2nd or better’ scores in 4 dances.  Rounding out the FADS trifecta were Aaron & Iryna DeSoto with 3,3,3,4,2.  The top 3 from the RS rounded out the final and finished in the same order.  Erwin & Iwona Rybczynski 4,4,4,3,3;  Jonathan Green & Rachel Grumblatt 5,5,6,6,5;  Roman Malkhasyan & Viktoriya Kleyman 6,6,5,5,6.


The hCHM15-mazenighest ranking couple of the competition, Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundzil had an easy time winning the Smooth and received 10 out of 11 first places in all dances.  Only judge, Vito Bertucci demurred.  2nd in all dances went to Michael Choi & Erin Marie who continue to explore new avenues in this style.  3rd in all dances went to Adrian & Hanna Dydynsky.  Then it was over to the Rising Star couples from the day before but with a change in order.  This time Mykyta & Anna moved up a place, taking 4th tonight with 5,5,4,4.  We felt that their dancing was consistent with their performance the night before.  With 4,4,6,5, Roman & Viktoriya were one place lower in 5th place.  We thought their best round was the semifinal, but in the final they seemed a little stressed.  Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes were 6th, 6,6,7,6 and closing the final were Jimmy Mulligan & Dani Atkins  The scores at the lower end of this final were very mixed.


The CHM15-HaykLatin was also a semifinal.  Winning tonight were Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan.  They had the majority of 1st places in all 5 dances and were very strong tonight.  2nd with 2,3,2,3,2, were the RS winners Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova in a close race with Sergey & Dasha Chislov, 3,2,3,2,3.  We felt they were very strong tonight and could have seen them higher placed.  4th went to Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko 4,4,4,5,4;  5th to Andre Strinadko & Ching Kao 5,5,5,4,5 and 6th to Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko

The only straigCHM15-Martinht final was the Ballroom and the results mirrored the RS with the exception of the winners who did not enter the RS and this was Martin & Liene Reinbold.  We thought they were well clear but they did not receive every 1st place although they did have the majority in all dances.  The closest scored was tango that they won by 6 to 5.  2nd in all were Kharyton & Anastasiya, 3rd in all Dmitry & Cristina Turcan and 4th in all Dymytrii Gonchorov & Tatyana Lutsenko.

Nighttime highlights in the pro-am fields were the A and B Open Latin Scholarships.  The A went to a very accomplished lady who also had the top solo score of the competition, Masha Gasychenko w/ Max Kholostoy 1,1,1,1,1.  2nd was Jacqueline Steinbecher w/ Andrzej Przybyl 3,3,2,2,2 and 3rd Kubak Mateusz w/ Dasha Chislova 2,2,3,3,3.


In the Open B, Cindy Mishlove w/ Vartan Zakhariants was the winner, 1,1,2,1,1.  2nd was Joanmarie Vanaski w/ Andrzej Przybyl 2,2,1,2,3 and 3rd Carrie Steinmetz w/ Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine 3,3,3,3,2.

The Open B Smooth was also strong and this was won Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 1,1,1,1.  2nd was Emily Kirschbaum w/ Shapiachan Sevrin 2,2,2,2 and 3rd Colette Nolin w/ Atanas Pavlov 3,3,3,3.


Another feature of the night was a show, interspersed with the competitions, by Dancing With The Stars alumni, Alec Mazo & Edyta Sliwinska.

The ballroom was full for the whole night and there was great atmosphere.  That atmosphere continues today for the Junior Matinee session.

Strong RS Divisions at Harvest Moon

The Professional Rising Star divisions were surprisingly strong here at Chicago Harvest Moon Ball last night.  The Rhythm was a semifinal and the others finals.


The Rhythm was also possibly the toughest to judge as we felt there were 3 couples vying for that top spot.  In the end, experience paid off and Erwin & Iwona Rybczynski were the winners 1,1,2,1,1.  The winners of the swing, Jonathan Green & Rachel Grumblatt were 2nd overall 2,2,1,2,2.  They have improved greatly since we last saw them.  A new partnership, Roman Malkhasyan & Viktorija Kleyman, were 3rd in all dances, but we certainly saw them as part of this mix for 1st place.


3 couples shared the 1st places in the Smooth, a 7-couple final.  In the end, Roman & Viktorija moved up a notch to 1st overall with 2,1,1,2.  We thought they had the best movement around the floor.  Another 9-dance couple (although they did not enter the RS Rhythm) were the runners-up, Mykyta Serdyuk & Anna Krasnoshapka, 1,2,2,3.  3rd were Igor Afonkin & Rachel Mercedes 3,3,3,1.


The RS Latin was also a 7-couple final.  For us the easy winners were Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova and they did win all dances.  They have been having considerable success since leaving the amateur ranks last month.  They also won the Showdance earlier in the evening.  2nd went to 10-dancers, Kharyton & Anastasiya Khomenko 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Vlad Astafiev & Jenya Didenko.  We thought Vlad & Jenya danced well last night and could have taken some of those 2nd places.

KharyCHM15-RSBallton & Anastasiya were the winners in the Ballroom, winning all 5 dances.  2nd in all five were Dmitry & Cristina Turcan and 3rd in all Dymytrii Gornchorov & Tatyana Lutsenko.

The pro-ams competed in 2 styles yesterday, Rhythm and Ballroom.  The best 2 open scholarships of the day came in the B divisions.

In the Ballroom Brynda Insley w/ Martin Reinbold was the winner 1,1,1,2,1.  2nd went to Suki Kramer w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 2,2,2,1,2 and 3rd to Sherry Borchelt w/ Andrea Stefano 3,3,3,3,3.


In the Open B Rhythm Akiko Birch w/ Jonathan Green was the winner 1,1,1,1,1.  2nd went to Dana Voigt w/ Randy Wilson 2,3,3,2,2 and 3rd to Maria Matulainiec w/ Gunnar Sverrisson 3,2,2,3,3.



BBC15-jkA Legendary Celebration!

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Saturday was the official day for the “Legendary Celebration,” for about two hours the nearly 6,000 (5,973 to be exact) entry competition came to a complete stop to celebrate one of America’s greats, Mr. John Kimmins. At approximately 7:30PM the dinner began with a number of VIP’s from the dance industry present. Before the award was presented we were treated to two very different presentations, 10 year old classical guitarist Penelope Shvarts treated us to two magnificent scores of music, then to conclude the entertainment 11 year old “Pole Fitness Champion” Tori Darling, presented us with some life threating moves on the fitness pole.


The video presentation began with the bloopers that people made while congratulating John in a video presentation, then Brian McDonald, President of the NDCA, said a few words leading to the video where everyone spoke about John and his kindness, generosity and full dedication to ballroom dance and its dancers. The 10 minute video left not a single eye dry, even the gentleman himself contributed a tear or two, and it concluded with the President of the NDCA presenting the award to this Icon.


The Lifetime Achivement award was followed by a full night of competition. The most prominent of all this night was the Professional Ballroom with the featured third stop of the “Star Ballroom Tour.” The five dance group competition was won by Voskalchuk & Egorova who won the waltz with the majority of firsts but had to rely on second or better for the other four dances. Their worst marks on this group competition came from Meryem Pearson from Canada who though they should be last in every dance (6), they also received a sixth place from Margaret Redmond from England in the Quickstep. Second overall in this five-dance event went to Lebedev & Borshch and they placed 3,3,2,2,2, leaving third place to Avdeev & Blimova 2,2,3,3,4.


Fourth in this very exiting Professional Ballroom competition were Begunov & Demidova 4,4,4,5,3, fifth went to Kutepov & Sinitsa 5,5,5,4,6, and in sixth position were Zinshtein & Izmaylova.

OBBC15-EggletonCupnce the professional final was decided and the “Peter Eggleton” cup awarded, it was time for the solo dance portion of the Star Dance Tour. The judges were all picked at random and funnily enough the Ballroom Icon and our guest of honor Mr. John Kimmins was selected as one of the 9 judges. Here too the highest score went to Voskalchuk & Egora with a 94.14 overall. We must point out that judge 16 Innessa Strelnikova from Canada awarded them 100 for their solo routine, something rare in professional scoring. This 94.14 along with their 30 points awarded for winning all dances in the group competiion and 17.5 points from the audience put them over the top on this leg of the tour with a whamming 141.64 points overall.

Second best score of the night for the solo number was awarded to Avdeev & Blinova and it was an 89.29, they too had great audience appeal and they managed a 15.5 score from the audience, their total including their 21 points earned in the group competition gave them a second place finish on this third leg of the tour with 125.79 going toward the tour. Third in the tour portion went to a brand new couple in this race, Lebedev & Borshch from Canada who presented a “matrix” type of routine and it got the third highest score 85.29, they had very little audience appeal with only 3 points being returned by the audience but they did come into the solo portion with 23 points from the group competition, giving them a total of 111.29 for this third leg of the tour.


Fourth on this leg of the tour was awarded to Begunov & Demidova with a 98.29, fifth went to Kutepov & Sinitsa with 86.71 points total, sixth was Zinshtein & Izmaylova with an 80.07 overall, leving the audience “wild card” (the couple the audience brought back with their votes) Colac & Milotti in seventh with a 78.86 overall.

It is interesting to see how much effort the couples are putting into this.  You can see who is in the lead and how the race is going at


ThBBC15-shandore Professional Rhythm ran side by side with the Ballroom event and here Shtefil & Barsukov took the prize home by winning three dances and placing second in the cha cha and rumba. Evgamukov & Angelone placed second overall but won the Cha and Rumba, they took second in the other three dances. Third went to Svirydzenka & Zubova 4,3,3,3,3, fourth were Abdullin & Barakov 3,4,4,4,4, fifth was awarded to Edouard & Spotar and sixth went to Toporski & Cazeneuve.

The Amateur Latin also took place this same evening and here Livshitz & Keselman took first overall but placed second in the samba. First in the samba and second in the other four dances went to Kutuzovs & Shalvarova from Canada, leaving third in all dances to Garber & Liza. Fourth was Osai & Waszkiewicz, fifth in all dances went to Varshavsky & Ioukhnikov, sixth in all was Hacke & Hermanova.


ThBBC15-BBalle Ballroom Pro/Am Scholarships were run also this same day of competition and the winner of the “A” was Paek w/ Zinshtein, second went to Yeh w/Levedev and third was awarded to Liu/w Foster. The “B” went to Paek/w Zinshtein again, second was awarded to Kisler/Gorolevici and third with a tie broken by (R10) went to Sha w/Gabor, fourth with that (R10) decision was awarded to Matsumoto w/Pali. In the “C” Ballroom Gorder w/Gorolevici took first in all dances, second was Neyshtadt w/Issaev and third went to Johnson w/Shelkoviy. The winner of the “C1” was Sato w/Issaev, second was awarded to Glasoe w/Gorolevici and third went to Hung w/Avdeev.

In the PBBC15-BSmoothro/Am Smooth scholarships the “A” weny to Gibber w/Talbert, second in this heat was Jensik w/Hannigan and third was Rico w/Jensen. In the “B” Smith w/Levit were the winners, second was Kennedy w/Afonkin, and third was Coltharp w/Chekhova. The “C” went to Neyshtadt w/Pali, second was Zukovsky w/Hannigan. The “C1” went to Springer w/Pali, second was awarded to Hodges w/Fortuna.

Special prizes were awarded to the winners of the Best of the Best Bronze in the Smooth and Ballroom.  In addition to representing BBC & C at Ohio Star Ball, the two winners also received a package for themselves and their teachers to the Daikin Champions Ball in Moscow, April 2016.  Chris Smith won the Smooth and Anna Logan, the Ballroom.

AnoBBC15-Allather special event was the open Viennese Waltz competition in American Style and Ballroom.  The winner of each category was slated to dance off for the grand prize – a package for the student and teacher to attend the Amazing Vienna competition in Vienna, Austria.  However, there was no dance off because the same lady, Alla Neystadt won both styles and so the trip to Vienna is hers.  The proceeds to from this competition went to Dance For The Cure.

The BBC&C a legendary celebration, concluded with a “Duck Tour” on Sunday and a dinner at Del Friscos by the bay to conclude the “Banned In Boston” package. We were all treated to a beautiful eclipse of the moon all I’m sure planed by the BBC&C staff - a perfect finish to a very successful weekend of dance and a fantastic celebration of an Icon, a friend, a coach and the one person that has given his entire devotion and life to our industry - Mr. John Kimmins.


CBBC15-ballroomlassic Lines at BBC & C

The glamorous ballroom of the Boston Park Plaza played host to two interesting Open Professional divisions last night.

US FBBC15-yegorinalists, Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova, were the easy winners of the Open Smooth, winning all dances.  They had perfect 11 first places in the foxtrot and lost only 1 first in the waltz and tango and 2 in the VW.  Jean Paul & Lana Rossi were also secure in 2nd spot with the majority of 2nd or better scores in all dances and they took the first places not awarded to Yegor & Aleksandra.  Dave Hannigan & Maggie Toth were 3rd in all dances.  Their best scored dance was VW where they took 4 second placements.  Gabor Seres & Rebecca Gentry were 4th 4,5,5,4; Aaron Talbert & Angela Maughan were 5th 6,4,4,5 and Christopher & Jenny Sochnacki were 6th 5,6,6,6.



The Open Latin was a much closer fought battle with 3 couples sharing most of the 1st placements.  With the overall score of 1,2,1,1,2, Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova were the winners.  This couple has recently moved from the Amateur division and as often happens, seem to have re-invented themselves as professionals.  It’s working great for them.  They had the majority of 1st places in rumba and paso.  Runners-up with 2,1,2,2,1, were Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets.  They had the majority of 1st places in jive.  Roman Italyankin & Aleksandra Bokova were 3rd 3,3,3,4,4.  They started strongly from the judges’ perspective tying Dmitry & Olena for 1st places in the cha cha.  Another other couple to take some 1st places were Hayk Balasanyan & Emilia Poghosyan and overall they were 4th with 4,4,4,3,3.  Another couple to recently move into the professional division are Nikita Malakov & Nadezda Vlasova and they were 5th in all dances although they did pick up 2 first places in samba.  Closing this interesting final were Jake Davies & Alyona Kalinina 6,6,6,6,6.


The Amateur Ballroom provided a 5-couple final.  The winners in all dances were Fernando Lareu & Nicole Palagashvili.  With 2,3,2,2,3, Brandon Buchthal & Natasha Barrera were the runners-up and gave the strongest pBBC15-RSRhytherformance we have seen from them.  3rd were Zhiwei Zhang & Ersi Nie 3,2,3,3,2.  Xingmin & Katerina Lu were 4th in all dances and had also won the Senior I earlier in the evening.  5th were Peter Westlake & Sehyun Oh 5,5,5,5,6 and 6th Davis  Perchuk & Tatiana Ratush 6,6,6,6,5.

The evening session began with Rising Star Divisions.  In the Rhythm  Jean Paul & Lana Rossi won all 5 dances.  2nd in all were Ilya Abullin & Tara Barakov and 3rd were Rotislav Toporski & Sophie Cazeneuve 5,3,4,3,6.

IBBC15-RSBalln the RS Ballroom Yuriy & Oxana Shelkoviy won all dances.  2nd were Manuel Ttruillo & Anna Belyavtseva 3,3,2,2,2 and Nenad Pavlovic & Anastasia Barhatova were 3rd 2,2,3,3,3..

The pro-ams competed in 2 styles – Rhythm & Latin.  In both styles the closed bronze scholarships were Best of the Best divisions qualifying couples to compete at Ohio Star Ball reBBC15-BOBLatpresenting BBC & C.  The winner in the Latin also won a package to the Daikin Champions Ball in Moscow 2016 and this was Holly Sturgeon w/ Eric Pali  The winner in the Rhythm, Sam Smith w/ Dave Hannigan, won a package to the Caribbean Dancesport 2015.

In the OpeBBC15-ALatn A Latin Scholarship the winner was Shelly Mechkausk w/ Tomas Shiloshvili 1,1,2,3,1.   In a Rule 11 tiebreak, Nguyen w/ Helle Rusholt was 2nd 3,2,3,1,2 and Nicole Pierzchalski w/ Vlad Astafiev was 3rd 2,3,1,2,3.

Khong Pham w/ Jessie Mineau won the Open B Latin 1,1,1,2,2.  Vanessa DiCicco w/ Vlad Astafiev was 2nd 3,3,2,1,1 and Diana Wong w/ Hayk Balasanyan was 3rd 2,2,3,3,3.

Lorraine Peoples w/ Andrei Gavriline won the Open C Divisions 1,1,1,1,1;  Pasquale Digiorgio w/ Tatiana Banko was 2nd 2,2,2,2,2 and Patti Wilson w/ Marc Nocera was 3rd 3,3,3,3,3.

The C1 was won by 1,1,1,1.  2nd was Nickie Luftig w/ Ranko Bogosavac 2,2,2,2 and 3rd Margie Juanillo w/ Matt Hauer 3,3,3,3.

GweBBC15-BRhythn Bourque w/ Aaron Talbert won the Open B Rhythm placing 3,1,1,2,1.  Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika was the runner-up, 2,3,3,2,1 and Sophia D’Angelo w/ Ilya Reyzin was 3rd 2,2,2,3,3.

In the Open C Division Sophia w/ Ilya moved up to 1st, placing 1,2,1,2,1.  2nd was Joan Goddard w/ Aaron Talberts 2,1,2,1,2 and Maria MatulaStar-logo-BBCniec w/ Gunnar Sverrisson was 3rd in all dances.

Be sure to tune in tonight for the 3rd leg of the Star Ballroom Tour, it will be broadcasting live here on our website and you can vote for your favorite solo and for the wildcard couple.  Click here to view the livestream and cast your vote starting at about 9:00 PM, EST.

LBBC15-hideaway1ife! It’s a Hideaway!

What good is sitting all alone in your room, come dance the night away. Life is a “hideaway” old chum, don’t waste your night away. Come see the dance, come taste the wine, tip the pole dancer, and cheer the drag… your host Didio Barrera was sultry, we don’t mean to brag.

Last night at the BBC&C, festivities got started with the nightclub session at “Didio’s Hideaway.” Two dramatic icons and host/owner of the competition Didio Barrera greeted the attendees at the door for pictures, cocktails and a cheer. The intimate setting of the basement of the Park Plaza was an ideal venue for a full night of Cabaret. The nightclub dances were presented in the best light imaginable with many onlookers and personalities from other styles in attendance cheering everyone on.

The nBBC15-LaKiaight began with a performance by “LaKia”, a 6’9” “glamazon” who was what every “woman” could ever be as she interpreted the Whitney Houston hit “I’m Every Woman,” her crown alone rivaled the Statue of Liberty. We are sure that many of the guests as they arrived felt that freedom feeling of arriving at Ellis Island. Guests stayed to the very end when the nightclub scholarships got under way and the Best of the Best was selected.

The BBC15-Pole“Best of the Best” in our nightclub division was a potpourri of different styles and age categories. The C1, was represented by Margie Juanillo/w Matt Hauer who won all three dances in her challenge, leaving second place to Carole Walters/w Ilia Volokh, third was Sue McQuay/w Marcio Desouza and fourth was awarded to Martin Rooney/w Maggie Toth.

The A Caribbean Mixe Challenge was represented by Paula Delcore/w Tibor Kerekes, and in the same division second place went to Sam Smith/w Dave Hannigan.

In the B division of the Caribbean Mix Challenge, the winner was Meg Baba/w Dave Hannigan, second was awarded to Susan Underwood/w Tibor Kerekes and third went to Matt Foley/w Maggie Toth.

ThisBBC15-BestCarib year’s Caribbean Challenge Best of the Best will represent the BBC&C at the Ohio Star Ball and will also receive a full package to the Daking Championships in Moscow, Russia 2016. The winners of the last challenge mentioned, competed head to head and in the end there was an impossible tie to break between Maggie Juanillo and Meg Baba. After a dual challenge between the two, Meg Baba/w Dave Hannigan took the honors and was awarded the prizes.

Didio used to know a girl named Elsie, she was not what you would call a blushing flower, as a matter of fact she rented by “the-hour”. The day she died the neighbors came to snicker “well, that’s what comes from too much pills and liquor.” But when Didio saw her laid out like a queen, she was the happiest …corpse…he’s ever seen.

He thinks of Elsie to this very day, and remember how she turned to him and said. “what good is sitting all alone in your room? Come hear the music play and dance your night away. Life is a hideaway old chum. Come to Didio’s Hideaway…”


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We’re Spreading it!  The Aloha!

The fabulous Hawai’I Star Ball continued yesterday with all the pro-am Ballroom heats and wound its way on a tropical breeze to a fabulous dinner with a 7-piece band and on to the professional events and half of great show by Emmanuel Pierre Antoine & Liana Churilova.  They will dance the second half tonight.

The weather was kind and we jealously noted some natural tans on many of the dancers – no smelly, fake tan required here in Hawai’i!

IvaHI15-Rhythn Dishliev & Marietta Nedyalkova won the Pro Rhythm over Riccardo Papi & Sabina Moretti – it was a 3 to 2 dance decision with Riccardo & Sabrina winning cha and swing.

In the BallrooHI15-Ballroomm, Oscar Pedrinelli & Lenka Kovalcikova were the winners.

In an interesting happening the same gentleman student placed 1st and 2nd in the top Student Solo competition between the highest scoring solos of the week.  Mark Jason won with a Fred Astaire routine partnered by Kyle Spinder and placed 2nd with a Charlie Chaplin routine partnered by Allie Spinder.


Tonight the Hawai’I Star Ball concludes with the Pro Latin and Smooth – plus more show from Emmanuel & Liana and other surprise performances.

AHI15-David Little Alvarez Aloha!

Here we are again at the Hawai’I Star Ball held in the beautiful Shearton Waikiki ad under the direction for the 2nd year of David Alvarez & John Fishpaw.  Unusually the event runs midweek – Monday – Thursday – although many dancers take advantage of being in Hawai’I and stay extra time in these delightful islands.

Monday begins with a starlight luau and traditional Polynesian show of dance and music.  Everybody had a good time and we also got to enjoy judge, Dan Rutherford’s, interpretation of the Hula.


The next day everyone was ready for competition and there was a full day of pro-am dancing in 2 styles, Smooth and Latin.

In the evening package holders enjoyed a great dinner in the ballroom, the Hawai’I Star Ball still serves banquet style food every night.  A jazz ensemble played during dinner for listening and dancing.

DinHI15-RSner was followed by professional competition as the rising stars performed all 4 styles.  The big winners were Jason Rivers & Elisa Seja who won both the Ballroom and Smooth.  Local dancers, Jacob Himato & Jessica Dzienkowski won the Rhythm and Vasily Golovin & Anastasia Banderovskaya won the Latin.

It is great to see a sizeable contingent of dancers from New Zealand attending – pro-am, amateur and one professional couple.

Stay tuned for more!

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All About the Latin!

Click here for video by SuperShag

CO Star-small

YeTO15-Voscovosterday at the Toronto Open was all about the Latin, during the day there was a few hours dedicated to Smooth but the majority of the time was dedicated to Junior Amateur Latin events as well as Pro/am Latin. There was four feature events for the closing evening of the competition and two of them were Latin events, this is easy to understand since a big force behind the competition team is the WDC World Professional Latin finalists, Mauricio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite, Canadian National Champions, who delighted the audience as well with a three dance presentation.

ProLatin lineup

TTO15-Studeni2he Professional Latin was the best of all the feature events and it was a seven couple final. The Toronto Open Professional Latin Cup wen to Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko who easily took first in all dances.  We must add that this was a delightful couple to watch.  Anna is so steady on her feet and the maturity in their performance is close to world class.  I would not be surprised to see this couple soon make the world ranks in many major events around the world. Second overall went to Ilya Maletin & Polina Maier and they easily placed second in every dance.  Third was awarded to Maxim Fomin & Alina Litvak and they placed fourth in the cha and third in the other four dances.

The ProfesCarlos Zapatasional Showdance closed the competition and although it was only two couples it was the perfect closing to a terrific weekend of dance. World Cabaret sensation Carlos Zapata & Dora Yaneva treated us to their “Intergalactic war dance” and it was great to have a front seat.  These two managed to do the impossible when it comes to lift work and as we discussed with them during the after party, their routine does not let up.  It’s about 5 packed minutes of nonstop thrills and lifts that made a front seat attendant feel as if you are on a roller coaster. The other entry who also placed second overall were Dmitriy Kuamen & Andrea Lynn.  Their routine was excellent with some very difficult lifts, but they could not come close to Carlos & Dora on this night, their routine was not strong enough to come near them.

The Under 21 Latin run earlier in the evening was also terrific here we saw some very promising talent.  Arturs Voicehovics & Albina Gorbachevskaya placed first in every dance but for us once again it was a close call between first and second. Arturs & Albina had the power and physical attraction that Latin requires but for us Vladislav Kvartin & Anna Prokodovicova had a very interesting look and unique interpretation. For us who have been here for so long we value anything different and creative and this couple have what it would take to make this a reality. Third in this excellent heat was awarded to Alex Maslanka & Sharon Tudorovsky 5,3,4,3,4.

Youth Latin

TheSmooth lineup Professional Smooth was the weakest link at the closing of the Toronto Open, and here the competition was between three well accomplished couples only. Our favorite of the three was awarded third place in all dances Christopher & Jenny Sochnacki, for us Christopher & Jenny were the only ones that showed any characteristics of what Smooth dancing should look like.  Yes, as they say here in the USA, “they were not the sharpest tools in the shed” but at least they were doing something (don’t mean to be rude) that resembled a style that I’m used to seeing here in the USA and not just bad standard that you must let go to be balanced with some tumbles and rumbles. For me the two top couples were doing Standard with some open movements but I suppose this was the flavor of the night and so Viktor Tkachenko & Yulia Lukina placed first in all dances and Dmitry Kuzmenko & Andrea Lynn placed second.

In conclusion I thought the Toronto Open was terrific.  It is great to see such an entrepreneur couple taking the reigns on a competition that as I said will one day rival every major event in Canada.

Young but Promising!

The Toronto Open Dance Championships is young in years in fact we attended the first ever three years ago and it is impressive how this one-day event three years ago, has now turned into a two-day event, and it looks like soon enough we will close our eyes and it will be one of Canada’s premiere events to go to.

Yesterday the beautiful ballroom of the Hilton Garden Inn, in Toronto, Vaugham was packed to capacity through the day featuring the pro/am Rhythm and Smooth categories.  In the evening we had the seniors in the Latin and Standard (Ballroom) as well as the feature events the Professional Rhythm, Ballroom and what we thought to be the best, the Amateur Open Latin Championship.

ThTO15-Adam  Morganae Amateur Open Latin Championship last night was a six-couple final but the quality was excellent down to the sixth place finish.  The winners in all dances were Adam Hathazi & Morgana Lakatos-Hayward from Toronto.  They gave a very correct performance showcasing great quality of work and beautiful leg action and Latin body motion.  However, for us it was closer than that between first and the second place winners,TO-15-Ron  Liza Ron Garber & Liza from NY. We say it was close because when it came to the performance Ron & Liza’s musical interpretation and characterization of each dance but the paso was very clear and easy to understand and we were easily transported to the region and roots of the dance. However, we must clearly point out that we were not shocked to see Adam & Morgana win, as we mentioned their performance technically was down to perfection and we loved their unique yet traditional interpretation of what we consider to be a difficult dance, the paso doble.

From second place on, it was not as difficult of a decision to make for the judges.  Vladishlav Kvartin & Anna Prokodovicova from NY placed second overall 3,4,3,3,3. Their biggest competition came from Bogdan Oligov & Evelyn Vidal from Toronto, who placed fourth overall but third in the samba. Fifth went to Oleg Kreimer & Sharaf Malik 5,5,6,6,5 from Toronto, and sixth was Joe De Angelis & Elise Magliorchetti 6,6,5,5,6 also from Toronto.

The professional division were poorly attended but even in these small heats there was plenty of quality.  The Rhythm was uncontested but the couple was terrific giving us a show worth the time.

TTO15-Ballroom Lineuphe Ballroom was a challenge for us all including the runners up Bassam Hanafi & Natta Porn who placed second in all dances and managed to take our breath away litterly.  Bassam & Natta were not even near the bold part physically or skill wise to challenge the winners Anton Lebedev & Anna Broshch, who could have walked with it just by standing still. When I look at a couple and they start breathing through their mouth it is not a good sign and Bassam & Natta did this from the first dance on, to the point that they were not able to execute some of their steps as well as we know they could have done. However, we must tip our hat to Bassam, a previous Canadian Champion, who for years continues to go out on the floor with no fear and with total love for the art, this is wonderful and something to be celebrated.

As I mentioned earlier the ballroom is beautiful and it transports you to an epic era of Ballroom dancing.  The organizing committee is also very caring and pays close attention to the needs of all their guess, this and all the other amenities keeps everyone wanting to come back and as we said earlier we could see it becoming a strength for Canada’s Ballroom dancing.

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