Duknauskas And Kovalova To Be Featured At This Year's SSDC

DanceSport Duknauskas and Kovalova


Those still on the fence about attending the Southern States DanceSport Championships this week should disregard any hesitancy they might have. First, the timing. It's the first competition of the 2017 Triple Crown DanceSport Series, and nothing engenders more excitement than a kickoff event. Second, the location. The SSDC will be returning to the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, and there's no more convivial place on earth than the Big Easy in April. Finally, the talent. Besides the usual influx of top performers, audience members are going to be treated to a large dose of Justinas Duknauskas and Anna Kovalova.

Many dance couples grow up together, enjoying partnerships that last longer than most marriages. Duknauskas and Kovalova have gone the other route, bouncing from one partner to the next before finding each other. After starting his professional career dancing with Ekaterina Lapaeva from 2008 to 2010, Duknauskas began dancing with and marrying Anna Melnikova-Duknauske in January 2011. The couple quickly became fixtures at the top of the leaderboard in Professional Latin competitions, including a victory at Moscow Star in 2014.

When their partnership (and marriage) abruptly ended in 2015, the news hit the dance world like a bombshell. Some speculated that the rift was caused by disappointing results and a lack of chemistry. They didn't seem to connect the way Melnikova-Duknauske had with her former partner Slavik Kryklyvyy or Duknauskas had with Ekaterina Lapaeva.

After Duknauskas and Melnikova-Duknauske split, Duknauskas teamed up with Kovalova, who herself was healing from a contentious rift, having ended her relationship with longtime partner (and husband) Roman Kutskyy at the tail end of 2014.

Duknauskas and Kovalova started dancing together in 2015 and quickly rose to the top of the dance world. Just a few months after teaming up, they won the Professional Latin division of the Holiday Dance Classic Championships in Las Vegas and have gone on to win the San Francisco Open DanceSport Championships, the Great Gatsby Gala DanceSport Championships, the Desert Classic DanceSport Festival, the DBDC DanceSport Competition, the YuleTide Ball Championships, the City Lights Ball, and, most recently, the Vegas Open Dance Challenge.

Duknauskas and Kovalova will be performing at the Southern States DanceSport Championships during the evening on Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, as well as hosting a Master Dance Class from 4:30 to 5:30 PM on Saturday. Their participation alone should make the event must-see entertainment.

The Must-Watch Division At American DanceSport

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today ADF

The second annual American DanceSport Festival is approaching quickly, as dancers from all over the world make their way to the beautiful beaches of Miami, Florida, in preparation for this highly anticipated event on October 14-15.

'DWTS' Ep. 5 Recap: 'Most Memorable Year'

ep- 4.png

On Monday night's "Dancing with the Stars," the remaining contestants were asked to perform a dance in a style they had not yet learned and to create a piece based on a critical moment in their lives. 

Why You Cannot Miss This Year's American DanceSport Festival

© Reinhold Matay United States Dance Championships (29).jpg

The 2017 American DanceSport Festival is right around the corner, and we couldn't be more excited for things to finally kick off on Oct. 14-15 in Miami, FL. 

How To Watch The American DanceSport Festival

DanceSportFestival-WatchLive-Flash.jpg

Competitors from around the world are heading to the American DanceSport Festival on October 14-15 in Miami, Florida, with their eyes on winning a World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) Championship title.

Choreography Crush: Sergei Polunin 'Take Me To Church'

sergi.jpeg

This week’s choreography crush was produced by the renowned director David LaChapelle and went viral in early 2015. Unless you're familiar with the who’s who in the ballet world, the message being delivered here might not be so obvious. 

American DanceSport Festival Founder Aims To Elevate U.S. Amateurs

ronen 2.jpg

The American DanceSport Festival is just a year removed from its debut, but in the mind of founder Ronen Zinshtein, the competition's roots can be traced back to the countless hours he has spent on the dance floor.

Who Is Lex Ishimoto, And How Did He Become So Good?

lex.png

Lex Ishimoto seemed like the quiet, modest type when we first saw him walk on the stage for his New York audition this past July to kick off the 14th season of "So You Think You Can Dance.” 

'DWTS' Ep. 4 Recap: Heartfelt Performances As Nation Mourns

dwts (1).jpg

On this week's "Dancing with the Stars," the show's remaining 11 couples competed for a nation in mourning. One day after the devastating attack in Las Vegas, in which a gunman killed 59 people and injured hundreds more, "DWTS" decided that “the show must go on.”

The Story Of Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine

emmanuel frame.jpg

Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine may have retired at the Millenium DanceSport Championships last year, but he remains an inspiration to both dancers from around the world and his home country.

Ballet: Cuba's Most Esteemed Export

cuba-ballett.jpg

Cuba is well known in the world for countless reasons, be it the country's cuisine, music, or famous style of salsa dancing.