The highly anticipated Latin WDSF World Open has just concluded here in Cambrils, Spain, and all we can say is that is was HOT!
Some of the strongest couples of the World DanceSport Federation took part in this event. It becomes clearer each time how many of those couples not only progress, but fight tooth and nail with everything they have to make it through each round and to the very top.
In the quarterfinal, every couple was on fire. The dynamics and energy of each pair never ceased from beginning to end, or else it would not be certain that another round of dancing would come their way.
This just clarifies the stamina and endurance that is needed in this world of competitive dance, especially at such a high level of skill and performance. These dancers really portray the quality of sport when they get out onto the dance floor.
A New Partnership
Rolling into the semifinal, it became quite difficult to pull your eyes away from one couple to the next. Everyone seemed to be “on.”
We came to see Timur Yusupov dancing his first WDSF World Open here in Spain with new partner, Valeria Remina, after having split with Sofia Kharina, with whom he has danced for almost 10 years. This was only the couple’s second competition together, their first being a WDSF International Open that was held in Brno, Czech Republic, on March 10. Yusupov and Remina were also to take part in the recent GrandSlam in Bucharest, but sadly, did not make it. Here in Spain, the Russian representatives finished halfway up the semi in ninth place.
A Combo of Nerves & Excitement: Experiencing the Final
For many, the final of the World Open is the most thrilling to experience, not only as audience members, but also as the ones actually on the floor. For some, the final brings forth a wave of butterflies as nerves kick in for the solo presentations. While last year, the solo performances consisted of the rumba and the paso doble, 2019 comes forth with a swap for the cha cha and the jive.
The final began with the cha cha as each couple performed solo on the floor, awaiting for their results in the kiss and cry zone right afterwards. Then, all competitors met Andrea Silvestri and Martina Varadi, the last couple who performed the solo cha cha, on the floor to continue their final as a group with the samba, rumba, and paso doble.
After each dance, scoring was distributed. It was then time for the second solo presentation of the Jive.
Kyrgyzstan vs. Romania
The battle evident in the final turned out to be between Artem Semerenko and Valeriya Kachalko of Kyrgyzstan and Paul Moldovan and Cristina Tatar of Romania, who were competing to secure either the fifth or the sixth place in the final.
At such events as this, usually, it becomes clear who will place first or second, or even who will become third. The intrigue lies in watching who will actually take fourth, fifth, and so on. This is where the heat rolls in. Couples fight for each mark of an adjudicator. Just one misstep, one second of lost balance, an unfinished line, or a split second in loss of energy can result in the loss of 0.01 of a point —costing you in staying behind in the semi or being sixth in the final and not fifth. At this level of dancing, everything must be perfect.
The first solo performance of the cha cha put the couple from Kyrgyzstan ahead by 0.041 points. Semerenko and Kachalko also won the samba by 0.002 of a point, but tied with Moldovan and Tatar in the rumba with a 35.500. The Romanian couple won the paso, but lost the jive which resulted in the Kyrgyzstan duo securing their fifth-place position in the final.
This is just one example of how two couples duel for just one placement. Exactly this type of rivalry will decide who places higher and who stays behind throughout the entire course of a competitive event.
A Night of Fire
From the packed arena to the judges dancing on the sidelines, Iberica DanceSport hosted a very successful Latin WDSF World Open. With 12 WDSF Star couples, the semifinal was packed with the some of the highest-quality dancers of the federation. Because the level of sport and performance is so advanced, for many it becomes a question of “Who do you like?” Every couple on that dance floor is a true professional, sacrificing their lives for their passion.
Behind the scenes, we do not always see the difficulties of athletes. As viewers, we see the ending result. However, step inside the body of a DanceSport athlete and you will experience the emotions that you will feel when you achieve exactly what you have been fighting for. You will realize that dance is truly a drug.