We are awaiting a fantastic weekend here in Latvia as FloDance gets ready to stream the 9th Annual Salaspils Open International DanceSport Competition. This Saturday, May 11, FloDance will be there highlighting two major annual events of the World DanceSport Federation!
The Salaspils Sports Hall is set to welcome more than 1,000 spectators, as well as dancers and adjudicators from more than 30 countries! With the event taking place only 25 kilometers from the city center of Riga, what a great time to spend not only enjoying the beauty of sport and art at the time of competition, but also a bit of historical exploration afterwards.
The Best of Europe
The first big event on Saturday will be the 2019 WDSF Standard European Championship, with 60 couples from 33 countries currently registered. To obtain a chance to participate in a WDSF European Championship depends on a couple’s placement at each participating country’s national championship. We also must remember that only dancers representing European countries may take part in the European Championships of the World DanceSport Federation. Furthermore, only two couples from each country can compete.
Now, for each country, representing couples are selected differently. For example, for some countries, the top two couples ranked in a national championship are selected to represent. In other countries, the champions and the bronze medalists are sent to compete. Therefore, placements in national championships structure many of the essential events that dancers will take part in throughout their seasonal year of competition until their next national championship, including such events as European Championships.
Crowning New European Champions
Russians Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova have won the Standard European Championship the past three years. As this couple has now transitioned into the Professional Division of the WDSF, there is an opening for a grand title in the DanceSport world to be taken by another worthy pair.
It seems that Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite of Lithuania have recently the position of leading couple of the WDSF Standard division and very well may mark their place in history by claiming their first European Championship title. Since 2016, three years in a row, they have been bringing home the silver from this event. This Saturday may very well prove a long-traveled adventure rewarded!
The Opportunity Has Arrived - A Chance to Make the Final
Copenhagen, Denmark, hosted the European Championship last year in mid-February. The final six consisted of the following couples:
Dmitry Zharkov - Olga Kulikova
Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite
Francesco Galuppo - Debora Pacini
Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva
Alexey Glukhov - Anastasia Glazunova
Anton Skuratov - Alena Uehlin
This year, we have two placements that have opened up in the final! We already know that the former champions, Zharkov and Kulikova, have turned professional. In addition, Alexey Glukhov and Anastasia Glazunova of Russia, who placed fifth last year, will not be in attendance. Consequently, this allows for two other couples to fight their way into this year’s final. Who shall it be?
Vasily Kirin and Ekaterina Prozorova placed just beyond the cutoff for the final, taking seventh place last year, but they are also not registered to compete this weekend. That gives Madis Abel and Aleksandra Galkina of Estonia, who placed eighth last year, a very strong chance to make the top six this weekend. Also, we may notice that Vadim Shurin and Anastasia Meshkova of Latvia, who placed ninth last year in the semi, are back again to fight. We also may surely see them in the top six.
Off to Latvia
The Salaspils Open has been given the fantastic opportunity of awarding the new Standard European Champions of the World DanceSport Federation. The warm and cozy atmosphere experienced by all those who have attended this competition here in Latvia in previous years is one of the reasons that so many come back to take part once again. This time, we all get to experience the crowning of new champions. The time has now come where we shall meet and feel the invigorating aura of Latvia.