Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite Win European Championship

The emotions that overwhelm a long-awaited victory flood in like a hurricane, taking over all sense in a single instant. This was clear once the last score for Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite was projected onto the screen. The couple just stood there, hugging one another for quite some time. A moment such as this touches the hearts of all spectators, no matter whether they experience such an instance live or through the screen.

The Heat Was On: An Intense Battle for Each Spot

This Standard European Championship of the World DanceSport Federation was held in conjunction with the Latin European Cup, Saturday, May 11, at the 9th Annual Salaspils Open International DanceSport Competition in Latvia. It was a jam-packed day of dancing, filled not only with extraordinary performances, but an endless spectrum of emotions.

In the first round of the championship, a total of 62 couples took the floor. The event continued onto the second round, and then the quarterfinal. The progression of each round proved that the heat was on! 

Looking at the scoring of the quarterfinal deducing into the semi, the difference between places was practically nonexistent. The semifinal could have easily consisted of 13 couples. The difference between Dariusz Mycka and Madara Freiberga of Poland, who made the semi finishing in 12th, and Dmitri Kolobov and Signe Busk of Denmark, who stayed behind in 13th place, rested only on 0.002 of a point! 

This clearly depicts the intensity between the quality in performance of the competitors and how each couple was supported on that dancefloor, a warm atmosphere of spectators cheering on every single dancing duo. The Baltic neighbors of Lithuania and Estonia brought along many audience members who decided to take part in this grand event, and the competitors definitely felt their energy.

Lithuania Takes on the Leadership

The support of the crowd escalated for Lithuanian couple Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite, the new leaders of the WDSF in the Standard division. They scored in the 39th point percentile for every dance in the final, with 40 points being the absolute highest possible in the scoring system.

Sodeika and Zukauskaite concluded 6.251 points ahead of silver medalists Francesco Galuppo and Debora Pacini of Italy, who were bronze medalists last year in 2018 at the European Championship. Step by step, we are also very sure that sooner or later, we will see these two standing on the highest step of the podium.

Evgeny Nikitin and Anastasia Miliutina of Russia concluded their very first European Championship together yesterday, and finished in fifth place. Right behind them in sixth was Estonian couple Madis Abel and Aleksandra Galkina, who last year finished eighth in the semifinal. This was their first year in the final of the European Championship as adults since last winning the WDSF Youth European Championship in 2014.

Overall, the Salaspils Open proved quite the successful one-day event. Many couples commented on the enjoyment of dancing in front of such a crowd and seemed quite happy with the ending results. Not only the heat of performances, but also the warmth of the supporting crowd demonstrated why dancers love this competition so much and come back year after year as a result. The Salaspils Open was the perfect sanctioning host to take on two major annual events of the WDSF: the 2019 Standard European Championship and the 2019 Latin European Cup.

We will now await the Latin counterpart to the European Championship just two weeks away in Paris. Another grand congratulations to all competitors that took part in yesterday’s competitions and we wish you all the best of luck on your following endeavors!

2019 UCWDC Nashville Dance Classic Recap

Howdy partners! It was an exciting Labor Day weekend in Nashville. From packed ProAm heats to a close Crown Masters competition, the 2019 UCWDC Nashville Dance Classic kept us hootin’ and hollerin’ for more.

2019 UCWDC Nashville Dance Classic Preview

It’s time for some dancing in the ”The Country Music Capital of the World” - Nashville! Home to the Grand Ole Opry House, the famous “Grand Ole Opry” stage and radio show, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, it’s obvious why this city would draw a crowd for our next UCWDC competition, the Nashville Dance Classic. 

2019 UCWDC Chicagoland Dance Festival Recap

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Chicagoland Country & Swing Dance Festival Preview

This weekend, hold onto your hat and point your dancing shoes towards Chicago for the 32nd annual Chicagoland Country and Swing Dance Festival. This event has it all - qualifying events for the United Country Western Dance Council’s World Championships, points events for the World Swing Dance Council Jack & Jill swing dance registry, and it’s a part of the original Hustle Dance Tour. 

Armen Tsaturyan & Svetlana Gudyno Victorious In Rimini

And things keep changing! The third GrandSlam of the WDSF calendar year has officially concluded here in Rimini, Italy, and we found ourselves face to face with some intriguing occurrences!

Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite Continue Success In Rimini

We are in Rimini, Italy, and the second day of the GrandSlam series is soon to commence, but we cannot forget about the excitement that filled the halls of the Rimini Expo Centre just last night! From a total of 148 couples, one champion couple was crowned—Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite of Lithuania achieved their third WDSF GrandSlam title of their careers, making them the undefeated champions of the 2019 series.

WDSF Rimini GrandSlam Prepares Latin Dancers For Worlds

The Standard competition will kick off this weekend’s upcoming event in Rimini, Italy, and the Latin session will highlight its end. 

Italian Dancers In The Spotlight At Rimini Standard GrandSlam

And we are back! Off to Italy we travel as we come to stream live the third GrandSlam leg of the year. To be exact, we will be on the eastern coast of the country in the town of Rimini. This is the second year that a GrandSlam will be hosted in this seaside community in a country known for its art, fashion, vespas, pizza, and pasta, as well as impeccable performance in the world of competitive dance.

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Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite Continue To Dominate

After a few days to reflect upon the competition in Paris, it’s time to recap the second leg of the WDSF 2019 GrandSlam series in the Standard division.