Taipei Hosts Exciting Showdown Between Top Latin Pairs

And now we are off once again, but this time to yet another new stop on this grand journey of DanceSport athletes worldwide: Taipei. Here, we will be awaiting the coming of the second WDSF GrandSlam leg of the annual year in both the Latin and Standard divisions.

Let’s Samba!

This Saturday, June 1, will kick off the weekend with the Latin segment, in which we have 63 couples registered thus far. From these 63, a particular number will be selected to go straight through to the second round. This will leave the remaining couples to give their all in the re-dance, a second chance at making the next round. Those making it through the re-dance will be joined by the couples who went straight through the first round to competing further in the second round.

Last year’s Taipei GrandSlam had 49 couples participating. Now, we see the extent to which this event has grown in only a year, with a total of 63 duos! The reigning champions, Armen Tsaturyan and Svetlana Gudyno of Russia, are back once again to fight for this title a second year in a row. Just last weekend, they became four-time reigning Latin European champions and are on their journey in preparation for the World Championship to be held in September. This GrandSlam is just another stop in their preparation for success.

A couple to battle the Russians are also making their way from the recent European Championships held in Paris: Marius-Andrei Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska of Germany. They were the silver medalists of this GrandSlam last year, as well as silver medalists of last weekend in Paris and silver medalists of the 2018 World Championships. The battle for the top Latin couple of the WDSF rests in between Tsaturyan and Gudyno and Balan and Moshenska, and the tension is always in the air when they meet on the dance floor.

Many would like to see favorites Timur Imametdinov and Nina Bezzubova of Germany performing this weekend. However, the couple will actually be on home territory this upcoming weekend in Bremen, Germany, participating in one of the most renowned DanceSport training camps of the year, Dancing SuperStars, which accompanies with it WDSF International Opens in the Standard and Latin divisions this Friday and Saturday, the same weekend as this GrandSlam in Taipei. Therefore, fighting for the bronze this year will be Andrey Gusev and Vera Bondareva of Russia.

High Quality All Around—How Can We Choose?!

In the final, we also expect to see Andrea Silvestri and Martina Varadi of Hungary. Moreover, at this current moment in time, we do not see France’s Charles-Guillaume Schmitt and Elena Salikhova, last year’s fifth-place finalists in Taipei, which means that Edgar Marcos Borjas and Alina Nowak of Poland will most likely be concluding our top five, a couple that made the final at the European Championship in Paris just a few days ago. Last year, Borjas and Nowak were seventh here in Taipei, and now they may get the chance to charm the crowd with their solo performances in the final round. However, one spot for making the final remains...

What makes watching a WDSF event after event so enticing, is the fact that the top dancers, and I mean the top 50 or so in the World Ranking, are all more or less equally sensational! 

Usually—as many of you can tell whether you are directly involved in this industry as a competitor, adjudicator, or instructor, or you are just a fan of this sport and art in general—the WDSF Adult Amateur division finals are quite steady in terms of placing couples. However, when it comes down to the semifinal and quarterfinal rounds, couples shift around A LOT. 

The battle in the Latin division rests with many couples who are extremely difficult to compare, and when the judging system is enacted where couples are judged by 0.25 point differences, placements are sure to vary. Therefore, it is also very possible that Jakub Lipowski and Diandra-Aniela Illes, also representing Poland, will make it into the top six. Ten Dance World Champions and crowd favorites Konstantin Gorodilov and Dominika Bergmannova of Estonia are also candidates. 

Predictions can be made but it all comes down to the product that a couple will produce out on that dance floor, because the competition is truly tight! And here at this GrandSlam, we will see plenty more talent than the couples highlighted above. We have:

  • Winson Tam & Anastasia Novikova (Canada)

  • Artur Balandin & Anna Salita (Germany)

  • Eric Testa & Federica Brezzo (Italy)

  • Timur Yusupov & Valeria Remina (Russia)

  • Anton Aldaev & Natalia Polukhina (Russia)

  • Paul Moldovan & Cristina Tatar (Romania)

  • Vito Coppola & Oona Oinas (Italy)

All of these couples are impeccable, not only in their technical skills, but also as true artists. Each and every one of them has a chance to rise and not “wait in line” to achieve their victory. The moment comes down to who wants it just that bit more and who was willing to prepare to achieve the feat.

Stay tuned with us as we live stream this very anticipated weekend in Taipei! The heat is on and the competition will be top notch, not only in tension, but in the quality that we shall all witness.

30 Years in ABQ: 2019 New Mexico Dance Fiesta Recap

While most of the country was experiencing cooler fall weather, things were heating up in Albuquerque this past weekend! The 30th anniversary of the New Mexico Dance Fiesta included some amazing dancing and close competitions. 

It's Fiesta Time! - What to Expect at the 2019 New Mexico Dance Fiesta

It’s fiesta time in Albuquerque! The 30th anniversary of the New Mexico Dance Fiesta is happening this weekend. This UCWDC-sanctioned event was started by dance couple Mike Haley and Patti Miller, and ballroom coordinator Steve Stevens in 1989. Though the competition has changed hands a few times over the years, it continues to be a can’t miss event full of dancing and great times with dance friends and family.

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

Alas, another weekend full of dancing has come and gone. Isn’t it always so hard to go back to work on Monday? In case you were off doing your own dancing, here’s what you missed at the Chicagoland Dance Festival.

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.