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.

As was expected, Lithuania was the star of the night—Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite took home the second GrandSlam title of their careers! Their total score for the final was 195.624 out of a possible 200, a score that has increased since their previous GrandSlam in Bucharest in which they landed a 195.086. Here in Taipei, their waltz, tango, and quickstep were scored higher in comparison, while their Viennese waltz and slow foxtrot were only 0.042 and .001, respectively, lower here in Taipei than in Bucharest. Dreams are coming true for this starring duo!

Taipei Final Mimics Bucharest

Below is also a quick recap of the resulting finalists:

RANK

COUPLE

COUNTRY

1.

Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite

LTU

2.

Francesco Galuppo - Debora Pacini

ITA

3.

Evgeny Moshenin - Dana Spitsyna

RUS

4.

Alexey Glukhov - Anastasia Glazunova

RUS

5.

Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva

LTU

6.

Evgeny Nikitin - Anastasia Miliutina

RUS

In Bucharest in March at the very first WDSF GrandSlam of this year’s season, these same top six pairs made it to the final in exactly the same order. As seen above, Russia and Lithuania lead the way for the Standard WDSF dancing world with multiple representative pairs taking placements in the final event after event.

The Heat of the Competition

For the spectators, the most intensive watching begins at the quarterfinal round, the top 24. Here, we have the very best of the athletes fighting to be better than all the rest. Just as we saw in the Latin leg on Saturday, it becomes the most interesting to see how couples in the top 24 and top 12 will place in conclusion. We ask ourselves, “Will couple A surpass couple B?” or “Will they make the semi this time?” 

The level of dancing is so high in all aspects from technical to performance skills that it truly comes down to noticing the details of professional dancing in the judging process. The heat kicked in when it came down to looking at the competition that was taking place during the semifinal round. It was the top 12 couples battling it to make the top six and we had some interesting results.

For example, this GrandSlam saw the biggest leap from Poland’s Dariusz Mycka and Madara Freiberga, who placed 10th in the semi, marking their highest placement in a GrandSlam ever! Looking back at their previous competition results, they were quite back-and-forth between spots, ranging from 11th to 18th. Most of the time, they would see themselves in the quarterfinal, just as in Bucharest where they finished in 16th. However, less than three months later, Mycka and Freiberga have placed higher than Anton Besedin and Ekaterina Strelkova of Russia and Edgars Linis and Eliza Ancane of Latvia, two couples who out-danced the Polish duo in Bucharest. Now, the tables have turned and the placements have switched.

Rooting for Italy: Lithuania’s Main Opponent

The solo dances for the WDSF Standard final this year are the slow foxtrot and quickstep. Our runners-up from Italy, Francesco Galuppo and Debora Pacini, seemed to be receiving quite the support from the audience members, especially evident in their performance of the solo quickstep for which they received the most points out of all of their five dances. For this reason, the difference between first and second place rested only on 2.456 points! It may very well be that the battle between Lithuania and Italy here in the Standard division will resemble the battle between Russia and Germany in its Latin counterpart.

The GrandSlam Paris did not disappoint, and we are all excited for the next GrandSlam in July. Rimini here we come! Mark your calendars for the 13th and 14th of next month, as FloDance will be there live to stream all of the action. We anticipate the dancers to bring their A game, as competitors will gather in the coming weeks to produce a routine that is both new and spectacular, all in a relatively short period of time. Will we have some breakthroughs? Stay tuned to find out!

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