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.

Sebastian Quinones and Alexis Garrish dominated the Classic Open Division I event, earning first place in almost every dance (they placed second in polka and third in waltz). It was more than enough to be declared the overall winners. Since Newell DeFreest and Rachel Mercedes moved up to Classic Masters after winning the World Title in Open I, Sebastian and Alexis have been undefeated in the division.

Bobby Pritchard and Carla Romine also remain undefeated in the Classic Crown event since winning the World title at the start of 2019. The couple who has come closest to beating them in several events this year, Greg and Laura Thrash, did not compete at Chicagoland. 

Mike Wagner and Satu Ketellapper took first in the Classic Masters event, which was no surprise. Based on other events, you would have expected Newell DeFreest and Rachel Mercedes to take second place. However, Brittney Valdez and a new partner, Ronnie Debenedetta, edged by them to claim second place, leaving Newell and Rachel in third. As we get closer to the World Championships, it’s still anyone’s game, as no one has yet to earn perfect scores. 

The pro-am events were busy, especially in the Novice division. Paula DaSilva and her pro, Albert Tailleur won the most competitive event, Female Silver Novice, against 14 other couples. She and Albert also took second place in the Female Crystal and Gold Novice events (Silver, Crystal, and Gold designate age groups). For the guys, Male Silver Newcomer was the most popular event with eight couples entered. Ken Harden and his pro, Vickie Rose took first in that division. 

We took a semi-break from the high pressure of competition to enjoy the Saturday Night Shenanigans. The line was long to get into this evening show and for good reason. You got to see the Classic Masters competition, along with show dances by a variety of talented couples and formation groups in Ballroom, Salsa and Country Western styles. Then if you were still awake after two full days of dancing, you could dance the night away until the cows came home (direct quote from the official schedule)!

Congratulations to Jennifer and Randy Jeffries on another successful event. FloDance’s next stop on the UCWDC circuit is Nashville Dance Classic at the end of August. Hope to see you there!

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. 

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.