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.

The competitive events kicked off on Friday afternoon with the ProAm Intermediate and Advanced groups, as well as ProPro. More dancers in the ProAm Syllabus, Newcomer and Novice divisions burned up the floor Saturday morning. Newell DeFreest and Vickie Rose were awarded Top Male and Female Teachers for their tireless and dedicated work with their students. DeFreest danced 20 rounds with eight students and Rose danced 16 rounds with ten students. That is a lot of dancing and shows how truly committed to their students they are.

ProAm winners included Manya Alvizo and her teacher Mark Weber in the stacked 20-couple ProAm Female Silver Newcomer event, along with Tom Bont and his teacher Laura Thrash in the 13-couple ProAm Male Silver Newcomer event. We want to make a point of celebrating Robin McCall, who danced beautifully in her wheelchair along with her teacher Andres Avila, proving once again that this sport is for everyone.

Saturday evening’s show was impressive with Couples Open Division 1 and Classic Masters events plus several performances by none other than Marc Davidson & Sylvie Raymond, Rob Glover & Alyssa Gillespie, and Gary McIntyre & Susan Kirklin. Those in attendance were also invited onto the floor to participate in the competition’s flash mob for the International West Coast Swing Rally. 

The floor was full for Division 1 with seven couples competing (an eighth couple jumped in for West Coast Swing). Jimmy Mulligan and Elina Sharipova took first place with some seriously skilled dancing. Christopher Muise and Amanda Clark showed up last minute to claim second. In just their second competition of 2019, Ben Howard and Emily Larsen took third. 

The Classic Masters heats featured the top three couples in the division: Mike Wagner & Satu Ketellapper, Newell DeFreest & Rachel Mercedes, and Sloane Hansen & Bernadette Carmichael. Jason Turner and Sara Syron rounded out the group and held their own in an intimidating field. 

Hansen & Carmichael have been dominating every competition they’ve attended this year, but in Nashville, Wagner & Ketellapper edged them out to take first place. Sloan and Bernadette settled in second place, and DeFreest & Mercedes came in third. 

The competition didn’t slow down on Sunday with Line Dance and the rest of the Classic Couples divisions. Ashleigh Taylor, in particular, stood out in the Line Dance Female Teen Advanced and Line Dance Showcase Female Teen divisions. Being uncontested in her heats didn’t stop her from giving some terrific performances. Greg and Laura Thrash dominated the Classic Crown event with first places across the board in all of their dances. 

FloDance is packing up its covered wagon to head out west for the New Mexico Dance Fiesta on September 20 through 22, 2019. See you on the trail!

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.

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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.