'06 Manhattan Dancesport Championships

SDsalsaguy said:
Maybe that's why? I know that there are some pros who will only dance pro or pro-am at any given event, never both.
I have seen Andre do multiple scholarships at USDSC and then compete Pro the same night. I was amazed at how many ProAm rounds he danced, and with what enthusiasm, when he had to defend his national title. He definitely is not one of those pros, unless he has changed his approach. Igor Litvinov also did ProAm and did not show for last night's Pro standard, which really surprised me.
I would not call any division weak when Max and Eulia are there. Speaking of Pro, is Beata going to start competing again, and is Max's new partner a name most of us would recognize?
I personally thought Planem and Tina should have been in that final.
SDsalsaguy said:
Maybe that's why? I know that there are some pros who will only dance pro or pro-am at any given event, never both.
I would be very surprised if that is the case, because Andrei Gavriline specifically is noted for giving his best to his pro-am students, just like he gives his best to his pro events. I remember that I noticed that particular point about him two years ago (this is a quote from a post I wrote on the other forum about the 2004 OSB):

... Andrei Gavriline danced his heart out with his students, the morning before he was to dance in the final pro heat. This is a guy who really, really gets into dancing with his students. He has just won his title in fierce competition, and I'm sure he and everybody else knew that his "reputation" was hanging on the results of the OSB, and if he lost to another couple (either Max Chmerk. or Paul Richardson), his title wouldn't be worth much. But he danced round after round, especially in the scholarship events, and held nothing back. His dancing, alone, was worth the price of admission !!
I've been watching Andrei carefully since then, for reasons some of you may know, and I still believe what I said then was very true. I couldn't imagine him feeling so inadequate that he couldn't dance his pro-am events AND his professional events.


Well-Known Member
I dont' think too many Americans have heard of Max's new partner but she made the quarter final in Pro Latin at Blackpool.

EDIT - What I wrote here previously about the South American Showdance was incorrect.
SDsalsaguy said:
Last I heard it will be at USDSC.
Do you know if Smagin and Beata will be competing for the UNited States professional title? I thouyght there was a rule that you have to dance two events already before being eligible to dance for the national title. Does anyone know?
so i was in the house sunday night for the pro rhythm heats. almost everybody was there, with the notable exception of jackie and jesse. three great rounds - the semi was the best.

as i predicted, joanna and emmanuel outdanced everyone by a fairly wide margin, but still wound up in second place.

carolina and felipe look *much* better - whatever they needed to fix, they've fixed. i was kind of relieved, to tell you the truth. they've relaxed again. nobody in the top 6 can really touch carolina for legs and feet, line, flexibility or groundedness, and they are pretty much unmatched for generating 3-dimensional picture lines. every time you look over at them, they are snapping fearlessly into some complicated hold involving carolina being in a split or upside down, but both of them smiling and completely stable. like, you could bat at them with a pole and they'd still hold the pose. then BOOM, they're up and dancing again. i have a tiny bit of that kind of stuff in my choreography and i realized that the *dismount* from a pose like that is frequently way harder than the entrance, so i really enjoyed watching them nail it every time.

inna and her new man look *great.* it's a good match physically and she frankly is dancing with way more heart than anytime i've seen her previously. well-groomed, good expression, snappy choreography.

this was the first time i've seen dovolani with his new partner elena and i was overwhelmingly unimpressed. the only possible way in which that partnership works better than emmanuel and joanna is in the admittedly important "mutual pretense of being in love/lust" way. in every other way - energy, technique, choreography, focus, speed, excitement, personality, heart, effort, desire, costuming (OMG that bodysuit elena wore in the prelim rounds - the worst thing i've ever seen a top-ranked pro wear, ever) emmanuel and joanna have not just a grudging advantage but a SCREAMING one. the reaction as the awards were read was pretty expected - tony and elena did have a contingent there, but it's pretty tough to ignore the big white elephant crashing around the ballroom every time (infrequent as it is) that they get the guts to go up against joanna and emmanuel. the crowd always boo's when they announce joanna in second.

if the contrast in the 3 rounds wasn't enough, the contrast in the post-comp "show" (some of it was quite embarassing, that's another post) really drove the nail into the coffin. there was virtually *no* reaction to tony and elena's showdance number - it was as if the packed house were half-heartedly watching someone sweep the floor, that's how little attention they commanded. joanna and emmanuel - the total opposite. even after having danced three rounds of extremely dense choreography and having been robbed of their first place, they came out absolutely on fire and just killed it with that swing number.

for the rest of the final - i feel like danielle and michael have to probably split up if either one of them wants to make any progress. they seem to have plateau'd. not sure why i never really want to watch them dance, but my eyes won't stick. it sounds juvenile and unscientific to put it that way, but there it is. they are obviously working extremely hard and have come a long way, but i never get excited watching them.

adrianna and bennie competed already elsewhere (arizona? somewhere west) but i think this was their debut "at home." it's rough still - both have visible talent but they aren't dancing together yet. i think it must be difficult to come back after such long breaks especially when the field has changed so drastically in the past few years. the standard of dancing is much higher and the competition much more fierce. i did like their mambo and i think it's good that another mambo-centric couple is joining the field, since the ostensible #1couple in the division craps all over that dance. (looking forward to the Miami mambo showdown this year!)

in a field so big, some people who normally commend more attention got sort of lost. bree and decho, for instance. i had wanted to watch emmanuel's brother but i never got around to it. there was so much else going on.
oh, one more thing. when i wrote my review of USDC last year i just skewered the entire pro rhythm field on costuming. things appear to have changed a bit for the better. with the exception of elena (bodysuit, then unflattering orange dress and completely haphazard, unattractive hair non-do) and one other woman in a bubble-skirt dress who didn't make the final, i didn't see any cringe-worthy costuming last night. lori putnins is always a little out there with her dresses (hello, feathers) but she's v pretty so one forgives her.
Alemana - thank you for the awesome commentary, reading it made me feel like I was there a bit :).

I have to 100% agree with you re: Tony & Elena vs. Emmanuel & Joanna. Unfortunately Tony is a former (and current) national champion, and Elena is a Blackpool open pro semi-finalist (didn't she and Max make the final of jive one year?), so based on technique probably no judge would comfortably place E&J over them. However, if one were to judge authenticity and drive - E&J win, head and shoulder above T&E. T&E look bored, careful, unrehearsed, and worst of all, totally nonchalant. As if they walk out there saying 'I am going to win, regardless of what I do', and that's that. Sad. I hope E&J overtake them soon... if it wasn't for that #$%^ technique...

Re: Michael and Danielle - I was super-excited when they appeared on the competitive scene together - seemed like the perfect match. Lately though they've lost their spark. They go at it, Danielle's facial expressions are there, but there is zero connection between them. As if they show up, do what they have to do, and leave. No passion, no excitement. At least that's what I'm lacking there.

Felipe and Carolina did turn their dancing around. I really enjoy watching them again - they got their speed and drive back, and they have very good chemistry also. And Felipe fits into his skintight tops much better ;-).


Well-Known Member
Well, I bet E&J at least bask in the glory of being the fan favorites. I honestly think, from the few times I've seen them, that they are the more "authentic" rythym dancers compared to Tony and Elena (especially Elena). Not that I mind Tony and Elena, but I am always aware that there is a heavy latin influence.

Thanks for the report, Alemana. Just what I was hoping for!
alemana said:
so i was in the house sunday night for the pro rhythm heats. almost everybody was there, with the notable exception of jackie and jesse. three great rounds - the semi was the best.

as i predicted, joanna and emmanuel outdanced everyone by a fairly wide margin, but still wound up in second place.
By any chance, did you watch the Theatre Arts/Cabaret, and if you did, how was it?
mamboqueen said:
Okay, df'ers...how'd you all do? And what did you think of the comp?

Anyone going to view the Pro Rythym tonight? Would love to hear reports on that.

Hi MQ,

I came in 3rd in my scholarship. And I feel like a star now that my picture is in Chris's gallery! ;-)

I thought this was a great comp. Lot's of competition at all levels and styles. I loved it that the ballroom was full of energy and packed with spectators. There were so many great dancers it was hard to decide where to look.


Well-Known Member
Monica and her teacher James Jordan won the Global C Latin Scholarship.I have always found James to be a great guy and Monica very quiet and gracious.I spoke to them both at the Pro-am party and they both seemed fine.BTW Monica does look really great. in fact we have some photos of her in our gallery from Thursday night.We have some more stuff to put up and will do it over the next couple of days.The photos that Moses Goddard posts will take a bit longer as he likes to make everyone look as good as possible..Have a great 4th of July.If you are in Boston and want to attend a Supershag party PM me to-morrow as I am throwing a liittle shindig tp-mprrow night.
Cheers chris

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