Since the start of Freedom To Dance , orignially founded by Richard Gleave OBE and Anne Gleave in 2010, a few changes had been made to develop this fabulous non profit event.This year for the first time 4 new events was presented in addition to the already existing one day event.Two days were needed to present the 4 Rising Star events as well as the Teachers/Students and not forgetting the fabulous Show cases.The Amateur Latin always brings a great entry and this year was NO exception.Couples in the Semifinal are mentioned in numerical order as they appear in the program.
Alexander Andreichev & Kristina Nikiforova from Russia.Always putting on a good Male and Female approach, when Alex’s leading is more clear that gives Kristina more chance to fur fill her part in the partnership. Keep working on that subject for further development.
Tap Livshitz & Ilana Keselman from USA. Both very talented and with a great floor impact as they dance.Very tall and elegant however at times I found myself noticing not such a clear timing especially in Samba.
Carlos Gu & Susan Sun from China. One out of two Chines couples in this Semifinal. Always well presented, with an energetic performance. Their height difference sometimes means they loose connection when they dance together.Only in Rumba can I see that they using each other fully.
Onto the second Chines couple Yiming Tabd & Xinyi Huang, were a very different approach is used. They are always connected and always one step ahead producing maximum speed changes and charactersation.Best Dance was the Paso Doble were some excellent shapes where produced. Keep it up.
Sergey Maksyuta & Valeria Verstova from Russia. A very good Male dander that clearly knows how to produce an action, which gives his partner full freedom to express herself to the maximum. Always on her feet and always on time, I would like to see a bit more variety in the different dancers for further development.
Valerie Leontief & Line Smed from Denmark. Both very tall and elegant dancers, with a great look on the floor. Great rhythm’s I especially Samba, and great shapes in Paso Doble. Showing strength and freedom. However Rumba lacking in fundamentals and timing.
Very strong Semifinal And couples that made it to the Final are as follows:
Into first place from the USA Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina. A couple that steeped up since January, and left the other couples way behind. With a clear touch of class and fitness that shines above the rest. Ferdi totally in control and demanding the floor leaving nothing to chance.Yulia is a dancer of a special kind, very free and totally on control of all her joints. They both came alive showing their nuances of rhythm experience, mechanics and each characterisations where in place.Well Done to both of you.
Into second place Petar Daskalov & Zia James from England. Another couple that provides a performance with the full package. Every competition is going from strength to strength. This male dancer is right where a male dancer should be.His body rhythm is impeccable and the way he squeezes every note out of his body,without disturbing his partner is remarkable. Zia is an impeccable stylish and classy lady, still showing maximum rhythm. Into Third place from Italy.
Salvo Sinardi & Viktorya Kharchenko. A couple with great electrifying impact and floor presence. Both very experienced dancers and are included in all major Finals. Their approach is slightly different, and slightly harder than most other finalist. Would like to see a slight softer approach as a contrast.
Finished fourth in today’s final were Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze from USA. The lady of Latin dance,simply dressed to tease the onlooker with her leg action, beautiful ankle’s and feet. Very well presented and always on balance and on time.Austin has now developed a more nature approach and a deeper understanding in how to handle his partner. A great characteristic couple.
Into Fifth place went to Alexander Chernositov & Ariana Grishanina from USA. A striking team who always put on a good show, great awareness of each other and with a clear and readable timing throughout. Very capable dancers producing good charactisation of each dance with many interesting choreography groups.
Completing this year’s final were Tagir Mansurov & Alexandra KonDrashova and again from the USA. Elegance personified with classy good looks is how I rate this couple. Always a pleasure to watch, never looks under stress. Tagir holds his posture excellent throughout, and his skill of excellent leading allows Alexandra to respond beautiful. They are both very fundamentally and characterisations astute in all their dancers.
The Amateur Latin was a superb event with some great talent and a fantastic atmosphere, and congratulations must go to Joe Pettitt and The Len Phillips Big Band for their inspiration music for the both days. Great thanks must also go to all their friends family and officials that supported the event. I am already looking forward to the 10th year’s Anniversary of Freedom To Dance in May 2020.
Sincerely Mr Göran Nordin.