Sponsored By Lily Cashin

I think it is fair to say that Freedom To Dance has established itself as one of the premier events of the dance calendar. The organisers go to great lengths and cost to provide all participants with great conditions in which they can show their skills to best advantage. A competition run by dancers for dancers. The attention to detail is quite amazing. Congratulations to the organisers and their excellent team of supporters who made it all possible.

1st => Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova USA
Great dancing from a couple that has studied and understood the technical nuances and is using them to release their artistry to the full. Ina is quite mesmerising with the beautiful movement she gets throughout her body. Troels has also found how to present his lady whilst maintaining his own identity.
2nd => Nikita Brovko & Olga Urumova Russia
This was a much better performance from this couple. I was concerned that they might have lost their will to fight back after a series of not great results but today was better. I’m always a little concerned about Olga’s lack of ankle and foot shaping in comparison to that of Nikita. Nikita is an object lesson of how to combine great body tick with pure class!
3rd => Massimo Arcolin & Laura Italy
Very individual in their style of dancing with an apparent total belief in it. Absolutely loved Laura’s ‘look’ tonight which was a version of the ‘little black dress’. So simple and so effective. Massimo was guilty of losing total length through his centre at times but showed great shaping in Paso Doble
4th => Gunnar Gunnarsson & Marika Doshoris England
This pair had a great night. Posturally astute and I was much more aware of them dancing together.  Liked it.  As one who always complains about couples dancing in corners it was also great to see them dance in ‘space’ where they were able to show off their many talents.
5th => Manuel Frighetto & Daria Sereda Italy
Not one of their better outings as they seemed to get disturbed by what was going on around them. When they were in space I like the earthier look in the rhythm dances which should be developed. Paso could also have a better depth of action.
6th => Gleb Cherniavskyi & Maryna Steshenko Germany
A very entertaining couple to watch on first impression. When I look deeper they seem to rely on too many mannerisms to produce an effect. Clearly very talented dancers but need to look at how they can fill time with actions starting from the feet up through the body.


In the semi-final round were the following seven couples:

Minje Kim & Hyebinham, South Korea
A young couple with great quality of action.  Just looked a little tight tonight.  Remember to release before accelerating.

Vitaly Sevastijanov & Anna Lisova, England
Still relatively new partnership. Vitaly looked to be static too often for my liking.  Very masculine and feminine look

Valentin Voronov & Anna Pelypenko, Canada
A couple who are looking better and better with each outing.  Be a little more aware of your partner’s needs in terms of action Valentin.

Dohyeon Kim & Sumyo Park, South Korea
Great image but just too static for my taste.  Need to add better depth of action generally

Giuseppe Esposito & Roberta Lodato, Italy
A much better performance than the last time I saw them in competition.  Seemed much more relaxed and in harmony this time.

Victor Burchuladze & Nina Trautz, Germany
My first viewing of this couple and I was very impressed.  Great balance of skill and action.  Looking good for the future.

Meng Jia & Yuling Jiang, China
Great performers but tending to look physical through the connecting arm.  Again the need to release body weight and tension is important here.