Freedom To Dance Professional Ballroom Championships 2016.
The Freedom To Dance Professional Ballroom Championship was supported by many top class couples. Wonderful to see couples from fifteen different countries taking to the floor to compete for this prestigious title
Valerio Colantoni and Monica Nigro from Italy, were successful in retaining their Freedom to Dance title, winning all four dances. Beautifully elegant, with an immaculate shoulder line and physiques that are so well matched. In this event I noticed changes to their base action which allowed a greater release of body weight in the swing dances.I thought they went from strength to strength as the rounds progressed and their consistency ensured them their victory.
Runners up from Germany, Domen Krapez and Natasha Karabey. Domen and Natasha have moments in their dance of absolute delight and at those moments can easily be seen as champions.
Natasha is a wonderful lady dancer, perfectly balanced and super sensitive, they possess the ability to connect with their audience by drawing us into their dance. Whilst there are many aspects that I love, a fuller usage of the music throughout their base timing in the swing dances would I believe give them a consistency that will allow them to challenge more effectively.
Into third place from Russia, Alexander Zhiratkov and Irina Novozhilova. Strong, dynamic, competitors who always give 100 %. Today I saw a softer and more fluid approach to their dancing. Their shoulder weight was better settled and I could see an improved flexibility in the ankle and knee area. If they can coordinate this development with a fuller swing action so as not to turn and sway too early, they will gain a calmness that I feel is necessary for them to challenge those above.
Fourth Place, Marat Gimaev and Alina Basyuk representing the USA. Marat and Alina, as always, staying true to the basic principles of the dance. They produced beautiful classical dancing. Their purity of swing and beautiful foot closes in Waltz were rewarded with third place. A lovely consistent performance that was filled with technical expertise allowing them to dance fully and freely.
Into fifth place Stanislav Zelianin and Irina Cherepanova from Russia. Going from strength to strength. Stanislav and Irina are improving at every outing. Another couple who rely on strong technical ability and show the togetherness and consistency that are necessary to succeed at this level.
Into sixth place in this fabulous final, Alessio Potenziani and Veronika Vlasova from Russia. A disappointing result for them but one which Iʼm sure will bring them back fighting. They are a forward thinking couple, always looking at ways to develop and go beyond without loosing sight of the basic principles of dance. Fabulous dancers who strive for individuality and have the ability to make an emotional connection with the audience.
A truly excellent final closely contested by six fabulous couples.
A few noted couples from the Semi final, Go Hashimoto and Keiko Onda, Japan, being the next couple and finishing in 7th place. Lovely shape, Go is blessed with a wonderful physique for Ballroom dancing. If they could better coordinate their body and leg timing I think we would see a stronger challenge from them.
Gaetano Iaverone and Emanuela Napolitano, danced well and must also have been considered in some dances.
Steffen Zoglauer and Sandra Koperski ,Germany. Always strong competitors who give 100%.I feel they need to develop greater fluidity in their swing dances to successfully challenge for the final.
Mark and Olga Elsbury, England. A beautiful soft Waltz, nice to see their full usage of time in this dance. Greater consistency needed to make their mark as finalists.