Freedom to Dance 2018
Amateur Latin By Nicola Nordin
The Amateur latin event was of an extremely high standard making it a very difficult job for the adjudicators. The music inspired and the audience encouraged giving a fabulous atmosphere which was a pleasure to witness.
The winners of this year’s event were Ferdinando Iannaccone and Yulia Musikhina from the USA.They gave a confident consistent performance, making changes of speed and energy with ease whilst still maintaining control and beauty at all times. Always in the moment and always committed to the movement, worthy winners! Second place went to Petar Daskalov and Zia James, a couple who always exude class and sophistication. Their use of the music is always seamless and inspiring, creating artistry combined with fundamentals, always a successful combination. Third place went Salvo Sinardi and Viktoriya Kharchenko from Italy who gave a powerful performance, physically very compact showing great male/female characterisation. They offer a different style from the previous two couples and although strong and dominant sometimes lacking the finesse and artistry for other priorities. Fourth place went to Joel Lopez and Kristina Bespechnova from Spain, a dynamic exciting couple always very clear in the early rounds and 100 per cent committed to the job at hand. I felt however in the final against better couples that more understanding of how to use the energy flow and timing would help to create more smooth transitions and show a better flow of movement. Fifth place went to Yiming Tang and Xinyi and Huang from China, a flexible and energetic couple who are very pleasing to watch. They are now starting to show more clarity of timing and rhythm giving a cleaner look. More awareness of their posture would enhance their performance even more. Finally in this superb final were Tagir Mansurov and Alexandra Kondrashova a couple who are now displaying more depth and maturity in their performance. They have an enviable combination of beauty and strength now becoming more consistent and competent in producing this level of dance. Producing your best performance in the final is an acquired skill and you are definitely getting there!
The semi-final was a difficult one and although the couples who did not make the final may have been disappointed they can be assured there is very little difference in the abilities and qualities at this level. The six couples reaching the semi-final in numerical order were Igor Wilczynski and Irina Grishina from Poland, competent dancers, with great fundamentals. More clarity of timing and flexibility within the body would allow them to challenge more. Carlos Gu and Susan Sun fro China, always energised and showed harmony and musicality in their own movement. More awareness of each other would add another dimension. Sergey Maksyuta and Elisaveta, experienced dancers who always deliver however I feel something was missing. Individuality and commitment would allow others to appreciate their qualities. Tal Livshitz and Ilana Keselman from USA, a fabulous couple to watch, very visual with an interesting choice of choreography. At times a little too external for me however I enjoyed their commitment and energy. Alexander Chermositov and Arina Grishanina from USA a very fluid couple with good connection within their own bodies. More resistance and release would I feel add to their performance and allow them to challenge those above. Valeriu Leontiev and Line Martin Smed from Denmark completed this semi-final showing well controlled and co-ordinated body movements with volume and softness. A classy performance but I felt they could push the boundaries to create more interesting contrast.
All in all a fabulous event with high class dancing, top class adjudicators, inspiring music and attention to all those details that add glamour and excitement to an event. Congratulations to the Freedom to Dance team, cant wait until next year.