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Adele Preston-Tanaka FTD Amateur Ballroom Championships 2016 Write Up

Freedom to Dance Amateur Ballroom Championships 2016

Once again this year a wonderful entry of excellent standard, a very difficult event to judge with so many couples of a similar level. Heartbreaking decisions have to be made by the excellent and experienced panel of adjudicators that Freedom to Dance is so well reputed for.

Victorious again this year, Sergiu Rusu and Dorota Makar from Poland, proving once again that beautiful quality and exquisite taste are very difficult to beat.They possess a lovely naturalness in everything they do, unaffected and so together.The result of wonderful training and understanding of the technique. Congratulations on yet another title.
Into second place, He Chong and Shan Jing, China. Quality dancers who also possess a lovely naturalness. I feel this performance was their best for some time, back on the right track showing a classic line and lovely swing.Doing what they do best. Greater consistency will allow them to challenge more effectively, they occasionally switch off, but overall a more pleasing performance and closed the gap between first and second on this occasion.

Third place, Fedor Isaev and Anna Zudilina, Russia. Also danced very well, Soft, fluid and pure in action in the swing dances, they have the ability to fill time beautifully with apparent effortlessness. Their Tango however gets too light, they loose connection with the floor and each other .For me their weakest dance as too much external tension was evident and they need to study more how to create the impact through great timing rather than physicality.

Into fourth place and offering their own uniqueness to the final, Diego Arias Prado and Ekaterina Ermolina. Iʼve seen pleasing development in Diego and Ekaterinas dancing in recent months. Theyʼve added a greater understanding of musicality and timing to their dance. Their Foxtrot base action was beautifully timed resulting in a fluid and authentic dance that challenged those above.I also thought their Tango showed a more mature approach with greater sensitivity combined with super timing.I would like to see a similar approach now to Quickstep which for me was their weakest dance on this occasion.
If they can maintain their body angles in relation to each other more consistently throughout each dance I think their challenge for a higher place will be more successful.

Fifth place in this excellent final went to a delighted Ivan Novikov and Margarita Kilmenko of Russia. A lovely natural shape and togetherness made this couple an easy selection for the final. I noted in the early rounds their full fluid action in the swing dances and wonderful body flight in Quickstep particularly. Tango needs a greater weight connection with the floor and each other and the occasional loss of line through the ladies upper spine and neckline marred what was otherwise a great performance from them.

Into sixth place were Alex Gunnarsson and Liis End. Blessed with beautiful physiques and a lovely shoulder line. Always classical and Elegant with a purity of swing and great style.Waltz was beautiful and must have been considered for higher but
Tango again their weakest dance for me, they loose compression and it becomes too light. Finding the true characterization of each dance is something they should strive towards. The potential is certainly there.
A great final in which all couples were deserved of their place. However some interesting challenges came from improved couples in the semi finals. I would particularly like to
mention Jianan Peng and Jiaci Zhong.A much more mature performance from them, an improved understanding of principles combined with some lovely timed moments of foxtrot and quickstep, they caught my eye several times.

Oscar Wojchiechowski and Karolina Holody challenged strongly in Tango particularly. Andres and Veronica End, very together and showing more consistency on this occasion.Greater freedom in the upper body would enhance further what was a good performance.
Ben Taylor and Stefanie Bossen.I particularly liked their Waltz today as it showed greater freedom and fluidity. As the semi final progressed this was diminished somewhat but I felt the change I saw was definitely a positive step in the right direction.

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