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The Dance Review

Victor Fung reports on the Amateur Ballroom Rising Stars Competition.



The Amateur Ballroom Rising Stars competition is certainly one of those events where you get to witness the beginnings of some future champions in the making.  This year’s Blackpool Amateur Rising Stars Ballroom event was inundated with talent, vitality, energy, skills and a plethora of hunger and determination from all the couples.  What a wonderful start to this year’s Blackpool Dance Festival!


-First place goes to Dmytro Rodin and Sofia Alba (1121).  A very young and handsome looking couple with all the cosmetic details in place.  They are probably the most balanced couple in the final in terms of shape, space, movement, timing, and quality of motion.  Dmytro has a lovely shoulder line that never seems to ruffle even as he inputs more power and energy throughout the dance.  They are not yet perfectly in sync with each other and there is the occasional position change during the dances but for certain one to look out for in the future.  Congratulations on a terrific result!


-Second place goes to Karol Sled and Natalia Saymczak (2232). I recall noticing this couple last year at another major event and what a powerful couple they are! They have a great shift of weight across the floor and the use of their body weight as they dance is commendable. It’s refreshing to see some simple actions and steps from this couple done with accuracy and precision. They are easy to notice as they dance clear movements without much complicated actions. Karol’s left hand looks to be in a slightly strange position which catches the eye. Attention to this detail will help enhance the overall look and shilouette.


-Third place goes to TingHui Li and YuWei Liu (3313). This young couple from China certainly packs a punch! What an incredible power they have particularly in Tango where they dance a cracking Tango that resulted in a well deserved win for this dance. TingHui has a determination and a ferocity that certainly makes an impact and YuWei is right there for him lovely, fluid, and balanced. Their quickstep is like the Concrode with superb flight cross the floor and yet they are able to contrast it with a smooth and flowing Foxtrot with beautiful upper body motion. Well done for this wonderful young couple from China!


-Fourth place goes to Salvatore Vitacca and Zhai Meng Fri (6444). This couple is an interesting combination making them very attractive to watch. They are a tall slim couple with interesting movements and actions.  They must be thrilled and over the moon to have made this final and quite deservedly so. Their arms and space are not quite balanced yet with each other they occasionally can be a bit bumpy in the Foxtrot but I’m certain with a little more focus and attention to the details of motion and harmonizing their motion with the music they will make great strides in the future.


-Fifth place goes to Mark Chilcote and Madison Ingoldsby (5555). These two are young, beautiful, and attacking dancers with great energy and a very positive aura about them. They start their Waltz off ahead of the melody and everyone else with a lovely Telemark, Double Telespin, into a hovering side lock perfectly timed with the music as the melody begins on the fifth bar. What an interesting and eye catching start! This type of action shows a well thought and planned approach to their competition which is great and refreshing to see.  Mark's left hand can at times appear too flat and unfortunately they lost a little steam in the final Quickstep. But certainly a great performance altogether.


-Sixth place goes to Nathan Zaytsev and Alisa Bankova (4666). What a wonderful performance and a great result from this couple! They are probably the youngest couple in this final with an incredibly bright future ahead of them. They already are showing excellent fundamentals and basic leg actions which is the foundation of any great dancer. Nathan has an exuberance and determination when he’s on the floor which is evident in his approach to the competition. Alisa looks lovely and light always staying balanced in Nathan’s arms without overshaping needlessly and causing any unnecessary tension. They have the most natural swing in their Waltz and fly effortlessly in their Quickstep. These two certainly are ones to look out for in the future! Hearty congratulations to you both!


Congratulations once again to all the finalists and competitors in the Blackpool Amateur Rising Stars event.  You all displayed wonderful and incredible performances!


Thank you to the Blackpool Dance Festival Organizer, Ms. Natalie Hayes, and the Managing Director of Blackpool Entertainment Limited Co, Mr. Michael Williams, for allowing me to share my thoughts as well as organizing yet again another spectacular Blackpool Dance Festival.


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