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The Dance Review

Victoria Regan reports on the Professional American Smooth at the 97th Annual Blackpool Dance Festival.

Friday, 26th May, 2023

This evening was spectacular and one of the highlights was The “AMERICAN SMOOTH COMPETITION.” This style is clearly the fastest growing style in the industry and rightly so. To be excellent in this style, the dancers need excellent Ballroom skills, Latin skills are important and experience in theatre arts such as tap, jazz and ballet are extremely helpful. The freedom of movement and positions is what makes the “American Smooth” so appealing.

There were 17 couples entered and 16 were able to dance for the Adjudicators over 3 rounds. This was good because so many of the couples were beautiful, yet only Six recalled.

1st Nick Cheremukhin and Viktorija Barishina were First in all dances. Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. Nick and Victorija have danced together since 2014 and have become highly experienced and "Beautiful" in this style. Four times U.S. Professional Smooth Champions and now Five times Blackpool Professional Champions, they were obviously seen by our extremely qualified Adjudicators as clear winners.

2nd Alexey Polvnikov and Olga Scherbina are from Russia and immediately caught your eye as a high level in Ballroom and now American Smooth . Second in Waltz, Second in Tango, Second in Foxtrot and Third in Viennese waltz .They were very well connected and used the space superbly regarding movement and strategy on the floor.

3rd Travis Tuft and Jamie Tuft are Multi-Talented in American Style as well as Theatrical and Cabaret Style with many Championship Titles in all three. This makes the movement and lines exquisite and easily produced. They were Third in all dances and Second in the Viennese waltz. Travis and Jamie are full fledged competitors and always positive and supportive of others as well.

4th Jang and Adele Don danced extremely well in the second 2 rounds resulting in 4th overall. Fourth in the Waltz, Fourth in the Tango , Fifth in the Foxtrot and Fifth in the Viennese waltz. Always a well balanced couple with incredible skills. The look matches beautifully and Adele has tremendous flexibility allowing for them to add theatrical lines and moves to their choreography. Jang has great strengths and flexibility also and together they have been Former UK Professional 10 Dance and British Showdance Champions.

5th Dmytro Gurkov and Celeste Bailey were recalled to the final again this year and as always, made a great impression. Dmytro and Celeste are the Arthur Murray 9 Dance Champions and are extremely versatile in all dances and placed Fifth in the Waltz, Fifth in the Tango, Fourth in the Foxtrot and Fourth in the Viennese waltz. Dmytro and Celeste have beautiful work in both their Rhythm and Smooth dances and are consistently impeccable with their appearance.

6th Tykhon Zhyvkov and Yana Zhyvkov are competing in Blackpool for the first time and were Sixth in all dances. They are living in California where there are many American Smooth couples and are receiving excellent training to prepare for a higher placement here in the future. Tykhon and Yana formally danced Latin and that is detailed in the work as is their quality of dynamics. Their Waltz is particularly fluid and one of their stronger dances.

To view ALL the events from Blackpool Dance Festival, log on to DANCE TV!!!!

Photo credit: - Dance Events Photography

Photographers - Peter Broughton and Pavel Protsasov

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