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The Dance Review

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



Thursday 25th, May 2023

Welcome back to Blackpool dance festival and the American Style! It has been an incredible week of Pro-Am. With the entries increasing 100% from last year. This is not a surprise because American style has and is becoming so popular worldwide. In addition, who would not want to dance on this beautiful new floor and to the music of Ashley Frolick and the Empress Orchestra?

The American Rhythm was held this evening and nine couples arrived on the floor with great energy and anticipation. The winners were Dimitry Nikishkin and Olena Shvets-Nikishkin placing Second in Cha-Cha, First in rumba, First in Swing, First in Bolero, and Second in Mambo. Dmitry and Olena have danced together for many years, true competitors and known for their speed and precision, to mention just a few qualities.


2nd Ivan and Ksusha Sokolova brought attention to many and placed First in the Cha Cha, Second in the rumba, Third in the Swing and Second in the Bolero and in the Mambo. Ksusha has beautiful leg action and he has changed his look to a more classical appearance. They started off strong, danced well and ultimately maintained the 2nd place which is a terrific accomplishment.





3rd Dmytro Gurkov and Celeste Bailey Third in Cha Cha, Third in Rumba, Second in Swing, Third in Bolero and First in Mambo. Dmytro and Celeste are always beautifully groomed, rhythmical and so well connected. Placing First in the Mambo is always the greatest challenge for the couples to show the character, rhythm and stamina! Dmytro and Celeste have what it takes on all levels!


4th Oxana Kashkina and Ilie Bardahan were on fire and really dancing for a high placement. I am sure they are pleased with their results. 4th in Cha Cha, Fourth in Rumba, Fourth in Swing, Fifth in Bolero and Fourth in Mambo. This team is a great match and wonderful to see them in the final.


5th Gene Bersten and Elena Bersten finished Fifth in Cha Cha, Fifth in Rumba, Fifth in Swing, Fourth in Bolero and Fifth in Mambo. Gene and Elena keep improving and strengthening their skills and overall performance.

They always come out with a fierce energy and determination

for every competition.


6th Jake Davies and Alyona Kalinina were here last year and it was good to see them in the final again. They have creative choreography and good partnering skills. Jake and Alyona were Sixth place in all dances and deserved to be in the final. Terrific all around.


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Photo credit: DanceFile.eu - Dance Events Photography

Photographers - Peter Broughton and Pavel Protsasov

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