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88th Blackpool Dance Festival 2013

Blackpool Dance Festival is held for the 88th time! Can you imagine? Even if you just count arithmetically, it turns out that the first tournament was held in 1925! And considering that this festival was not held during the 2nd World War, then it was started again almost when the ballroom dancers have just begun to compete in a masterful performance of fashionable tango. That is really fantastic!

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Blackpool . That is how the dancers all around the world shortly, kindly, and with a hint of pleasure call in one word the most world-famous tournament. This word causes a rush of excitement for each dancer, even if the tournament has never been visited by that dancer. Blackpool attracts and repulses, worries and annoys, makes happy and sad, exhausts and charges. That’s how, contrasting, it refers to all the fans of ballroom dancing. There are no indifferent. Is it the measure and the reason of its success?

Blackpool Dance Festival is held for the 88th time! Can you imagine? Even if you just count arithmetically, it turns out that the first tournament was held in 1925! And considering that this festival was not held during the 2nd World War, then it was started again almost when the ballroom dancers have just begun to compete in a masterful performance of fashionable tango. That is really fantastic!

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Not everyone knows the history of the Blackpool Festival. And it is not necessary. Arriving here, you will see and feel everything by yourself. For sure, you will immediately join the camp of admirers and fans or foes and malignant of the festival.

During these days I’ve heard different opinions and feedbacks about what is going on here. I will try to make my report consisting of such different opinions.

Unfortunately, several events had been held in Blackpool that I can not describe... (just because I have not seen them). By the time of my arrival, Rising Stars Amateur Ballroom, Youth U21 Latin have been completed.It is necessary to say that the audience is specially concerned with the two main categories: Amateurs and Professionals. Therefore, we will speak about the final 4 days of eminent international festival.

May 28, Tuesday. Adults, Latin

According to the opinion of people who have been here since the first day, the hall became much more stuffy: apparently, the heating was turned on. It seems to be great, but in the evening the hall was stifling. I do not know if this had any effect on the dancers and the audience. But the fact that there was really hot on the dance floor (in all senses) - that's the fact!

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Little less than 300 couples started the competition. Then 215 couples were qualified into the next round, then - 143, 102, 50, 26, 12 in the semi-final, and 6 in the final: Eight rounds in total. The first qualifying round was held on the day before, as always, on Monday. Then, the remaining 7 rounds took place on Tuesday, from 11:30 am until the finale, which was held after 23:00. According to the tradition, the couples started to dance with the recorded music, and in the evening (from 1/16 of the final) The Empress Orchestra started to play their great music. All the dancers who come to Blackpool are waiting for the evening rounds to be inspired by the wonderful live music of this orchestra.

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I heard from several people that the overall level of couples was much weaker than last year. The reasons for this are unknown, but that is not important. The most important thing for Blackpool is that THE BEST COUPLES IN THE WORLD MUST COME HERE!

I’m proud to say that there were a lot of Ukrainian dancers competing as always. But gradually from round to round again, their amount was getting smaller and smaller. And those who passed to the higher round received a pronounced support in the form of shouts and applause, emotions from the "lost" fellows. Naturally, all of us were pleased with the participation of the four Ukrainian couples at the quarter-final.

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Sergiy Chyslov & Darya Chyslova (the 17th place). Very professional dance: confident, original, attention-grabbing. Dasha had a very beautiful new dark blue dress. As always, their Passodoble is unusual for the common musicianship but excellent in understanding each other and cooperation inside the couple. And knowing the guys as wonderful people, you can endlessly admire their dance. I am glad that Sergey and Dasha – are my countrymen, they are from Kharkov .


Dmytro Pankov & Olesya Pankova (the 26th place). Everybody was surprised that this couple appeared in the quarter-final. They did it well! The dance of this couple was calm and confident. One feels that the couple is in active growth, and that they are psychologically well prepared for this tournament. Congratulations!


Oleksandr Kravchuk & Olesya Getsko (the 15th place). They are, as always, very bright and compelling couple. The couple has the leader’s status. However, in the early rounds, when the guys did not dance, having two "stars", Sasha, watching the floor, was visibly nervous. During the quarter-final it was felt that the couple desires to reach semi-final, but unfortunately it did not happen. Sorry for this misfortune. In my opinion, they obviously had to go much further according to their dance.


Anton Nesterko & Dariya Maryuschenko (the 11th place). This Ukrainian couple appeared in the semi-final today. Their dance was outstanding from the very first step they made on the floor. The right choice of place, great calculation of the floor. Always full of movement. Beautiful picture and very pure emotions. In the semi-final, the couple put on white costumes and became even more brighter, attracted by the light. Unfortunately, only semi-final for the present.

The final for adults was fairly predictable. There remained only one vacant place in the final, which appeared after Neil Jones & Ekaterina Sokolova become Professionals after winning all possible titles as Amateurs. And this place was, all of a sudden, occupied by the newly formed Russian couple - Nikita Brovko & Olga Urumova.


The hall just exploded when the couple was called to the final! Nikita and Olga spent quite a long time to achieve this result. Experts know these dancers as quite successful, persistent and hardworking. I loved Nikita’s dance. In each new moment, he was totally unpredictable and natural! Excellent balance, beautiful lines, excellent musicianship. Olga looked a little bit heavy, but their partnership and cooperation were at the highest level. At the end, the guys appeared on the 4th place, overtaking two experienced couples. It is very cool for the debut in Blackpool! And what is the cost for the tears of Nikita’s father after the results announcement!


At the tournament there was a moment in Rumba when Nikita was trapped between the two couples, and he had to slip under Kirill Belorukov’s hand standing next to. He succeeded not only to "disguise" his actions under the dance move, but even do not fall out with the music. The moment was really cool and the right side of the hall began to applaud with laughter. Exactly such moments are waited by the audience. It is these moments that make a couple and the tournament memorable for a long time.


Morten Lowe & Roselina Doneva. This couple from Denmark was the 6th. But they seemed to me more cooperated than many of the participants in the final. Perhaps it was too much desire and effort, but the style and range of motions within the couple, called for the most positive emotions. Very beautiful duet!


Mirco Risi & Maria Ermachkova. This Italian couple was fifth today. The day before I met with Mirco and recognized him as a very positive “tipo”. He was friendly, humorous and very open. And his dance was the same. It will be interesting to watch their careers.


Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina. This couple danced for the U.S., though usually they represented Italy . I think today the guys were a bit unlucky: they were only the 3rd. Dancers performed very musical, dynamic and vibrant dance. Maybe sometimes Ferdinando was more relaxed than it was needed. But the fact that it is very promising and pleasing to the eye couple is unquestionable.


Kirill Belorukov & Elvira Skrylnikova (Russia). Very strong dancers. Individually, each of them – is a very bright star! Kirill – is the real macho: tall, bright and strong. Elvira - very beautiful, confident towards herself and her dance. I felt much preparation for the competition: worked out choreography, bright picture, and pure emotions. Such dance is usually liked by the audience. Perhaps this couple did not have the only twoness: I constantly had the feeling that the dancers do not compete with others, but with each other. This tactical approach provides a very strong motivation for personal growth, but...


Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova. This couple from Denmark (Denmark again) became the champion of Blackpool. How did they convince the judges? At the final the dancers put on plain black suits, quite unadorned. Nothing extra! Only His Majesty Dance! Personally, this couple is the best for me by the fact that in the early rounds they can be almost invisible, but if you start to look at them, it is impossible to watch somebody else. Both dancers are perfectly reproduce the music in their bodies. And all these without any visible tension. Beautiful in appearance (but without the exaggerated beauty), very emotional and natural (but subtly, without the imposition to the audience). The main "trick" of this wonderful couple - is, of course, the pair dance, real cooperation and support of each other. I would like to congratulate all dancers with the fact that in our time there is a couple that can be called the couple of highest standard. Their dance, like no other, is worth it.

(What kind of country is this Denmark? Why we know so little about it? Why Danish couples are so harmonious and stylish dancers? And the main question is why on November 16 at Danish Open Latin Championship 2013 there is no one category, performing standard. Is it interesting for someone else except me?)

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Winter Gardens until the evening were filled to the overflowing, and very often the audience gave a standing ovation. I liked the respect with which the elite judges and the audience treat the dancers: sincere support and always open smiles. Ladies come in evening dresses; most of the men were in dinner jackets. And I really like how the youth dancers coming to cheer both amateurs and professionals, change the familiar street and denim clothing to the evening dresses and business suits, and try to transform themselves and look like the grown-up, elegant, élite.

Blackpool - this is truly worthy place where once a year the best couples from around the world and those who really want to become the best can meet with the best judges and the best audience in the World.

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Competitions protocols: 

Results with the marks: 

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