Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ohio Star Ball 2009 Recap

By Armando Martin, Fred Astaire Dance Studios National Dance Director

The Ohio Star Ball took place on the third weekend in November, and, once again, record numbers of people and entries attended this very prestigious event. It was a very long week for those of us who judged the competition, but the culmination of the professional events was well worth the time invested.

The professional Latin Competition was not as exciting as it could have been due to the fact that the Latin World Championships was going on during the same weekend in Europe. Because of this, both the top two U.S. and Canadian couples were not in attendance in Ohio.

The one thing that was truly invigorating for me was the amount and the quality of Fred Astaire Dance Studio professionals in the field, and the fact that we had so many good placements. The semifinal of the World Smooth was full of our people, couples such as Greg and Gaby from New Jersey and Vladimir and Vera from Buffalo, New York. Making the final and dancing with great flair and class was Misha and Gal from the New York East Side studio.

In the Rhythm category, the same was true. Many of our couples graced the floor during the semifinal round, which, by the way, means that we will be seeing these couples in the finals in the years to come. Making the final of this World Rhythm event was Ricky and Albina from the Milwaukee Central Studio; they continued to impress the judges and dance great after their final placements at the USDC.

The Pro Rhythm Rising Star final was riddled with our FADS couples; four out of the six finalists were from our company.

The following is the list of all the Fred Astaire couples who made a real impact in the professional events. I’d like to send my congratulations to all of our couples and thank you all for making us all proud. Keep it up.

Jesse Benedetti & Kimalee Piedad, Ft. Walton Beach - 3rd in Professional Theatrical/Solo Exhibitions
Ricky Bentzen & Albina Habrle, Milwaukee Central - 5th in World American Rhythm & 6th in Rhythm Show Dance
Aaron DeSoto & Jaana Lillemagi, Chicago North - 1st in American Rhythm Rising Star
Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyalkova, Phoenix - 3rd in American Rhythm Rising Star
Anatoli Gorolevici & Irina Gorolevici, Hanover - 6th in International Standard Rising Star
Nikolay Karchev & Robyn Zmudzinski, Milwaukee Central - 5th in American Rhythm Rising Star
Vicente Martinez & Megan Murphy, Chicago Downtown - 1st in Professional Theatrical/Solo Exhibitions
Aleks Nashev & Brittney Bartler, Chicago North - 2nd in American Rhythm Rising Star
Mikhail Zharinov & Galina Detkina, NY East - 4th in World American Smooth and 4th in Smooth Show Dance

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