Articles 2000 – 2005 – Introduction to competitive ballroom dancing

The University of Vienna is the largest universities of Central Europe. Degree Programs that may be useful for DanceSport Athletes: Historical-Cultural Sciences, Philological-Cultural Sciences and Sports Sciences. Conservatorium is the cultural part of the Vienna University. Attendance costs 500 Euros for half a year and auditions are at the beginning of September once a year. The program is 4 years long. As I spoke to the people there I understood that missing classes is not such a good Idea. The lessons are scattered throughout the day. From morning to 2 daily, and sometimes something at three, sometimes at 6 something for 2 hours. There are people from all sorts of dance styles there. There are people that aren’t even in good shape. The program includes psychology, philosophy, History of dance, singing and music studies with a main accent on Modern dance and ballet. Could be a possibility. More about the University of Vienna: click here   / by Team /

Prague is an unbelievably beautiful city. Over a latest decade ago it developed into one of the most progressing regions of today’s European Union. Prague has always maintained it’s rich culture and architecture. The Czech Republic has a level of dancing that corresponds to the Slavik system of dance development. By the Slavik system of development I mean children of young ages developing a higher standard of dance and more often sent to dance clubs by their parents. That was just to point out the presence of good level dancing in the Juvenile and Junior categories. That is under 16 years old.

The competition hall was in the center of one of the city’s most well known squares. Prague is filled with people and hotels. Therefore one could stay right by the competition hall and enjoy a beautiful panorama of historically precious buildings in a mix with modern day shops and restaurants. The inside of the Lucerna dance hall was very much like the one at the most prestigious dance festival in the world in Blackpool, England. This one was a little less restored and with a more slippery hardwood floor. Balconies provided here were used as change rooms and observation points of the fellow competitors, so one could change clothes without taking the eyes off of the spectacular artistry and physique being produced on the competition floor. Time wise well arranged because of not too long or too little breaks between the rounds. Last year this event ran over two days rather than all categories on one day like this year. Generally speaking a well organized, average participation, beautiful to dance competition. The only thing that is needed is a lot of anti-slipping substances for the shoes!    / by Team /

Christopher Hawkins, World Professional Ballroom Champion 2002 – 2004 with Hazel Newberry, and his dancing partner Justyna Kozinska get married

To most people this competition is still known as GOC-Mannheim. Not everyone has gotten into their system that it was recently relocated to Stuttgart. Stuttgart is a very clean city with a lot of modern buildings. This is not the place to come to for old european architecture. North Americans would feel quite at home in this city. It took place in the Liederhalle (song hall in English). Three considerably large halls made enough place for the enourmous amount of entries of couples from around the world. Most people would agree that this is the most highly ranked IDSF competition after the official World Championships. It is connected to the high class Maritim Hotel where all of the competition officials and many dancers stayed.

 Definetely things like floor quality, hall design, music, judging level, competitor level makes a difference for the dancers. I would say that this competition’s strenghts were the competitor quality, hall design and music. The dance music is the main strength. This was not one of those competitions where you hear the same old samba that you dance to 5 years already in you daily practice hall. The music was definetely fresh. It was pleasurable for the dancer to get a new feeling in his body to produce a more inspirational performance. The ¼ final round of almost every event was accompanied by a very inspirational orchestra that included a singer. She sang the top hits including a lot of oldies while the orchestra created music with a rhythm appropriate for the dances the competitors should perform.

 I would say the German Open stands on it’s own among all of the events dancing has to offer. Every serious couple has this competition in mind while practicing throughout the year. The conclusion is: If you want to enjoy some luxury in the Maritim Hotel while watching the elite of the dancing world compete and communicate with some of the most famous people of this business, visit Stuttgart for the GOC-2006!    / by Team /

Grand Ball 2005, November 12th Joel Marasigan and Clara Shih

This competition is quite young. It’s been running for only a few years, and is often put under question by the German Dancesport Association because of the German Open Championships that run the day after. What troubled them a little bit was the participation of the competitors. Would the dancers go home after Leipzig, because many wouldn’t want to stay for the week needed to attend both events properly, or would they dance both events? The answer is a good one – it turned out that a very high percentange of couples that danced the Saxonian Dance Days participated in the German Open Championships two days after and a 6 hour drive away. Maybe the German Autobahn is the secret. Maybe dancers enjoy a drive through the exceptional quality of motorways. Some dancers probably get the kick they need from that drive to get inspiration for the competition.

  The event itself took place in a sports center with 2 dance halls of a considerably large size. Most dancers used the squash courts as changing rooms. It’s always nice to be able to take a few swings for warmup I guess. Ten metres beside the sports center was a beutiful Ramada Hotel, where dancers were able to relax and have a nice meal before and after they have competed. In gereral the organisation was not exceptional this time as one would expect from the germans. The microphone stopped working a few times and dancers had to redance the dances sometimes in the same round because of some technical failiure. These are such minor things though, that one should not pay attention to. If the dancing is of a high level, then the most important part of the competition is already a success.

 Of course one cannot compare this event to the German Open in Stuttgart, but this competition is very well known within the dance community and it is definetely an event worth attending.   / by Team /

The Partner Ballroom Dance Robot, Posted Jun 6, 2005

Developed by scientists at Tokhuro University, the Partner Ballroom Dance Robot (PBDR) is able to predict the steps of a human partner…

AFP/File Photo: Takahiro Takeda, postgraduate student of Japan’s Tohoku Univ., dances with Partner Ballroom Dance Robot (PBDR)…    / by Team /

World Youth Latin Wels, Austria, Wels, April 23rd, 2005

Amateur Latin Finalists Polish Open, June 2005

And once again the event the 2 top youth couples of every country practice for the whole year has taken place with it’s surprises, moments of joy, pride and sorrow. For some this is not the most important competition because of the ultra prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival which only holds a under 21 competition as a Youth category. Surely for couples of a respective dance level the Blackpool and the World Championship competitions are ranked as the top 2 in the priority of winning list. It was not the first time that Austria holds a Youth Championship.

The competition was in a brand new sports hall with a good dance floor, lighting and almost no Austrian people. The absence of people is due to their attendance of a large competition in Bavaria, Germany. For Europe it’s very usual to have 4 to 5 big events on the same weekend. This time the top 2 of the world’s dance countries showed class with 2 Russian and 2 Italian couples in the final. Russian couple winning this event is not a surprise. Previously on events they were not able to beat the German couple, but probably deserving it with dancing better than usual in the final. Italian couple being second was probably not our choice and to our view should of been in the end of this final together with the other Italians. The results-wise top couple from Germany who won almost every previous competition against the couples at this event finished only in third posititon. The physical capabilities of both of the partners from this couple has absolutely no comparison to any Youth couple of today, being able to do any stretch, spin or jump with the greatest easiness and lightness. Unfortunately the final was not their best round and comparing to the Russians these looks less mature and didn’t show the partnering skills which to some people is a big priority in this business. Fourth position Russians portrayed a great personality of self esteem and awareness. Sixth place Bulgarians were successful today compared to being in the 24 the previous year. Many people were not satisfied with the final placements of the couples, but the difference of opinion is something Dancesport competiors will have to face during their hopefully long careers.   / by Team /

The film “Take The Lead”, inspired by the true story of well known ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane, will shoot in Toronto, start date planned April 25, 2005

Based on a Dianne Houston script, “Take The Lead” is being directed by Liz Friedlander and produced by Chris Godsick, Diane Nabatoff and Michelle Grace. Antonio Banderas will star as a former professional dancer who volunteers to teach dance in the New York public schools. When his ballroom methods clash with his students’ hip-hop instincts, he teams up with them to create a new style of dance and becomes their mentor in the process. Banderas most recently starred in the “Shrek 2”, the movie “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself”, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination. He can next be seen in the upcoming “Legend of Zorro”.

IDSF Open Latin and Standard, Marseille, France – March 19th, 2005

Mr. Brian Torner Canadian DanceSport Adjudicator

This weekend took place a wonderful dance event in Marseille. To our view it is the 2nd biggest competition on France, the biggest being a bit earlier in the year in Paris. Marseille is a city where the French and Italian cultures intercept. The housing and the general infrastructure of the city are similar to those in Italy. Obviously because Marseille is very close to Italy.

  The people there like to have a chat or a dispute over something with a touch of arrogance. Certainly an issue with English language is present, as it is in Italy and all of the Hispanic European countries. For a tourist it’s essential to have knowledge of the language in this area, or at least have a dictionary to show the words. The highlights of the normal city life are definitely the shops of delicate pastry and the restaurants near the water that are open at specific times in the day for lunch and dinner. Lot’s of space are the words that would characterize the Sports Palace of Marseille. Bright lighting was also great at the big dance hall where the competition was held. The couples were predominantly form France, Italy, Spain.

  The most interesting battle of the evening was in the Adult Standard category where the Polish Champions Wiktor Kiszka and his partner Malgorzata Garlicka after putting on a strong, stable and assured performance won over a much higher Slovenian Champion couple Domen Krapez and Monica Nigro. The Slovenians definitely had a much better result in the past, being semi-finalists in Blackpool and all of the other top events in our business. The Poles on the other hand still danced in the Rising Stars categories at many events, which means they weren’t rated as the top 24 for those events. It was a very deserved success for Poland.

 Next year get equipped with a dictionary, bring money for pastries and come to France!    / by Team /

Siebrand World Latin Trophy 2005 – Scheveningen, Holland

In the dancing world, apart from the traditional competitions couples attend at their own cost, there are invitational competitions paid by the organizer.

 This competition is one of the veterans in the invitational world. It’s been around for about 20 years and many of the greats of the competitive dance scene such as Marcus and Karen Hilton have attended this event. The actual event traditionally takes place in the best hotel of The Hague, Scheveningen. People from all over europe come to this vacation spot on the coast of the North Sea. Surely a beautifully organized dance event with top couples from around the world is something people enjoy seeing apart from all of the other activities available in the famous city of The Hague with a population of about 800 000.

  Even with it’s small size the floor was perfect, considering that there were never more than 5 couples on it at the same time. It was a very cozy atmosphere with the 2nd story balconies visible while dancing, and pople sitting quite closely around the floor. Out of the 10 invited couples the prestigious panel of adjudicators had to distribute 5 couples into the Grand final, and 5 into the Rising star final. It was an interesting approach to the traditional semi-final, final system. Instead of after the semi-final the dancers who didn’t make it having to stop and jelously watch the finalists finish the last 5 dances of their competition the organizers spiced things up by allowing the audience to enjoy the couples again, and for the dancers to get another chance to show their skill and try and put out a better performance.

 After the end of the dancing part of the event the participants were treated to 5* buffet where they could socialize and continiue the night.   / by Vadim Garbuzov /

2005 DanceSport Articles: SnowBall Classic 2005

Congratulations from to all the participants of the SnowBall Classic 2005!

 Competition took place in the heart of downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada at the 4-star Hyatt Regency Hotel on February 11-13, 2005. The SnowBall Classic founded in the late 1980s. The SnowBall has grown to become one of the world’s top DanceSport competitions. The SnowBall Classic is organized by DanceSport BC (DSBC) and is sanctioned by the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF). DSBC is a member of Sport BC and the Canadian Amateur DanceSport Association (CADA). CADA is a memeber of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the International DanceSport Federation. DanceSport is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is being considered by the IOC for inclusion as a medal event in the Summer Olympic Games.

 The 2005 IDSF International Open Latin finalists are Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova, Andrius Kandelis & Egle Visockaite, Misa Cigoj & Anastazija Novojilova, Genya Mazo & Maria Shibalova, Vadim Garbuzov & Kathrin Menzinger and Marcin Tomaszewski & Roanna Yapp. The 2005 IDSF International Open Standard finalists are Benedetto Ferruggia & Claudia Koehler, Mark Elsbury & Olga Alissievich, Misa Cigoj & Anastazija Novojilova, Anton Lebedev & Anna Borshch, Andrea Faraci & Erica Ridgeway and Joel Marasigan & Clara Shih.

 The winners of IDSF North Americal Latin Championship are Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova, the winners of both Under 21 Open Latin and Under 21 Open Standard are Vadim Garbuzov & Kathrin Menzinger.

2005 DanceSport Articles: Fred Astaire – famous ballroom dancer

Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987), born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska, was an American film and Broadway ballroom dancer and actor. He is particularly associated with Ginger Rogers, with whom he made ten films.

  During the 1920s, Fred and Adele appeared on Broadway, splitting in 1932 when she married her first husband, Lord Charles Cavendish, a son of the duke of Devonshire. Famously, a Paramount Pictures screen test report on Astaire read simply: “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.” In the opinion of millions of fans of his popular films, Astaire could actually dance quite a bit.

 His singing voice was weak, yet Cole Porter wrote a number of songs especially for him, and quite a few are among evergreen ballroom foxtrots: Night and Day, Cheek to Cheek, The Way You Look Tonight, A Fine Romance, They Can’t Take that Away from Me, Change Partners…Astaire’s final musical film was Finian’s Rainbow (1968). He received an honorary Academy Award in 1950 “for his unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures.” He also won Emmys in 1961 and 1978. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the first year they were awarded.

 Astaire married, as his first wife, in 1933, Phyllis Potter (née Phyllis Livingston Baker, 1908-1954), a Boston-born New York socialite and former wife of Eliphalet Nott Potter 3d (1906-1981). (Potter was a member of a prominent family that supplied two Episcopal bishops of New York; he also was a cousin of Hollywood film director Henry Codman Potter.) Astaire married, as his second wife, in 1980, Robyn Smith, an actress turned jockey. Fred Astaire died in 1987 from pneumonia and was interred in the Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California.

2004 DanceSport Articles: Search for Path to Dance Perfection, October 9th

Nobody can achieve perfection; the path is endless and ongoing. The closer we get the smaller our movement towards perfection becomes.

  The changes that we make become towards improvement are more petite in size. Dance results are risting so far as always in a new couple. First time there goes fast development, and then saturates and goes slower and slower. The higher the level the harder to improve. The changes that we make become towards improvement are more petite in size.

  At the level of the top three couples in the highest categories, we don’t see a big change in their performance from year to year in Blackpool. It’s the couples that have a long way to go to the top that can make a huge improvement from competition to competition in the duration of one week sometimes.

 Having achieved a very high level we will witness only small changes in the dancer’s overall performance and they themselves (dancers) don’t know if it’s for the better or for the worse. I think I’m right in this sense. Although I feel a little confused. Maybe it’s wrong to have this kind of an attitude towards dance perfection? Dear fellow competitors tell me your thoughts about it on Web Forum: Team Announcement of June 2, 2004:

After the past three years of successful partnership first in Junior and then in Youth category, Vadim Garbuzov and Nadiya Dyatlova have decided to terminate their partnership in order to achieve their respective goals independently:

 Vadim and Nadiya are very grateful to all teachers, judges, officials, sponsors, fans, friends, families, volunteers, and, fellow competitors for their advice, enlightenment, and support. Without all of you, they could have never reached their current level.

 Their achievements in the past include such titles as Austrian Open Junior 2002 Latin Finalists, Youth Canadian Champions 2003 and 2004, 17-18th out of 57 couples at the 2003 World Youth Latin Championship, and many more. Both of them will continue dancing in the Youth category, and we hope that Vadim’s new partnership with Kathrin Menzinger, will be very successful and likewise we hope for Nadiya’s new partnership with Marco Cuocci in Youth Category representing Italy.

 About Kathrin… Kathrin Menzinger is dancing since 10 years old. Kathrin was together with her brother Patrick for five years the undisputed best Austrian Junior and Youth Couple. They represented Austria at 7 Junior and Youth World Championships and decided to terminate their successful partnership in 2004 as Patrick wants to concentrate on his studies after finishing school. Their successes:
· Austrian Ten Dance Amateur Vice Champion 2004
· Austrian Latin Youth Vice Champion 2004
· Austrian Latin Youth Champion 2002-2003
· Austrian Standard Youth Vice Champion 2003-2004
· Five times finalist in Austrian Amateur Championships
· Austrian Latin Junior Champion 1999-2001
· Austrian Ten-Dance Junior Champion 1999-2001
· Austrian Standard Junior Vice Champion 2000-2001
· Winner and finalist of many International IDSF Junior and Youth competitions throughout Europe ( Paris, Lille, Ostrava, Vienna, Izola, Ljubljana, Maribor, Marseille, Bratislava, Berlin, Antwerpen, …)

About Vadim…Vadim Garbuzov is now ranked in Championship Category:
· Youth Canadian Standard Champion, April 2004
· Youth Canadian Latin Champion, April 2003
· Youth Canadian Ten-Dance Champion, 2003
· 17th out of 57 in World Youth Latin, Championships Singapore, August 2003
· No. 2 in Canada in Youth Standard, 2003
· No. 1 in Western Canada, February 2003 – 2004, Youth Latin & Standard, Calgary
· SnowBall Classic, Vancouver, February 2003, Best BC couple in Under 21
· Winner of the Grand Ball, November 2002, Junior Latin & Standard, Richmond, BC
· Winner of the Grand Ball, November 2003, Under 21 Standard, Richmond, BC
· Austrian Open Finalists, Vienna, November 2002, Junior Latin Finalists
More Vadim’s and Kathrin’s DanceSport Competitions Results at

Professional Standard World Champions 2000 – 2006

2000Augusto Schiavo & Katerina ArzentonItaly
2001Luca & Loraine BaricchiEngland
2002 – 2004Christopher Hawkins & Hazel NewberryEngland
2005 – 2006Mirko Gozzoli & Alessia BettiItaly

Professional Latin World Champions 2000 – 2006

2000 – 2006Bryan Watson & Carmen VinceljGermany

Visit 2006 – 2007 DanceSport Articles