USA at Blackpool; Slavik & Karina Reunited

Hey dancers,

Long time no see! I haven’t had much to talk about, really, since it’s been so long since I had a lesson (a week and a day – haha). Just mostly been practicing…and, I’ll admit, heartbroken that Riker didn’t win DWTS.

I just wanted to get this one video out to you, if you haven’t seen it already – beloved dance couple Slavik Kryklyvyy and Karina Smirnoff danced at Blackpool! Poetry in motion!

Can they be more amazing? I’m still trying to find a full video of their cha cha performance. In the meantime, grabbing these clips Karina posted on her Instagram will have to do. She’s not super tall; how is it she is able to make it look like her legs are miles long?!

On another note, the USA is doing pretty well in this year’s Blackpool, as far as I know. And I keep finding these things out by accident on Instagram because I don’t see the results posted anywhere. Austin Joson and Nino Dzneladze placed 2nd in Under 21 Latin and then actually won the Amateur Rising Star event! Amazing!

Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze Blackpool Dance Festival 2015 (c) Peter Suba

Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze Blackpool Dance Festival 2015 (c) Peter Suba

She is sooooo beautiful! And she has always been an amazing dancer – I remember seeing them both for the first time on a Paradigm DVD video, 2011 Embassy Ball Under 21 Latin. He placed second and she won. OK, I had no idea that was their placement. This partnership was meant to happen.

We’ve also got two couples in the Pro RS Latin final! Roman Italyankin and Alexandra Bokova placed 6th and Francisco Bertini and Sabrina Manzi placed 2nd!

Blackpool 2015 Pro RS Latin - Francisco Bertini / Sabrina Manzi & Roman Italyankin / Sasha Bokova

Blackpool 2015 Pro RS Latin – Francisco Bertini / Sabrina Manzi & Roman Italyankin / Sasha Bokova

And I think the winners of this event, Ruslan Aydaev with Valeriya Kozharinova, are also worth mentioning, even though they dance for Ukraine, since Valeriya used to dance with Val Chmerkovskiy and all.

We’ve also got Patryk Ploszaj and Anna Kaczmarski, who got 3rd in Under 21 Ballroom. In the Professional Rising Star Ballroom, we got another two couples! Oscar Pedrinelli and Lenka Kovalcikova came in 5th. Then there’s Iaroslav Bieliei with Liliia Gladiuk, who placed 2nd. It’s so exciting!

There’s also the fact that for the first time in history, American Smooth is going to be showcased at Blackpool! According to this article on, this has been in the works for a long time. The event will be showcased, not judged, but they are going to have the top 6 American Smooth couples do a 30 second dance-on, followed by a full 4-dance final. I think that’s awesome! Kind of progressive, isn’t it? Now, it’ll be interesting to see if they can get Rhythm involved next year!

I can’t wait to see Blackpool’s Pro Latin and Pro Ballroom results! I have a feeling the placements may be shaken up this go-around.


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