Lesson 16: The Spiral and Millennium 2015

It’s Sunday Funday, dancers!

I don’t know why I said that, because it drives me crackers when people call it Sunday Funday.

Anyway, yes, I will confess I’m extremely late right now. I had a very busy three days!

However…Lesson 16 this past Thursday accidentally involved talk of my personal life. In my mind, I think “shut up, Teach doesn’t need to know these things”. But what I said out loud to him was, “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but we’ve known each other forever so you’ll live, right?” He laughed and dished out a fabulous piece of advice, which was “I know it’s new and it’s scary, but just take the good things as they come”.

Anyway, the actual lesson entailed him asking, “Cha cha and rumba. Any questions?” Me: “The high spiral. What exactly am I doing there? Like…footwork?”

“Okay, the spiral. Did we ever break it down?”

“Uhhh…I’m thinking no.”

Spirals are more complicated than I thought. Not that he told me it’s so complicated that now I don’t ever think I can do one again, but it’s not just a turn. It has mechanics. I’m now concerned about doing it in cha cha, because I just have really bad balance, so moving fast is not currently in my wheelhouse of strengths. But at least now I know how to stay grounded when I spiral.

We also talked about clarity on the counts. “Let me see THIS line on 3!” “HOLD 1, CHECK 2!” Ironically, clarity and timing was something that had occurred to me while practicing and I’d been thinking about it a lot lately, so I’m glad it came up.

Dimitrios Damalas and Maria Seragou - Damalas

Dimitrios Damalas and Maria Seragou – Damalas

That’s my friend Maria! We used to dance together at the franchise back in the day. She ended up moving on with an independent instructor (Dimitrios, who’s in the picture with her) and has been kicking butt in the Pro-Am field ever since. Actually, she was kicking butt in Pro-Am even when at the franchise studio; I think she’s won pretty much every championship there is to win in the USA. She also was featured in this article in the New York Times, in a section where they spotlight the extracurriculars of Wall Street workers. Maria has just always been one of those people that I look to, ya know?

Teach and I will be discussing mechanics next week. We all know working on mechanics isn’t a lot of fun, but I also know that using my center is the most important thing I can learn if I ever want to get better at this. Even though I know how to use my center, I don’t think I do it right. Even in cross training when I should be using my core, I think I end up using my lower back instead. I slept on my stomach one night a couple weeks ago (I slept on my stomach for probably a decade and then stopped) and my lower back was killing me for days afterward.

He’s also gradually lightening our connection so he can make sure I’m developing the strength. I’m terrified because of my lack of balance. And also because isn’t most of the fun in dancing the part where you’re connected to someone else? I know he’s still with me, but also just as a woman, I quite like it sometimes when the decision is taken from me. Plus, the strength in a man is damn near always what draws me to him.

I think I segued into something else. Oops.

Now that I’ve made things awkward, let’s move on.

Millennium Dancesport was this weekend! Not that I don’t love a change of scene, but what was the deal with the Candyland thing? Ah well. It makes it fun. Probably best that I wasn’t there, because I would go crazy eating candy and literally be running on the ceiling with a trail of smoke behind me, and I would probably be banned from the event, because I’m naturally insanely energetic, so me on a sugar high is a terrible idea.

Okay, okay. Well, Pro Latin has been the only division so far I can find pictures of, but here it is!

Milennium 2015 Pro Latin

Milennium 2015 Pro Latin

1) Maurizio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite (Canada)
2) Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova
3) Mykhaylo Bilopukhov & Anastasiya Shchpilina (Ukraine)
4) Dmitry Nikishkin & Olena Shvets-Nikishkin (did you know they’re newlyweds? Happy face!)
5) Roman Italyankin & Aleksandra Bokova
6) Sasha Altukov & Cheyenne Murillo (they also won Rising Star. Can you believe she was still dancing Pro/Am up until a year ago? They were featured as a Pro/Am couple in the first episode of America’s Ballroom Challenge)

Stalking heat lists is exhausting, but I, as well as all of you, want to know what went down at this competition, so I found an easier way: SCORESHEETS!

Pro Ballroom placings:
1) Victor Fung & Anastasiya Muravyeva (I love everything about them)
2) Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk
3) Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva
4) Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronika Egorova
5) Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova
6) Iaroslav Bieliei & Lillia Gladiuk
7) Andrey Begunov & Anna Demidova

If I’m not mistaken, 1-7 in Pro Ballroom are all USA couples.

American Rhythm placings:
1) Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova
2) Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova
3) Andre & Natalie Paramonov
4) Misha Vlasov & Vanda Polakova
5) Vard Margaryan & Mandy Carlisle
6) Shane & Shannon Jenson

Not really any surprises there except for the couple that placed 5th. All I know is they’re a new partnership because I’ve never heard of them.

Pro Smooth placings:
1) Mikhail & Galina Zharinov
2) Mazen Hamza & Isabela
3) Nikolai Cheremukhin & Viktorija
4) Travis & Jaimee Tuft (they’re kind of my Smooth obsession)
5) Kyle & Allie Spinder
6) Yegor Novikov & Alexandra Smimova

I don’t know when I found out that Yegor Novikov was dancing Smooth now, but apparently I’ve known this for a while. *shrug*

And just for fun I’ll throw in the Amateur Latin standings:
1) Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanina
2) Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze (I LOVE this partnership!)
3) Tal Livshitz & Ilana Keselman
4) Daniils Kutuzovs & Maria Shalvarova (Canada)
5) Artur Tarnavskiy & Anastasiya Danilova
6) Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova

Okay, okay. My Teach danced in this competition also and made the semifinal in his style. I told him whoever didn’t recall him to the final is wrong anyway, but other than that, I think I can dig these results. Are we okay with this? Did the right couples get ranked in the right order?


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