The 2016 UK Open

Hello, dancers! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I know it’s been such a long time! I’m at a transition period…I just moved out of my parents’ house! I now live in downtown Manhattan and feel so incredibly fortunate. I’m probably more quiet about it than I should be because I can’t believe this is my life now!

Anyway, so we’re here to talk about the UK Open. Here we go!

So the USA didn’t have anyone in the Amateur Ballroom final. We had Andres & Veronika End and Oskar Wojciechowski & Karolina Holody in the semi, though, so that’s something!

Amateur Latin
(1) Nikita Brovko & Olga Umurova (RUS)
(2) Ferdinando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina (USA) (yay!)
(3) Morten Lowe & Roselina Doneva (DEN)
(4) Klemen Prasnikar & Alexandra Averkieva (SLO)
(5) Manuel Frighetto & Karin Rooba (EST)
(6) Damir Haluzan & Anna Mashchyts (SLO)

Also in the Amateur Latin semi, weΒ  had three of who I think are our best couples: Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina (9th place), Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze (11th), and Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach (Pashkova? Anyway, 14th place. Two couples were tied for 9th and 12th place each).

Oh, Pro Rising Star Latin is also worth mentioning! It was won by English couple Arkedy Bakenov & Rosa Filippello. However, coming in second was our Francesco Bertini & Sabrina Manzi. (Really like that couple!) Right behind them in 3rd were Nikita Malakhov & Nadezda Vlasova, which is so great for them. I knew Nik a little bit and I’ve always liked his dancing – and he’s a really cool guy.

Also, Alexander Altukhov & Cheyenne Murrillo were next into the Rising Star Latin final at 7th place, with Evgeni Likhachev & Maria Levina in 8th. Pretty impressive.

I almost forgot to look at Pro Rising Star Ballroom – this one was won by American couple Vladislav Shahov & Ekaterina Popova! I used to see Vladislav all the time back in the day when I spent time dancing at Manhattan Ballroom. Great-looking guy, that one. Oh, 11th place was taken by USA couple Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley.

Pro Ballroom
(1) Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova (USA)
(2) Victor Fung & Anastasiya Muravyeva (USA)
(3) Andrea Ghigiarelli & Sara Andracchio (ENG)
(4) Domen Krapez & Natasha Karabey (GER)
(5) Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro (ITA)
(6) Chao Yang & Yiling Tan (CHI)

USA also had Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk next into the final at 7th.

Not that it matters, but Anastasiya had the most beautiful black and white gown with a red accent in the final! Gorgeous. And Chao & Yiling are a great-looking couple.

And now for the long-awaited Pro Latin!!! This is a pretty interesting mix.
(1) Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko (USA) (FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!)
(2) Maurizio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite (CAN)
(3) Stefano di Filippo & Daria Chesnokova (USA)
(4) Evgeni Smagin & Polina Kazatchenko (RUS)
(5) Neil Jones & Ekaterina Jones (Sokolova) (ENG)
(6) Dorin Frecautanu & Marina Sergeeva (MOL)

Also, we had some other fantastic couples in the semi – Nino Langella & Anna MelnikovaΒ  from Italy were 8th (not American, but I love Anna). And then 9th place went to Justinas Duknauskas with my favorite blonde bombshell, Anna Kovalova! I think this is her best result yet!

I felt like Neil and Katya’s solo presentation was worth mentioning – I have no idea how she did this with her dress, but it was awesome! From Instagram user al_pavlova.

A post shared by Alena Pavlova (@al_pavlova) on

The second dress is super sexy!

It feels like we’ve all been waiting so long for Riccardo and Yulia to win! I found this awesome picture from Instagram user natasha_1412 of their jive honor dance. What a great moment!

Riccardo & Yulia 2016 UK Open Honor Dance (c) natasha_1412

Riccardo & Yulia 2016 UK Open Honor Dance (c) natasha_1412

There’s also a new pro Rising Star Latin couple in the making that I’m super excited about. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say anything just yet, but I’m keeping my mouth shut for now!

OH! Happy birthday to Maurizio Vescovo! I hear he’s a very colorful person. Having seen him dance, I’m unsurprised.

Have the day off today…so I guess I’ll go practice in the yoga studio downstairs πŸ™‚