It was a great pleasure attending and judging Eastern United States Dancesport Championships in Boston. Beautiful hotel with Harbor views, amazing show by Riccardo and Yulia, electric energy from the dancers and the loudest audience ever, - all of this made it a wonderful experience for everyone! Hats off to Mark and Dawna Nocera and their dedicated enthusiastic team for wonderfully organized competition!

The Final of the Open Professional Ballroom was well represented with 6 couples.

Onto 6th place Chris Debiak and Kate Woolfe. This couple had quite a big movement across the floor however lacked the harmony of actions together and timing within the couple. Therefore it looked a little "bumpy" at times. Position wise they need to look into relaxing the upper body joints and activating them so the top looks softer and more 3 dimensional. This will help them be more consistent throughout the dance and will save tons of energy.

Placing 5th - Nenad Pavlovic and Stasy Barhatova. They danced with good energy and desire. Nenad needs to "slick" up his body position and frame. Cleaner lines through the elbows and the chest would help the general impression of the couple to be more positive. Stasy would benefit from relaxing the shoulders and have some gravity in her arms.

In 4th place Manuel Trillo and Anna Belyavtseva. This couple had incredible energy and enthusiasm, I think enough for all the couples in that final :). I wish it was a little bit more supported technically. Their movement sometimes so powerful is mostly out of sink with each other. I had an impression at times - they were two people running side by side, not a couple dancing together. They need to work on leg action, allow gravity in the lower body, and correctly activate the upper body to look and feel freer. This together with their great energy will be quite an attractive package.

3rd - Dmitriy Solomakha and Gabriela Sevillano. Clearly 3rd tonight. I think Dmitriy has a very nice shoulder line and I always enjoy watching it on the floor. His dancing shows that he has a strong technical training and good understanding of fundamentals. Gabriela had improved quite a bit in the last year. I like that she is more in harmony with Dmitriy leg action wise and body wise. She needs to look into having more "curves" in her body. All good lady dancers have curves within their bodies which you can not really see as curves but which really help the body to stay active and consistent throughout the whole dance. Well done overall!

Runner-up - Nazar Batih and Mariko Cantley. Very exciting couple to watch. It looks like they found their niche and know what they want to bring onto the floor. They have a very interesting choreography full of unexpected amalgamations at times tricky and always exciting. I do think however that due to the complicity of their choreography it is difficult for them to maintain high level of technical execution. Which shows in occasional strain in Mariko's back and both of them being too high in the legs. If they manage to maintain the technical level they are capable of consistently throughout the dance it will bring them closer to the position they want to be in result wise.

Tonight's winners - Andrey Begunov and Anna Demidova. This couple compete a lot and I see them at almost every competition I'm attending. So I can witness their development from competition to competition. I thought tonight was an easy win for them yet there are some things I would like to see them fix in order to be able to progress in their dancing further. Andrey does very little sway and rotation compare to how much he moves. That, first of all, makes his shoulder line look 3 times smaller than it could and demands 3 times more energy to keep caring it across the floor. Second, it must be not very comfortable for Anna to be in this frame. She still manages to maintain her beautiful body poise and shoulder line because she has a good understanding of lady's body position and rehearsed it very well. But she would enjoy dancing so much more would have Andrey given her some dimensions in his frame. Man's shoulder line and it's consistency are one of the major factors affecting the overall impression about the couple and judges' marks. Please look into it Andrey!

Well done everyone! I'm looking forward to seeing you and your progress at the future competitions!

Once again congratulations Mark and Dawna on your biggest event ever, thank you so much for having me and lots of success to you in the future!!

Love,
Anna