On Wednesday, May 30, the Professional Latin Championship was won by fifth-time champions Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis, dancing for England, winning all five dances. Runners-up in all dances were Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko of the US, with Sergey Surkov and Melia, dancing for Russia, third, Maurizio Vescovo and Andra Vaidilaite, of Canada, fourth, and Andrej Skufca and Melinda, of Slovenia, fifth.
Tuesday, May 29, also saw a successful night for England, with Neil Jones and Ekaterina Sokolova winning the Amateur Latin Championship and Edmund Ault and A Reum Han, dancing for England, coming second in the Under 21 Ballroom to the US’s Oskar Wojciechowski and Karoline Holody, who also triumphed in the Amateur Rising Stars Ballroom.
So far, this year’s champions also include: Chao Yang and Yiling Tan, of China, as Professional Ballroom Rising Stars; winners of the Senior Latin Championship Petri and Ulla Jarvinen, of Finland; Amateur Latin Rising Stars Vladimir Litvinov and Olga Nikolaeva, from Russia; Under 21 Latin champions Darren Hammond and Kylee Brown, of South Africa; Professional Latin Rising Stars Yegor Novikov and Yana Blinova from the US; and Senior Ballroom champions Marcello Daga and Marina Pau, of Italy.
The Americas team (pictured) triumphed in the Team Match, with team captain Pierre Allaire and team members comprising ballroom couples Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova, Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyeva, and Latin dancers Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko and Maurizio Vescovo and Andra Vaidilaite.
The conclusion of the same event saw the retirement from competition of British Professional Latin dancers Oleksii Ivanets and Lisa Bellinger-Ivanets.
Throughout the festival, Dance Today will be posting clips of the dancing, courtesy of DSI London, which launched its new media division this week. Today, watch Dance Today's editor, Nicola Rayner, chat to Martin Cutler about Dancing Times and the festival's history.
For full results and reports from Blackpool Dance Festival, see the July issue of Dance Today, on sale on July 5.
Photograph © Ron Self