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Blackpool Begins

Posted on May 29, 2013

tower from north pier

tower-from-north-pierThe 2013 Blackpool Dance Festival is well under way. Neil Jones and Ekaterina Sokolova, in their first ever Professional Latin competition, became Blackpool’s Professional Latin Rising Star champions. The couple were dancing for England.


Andrey and Yulia Klinchik, representing the US, won the Professional Rising Star Ballroom competition, in a closely-fought battle with Stanislav Zelianin and Irina Cherepanova, representing Russia.


Amateur Rising Star Latin went to Denmark’s Sam Shamseili and Arina Grishanina. Russia’s Ilya Sizov and Yulia Koshkina took second place – just a day after winning the Under 21 Latin competition!


Jacek Jeschke won the Amateur Rising Star Ballroom championship with new partner Valeriya Agikyan, dancing for Poland. The Jeschke family have had a superb Blackpool: Jacek’s brother Wojciech won the Under 21 Ballroom with Malgorzata Kowalska, coming first in all the dances.


France’s Pierre Payen and Isabelle Reyjal won Senior Ballroom, while Denmark’s Troels Bager and Ina Ivanova won Amateur Latin.


The Team Match – a Blackpool tradition discussed by Rachelle Stretch in May’s issue of Dance Today – was won by the USA team. Europe came second, with Great Britain third and Australasia fourth. The women of the winning USA team wore green, with the ballroom dances performed by Arunas Bizoka with Katusha Demidova and Victor Fung with Anastasia Muravyeva, while the Latin couples were Riccardo Cocchi with Yulia Zagoruychenko and Maurizio Vescovo with Andra Vaidilaite.



Picture: Blackpool Tower, seen from the North Pier. Photograph: VisitBlackpool

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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