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International Championships

Posted on October 17, 2011

The 59th International Championships culminated last night in the grand finals of the Amateur and Professional Ballroom and Latin events at London’s Royal Albert Hall. 

It was a good night for England: Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis, dancing for England, took the Professional Latin Championship for the seventh time, while Neil Jones and Ekaterina Sokolova, also dancing for England, were Amateur Latin champions. In the ballroom categories, Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova, dancing for the US, held onto the Professional Ballroom title for the third consecutive year, while Emanuel Valeri and Tania Kehlet, from Denmark, won the Amateur Ballroom Championship for the first time.

Described by one of the spectators as “the best night of the year”, the finals at the RAH are a glitzy, glamorous affair with anyone’s who’s anyone in the world of ballroom and Latin there. Dance Today spotted Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag, Artem Chigvintsev and Kara Tointon, Darren Bennett, Katya Virshilas and Aliona Vilani in the audience to say nothing of the many former world champions involved in adjudicating and running the event.

Full reports of the night will appear in the December issue of Dance Today.

Photograph: The grand finals of the International Championships 2011 © Ron Self

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Now acting editor of Discover Britain magazine, she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success.

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