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Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite Take Their First WDSF GrandSlam Title

Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite Take Their First WDSF GrandSlam Title


Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite Take Their First WDSF GrandSlam Title

(Cover Photo Courtesy of: FloDance)

View Full 2019 WDSF GrandSlam Bucharest Coverage

Across the entire globe, the dancing world has been celebrating the victory of the new WDSF Standard GrandSlam Champions - Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite of Lithuania.

In It To Win It

Evaldas and Ieva have been dancing together since 2004, from the rankings of a Junior II couple competing in both the Latin and Standard divisions. As they transitioned into the Youth age category, followed by the Adult Amateur division, they eventually began showing their preference towards taking part in more Standard events than Latin. For couples who dance 10 Dance in general, such a clear decision of pursuing one program may never come. However, as time goes by and age increases, competitive dancers must think strategically in terms of their careers when it comes down to making it to the top.

Evaldas and Ieva danced their last Latin event in February of 2009, an International Open that took place in Antwerp, Belgium and their last 10-Dance event also in that very same month, the Lithuanian Ten Dance Championships where they became the Amateur 10-Dance Runners-Up. Then, the couple’s focus solely transferred into the perfection of their Standard program, a feat that is now paying off after many years of endless dedication.

The Final Outcome

Rank Couple Country
1. Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite LTU
2. Francesco Galuppo - Debora Pacini ITA
3. Evgeny Moshenin - Dana Spitsyna RUS
4. Alexey Glukhov - Anastasia Glazunova RUS
5. Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva LTU
6. Evgeny Nikitin - Anastasia Miliutina RUS

The top 6 WDSF Standard couples of the night made their way into the final of the first GrandSlam leg of the 2019 season. Taking a closer look at the individual scoring of the dancers, the Champions of the night scored higher throughout their 5 dances than they have in their previous GrandSlam finals. Aside from the Waltz, Lithuania scored in the 39.00 percentile range for each dance out of a possible 40.00, making their final score a total of 195.086 when usually their ending score in a GrandSlam final was in the 194.00 percentile.

Top Notch Competitive Atmosphere

Taking the Silver medal yesterday was Italian couple Francesco Galuppo and Debora Pacini, who have not participated in a WDSF GrandSlam since July of 2018, their last performance at such an event being in the Rimini leg where they placed in second. Standard European Cup Champions of last year, they are also one of the strongest Standard couples of the WDSF. From such a final, it becomes evident the level of skill of the dancers is only building on higher and higher event after event as the athletes continue on their journey of honing not only their movements, but also their mental preparation, physical training, and competitive awareness. At any moment in time, not only can the quarter-final and semi-final standings alter, but so can the final as well. As an example, Russians Evgeny Nikitin and Anastasia Miliutina took the last open spot here in the Bucharest final last night. However, Madis Abel and Aleksandra Galkina of Estonia and Anton Skuratov and Alena Uehlin of Germany finished in 7th and 8th place, right behind the top 6 final. The battle between these three couples in placements is evident from competition to competition.

Vadim Shurin and Anastasia Meshkova of Latvia came in 13th at the last leg of the GrandSlam series of 2018 that took place in Moscow, Russia on October 27th before the Final GrandSlam in Shanghai in December. They were one slot from dancing in the semi! Now, as the new year roles in with the new dancing season, Vadim and Anastasia have just concluded dancing in that semi-final, placing 9th here in Bucharest. As you can see, month to month, competition to competition, results can never be 100% deduced. This is the exhilaration competitors feel that motivates them and urges them to strive for harder work in practice and also in letting go on the dancefloor to conquer what they must. In addition, for audience members watching live, the thrill is like nothing else.

Making History

We anticipate now the outcomes of the Latin performances soon to come our way today here in Bucharest in the very first WDSF GrandSlam leg of the entire year, not to mention the very first GrandSlam that has ever taking place in the country of Romania. Aside from such a historical mark being made not only by the Romanian DanceSport Federation, we congratulate Evaldas and Ieva, recent newlyweds, with their success in also having made history in taking their very first GrandSlam title!

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