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The Latin Dance Battles of the 2018 WDSF GrandSlam Final - Shanghai

The Latin Dance Battles of the 2018 WDSF GrandSlam Final - Shanghai


The Latin Dance Battles of the 2018 WDSF GrandSlam Final - Shanghai

(Cover Photo Courtesy of: Helmut Roland - WDSF)

View Full 2018 WDSF Shanghai GrandSlam Final Coverage

During the course of this Saturday, December the 8th of 2018, we all had the chance to witness the WDSF GrandSlam Finals of the Latin division. Let me be the first to say, this was quite the fantastic show! Not only was the dancing pure magic, but the arena was cozy, the audience was welcoming, and the arrangement of the final made the night that much more exciting and at the same time, nerve wrecking, to watch. Before we dive into exploring what happened during the final, let us rewind a little bit to see how everything got started.

Yesterday, on Friday, December 7th, all the stars to compete at the 2018 WDSF GrandSlam Finals here in Shanghai, from both the Latin and Standard divisions, arrived on the renowned Red Carpet. Each couple looked beautiful, walking down the runway as fans took their pictures, making their way to the Welcome Party. Sadly, one couple did not make their appearance. Umberto Gaudino and Louise Heise of Denmark were absent, and therefore did not take part in the finals. That left twelve couples to take on the floor the following day.

And So The Battle Begins

The Latin day kicked off with a quarter-final of 12 couples in total when usually 12 couples constitute a semi-final round. 10 couples made it through to the semi while Anton Aldaev and Natalia Polukhina of Russia, along with the Wild Card couple, Yan Bangbang and Du Yujun of China, did not make it through.

The next round was danced in two heats, five couples in each heat. Out of the 10 remaining couples, only 6 would make it through to the final. Below are the couples who placed 7th to 10th:

Rank Couple Country
7. Edgar Marcos Borjas - Alina Nowak POL
8. Jakub Lipowski - Diandra-Aniela Illes POL
9. Konstantin Gorodilov - Dominika Bergmannova EST
10. Timur Yusupov - Sofia Kharina RUS

A strong result was awarded to Jakub and Diandra-Aniela of Poland. They placed ahead of Estonian couple Konstantin and Dominika who just recently won the WDSF World 10 Dance Championship. This was a major accomplishment as Jakub and Diandra are ranked lower in the WDSF World Ranking List at 13th, below Konstantin and Dominika who take the lead at 11th. At moments like this, we truly get to experience hard work paying off, and competition taking its place on the dance floor. Now we go off to talk about the final six couples and how the evening concluded altogether. Here are the final placements:

Rank Couple Country
1. Armen Tsaturyan - Svetlana Gudyno RUS
2. Marius-Andrei Balan - Khrystyna Moshenska GER
3. Timur Imametdinov - Nina Bezzubova GER
4. Andrey Gusev - Vera Bondareva RUS
5. Charles-Guillaume Schmitt - Elena Salikhova FRA
6. Andrea Silvestri - Martina Varadi HUN

The final turned out being quite the show down, not only memorable for the members of the audience and those streaming live, but also for the competitors taking part as well. When GrandSlams usually combine presentations of the couples with solo performances and group dances, this GrandSlam Final was conducted in pairs, literally taking on the term of a “dance battle”.

It’s a Battle, Literally!

One-on-one performances took place during the final. This was fantastic because not only did the judges have the opportunity to truly see each couple take on the dance, but it also gave the couples adrenaline to understand that they were not alone on that floor. The spotlight would either be on them or their opponent couple. After the performance, both couples would stand side-by-side awaiting results that came as comparisons, who scored higher in each of the four judging criterions: Technical Quality; Movement to Music; Partnering Skills; and Choreography and Presentation. Then, the combined score of these four qualities was displayed and the two couples were compared by final rank.

A Few Surprises

A few interesting moments popped out throughout this final. One included Timur Imametdinov and Nina Bezzubova tying in third with Andrey Gusev and Vera Bondareva on the very first dance of the Samba! Both couples scored a total of 37.58 points out of 40.00 points possible. Timur and Nina also challenged the World Vice Champions, Marius-Andrei Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska, during the Paso Doble, a true battle between the two German couples! Timur and Nina secured a victory in the Partnership Skills criteria, beating Marius and Khrystyna by 0.084 of a point in that aspect, a strong result for this couple. However, the World Vice Champions still took the dance overall.

The day was a thrilling one indeed and the Latin Stars of the World DanceSport Federation gave us quite the show. We are in for a real treat as we await the Standard leg to take place tomorrow. How will the “dance battles” go down for the Standard Stars? Stay tuned on FloDance!

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