Joel and Clara Marasigan

Gala Ball 2009 Senior I Championship Standard Review


1.       George Lindholm & Deborah Wong ( The favourites to win this event didn’t disappoint.  Smoothness and consistency is this couple’s greatest strength, as well as possibly their greatest weakness.  For the level that they are at, I expect flawless technique and an inspiring performance.  However, on this occasion, the performance aspect was lacking.  This may be due partly to George’s asthma attack while on the floor.  Regardless of that, if George can create a stronger sense of determination from is body actions and eye focus, his performance will certainly be elevated.  With their long legs, this couple easily shows natural movement through their swinging figures.  Their challenge now is to find more power and speed in their rotational figures while finding commitment and fullness in the figures that directly follow.
Pictured on the Left are George & Debbie, winners of the Senior I Championship Standard Event.  Pictured on the right are Anthony & Gloria, runners-up.  Photos taken by David Marasigan.

Pictured on the Left are George & Debbie, winners of the Senior I Championship Standard Event, and pictured on the right are Tony & Gloria, runners-up. Photos taken by David Marasigan.

2.       Anthony Chong & Gloria Chien ( True Rising Stars in the Senior I category.   I believe this is their first time placing 2nd at this level, and they should be congratulated on their success.  They made it very easy for the judges to mark them, as they had a good blend of shape and energy throughout the competition.   It is nice to see that Anthony has learned to control his shoulders from popping up and that Gloria is not affecting the couple’s balance so much anymore.  The next step is for Gloria to gain a better understanding of how to dynamically shape throughout her performance, while maintaining a sensitive connection to her partner.  Although it’s good to see that Anthony has improved his shoulder position, he does need to pay more attention to his right hand position as it constantly drops too low, thereby affecting the couple connection and his ability to lead.

3.       David Huang & Soo-Mi Choe ( A consistent performance this evening, but unfortunately not enough to impress the judges to receive a higher placing.  This couple had shown some great potential at times, but has recently reached a plateau in their development.  Their dancing seemed a little stifled within their shape and movement, although neither dancer shows this stifled feeling through their body tone or facial expressions.  Both dancers have ideal ballroom bodies and as an onlooker, I naturally expect to see these bodies danced to their full potential.  Once both of them find a good balance of free flowing movement with muscular power and foot pressure, I’m sure they will be able to dance to their fullest potential and become top contenders once again.

4.       Aries Wong & Agnes Wong ( Possibly the most well-rounded couple on the floor, this couple has very equal amounts of movement, shape, energy and personality on the floor.  Aries has improved his look and Agnes doesn’t seem as worried on the floor anymore.  To start truly challenging for higher placings, this couple needs to add length and fullness to their dancing.  Once they can start producing these characteristics in both their movement and in their shaping, I’m sure they will impress the judges even more.

5.       Vincent Fung & Connie Goodwin ( Having had a strong showing at a recent competition in their home town of Calgary, I am sure that this couple came to the Gala Ball with higher placings in mind.  For me, whenever watching this couple dance ballroom, I see two leaders within the couple, rather than a leader and a follower.  Connie is a very strong lady dancer, but she needs to create a more feminine aura by releasing the tension held in her back.  I believe that Connie will be able to release the reigns and give in, once Vince creates  stronger directional propulsion from his foot connection to the floor.  The judges have already started to like their dancing.  If they can be more convincing in their own roles, I’m sure that their results will become more consistent.

6.       Jonathan Huggett & Carolyn Huggett ( After having won the Senior II category earlier in the evening, it was great to see this couple continue their attack across the floor to ensure their inclusion into this strong final round.  Movement has become this couple’s calling card; but Carolyn looks to be under pressure a lot of the time when dancing backwards, giving the appearance that their big movement is forced by Jonathan.  Once this couple better utilizes principles of free space and energy redirection, their stress will surely decrease and their ease of movement will increase.  I do have to say though, that Jonathan always looks like he’s having the most fun on the floor than anyone else he competes against.  It’s great to see that his love of dancing can be shown, even during the stress and pressure of a competition.

Gala Ball 09 Senior I Championship Standard Lineup, Photo by Raymond Chou

Gala Ball 09 Senior I Championship Standard Lineup, Photo by Raymond Chou

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