Joel and Clara Marasigan

Seattle Star Ball 2009 Championship Standard Review



The Seattle Star Ball was held on August 7,8 & 9 at the Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center.  It was a full blown 3 day event, organized by Robert & Monique Hrouda, and William Reneaud.  Not only was there a full slate of Amateur, Pro-Am, and Professional competitions in the International and American styles of Ballroom, Latin, Smooth & Rhythm, but there were also 3 Professional shows, one on each night.  Many DanceSport BC competitors went down for the competition, and here is how Joel saw the Open Amateur Standard Competition on the Friday night.

1st Place, Simeon Stoynov & Kora Stonynova, WA (1,1,2,1,1): This couple showed total confidence the second they stepped onto the floor.  Their competition experience helped them exude an aura of being champions.  Dancers at every level should watch this couple on the competition floor to observe how confidence and presentation can contribute to a couple’s competitiveness.  Even if Simeon and Kora were having an off day, they sure didn’t show it to anyone in the ballroom, especially not to the judges.  Were they the fastest or the most energetic on the floor?  Nope, but they certainly had the strongest presence on the floor, which practically forced the judges to mark them first.

2nd Place, Zillion Wong & Sarah Liang, BC (2,2,1,2,2): Strong contenders this evening for first place, but they just lacked that champion’s edge tonight.  Understandably, they are going through a transition period in their dancing, and unfortunately, this was seen through their performance.  Too much energy in some places and not enough in other places gave them a look of being over-stretched or under-toned.  Once they sort a few things out, and get more accustomed to their new routines, first place should definitely be theirs.


Open Amateur Standard Championship Final

3rd Place, Teleryck Ianakiev & Mariya Starichenok, WA (3,3,3,4,3): One of the most improved couples on the floor this evening.  Terry is starting to understand how to dominate his partner through clear leads while using minimal energy to do so.  Mariya has always been a little beam of sunshine on the floor, and she didn’t disappoint this evening.  Once this couple can find some more connection to the floor and match that with their youthful energy, they will be close contenders for the top spots.

4th Place, Dimity Vorobiev & Kseniya Sovenko, WA (4,5,5,3,5): This was my first time seeing this couple in action.  Both posses the quintessential look as ballroom dancers, allowing them to create impeccable shapes and lines.  This quality helped a lot during the semi-final when the floor was total chaos with eleven couples packed on the floor.  Their clean and calm posture and positioning made it easy for the judges to call them back to the final.  Development of a more mature usage of the music through rubato timing will create added depth to this couple’s repertoire as dancers, competitors and artists.

5th Place, Michael Duong & Peony Yao, BC (5,4,4,5.5,4): A disappointing result for this couple.  Could this couple have placed higher?  Definitely, but it depended on when the judges saw them.  Although their centering has improved tremendously over the past year, too many leads still seem to originate from the arms, giving them at times a fragile and therefore inconsistent look.  Also, once this couple starts to understand the difference between speed and power, they will make those in front of them very nervous.

6th Place, Andrew Miller & Kateryna Teslenko, BC (6,6,6,.5.5,6): This couple has made a strong comeback to the competition dance floor.  These natural movers have a tonne of potential and look better than they did during their first outing as a couple.  Their maturity has developed over their break and is seen through a better usage of energy and time.  Their next challenge is to better understand connection and shape and to be able to maintain it throughout the competition.

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