Even though this years United Kingdom Championships proved once again why champions choose Aida, it seemed uncertain whether our couples would make it there. With the sub-zero temperatures and the snow, many of our couples had issues getting from United States to England. However, once getting there, our champions surely kicked it into gear, participated in training, lectures and several competitions the week prior. Plus, it sure helped that England was a balmy 50 degrees, compared to the U.S.’s temperatures in the teens. The United Kingdom Championships take place in Bournemouth, England, and is considered one of the largest and most prestigious competitions of the year. This year, the level of competition reached new heights, and our Aida Champions surely brought the fire and attitude needed to win. The competition spans over three days and the first day was the rising star events. Here are the highlights!
Professional Rising Star Latin
-Aleksandr Altukhov and Cheyenne Murillo- 3rd
-Jake Davies and Olena Kalinina- 17th
-Vlad Astafiev and Annie He Xiao- 47th
Amateur Rising Star Latin
-Tony Cooperman and Rickie Taylor- 25th
-Nikolai Tarasov and Sarah Nolan-29th
Amateur Rising Star Ballroom
-Tony Cooperman and Rickie Taylor- 52nd
As you can see, we have a very talented field of dancers, especially when they have to dance multiple times in one day. As a ten-dance couple, Tony and Rickie had to dance five times in two different styles with a quick costume change in between, which they carried out flawlessly. Aleksandr and Cheyenne had to dance six times in one day! Good thing they had been training for two weeks prior, so they were in tip-top shape. Cheyenne dazzled in a gorgeous nude stoned dress and stoned her Karinas to match perfectly! Nikolai and Sarah had an AMAZING week leading up to the UK where they competed in not one, but two competitions, placing in the quarter finals of both the BDF Star Ball and the Universal, where they missed the semi-final by only ONE recall. It’s ok, you’ll get them next time guys! Vlad and Annie and Jake and Olena also had the opportunity to prepare for the UK by dancing in the Professional Latin at the Universal championships. Jake and Olena made it to the quarter-final and Vlad and Annie missed the quarter-final by only a few places.
Wednesday was Professional Ballroom as well as the Amateur Latin. A new Aida champion was crowned in the Amateur Latin, which is an exciting development for the Aida brand. This competition is not only a large one for our couples representing the United States, but also for all of our international Aida couples. The competition was truly fierce, but once again the Aida couples brought the heat and managed to land on top. First up was Professional Ballroom with the results as follows:
-Aleksandr Zhiratkov and Irina Novozhilova- 6th (Russia)
-Vladislav Shahov and Ekaterina Popova- 35th
-Nazar Baith and Mariko Cantley- 56th
-Nikolia Cheremukhin and Vikrtorija -67th
We have so many talented couples in this field! Nick and Viktorija, are not just amazing standard dancers, but are also the World Champions in the American Style Smooth division. It takes a lot of dedication and practice time to master both styles, something our other couples also practice. Vlad and Ekaterina spent their week prior to the UK taking lessons with many former world champions as well as practicing what they learned at the practice sessions. Practice sessions allow dancers the chance to practice what they learned in lessons as well as be in a competition environment. In England, most studios do not have open floor for practice and the only chance couples get to practice is during these practice sessions. It gives the dancers a chance to experience how to interact with other couples from all over the world on the floor, as most of the people who go to the practice session will also be direct competitors. Vlad and Ekaterina also had a chance to test out the competition circuit by participating in the Universal, where they placed first! Congratulations guys on your win and keep on pushing! We would also like to welcome to the team Nazar and Mariko! They looked great at the UK and we look forward to having them on our team.
In the Amateur Latin, the competition was fierce, but our couples made sure to bring the heat to make the fire even hotter. It was a night of firsts, with many of our Aida couples accomplishing new feats. The results were as follows:
-Klemen Prasnikar and Alexandra Averkieva- 1st (Slovenia)
-Alexander Chernositov and Arina Grishanina- 11th
-Tal Livshitz and Ilana Keselman- 15th
-Nikolai Tarasov and Sarah Nolan- 47th
-Tony Cooperman and Rickie Taylor-71st
Our new amateur champions are AIDA Champions! Klemen and Alexandra from Slovenia took first, an upset to the second place couple who won both Blackpool and the International. However, that night, Klemen and Sasha brought it and wow’d the crowd and the judges, taking home the gold. Another big congratulations is in order to Alexander and Arina for their first time making the semi-final at the UK! You could clearly see their excitement as they ran out on to the floor as their number was called. This is amazing guys, CONGRATS! Tal and Ilana also looked amazing dancing in the quarter final. They also had a great week leading up to the UK, where they danced in the Star Ball Championships and placed 3rd in an impressive final. Great job guys!
The final day of the UK, is of course the Professional Latin championships. No competition would be complete without one. We had many couples take part in this event and the results are as follows:
-Stefano Di-Filippo and Daria Chesnokova- 2nd
-Dorin Frecautanu and Marina Sergeeva- 4th(Moldova)
-Kirill Belorukov and Polina Teleshova-5th (Russia)
-Nino Langella and Andra Vaidilaite-6th (Italy)
-Nikita Brovko and Olga Urumova-7th (Russia)
-Morten Lowe and Roselina Doneva-10th (Denmark)
-Andrei Kazlouski and Asta Sigvaldadottir-15th
-Manuel Favilla and Nataliya Maidiuk- 24th
-Alexey Karaulov and Vlada Karaulov- 30th (Canada)
-Richard Lifshitz and Laura Robinson- 39th (Canada)
-Aleksandr Altukhov and Cheyenne Murillo-45th
-Rangal Spirov and Veronika Chernyavska- 70th
-Vlad Astafiev and Annie He Xiao- 111th
There were almost 200 couples entered in this event and our couples had AMAZING results! Four out of the six finalists wore Aida, and we had good representation in the other rounds. Congratulations to our finalists, especially Stefano and Dasha who were silver medalists and Nino and Andra who made the final at this event for the very first time! Congratulations are also in order for Nino and Andra who won the Professional Latin at the Star Ball Championships earlier in the week. Alexey and Vlada as well as Aleksandr and Cheyenne also competed at the Star Ball and both made it to the semi-final. Congratulations guys!
This year’s UK was a success and a great start out of the gate for the new year! We are so proud of ALL of our AIDA champions, once again proving that champions choose AIDA. Let’s hope for more results like these very soon!