Ballroom Dancing, Spirituality, and...
Blackpool is here. Thanks to DSI London, there has been free live stream of 2nd round of most events. I watched the Under 21 Standard early round (click on the image and you should be able to view the entire round with many heats) and was very impressed. China consistently produced quality couples. It's hard to believe what I was seeing as many couples exhibited maturity of the Amateurs. This was most evident in the Waltz & Foxtrot. Lots of nice swing with dynamic fluid dancing. Some young couples have good musicality. Movement is beautiful & especially smooth in the Slow Foxtrot. The future is looking very good for International Standard. I was originally concerned as most amateurs competed only in WDSF events. But watching Blackpool restored my faith that no matter what politics are at play, the dancing continues to develop. Talented couples are being developed properly. Very good news :)
We've spent probably more than 25% of our lives in walking. Do you know that every step we take has a significant impact on our whole physical being?
On the spiritual side, practicing SONW will help you let go more of your holding. Your breathing will be more free and your mind more calm. There is a deeper spiritual connection to the Divine as well.
Love & Light
Time flies when we're having fun! Very grateful for an eventful 2014. Looking forward to a joyful 2015 and wishing everyone happiness, health and prosperity.
Dance development has been very interesting in the past few years. Truly wonder what's going to be in the bag for 2015 :) New Professional partnerships in the WDC end & I look forward to them - Domen Krapez & Natasha Karabey, Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro!
Enjoy my Christmas tribute to the past legends & current rising stars - it was quite a chore to find these stars' performance with the appropriate Xmas theme costumes :)
I've picked some of my favorite Foxtrot performances from the recent 10 years to share. The trends are so different. The latest one from the top rank amateur couple Evaldas & Ieva as I could see, is still in development. I don't know how Slow Fox will end up looking like in the next few years, but for sure, it is definitely not the same old Slow Fox as we have come to know it.
I view the current Slow Fox being evolved from the traditional harmonized partner ballroom dancing which emphasized swing action and smooth movement to a more modern lyrical expression that emphasizes body fluidity with exaggerated and dynamic shapes and individuality in a couple. As any trained eyes could tell, a lot of the classical pure swing action is missing from the current Slow Fox dancing, despite the extensive movement.
Let's take a stride down the memory lane of this evolution.
Luca & Loraine (Barry) Baricchi have held the reign of the arguably the most smooth, jazzy and harmonized partnership in Slow Foxtrot.
Mirko Gozzoli & Edita Daniute have developed something entirely different with each became a star of his/her own.
Now the students of Mirko/Edita & Fabio, Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaiti have taken this development even further. The body abilities of these two are probably the best so far in the dancesport world. They have much softer exaggerated shapes with very soft legs. I actually preferred their dancing 5 months ago to the recent performance but I trust that they're exploring this new trend & trying to stretch this big shape & unconventional choreography to the extreme and see where it would lead to.
So here're the few performance clips of these wonderful legendary (or to be legendary) couples:
Luca & Loraine
Mirko & Edita
Evaldas & Ieva (5 months ago)
Evaldas & Ieva (1 month ago)
It's an exciting scene and yet a sad situation at the same time out in the ballroom world.
The war among WDC, WDSF and in its own league Blackpool Dance Festival, has gotten to the point that the good old days of all top competitors dancing on the same floor is indeed gone.
This is most unfortunate. Today, I'll dedicate the blog to the amateur scene. I'll name 2 of my favorite couples from the 2 organizations:
Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva from WDSF (currently 3rd place)
Marek Kosaty & Paulina from WDC (currently 1st place)
IMHO, Evaldas & Ieva can anytime outdance the current front runners of WDSF Simone Segatori & Annette and Dmitry Zharkov & Olga. The footage of the recent German Open Final is online & you can judge for yourselves.
Both couples, Evaldas/Ieva & Marek/Polina have the fluid movement with Evaldas & Ieva having the more unique and special body abilities & fluidity and Marek/Polina having the more pure swing/classic movement.
I'd have love to see both couples on the floor going head to head against each, dancing at their best.
This unfortunately is not possible in the current situation between WDC & WDSF. Furthermore, I would even venture to say that it's a sad situation that some of these couples cannot even dance their best or their true abilities & preference in the current organization that they have chosen.
I'd honestly say that about Marek Polina. I have put 4 clips of their dancing for you to view & analyze. Their Waltz & Tango Show Dance Vs. their 2014 WDC German Open competition.
It's clear to me that they've got their own unique, fluid and dynamic style when they are dancing showcase Vs. in competitions. It's unclear to me why they'd choose to dance differently in competitions as the way they would dance their shows was superb.
Evaldas & Ieva, on the other hand, I've seen their demo in Fabio's lecture and competitions. They danced not only consistently but totally free of inhibitions despite competition pressure. They're just a pure joy to watch.
I know many of my colleagues (both in professional and amateur divsions) and I are quite tired with politics. All of us have invested countless hours and exorbitant amount of money in our dance training. It's time for us to express ourselves on the dance floor the way we prefer, instead of having to dance a certain way (or worse yet combining many ways) to please the judges in hopes of getting "results"!