The Yankee Classic Championships 2024

Yankee Classic has New Venue and More Entries

This year the Yankee Classic moved to a new venue, the Hilton Woburn, and it was up in entries over last year.

This was Igor Litvinov’s second year as organizer of the event and with just under 5,000 entries, the event grew this year.

The open professional divisions were all held on Saturday night and offered some interesting contests. All began with a semifinal except the Latin.

Andrew Escolme & Asta Sigvaldadottir had a very strong showing in the Rhythm winning all dances and losing only 1 first place mark out of 75. That lost mark was a second place in the mambo. They seemed relaxed and energized an never seemed stressed. Equally clear in the runner-up position were Roger Romero & Arismel Naya who took most of second placements and that one first place in the mambo. Jeffrey Ruben Benarao & Judith Anne Melencio were 3rd in all dances giving a very joyful performance. 4th Vasyl Voinarovskyi & Khrystyna Voinarovska 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Oleg Iakushev & Viktoriia Iakusheva 5,5,5,5,5T; 6th Alexey Smirnov & Daria Smirnova 6,6,6,65T.

Local favorites, Alexandru Munteanu & Stephanie Munteanu, won all dances in the Smooth and had the majority of 1st place marks in all dances. Their best-marked dance was waltz where they had 10 firsts out of 15. Evgenii Rozenfeld & Olha Novikova gave a strong performance to take 2nd with scores of 4,2,2,2. We were a little surprised by the 4th place in waltz! Vladislav Robatsenko & Lula Callaway were 3rd 3,3,3,4 and Ihor Chibishev & Diana Zhosan were 4th 5,4,4,3. There was a tie for 5th that eventually fell to Yehor Khrapal & Alina Semenenko 6,5,5,5 and Maksym Ilyinov & Viktoriya Ilyinova were 6th despite placing 2nd in waltz – 2,6,7,6. 7th position went to Vasyl Voinarovskyi & Khrystyna Voinarovska 7,7,6,7. There were 13 couples in this semifinal.

There was a closer race for 1st place in the Ballroom. Igor Mikushov & Valeriia Mikushov were the winners taking 4 dances outright and tying for 1st in foxtrot. Tango, foxtrot and quickstep were the closest scored dances with Igor & Valeriia winning tango and quickstep by 8 to 7 and tying the foxtrot with 7 to 7. The couple on the other side of this race was Andrii Mykhailov & Agnieszka Osrodka. This is a new partnership and looks very promising. We felt they got a little tied up in traffic on this occasion but experience working together should relieve this issue. All third places went to Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley. 4th Jaren Hopkin & Enxhi Fundo 4,4,5,5,4; 5th Ilya Golovanov & Anastasiia Kovalenko 5,6,4,4,5; 6th Vladyslav Korablov & Yevheniia Iliash 6,5,6,6,6.

The Latin was also quite tight at the top. Kostiantyn Samarskyi & Margarita Golubeva were the winners 1,1,1,1,2. They had the majority of 1st places in 3 of the 4 dances they won. They also had the most 1st places in jive but not the necessary majority. The runners-up were Mikhail Kolosov & Elina Semka 2,2,2,2,1. Giovanni D`Arpino & Nicole Heisler were 3rd 3,4,4,3,3. 4th Dmitry Barov & Sarina Wright 4,3,3,4,4; 5th Vlad Astafiev & Hannah Baker 5,5,5,5,5; 6th Ramon Martinez Campos & Jenna Caskie 6,6,6,6,6.

Anthony Kantin & Olivia Card won the Cabaret. We are normally great fans of this couple’s work, but tonight they had a major breakdown in the middle of their routine. Although much of the performance was still good and the liftwork was spectacular, we’re not sure it was enough to overcome the obvious errors. However, the majority of the judges did not feel this way and they received 9 of the 15 first placements. The cabaret division puts individual couples in the spotlight and so all errors are magnified. Anthony & Olivia have made remarkable improvement over this year and we know they’ll be back in tip top form on the next outing. Alexey & Daria Smirnov took second and 4 of the judges scored them to win. Mikhail Kolosov & Elina Semka were 3rd and Ilya Golovanov & Anastasiia Kovalenko were 4th.

In the only “clean sweep” of the night, Austin Joson & Liza Lakovitsky received every first place mark from every judge in the Amateur Latin and in truth to us also the result was never in doubt. They gave a lovely relaxed performance. Mykyta Vasylenko & Lyndsey Vasylenko were second overall placing 2,2,3,2,2. They had the majority of 2nd places in those 4 dances where they placed second, but we felt they were a clear second. With 3,3,2,3,3, Sandu Babira & Emmy Chladek (Canada) placed third and clearly from the judges’ perspective at least, challenged the runners-up. 4th Oskar Krimus & Shayna McDonald 4,5,4,4,5: 5th Denys Fesenko & Khrystyna Mendela 5,4,5,5,4; 6th Marc Zhadan & Savanna Filip 6,6,6,6,6.

In a throwback to Yankee Classics of bygone days, Igor organized a Team Match with a difference – American Style against International Style. Dance Beat was present when this was done at Yankee Classic in the early 2,000’s (or maybe late ‘90’s). In that instance as we recall, American Style won. In 2024, the International Style waited over 2 decades for the return match and this time they were victorious! The teams had a 2 pro-am and 2 professional couples in each style and the contest took place over 6 dances. Both style were on the floor at the same time. Dore sponsored the costuming for both teams – American in red and International in blue.

Overall, Yankee Classic 2024 was a successful and friendly event. We wish new organizer, Igor Litvinov, continued success.

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