We all know that there is nothing like a live performance. When you are sitting around the floor and you not only can see the couple dancing but you can feel their movement and you can hear them breathing, stepping and touching each other.
But sometimes, dancers can really send such a strong message through their dancing that even when watching a video we can feel their emotions and we can be touched by their passion.
This is the case for me with all the following videos, my all time favourite Ballroom videos. (Not listed in a particular order)
1. Luca Baricchi and Loraine Barry – Slow Foxtrot Demo
About Luca and Loraine we can easily choose any of their video on youtube, no matter if it is from a lecture, a competition or a show. I chose this one because everytime I watch it I find myself speechless, astonished by the quality of their movement, yet being so simple to watch.
The fact that they are dancing not in a competitive dress and suit let you even more appreciate the pureness of their technique, where every part of the body is doing its own action but completely in harmony with the others. And then the music…Oh my! They are dancing on this beautiful track which is at 21,5 bars per minute!!! Unbelievable how they can look so smooth on such slow music. Enjoy the video!
2. Mirko Gozzoli and Edita Daniute – Tango Show
You know that when dancing a show you have to make the crowd go “Whoa!”. Mirko and Edita made everybody in the Beethovensaal in Stuttgart excited already at the beginning of their show!
The reason why this video is on my all time favourite list is that it feels so true, so genuine. No hairstyle, open shirt and eyes burning of passion. We said at the beginning that some couples can let you feel their energy even if you are only watching a video, well..this is exactly the case. Look at the power that they express in every action, look at the intensity of their emotions on the floor. Simply great.
3. William Pino and Alessandra Bucciarelli – Waltz Show
A song that has become a classic, the one that you play when you want to express your best, the one that you don’t choose too often because it needs a certain respect. You can’t just warm-up on a tune like this or simply let it go while you are practicing some parts, no.. you can’t.
And all this is because of William and Alessandra’s Waltz show. We will always relate this music to them, no matter what, because they danced one of the best performances ever in Ballroom history on it. When it comes to art we all have different tastes and we can prefer something that others don’t.
But then there are masterpieces, and in front of them, everyone will simply be astonished. This is their masterpiece.
4. Massimo Giorgianni and Alessia Manfredini – Tango Show
If you ever wondered about the line between Argentine Tango and International Style Tango?
Well…Massimo and Alessia will tell you that this line can be erased and you can implement all the elements from the two different styles inside the same performance. And what a performance! Elegance, passion, style…here you really can appreciate the result of a lifelong dedication to improvement and research in dancing where technique and feelings go together supporting each other.
5. Marcus and Karen Hilton – Waltz Show
There are not so many words needed when talking about the top of Ballroom dancing, the ones that inspired and gave the basis to the generation of our days, the couple that represents the connection and the continuation between the basic principles of the champions of the past and the modern expression of this style.
I used to watch their fantastic competition performances, everytime and everywhere they danced at their best, and this is not easy at all, considering how long they have been competing at the highest level, defending their titles.
But suddenly I started to watch their shows, and this one in particular is the one that catched me the most. It may be the music, it may be the place, I don’t know…I actually don’t want to know why I love it, I just do. Here it is, a wonderful Waltz by Marcus and Karen.
6. Andrea Ghigiarelli and Sara Andracchio – Waltz Honour Dance
Royal Albert Hall, a white dress, only one couple on the floor, the orchestra starts playing a waltz. Isn’t this the dream of every ballroom dancer?
Well, not many can say to have been there, but certainly Andrea and Sara did. A beautiful, dreamy waltz in such an evocative place, where showing your best dancing, having all eyes on you, isn’t the easiest thing ever. That’s why I really consider this video very important to watch, it shows you how a champion can handle those situations, how he can show his best under pressure, when failure is not an option.
7. Andrew Sinkinson and Loraine Barry – Slow Foxtrot
I was looking for the video that could show the magnificence of the man that is and will always be recognised as the King of Foxtrot, but I couldn’t decide.
Every performance had its own flavour.
Finally I chose this one, an early one back in 1992 when he was already 3 times Amateur Blackpool Champion partnering with Loraine. In my opinion it shows the purest movement possible. Simply the perfection of the technique and mechanic in a beautiful venue. What else do you need? Refer to this video whenever you have some questions or doubts about basic steps. This video is better than the technique book!
8. Domenico Soale and Gioia Cerasoli – Waltz Show
Once again we are in Stuttgart, at the German Open Championships, but this time with a different couple – Domenico Soale and Gioia Cerasoli.
From the very first step they danced together, they were at the top in every category. These results were possible by an absolutely outstanding quality of the movement, showing maybe the best couple connection and footwork. In this video, we can appreciate a “one of a kind” moment, where the music, dancers and crowd are connected together by tangible emotions.
9. Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova – Waltz Honour Dance
There are moments in the life of a dancer that are like milestones, a moment that will stay in everyone’s memory for a long time.
This is the last Grand Slam of 2018. Just a few competitions left to complete their path in the Amateur category, and destiny wanted the last Grand Slam to be in Moscow, in their home country.
Emotions are tangible, being there, around the floor you could feel how thick and dense the emotions were in the air. Everything but the floor has been darkened out, the lights are on Dmitry and Olga and the orchestra starts to play the Waltz “All by myself”. You can feel how they put all what they have felt during these years competing around the world in that dance.
It’s like if every step would tell you a chapter of their story, the pain of every practice and the joy of every success. They look at each other, an explosion of feelings in their hearts and the Ballroom history has got a new moment to tell.
Blackpool Final 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000
Here I just want to share with you those that in my opinion are some of the best Blackpool editions. Nothing against nowadays finals, but those grainy, low quality videos have such an impact on me. I simply prefer to watch them compared to the new ones.
You can revive the “battles” between Marcus Hilton and John Wood and the energy of William Pino dancing his first tango in the final in 2000. You can see how Luca Baricchi improves year by year becoming the legend we all know or how the Quickstep routines evolve in what we dance today.
Here are the link to the other finals:
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What Do Ballroom & Latin Dancers and Drag Queens Have In Common?
If you did not watch until now “RuPaul’s Drage Race”, close this article (just kiddin’, finish reading it first!) and go watch it. “RuPaul’s Drage Race” is an American reality competition television series where drag queens showcase their vast pallet of talents.
As a dancer, I am attracted to anything glittery or that has to do with entertainment. Therefore, I fell in love with drag queens’ artistry, and I couldn’t stop noticing some aspects that dancers have in common with them.
“Lipstick, Powder and Paint”
Both dancers and drag queens have incredible skills with makeup. Everything is over the top, and the reason is that both types of makeup are based on stage makeup.
In stage makeup, you need to exaggerate your facial features because the stage lighting is super strong.
Dancers even borrowed some of the tips and tricks drag queens use to make their facial features more feminine. They use a lot of highlighter to lift the cheekbones and contour to define, enhance, and sculpt the face’s structure.
Another tip dancers borrowed from drag queens is “baking”. Applying a heavy amount of translucent powder will set your makeup and prevent you from sweating on that dance floor.
Now, add some glitter and some XXL lashes “and 5, 6, 7, 8”!
“Walk, Walk, Fashion Baby!”
Both dancers and drag queens are incredible at knowing how to carry themselves, especially in high heels.
And while we’re on the fashion subject, I am pretty sure that no other performers have so much glitter, lycra, lace, and Swarovski stones on their costumes. The flamboyant costumes are simply pieces of art. They have to attract all the attention!
PS: That’s why when a dancer or a drag queen has a show, you always see them with the most oversized suitcases.
Another skill that drag queens and dancers have in common is knowing how to dress according to their figure or create the illusion of the shape they want to have. And they do that through the materials they use on their dresses, the stoning patterns, or where to add volume.
“Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent”
Could you please point out a dancer or a drag queen who isn’t dramatic? Because I couldn’t find one.
This amount of drama also enables us to be super charismatic and cheeky. Drag queens are known for their sarcastic but tasteful comments, while good dancers will always know how to be playful on the dancefloor.
Both dancers and drag queens, being performers, know how to play different roles and how to truly embody those characters while dancing (or singing!).
Oh, and shhh…a little secret, as we already mentioned drama, we all can’t help ourselves to sharpen our ear to a little bit of gossip (a.k.a “spilling the tea”).
We are all strong characters. Doing drag or dancing requires a lot of willpower, courage, ability to face critiques, professionalism, dedication, and PASSION.
To end this article, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from RuPaul:
“Drag doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”
It applies so beautifully to our artform as well because when you dance, you do not become somebody else. It’s just your personality that is blossoming!
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23 Things Not To Say To Your Dance Partner
You and your partner in this activity together, and you should treat them the same way you want to be treated. Respect is essential in a partnership. This means that some things are better left unsaid .
Disclaimer: This article is made you put a smile of your face. But, leaving all laughs behind, I encourage you to discuss anything that bothers you with your partner, as long as you pay attention to how you say it. Communication is necessary if you want a healthy partnership.
Now, here are a few things that you might want to not say to your partner:
1. My last partner was leading me much more smoothly.
2. You look like my last boyfriend/girlfriend.
3. Sorry I’m late this morning; I had a wild night out.
4. Don’t worry; I don’t think we’re going through the next round.
5. Your fake tan smells kinda funky.
6. Oh, the comp is tomorrow?
7. You remind me of my mom.
8. I am better than you.
9. I am still am dancing with my ex-partner too.
10. I don’t really like dancing; I am here for the boys/girls.
11. Ugh, I hate learning technique!
12. I saw your dress in a video from the 80s.
13. Why is it taking you so long to learn that? It should be so easy!
14. My dad doesn’t like you.
15. Maybe you should quit dancing. It’s not for you.
16. See that couple? Make sure you hit them in Quickstep.
17. I don’t trust your thinking.
18. Ugh, your boyfriend/girlfriend annoys me.
19. I don’t care what we do in the next comp.
20. You studied with that teacher?! He/She is the worst!
21. I can’t stand you today.
22. I’ve worn these pants four days in a row.
23. I really want this step in our routine, but I am sure you can’t do it
Make sure you also visit Dancesportlife Academy to check our library of courses and camp lectures with some of the best teachers in the world!
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Changing Country For Dancing: Insights From Kristina Moshenskaya
Dancers, especially from the middle-high level and higher, travel very often. They have to go abroad to competitions, lessons, and training camps. But sometimes they decide to relocate because they found a partner in another city or another country.
In that case, we are not only talking about the possibility of seeing new places and different people but a real life-changing decision.
This can be scary for many of us. Many dancers are even giving up dancing when faced with the decision of moving country for a new partner.
We can all imagine how difficult and challenging it can be. But there are some excellent examples of champions that decided to change their lives to achieve their goals.
One perfect example is one young lady from Ukraine who changed countries 3 times, became World Champion in WDSF Amateur Latin 5 times, and an idol for many dancers. This is Kristina Moshenskaya and she is willing to share some insights with us.
Matteo: Kristina, how many countries did you dance for?
Kristina: I danced for Ukraine, Russia, Italy, and now for Germany.
Matteo: And in how many countries did you live and practiced so far?
Kristina: Mostly, I was practicing in the countries I was living in.
Matteo: Which is the thing you miss the most by not practicing in your home country?
Kristina: I left Ukraine 13 years ago, so I cannot say that I miss something by not practicing in my home country. And the countries where I danced lately are very developed as well. But for sure, what I liked the most in the system I grew up was that there were many group lessons. This helped me develop with less money investment.
Matteo: Now you live in Germany, what do you like the most here?
Kristina: I think the infrastructure generally makes it easy. Like starting from everyday life and finishing with sports. For example, we have a dance club where we are practicing which has 4 halls. The rule is that one hall should always be available for free practice.
Matteo: I know it’s not nice to talk bad about places where you have been, but can you tell me a negative aspect for each country?
Kristina: In Ukraine and Russia, because of the money currency, it’s complicated to take lessons with foreign teachers. Also, traveling to other countries is problematic because you need passport visas.
In Italy, it’s very difficult to practice during summertime as it’s very hot. Also, they don’t have a significantly developed public transport system, especially in small cities.
In Germany, there is a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy. And that is an issue if you have a full schedule like ours when you don’t have time to deal with it, you need to get a secretary or an accountant.
Matteo: What has been more important? The place or the people?
Kristina: For sure the people are more important than the place. It also depends on you as a person, building up your setting and the schedule in the place you are living.
Matteo: What should be a decisional factor for moving a country for dancing?
Kristina: It depends on different stuff: a better school, a better system, a better partner, or just a better lifestyle or a safer future.
Matteo: To conclude, please, what pieces of advice do you have for dancers who decide to change country for dancing? What should they be prepared for?
Kristina: To be flexible! If you move to another country, you need to accept this country’s culture, so you need to learn the language for starters.
It won’t be easy, especially in the beginning, but you need to be focused on your target .
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