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Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019



Dancesport Life was there!

The first Grand Slam of the year is a really important event as it determines the tone for the new season of competitions. It sets a new Grand Slam Ranking that will bring the top 12 couples to the Shanghai Grand Slam Finals on 7-8 December 2019.

The Dancesport Life team was present at this historical event seeing that it was the first Grand Slam ever organized by Romania. We were truly impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the dancers and by the dedication of the DanceMasters organizers.

If you want to see us interviewing some of the top 12 WDSF couples make sure to subscribe on our YouTube channel as we are going to post the interviews there soon.

First impressions from the Grand Slam DanceMasters 2019

We were super curious to see how did the dancers (and not only) feel about one of the most important events of the year. What better way to do that than to ask them directly?!

“We enjoyed the competition. We felt like home. We felt amazing about the crowd, they were so supportive, they were so much on our side. And because of that, we didn’t have even a little bit of a bad feeling because we didn’t win. Of course we would have loved to be in the first place because it’s our home, especially Marius’s home, but of course thanks to the audience we are very pleased about our dancing. We enjoyed the atmosphere. I loved so much the dance floor, the lightning was amazing and generally, we have just positive emotions about the competition. Probably we’ll see you next year again at DanceMasters.”
Marius-Andrei Balan & Khrystyna Moshenska

Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019

New winners in Standard

There was a new scenario in the Standard, on Saturday, where for the first time after the long-reigning period of Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova winning 20 Grand Slam titles, judges had to choose their successors. All the expectations, of course, were on Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite (LTU). They won their first Grand Slam title of their career with 3,546 points of difference from the runners-up Francesco Galuppo and Debora Pacini (ITA). It must be underlined that Evaldas and Ieva received four “10.0” and six “9.75” in Slow Foxtrot in the Final. That’s impressive!

“It was really well organized! I have to say that was a pleasure to dance there from the first round and especially in the evening section because the atmosphere was amazing and the venue was full of people!”
Francesco Galuppo & Debora Pacini

“We enjoyed the competition very much, the atmosphere was warm, the floor was very good and we always like competing among the best couples. Yesterday everybody from the top 12 world ranking was dancing so the competition was very strong. We enjoyed our dancing. Definitely, the audience had a lot of impact on the performance. We’re the type of couple that likes to interact with the audience so if we feel the energy back, our performance gets better. We usually enjoy very much the competitions in Asia, and this was a bit similar to those. The audience was really nice and welcoming. You had the feeling that people are close to you and you get this exchange of energies and this is what we enjoyed the most.”
Edgars Linis & Eliza Ancane

Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019

“Grand Slam in Bucharest was amazing, the public was on fire and they helped us to release our feelings on the dance floor”
Dumitrescu Razvan & Jacqueline Joos

Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019

Things were heated in Latin

In Latin American instead, as in 2018, the fight between the top two couples Tsaturyan – Gudyno and Balan – Moshenska continued. The results were really unpredictable until the very end. In the Final, they were equal in Rumba and only 0,041 apart in Jive. But at the end, Armen Tsaturyan and Svetlana Gudyno (RUS) won by only 1,122 points away from Marius-Andrei Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska (GER).

“ We were really shocked by the public, they were amazing! + perfect schedule!”
Andrey Gusev & Vera Bondareva

Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019

“A well-deserved competition for the Romanian dancers. As every year, very well organized, amazing crowd and absolute top couples. Just loved it !”
Laura Filipescu & Stefan Grigore

The venue and the organization

The competition has been held in the Sala Polivalenta, a 5300+ seats hall, just a few kilometers from the center of Bucharest, Romania. When you enter the building, you don’t see immediately the floor, because you are in the area behind the tribunes. There, you can find all the dancesport-related shops, some cafes and some food providers. The changing rooms for the athletes are downstairs, so is the warm-up floor and the main dancing floor.

“The competition was organized very well, all was perfect: the floor, the music, the audience was nice, everything on time. It is always a big pleasure to dance in a competition like this !!!”
Evgeny Nikitin & Anastasia Miliutina

Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019

All around the dance floor organizers placed evening-gala tables with catering service that perfectly recreated the warm atmosphere of an elegant ballroom hall. It was great because it filled the gap between the dancers and the spectators from the tribunes. As the evening session started at 19:30, the seats on both sides of the hall were full and all the tables were occupied.

“The competition was on a high level as always. We’ve been dancing here already for 4 years now. A very special atmosphere created by organizers, audience, DJ (great music in the 1st round by the way). Top couples surrounding us push this comp on a very high level. Always a pleasure to be a part of this event.”
Alexey Dolgushin & Ksenia Piatakhina

“It was a great pleasure to dance for the Romanian audience! See you next year!
P.S. Hopefully the music next year will be just as good as in the first round 😉
Winson Tam & Anastasia Novikova

Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019

Actually, it felt very nice, because the atmosphere was wonderful! I especially liked very much music in the first two rounds… The public was very warm and energetic from the beginning of the comp.
At least we were very appropriate to dance💪🏼👍
Armen Tsaturyan & Svetlana Gudyno

“I’ve been following this competition for many years and I could say that this competition is one of the best-organized competitions in the region. This competition had built a trademark as a really well-organized competition and very friendly, oriented to all the participants. And every year they have a very high quality of couples, of the dancers & athletes. And every year there are improvements in certain segments, certain parts of the competition. I could say I’m following this evolution and that’s why they came to the position to organize one of the most important WDSF events, which is a Grand Slam. This is the certain level of the trust for their quality organization and that’s why I’m sitting here now in this role as a Chairperson of Bucharest Grand Slam competition.”
Nenad Jeftic
Chairman of the WDSF Bucharest Grand Slam and WDSF General Secretary

Here are some numbers

  • 167 couples
  • 26 countries
  • 3 continents
  • 2 days
  • 10 rounds
  • 2 re-dances
  • 54 dances
  • 36 solo dances
  • 442 m2 floor (26×17)
  • 34.100 € total prize money

I came as a coach & also as a spectator. It was such a privilege to be there and see all those amazing dancers and I feel sorry for those who weren’t there. I’ve never attended a Grand Slam and I was so impressed by the energy of all the couples. I almost felt like crying. So inspirational! I am so proud that our Federation managed to get the license for a Grand Slam. I hope that we will maintain that so it would happen every year.
My opinion is that, while there’s always room for improvement, it was such a great event overall. Sunday night I left with such happiness in my heart and such a fulfillment. I would have hugged everyone. I wanted to go and hug all the dancers and thank them for what they did on the dancefloor. And the organizers too, for their great effort and the success of this year’s DanceMasters … and the WDSF representatives.”
Camelia Tanasa
Coach and dance enthusiast

“It was such an entertaining competition. The couples and their dances were heavenly and I never wanted it to end. The quality keeps getting better and better and becomes more perfect each year. I am so impressed and it is my dream to one day be as good as those who took part in this competition.”
Diana Murariu
Dance enthusiast

We hope you enjoyed this year’s edition of the DanceMasters Bucharest Grand Slam. And if you weren’t present this year, make sure to come in 2020!

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The Blackpool Dance Festival Fever



Blackpool Dance Festival – a historical event

If you are a dancer, for sure you’ve heard about the Blackpool Dance Festival as the most important competition of the year. It’s the goal of every couple to compete there. What makes Blackpool Dance Festival special and why dancers treat it different than other competitions? Because it’s the event that can change your career.

However, if you don’t know much about this historical event, the Blackpool Dance Festival is hosted in the historical Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England. The very first edition was in 1920. If you want to hear more about the history and what is happening around the Winter Gardens we wrote another article about our experience from last year here.

The preparations

For many, Blackpool Dance Festival is the main event of the year and all the efforts go into preparing for this comp. The hard training sessions that you go through even up until a few days before the Festival starts are the recurrent dream and nightmare of the last days before the first round.

The music

The first sign of the Blackpool fever starts from February when the dancers will start to practice only on songs from the Empress Orchestra. It seems like they almost lost their other songs from their practice playlist and they dance only to Samba de la Torre, Kiss of fire, Scheherazade, or for the ballroom ones: Waltz for Lily and Dokman Tango.

In truth, practicing on these songs actually helps to create the right mindset and visualize yourselves on the Empress Ballroom dance floor. You can checks some of our other article on “How to Practice with a Vision” and “Mental Training”.

The looks

The second stage is all about the looks. The ladies getting into their form and the men working hard to get their best body. And new hairstyles are always a good idea.

The dress designers are having meetings after meetings with the dancers in order to create new costumes. Each year thousands of dresses fly on that floor, but you can’t find two identical. But no matter how early you start planning to make the new design and to create it, you will always get the costume in the last moment possible. Keeping the stress-level high enough is a tradition for this event.

The focus

Nevertheless, the highest pick of stress, anyway, will be on the last day before your first round. No matter how experienced you are or how well you organized all in the details of the trip. The day before is always giving you tension.

Everyone will experience this pressure differently, but the emotions will be there nonetheless. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Tension makes you focused and it prepares your mind to perform at your best. Before going on the floor be confident on the work you’ve done, on the hours spent on the dance floor, on yourself and your partner. Only positive vibes. It’s all you need to enjoy this comp and to express your best.

A historical moment in your career

This event will put a mark on your career and on how you perceive competitions. It might be the Empress Ballroom with its magnificence, or it might be the fact that the Blackpool Dance Festival is the most historical ballroom event counting its 94th edition this year. Certainly can be because you have watched so many videos from the past champions dancing on that same floor where you are about to dance.

Each and every one of us has a different reason why the Blackpool Festival is wrapped in this surreal aura. But what we surely can say is that all over the world, in May, dancers and teachers have the Blackpool fever.


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Is Dancesport An Individual Sport Or A Team Sport?



Dancesport, besides being a form of art, is also very athletic and it is also considered a sport. Generally, sports have been divided into two main categories:

  • Team sports
  • Individual sports

Because they are two different categories, they also shape you in different ways and teaches you different things in relation to yourself and with others.

Individual sports

They place you face to face with the reality of the competition. Only you can affect your performance and your result in a positive or in a negative way. Then, when you compete, you cannot count on the help or support of anybody else. There’s only you on the field, with your strength and your fears. What they teach you is that you have to rely only on yourself and be confident.

The peak of individual sports is that you don’t have to split the victory with anybody else. It’s you that wins and only you that loses.

Team sports

They are all about learning how to work as a team – several people discovering how to work together. They teach you how to position yourself with the other members of the team. You have to determine how to work with the others in any circumstances.

Most importantly, you have to learn to accept others’ mistakes – how to lose even if you played good. But one of the best parts is that you can count on the help of your mates and sometimes you win even if you didn’t perform at your 100%.

Dancesport – individual & team sport

Then in which category do we put dancesport? The competition is between couples, so we have to consider them as individual players competing against each other, but a couple is made of two athletes. So would you define dancesport as an individual or a team sport? What if it is both at the same time?

Why a team sport?

Definitely, you can say that dancesport is a team sport. First of all, there are two people trying work as one and the connection between the two partners is crucial in dancing. Everything needs to be in harmony and whatever one partner does, will affect more or less the other. If you make a mistake or do not perform at your best, the other half of the “team” can’t show their best.

Nevertheless, same as in any other team sport, you learn to accept and work with your partner as they are. Along with your coach, you decide what are your strengths and weaknesses and use them strategically. Furthermore, at the base of the partnership should be faith and support. You should believe in each other.

Why an individual sport?

At the same time though, dancing is so much individual. It is you on the floor. As dancing is a sport, you need to have the right technique, you need to be in shape, and take care of your diet. Nobody is going to do it for you – not your partner and certainly not your trainers.

Furthermore, being also a form of art, in dancing, you need to perform for the audience and engage with them. You need to translate the emotions you get from the music and your partner into your own movement. This is what will differentiate you among the other couples. You must be unique and together with your partner, your couple will be recognizable.

Dancesport shapes you as an athlete and as a person like no other sport. It is such a particular situation where two people become one unit, still being individuals inside it.


Also, make sure you check 4 Aspects of Dancesport Which You Won’t Find In Other Sports


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What Dancesport Training Camps Should You Go To?



One of the most important parts of the life of dancers is the preparation before a competition. Usually, before a busy season of competitions, there are several camps organized by great dancers or clubs. The role of camps is to help you develop into a better dancer through mastering the technique and learn key principles of dancing from the best teachers.

We have already discussed the topic of training camps in another article here, but this time we simply want to point out some of the best camps from the WDC and WDSF worlds.

1. THE CAMP – Wuppertal, Germany

Most of us dancers search for lectures online. In your searches is impossible not to stumble upon some lectures from THE CAMP – Wuppertal. But, what makes this camp so great?

First of all, it has some of the great teachers from the industry and the location – The Historical Town Hall – is absolutely stunning. Everything is so well thought and the purpose is to leave Wuppertal inspired and focused.

Here is the teachers’ list of the 2019 edition that has just ended:

What Dancesport Training Camps Should You Go To?

To keep a close eye on the next year’s event make sure you visit their website or Facebook Page

2. Dancing Superstars Festival – Bremen

In 2019 the Dancing Superstars Festival will be at its 6th edition and it is announced better than ever. The coaches that will hold the workshops are some of the biggest legends: Slavik Kryklyvyy, Catia Vanone, Fabio Selmi, or Julie Fryer just to name a few.

Here you can see the full list of coaches and apply for the Congress that will happen between 31st of May and 2nd of June. And a small hint from us, don’t miss out on the Galaball on June 1st. You’ll witness some outstanding shows from great dancers in a glamorous ambiance with a live orchestra.

3. Summer Dancecamp – Denmark

What’s a summer without a dance camp? Well, the perfect one would be the Summer Dancecamp. Why is it perfect? They are, as they state on their website a “dance camp independent of federations, dance schools, clubs and organisations – everyone is welcome regardless of affiliation”.

World Champions Kristina and Peter Stokkebroe and Frank Høgh are on their 8th year of organizing this camp for every dancer of any level to come and learn from the best. For us, it sounds like the perfect environment where every dancer will feel welcomed.

This year the camp is going to take place between 7th – 12th July, so make sure you sign up here.

4. Edita Daniute International Training Camp – Trakai

Happening in Lithuania between 14th and 21st of July, this camp organized by Edita Daniute – one of the best names from the ballroom world – is meant to develop all the aspects of a ballroom dancer. You will have morning jogging, aerobics & stretching, lectures and stamina practice.

Coaches: Edita Daniute, Mirko Gozzoli, Fabio Selmi, Pietro Braga, Salvatore Todaro, Catia Vanone, Alexey Silde, Alessandro Firmo, Marek Chojnacki, Michele Bonsignori, Anastasia Titkova.

5. Team Vivo Latino with la Grande Orchestra Italiana – Italy

Between 19-21 July, in Italy, Team Vivo Latino is organizing the biggest International Training camp and competition in Southern Italy. The camp and the competition will be in Mariotto which is 30-40 minutes by car or transfer from the Bari-Palese airport.  

Team Vivo Latino camp has one of the best line-ups of coaches. Are these ringing a bell?

  • Hans Galke
  • Sergey & Melia
  • Paul Killick
  • Andrej & Melinda
  • Viktor Nikovskiy
  • David Yin
  • Goran Nordin
  • Jukka & Sirpa
  • Maurizio Vescovo
  • Joanna Leunis.

And this is not all! The highlight of the event is going to be the “Jungle Pool Party” on the 20th July and the wonderful Grande Orchestra Italiana.

For updates make sure you follow Team Vivo Facebook or the organizer’s Instagram.

6. S&F Camp – Moscow

S&F Camp is organized by Alexey Silde and Anna Firstova dedicated mostly to latin. It is held in the Crocus Expo usually at the beginning of January and the second time it’s at the end of August and lasts for 5-6 days. During these days, the schedule looks like this: in the morning you have stretching sessions, around 4 PM you’ll have general physical preparation and in the evening there are practice sessions.

7. ZK Camp – Moscow

The ZK Camp is organized by Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova and is dedicated only to standard dancers. Same as the S&F Camp, it is held in Moscow in the Crocus Expo. The first ZK Camp is at the beginning of January and the second time is in September and usually, it lasts 3-4 days.

The schedule of the day is divided into two parts: physical preparation and practice sessions in the evening. Also, there are separate groups for children up to Junior II and separate groups for Youth. In charge of these groups are the teachers’ assistants: Matteo del Gaone, Evgeny Nikitin and Anton Besedin.

8. International Championships Preparation Quality Camp – Warsaw

Is organized by Lukasz & Aleksandra Tomczak from 13th to the 16th September in Warsaw, Poland. As the name suggests this camp is dedicated for those who are preparing to give their best at the International Championship that will take place on the 8th of October 2019.

The full list of teachers will be announced soon, but for now here are some of the names: Lyn Marriner, Massimo Giorgianni, Greg Smith and of course Lukasz & Aleksandra Tomczak. If you want to book your place, you can write to Lukasz on his Facebook or Instagram.

9. Mabo Training Camp – Italy

During 19-22 September you can participate at the Mabo training camp and receive valuable insights from some of the biggest legends of the industry.

What Dancesport Training Camps Should You Go To?

For future details, you can check the website or simply write to

10. Transylvanian Grand Prix

Transylvanian Grand Prix is one of the most important dancesport events in Romania. Top WDSF couples from around the come and fight for a place in the finals. The best thing about this event is the Transylvanian Training Camp which brings teachers such as William Pino, Pietro Braga, Barbara Ambroz, Giordano Vanone, Colin James and many others.

For now, there are not many details about the 2019 schedule, but we are excited to see what the Transylvanian Grand Prix has installed for us. In the meantime, you can read more about the 2017 event, as we were happy to participate at it.

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