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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!

The post Reactions From The First WDSF Grand Slam Of The Year: DanceMasters 2019 appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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5 Lessons 2020 Taught Us



As horrible as this year must have been, we should be thankful for it has taught us plenty of lessons. The year 2020 forced us to reevaluate our plans and dreams. 

2020 showed us who our real friends are and who is willing to give up on us when we need them the most. This year a lot of partnerships have ended, and others have formed. Some have quit dancing, while others have started new & exciting projects.

I summed up what I think are the most important things that 2020 showed to us. 

1. We Love Competitions

As a competitive dancer, preparing and going to competitions is your main activity and this year showed us that we might take them for granted.

This year I saw how much all dancers, from beginners to dance legends, suffered that they couldn’t attend competitions such as the Blackpool Dance Festival, German Open, and many other competitions that hold a special spot in each dancer’s heart.

This year we missed all the fuss and excitement that surrounds a big event. We missed people that we see maybe just once a year at that certain comp and we certainly missed being on and off the dance floor.

2. How Addicted To Dancing We Really Are

Ok, at first, it was quite nice. Everyone thought, “Oh, I can finally have a well-deserved break now”. 

But we soon realized that we could not live without dancing. We all started dancing around the house, we reorganized our living rooms in mini dance studios, and we used our walls as partners. 

Some of us who gave up dancing a while ago know how difficult it is to stop. But for those who were in full ascension, I imagine this forced pause felt even worse. 

Nevertheless, dancers are not easily broken down. Many of you practiced in your homes and used this time to learn new things about dancing. Some of you listened to interviews or perfected specific dancing skills such as elasticity. 

3. Online Education Is Important

Because we are on this topic, we realized how crucial online teaching resources really are during this pandemic.

Many dancers couldn’t see their teachers, and this is how online classes came into play. Either if you prefer pre-recorded courses as we offer on Dancesportlife Academy, or live classes, you cannot deny that this is what kept dancers growing during 2020. 

4. How Attached To Our Dance Family We Really Are

The connection between partners is something very difficult to put into words. It is that type of fondness that is hard to explain. In 2020 we didn’t only miss dancing. We also missed what goes hand in hand with dancesport – our partners. The connection between the two partners is one of the most beautiful aspects of dancesport.

Besides our partners, we missed our teachers. There is nothing like a good lesson with our favorite teacher. We missed that type of lesson in which you get those “Aha!” moments when everything clicks. 

5. To Be More United

All in all, I think the most important lesson this year taught us that we need to be more united. 

Many dancers came together to create beautiful online projects this year. We’ve watched fascinating discussions between dancers that otherwise might have never seen together. 

I think we should always remember that the most important thing is never to lose our humanity & kindness. 

The post 5 Lessons 2020 Taught Us appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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11 Online Courses For Soft Skills In Ballroom & Latin



Technique is crucial if you want to be a good dancer. But what do you need to do in order to achieve that higher level? Well, that’s when soft skills subjects like partnering, communication, musicality and style choice come into play.

I put together a list of 11 courses you can find at Dancesportlife Academy that will help you be a more sophisticated dancer. 

A tip from me: because Santa Claus thinks we’ve been good this year & respected all the rules, we have all our courses on SALE.

1. Partnering Skills in Rumba by Espen Salberg

In his lecture at Dance Amore Roma 2019, Espen Salberg is discussing the sensitivity of lead & follow. Dialog and communication between the two bodies are essential in order to create togetherness.

Espen showcases in his lecture, assisted by Oxana Lebedew and Laura Zmajkovicova, two ways in which you can improve your leading actions:

  1. By knowing the order in which you need to communicate with your partner.
  1. By knowing the amount of energy/physicality you need to put into your leading actions.

Length: 35 minutes

Here is the link to the course

2. Finding Your Dancing Self by Oxana Lebedw

Learning how to express yourself through dancing is one of the most beautiful and challenging aspects of dancesport. It’s something that allows a dancer to touch other’s hearts and souls. That is done by discovering and expressing your own uniqueness.

In this course, you will explore the freedom to show yourself as a performer. You will find out how to relate your own self to your dancing self by learning to be aware and open all your senses.

Length: 45 minutes

Here is the link to the course

3. Mastering Of A Partnership by Oxana Lebedew

In a course that feels like a discussion with a wise psychologist, Oxana shares her pieces of advice on how to develop your partnership into something out of the ordinary.

She touches on subjects like how to communicate with your partner and how to connect. She offers examples on how to divide the duties in a partnership and how to choose a style for you, as a couple.

Length: 25 minutes

Here is the link to the course

4. Samba by Slavik Kryklyvyy

In his lecture from the Gladiators Dance Congress 2019, Slavik is touching many important aspects that create and give samba the characteristic of a “body dance”.

He is pointing out that nowadays, many dancers and teachers forgot what are the core principles of this dance or what are its origins. Thus, the character of samba has been lost.

Length: 31 minutes

Here is the link to the course

5. Movement In Rumba by Slavik Kryklyvyy

In this lecture, Slavik is focusing on body movements in rumba, while tackling subjects like freedom and fluidity.

Being the talent that he is, his lecture is truly inspiring if you want to develop your thinking in a more artistic way.

Length: 30 minutes

Here is the link to the course

6. Creating Your Own Dance Story by Klemen Prasnikar & Sasha Averkieva

Klemen Prasnikar & Sasha Averkieva, WDC World Latin Champions, take you into a self-expression journey by playing with one of the most fundamental principles of dancing: connection.

In the first chapter, they tackle the physical connection. Then they show you how to stay connected even if you are not touching your partner. Lastly, they show you how to play with these types of connections to create your own dance style, your own dance story.

Length: 1 hour 25 minutes

Here is the link to the course

7. Freedom Through Breathing by Paul Moldovan & Cristina Tatar

Paul Moldovan & Cristina Tatar are one of those dance couples that are simply meant for each other. They are currently semi-finalists in all the major events in WDSF Amateur Latin and former World Champions in WDSF Youth and Under 21.

The course is structured in three parts. In the first chapter, Paul & Cristina will show how deficient breathing can influence your mental state and affect your performance. In the second part, they explain how faulty breathing patterns can affect your body, especially your stamina. Lastly, Paul & Cristina shed light on how you can use breathing to play with your steps during your routine by creating a different dynamic.

The course is very unique and could be illuminating for many dancers out there, Latin or Ballroom!

Length: 34 minutes 

Here is the link to the course

8. Qualities Of A Long-Lasting Partnership by Paul Moldovan & Cristina Tatar 

Long-lasting partnerships are something we all strive for. They offer us a sense of security and reliability, which helps us truly focus 100% on the dancing.

But how to maintain a good partnership throughout the years?

Through their 18 years of experience together as a dance couple, Paul & Cristina realized what worked for them. Now, they are willing to share some of their key ingredients of such a beautiful relationship.

This course will leave you with the impression that you just discussed with your most responsible and thoughtful friends.

Tip: This course can be found as a BONUS if you decide to buy Paul & Cristina’s course – “Freedom Through Breathing”

Length: 11 minutes

Here is the link to the course

9. How To Make A Ballroom Dancing Hairstyle For Men by Madis Abel

This course is a step-by-step program designed for Ballroom and 10-dancers to give you all the tools needed to have a champion’s hairstyle.

You will find 20 lectures divided into 5 sections: Preparing your hair, Basic principles, Blow drying, Hair spraying, and Common mistakes. This isn’t fluffy theory stuff either. You’ll get real, ready-to-use tools that you can begin to implement immediately. 

Length: 2 hours

Here is the link to the course

10. The Details Make The Difference In Latin by Frederic Mosa

Frederic Mosa is one of the most sought after teachers and adjudicators in the WDSF Latin world, coaching top Latin couples.

In his lecture from Master Evolution Training Camp 2020, Frederic is showing you with the help of Andrea Silvestri & Marina Varadi the importance of details in our art.

Three of those details are: creating a signature move, musicality, and the connection between partners.

Length: 39 minutes

Here is the link to the course

11. How To Make The Interpretation Interesting, Using The Musical Structure by Pietro Braga

When you say musicality in Standard dances you automatically think of Pietro Braga – one of the best teachers to go to if you want to excel in this area.

In his lecture from Master Evolution Training Camp, Pietro teaches you how to interpret movement by understanding the musical structure.

Length: 28 minutes

Here is the link to the course

The post 11 Online Courses For Soft Skills In Ballroom & Latin appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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11 Best Online Courses On Ballroom & Latin Technique



We’ve put together some of Dancesportlife Academy’s best courses and premium camp lectures for Ballroom & Latin technique. 

We also have massive Black Friday & Cyber Monday promotions at the moment, so if you decide to buy some of the courses, now is the time! 

1. Fundamentals Of Ballroom by Mirko & Edita Gozzoli

One of our best-selling courses is, by far, the greatest choice if you want to learn the core principles of Ballroom technique such as posture, hold, centres, footwork & body action. Furthermore, you get the chance to discover four novel choreographies and how to apply the theory to them.

Mirko & Edita Gozzoli barely need any introduction. They are one of the most renowned names in ballroom dancing. They have been both World Champions and European Champions.

Length: 4 hours 20 minutes

Link to the course

2. Fundamentals Of Quickstep by Hazel Newberry

Hazel Newberry MBE is one of the United Kingdom’s leading ballroom ladies and dance teachers. She was three times undefeated World Professional Ballroom champion. 

In her lecture at the Gladiators Dance Congress, she focused her attention on lead & follow by looking at body positioning and core principles such as contra body movement.

Length: 29 minutes

Link to the lecture

3. Paso Doble – Structure And Its 5 Elements by Alan Fletcher

When you say “Alan Fletcher” you automatically say “true legend of the Latin American dancing world”. One of the most sought after teachers, preparing couples to win the highest titles, reveals the five key aspects of Paso Doble.  

Learn from Alan some secrets on music, posture, shaping, framing, and resistance. Also, you will get a cameo from one of the most loved lady dancers. I’ll let you guess who that is!

Length: 26 minutes

Link to the lecture

4. Partnering Skills In Tango By Steve Powell

A true gentleman of the ballroom dancing world, Steve Powell is a multiple-time European Professional Ballroom finalist and a World Professional Ballroom Semi-finalist.

In his lecture from Gladiators Dance Congress, we can learn about partnering applied strictly in Tango, as it is quite different than the other Ballroom dances. Steve is looking mainly at how the body and foot positioning helps in mastering the partnering skills. 

Length: 31 minutes

Link to the lecture

5. Paso Shaping by Graham Oswick

Charming and charismatic, with a great competitive career behind him, Graham Oswick uses his knowledge to teach Ballroom and Latin American competitors valuable principles.

He showcases this charm and love for core principles of Latin-American dancing in his lecture from Gladiators Dance Congress. Graham explains how to create that distinct Paso shaping through mastering feet pressure and leg action.

Length: 29 minutes

Link to the lecture

6. Fundamentals Of Movement In Latin by Andrea Silvestri & Martina Varadi

Andrea Silvestri & Martina Varadi are one of the top WDSF Amateur Latin couples. They are finalists in all the major events such as Grand Slams and WDSF World & European Championships. 

For their Dancesportlife Academy course, they’ve put together five chapters of theory and choreography designed to help you learn the basic principles of bodyweight, movement, and connection. In the choreography part of the course, Andrea & Martina will show you four basic routines and four more advanced routines by applying all the principles discussed in the theoretical section.

Length: 2 hours 40 minutes

Link to the course

7. Use Of Different Timing In Cha-Cha-Cha By Goran Nordin

Goran is a former UK Closed Amateur Latin Champion, British National Professional Latin Champion, and a finalist in major competitions from the WDC world. 

He is known for his inclination towards choreography, timing, and musicality. And that is exactly what he discusses in his lecture from the Gladiators Dance Congress. Goran, with amazing enthusiasm, showcases how we can play with different timing in Cha-Cha-Cha.

Length: 28 minutes

Link to the lecture

8. Specific Positions That Give Character To Your Dance by Mirko Gozzoli

Mirko Gozzoli has a special place on this list as he appears not one time but three times! 

In this lecture from Gladiators Dance Congress, Mirko shows you how to dance a Tango that respects its character by creating different positions. 

Length: 32 minutes

Link to the lecture

9. Viennese Waltz And Its Technical Actions By Mirko Gozzoli

The third lecture held by Mirko is the one from Master Evolution Training Camp. 

As should expect from each of Mirko’s lecture, you will receive great details and discover hidden aspects of a dance. In this lecture, he teaches you the correct foot alignment & placement in Viennese Waltz and the amount of turn in the body position.

Length: 50 minutes

Link to the lecture

10. Bodyweight By Simona Fancello

Simona Fancello is a great ballroom instructor. Her career was filled with great results together with Fabio Selmi. She has been a finalist in all the major competitions, such as World & European Championships.

In this lecture, she focuses on the importance of bodyweight and how to use it in the fundamental basic steps of quickstep.

Length: 27 minutes

Link to the lecture

11. Slow Waltz And The 3 Important Actions: Swing, Sway, Shape By Irina Solomatina

Irina Solomatina is one of the most sought after teachers. Together with Alexander Melnikov, she was 12 times Russian Champions.

In her lecture from Master Evolution Training Camp, Irina explains thoroughly how the swing, sway, and shape in Slow Waltz are crucial for good leading in Slow Waltz

Length: 39 minutes

Link to the lecture


Next, we’ll make a list of courses and camp lectures that focus on softer skills such as musicality, artistry, or communication.

The post 11 Best Online Courses On Ballroom & Latin Technique appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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