Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This Rhumba makes me want to cry its so perfect

I really enjoy the Blackpool congress demonstrations because everything looks so simple (even though I love costumes and showcases) and yet so full of emotion, the dancing is pure and beautiful. no fillers or mucking around, as fun as it is to watch.

This is one with Yulia and her old partner Max Kozhevnikov, I think 2 years ago when they still danced together. Another rhumba. (although the announcer is a bit of a fruit).

Do you like one over the other? Why? I can't say that I like one better but I dont really like to compare dancers because they are great in their own ways and its way beyond me to critique them. Especially when it is two favorite couples. I think both couples demonstrated the contrast of quick and slow movements characteristic of the rhumba exquisitely. When I watch how Michael and Joanna dance to this music that beforehand I really did not like (Empress Orchestra - Cuban Love Song) and how they made every movement match the movement and changes in the music I get goosebumps - and that's from the youtube screen, can you imagine live. Now everytime I hear this song I get this image of Joannna and Michael, and I can really get into the movement when I pretend I am her, it really helps, and its fun, pretending you are that good, believe it or not it makes me dance better, I think.

I realize that I have not posted any standard videos even though I dance all 10 dances. And I really like standard as well. well, here are a few. Mirko Gozzoli and Alessia Betti, number 1 champions in the world right now. Tango please.

Do you see how still their frame is?!

Timothy Howson and Joanna Bolton. Waltz. The thing I really like about these demos is that they do choreography that I have learned and seeing pros do it makes it even more fascinating, "OH, thats how it looks!"... on the dance floor in a different sequence. Its like, "I know that move! oh and that one! We do that in our routine!" Its really makes me feel connected to my dancing more and inspiring. Of course seeing cool stuff that I cannot do yet is awesome but its more achievable when you see the people you admire do the thing you just learned, its almost if a link is formed.

And Ill finish with something that just blew me away, its very unconventional and yet not extremely complicated if taken separately.

Brian Watson and Carmen former Latin Champions and William Pino and Alessandra, top standard professiols.
Its absolutely mesmerizing! They are doing the same movements but one is standard stylized and the other latin. And using the same music they do their own style of dance! And the way they keep switching partners...This whole showcase makes me giddy! Watch it, Love it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

King of Storytellers

So I picked up another book by one of my favorite authors, Rafael Sabatini. I have developed an intense love for his stories ever since I read the first one. The one Im reading now is "Master-at-Arms" but some of my favorites include "The Sea Hawk", "The Black Swan", "Scaramouche", "The Tavern Knight", "Adventures of Captain Blood". The thing I love about these stories is they all happen right in my favorite time periods and settings: 1700s - either French Revolution, at sea on ships, England, nobility, etc. Most often a cool, and suave but not too cocky hero with calculating, intelligent, intense and sparkling eyes falls in love with a woman of equal stoicism and intelligence, and she with him, evan though in the beginning they do not always know it. I love everything about these novels from the swordfights to the overcoming of self-restraint and seeming emotionlessness of both parties to finally admitting their feelings for each other in subtle tones with gleaming eyes. It all happens so grippingly involving a tangled or veiled past perhaps that the hero himself is unaware of but soon discovers and along with so much intrigue and betrayal and mystery and then the final revelation which sets everything right. The thing I probably most admire about these heroes is the way they keep their temper and cool facade in whatever situation they may be in, whoever is threatening them, they keep their impenetrable face and level voice and witty, non offensive comments (unless one decides to takes them so). The only sign of any disgruntlement being a steely look passing through the eyes with a hint of challenge and a subtly cutting remark that reminds one that he is a man of honor and it will not be taken advantage of. These men are always excellent swordfighters and are deadly with a pistol, in fantastic physical shape and irresistibly handsome, and very fast thinkers with a broad understanding what is going on around them "You are a man to whom a woman could resist nothing." And yet they are not womanizers but sincere gentlemen. Sabatini novels are not dirty romance novels, otherwise my mom would never had given one to me at the age of 16 but they are more classic romance and adventure novels and they can be for both male and female audience I think, although I have a suspicion women may enjoy them very much, not to be sexist or anything. Ever since then I was just drawn in and in love, I could not put the books down, there was always something happening that kept me guessing in every story. For anyone interested in a good action read, these are quite an adventure. I just wanted to post this to share my opinion on something I enjoy so much!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A couple favorites, more to come...

This is a video of Slavik Kryklyvyy and Karina Smirnoff, my first favorite latin couple. When I just started dancing they were my idols. Alas, they broke up and this was probably one of their last performances together. They were the number 2 couple in the world for a while after Bryan Watson and Carmen. Here is their 2005 rumba, which many of you Im sure have seen but for those who havent enjoy (and for those who have, also enjoy!)

And here is their 2003 chacha, one of my favorite performances ever.

And now here is a video of another couple that I recently found and now really like, Ive heard of them before but never really watched, I cant believe it either, because theyre awesome. Stefano di Filippo and Anna Melnikova. Super fun to watch!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jive!

"May we please have...the Rumba."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just starting

Since I just started this blog not to long ago from some inspiration from friends, I wasn't sure what to write about. But I thought that the thing I've grown to love and treasure would be a good start. SO Ballroom it is (along with some random thoughts and daily activities). I decided to share some of the experience and knowledge I gained in the past 5 years with people who are either interested, just picking up the activity or feel like discussing some of the pointers I will be posting.
So to begin I want to post some videos of perhaps my favorite dancing couple: Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagaruchenko. I love this performance along with basically anything else they do. They are the number 2 couple in the world behind Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis, whom I also admire greatly. They actually performed this showcase, a cheeky chacha at the Ohio Star Ball in November 08 and I saw it live! It was one of the best dance experience related of my life!

They also did this performance, a samba and medley, which was equally breathtaking, which I also watched at OSB. Their sense of musicality along with music choice is simply magnificent. And of course they won the best couple award!

And check out this video as well. This is their rumba - once again gorgeous beyond expression.

All of these videos, asides from being taken from youtube are from the World SuperStars Dance Festival held each year in Tokyo, Japan, where they have the world's best or so couples in Standard and Latin do 5 showdances each. So best dancers do best dances although sometimes they do come up with strange, strange things.

Standard dress for sale!

I am selling this standard dress that I made. Its perfect for smooth and standard, syllabus and open as it has detachable floats. The fabric and flow is the best quality of the dress as the skirt is huge and swells and spins wonderfully. it does not have underwear attached so something skin colored underneath is recommended. I have attached a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. I am selling it for $100USD because the fabric is quite expensive and the dress is hand made and fitted. It can be used for standard and smooth and both syllabus and open events. Floats are provided but they are not permanent as they can be attached in many different ways. The point was versatility. Keep in mind that the dress was made for someone small ~ about 5'2 w/o heels. Let me know if you are interested. aanstasia@gmail.com