Troels Bager (R) and Ina Ivanova Jeliazkova from the United States compete at the Ballroom Dance World Cup China Open in Futian Sports Park in Shenzhen on Saturday, which kicked off the 3rd Shenzhen Dance Month that will run until July 31.
The curtain of the 3rd Shenzhen Dance Month (Dance Month), running until the end of July, was raised Saturday night as ballroom dancers from 30 countries and regions across the world whirled across the dance floor at the stadium of Futian Sports Park.
It is the first time that the Ballroom Dance World Cup China Open is being included as a sideline event of the Dance Month. The five-day competition running from Saturday to Wednesday, which has been held for 17 consecutive years, is an accredited event of the World Dance Council and one of the three most prestigious dance competitions in the world.
Alongside the opening ceremony of the Dance Month, 12 duos from China, Austria, Iceland, Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Spain and the U.S. stood out among the semi-finalists of the amateur standard and Latin dance groups at the 17th China Open, where they were dressed in swallowtails or solid gowns and presented elegant postures until the music paused.
Contestants were rated based on their performances of designated dance styles, such as the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Quickstep in the standard dance, and Samba, Rhumba, Cha-cha-cha and Pasodoble in the Latin dance.
Russian duo Fedor Isaev and Anna Zudilina were crowned in the final of the amateur standard dance group, while American duo Ferdinando Iannaccone and Yulia Musikhina won the championship in the amateur Latin dance group.
“The China Open is a major event for ballroom dance in the world. We also won this year’s Blackpool Dance Festival in May. It’s really good to bag two major dance titles in a row,” said Iannaccone. The couple danced to the chants of “Beauty and Beast” on the encore stage, which appropriately echoed their love story, which started when they met in England.
Austrian duo Ekaterina Prozorova and Vasiliy Kirin, finishing 6th in the standard dance final, were impressed by the great passion the Shenzhen residents showed toward ballroom dance.
“Audiences in Shenzhen were really warm. They clapped their hands to the rhythm of the music and cheered the dancers in the pool. The event was also well-organized and highly competitive,” said Kirin.
Six countries, namely China, Japan, the U.S., Russia, Germany and Australia, vied for the laurel of the 2019 Ballroom Dance World Cup held on the sidelines of the 17th China Open, with the Russian team coming out on top.
Professional judges from home and abroad, including Robin Short, honorary chairman of the World Dance Council, and Marcus Hilton, chairman of adjudicators for the Blackpool Dance Festival, watched the star-studded night of dance.
The finals of the professional standard and Latin dance groups were held at the Futian Sports Park stadium yesterday.
Hosted by the Publicity Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC and Shenzhen Federation of Literary and Art Circles, this year’s Dance Month will also focus on dance events at the grass-roots level, such as the 5th World Open Teenage Ballroom Dance Championships, World Dance Sport Showcase and displays of outstanding choreography works at home. (Wang Haolan)