Heritage Classic Professional Smooth

Notable mentions:

Not making the final but definitely strong contenders were David Schulz and Natalie Wakefield. This couple’s dance presentation has greatly improved with a more defined emotional connection and better demonstration of the lead and follow dynamic. The addition of a more powerful movement across the floor will serve to make them even more competitive with the couples currently ranked above them.

The Final

6th place Ilya and Amanda Reyzin

With their strong performance skills this couple is clearly a crowd favorite. They could become more of a judge’s favorite as well by work on developing a more efficient and refined movement across the floor, especially in closed position, and in exploring choreography that not only caters to their current strengths but enables them to more effectively present the character of the different dances.

5th Randy and Victoria Dias

An attractive, well groomed and fit couple, Victoria is an excellent girl with a lot of power and feeling in her dancing and Randy has an air of confidence about him. As a couple they could improve their presentation by more clearly defining that it is Randy who initiates the action and Victoria who takes his projection and is an extension and amplification of his presentation. Currently it tends to look a little out of balance, either Randy is not maximizing the use of his legs and spine to encourage the resultant action by Victoria or perhaps Victoria is not waiting to react to Randy's lead but preempting it? They are both extremely capable competitors and a stronger use of body dynamics by Randy and a clear resultant action by Victoria would take the performance up to the next level.

4th Peter and Alexandra Perzhu

A great looking couple showing loads of feeling and beautiful lines. The only distracting thing holding them back from the judge’s perspective is basic shortcomings in technique on Alexandra's part as revealed by a too obvious lack of effective footwork (missing heel leads in Waltz and Tango).

3rd Eric and Michelle Hudson

Great feeling between these two and a good job done in expressing the differing characters of the dances. Michelle is one of the most expressive girls on the floor and Eric could utilize that advantage more by focusing his shaping through her and freeing up his back up for more fluid actions.

2nd Mikhail Zharinov and Galina Detkina

Danced well tonight, very expressive and looked more powerful than they have done in the past and better connected both in touch as well as weight. Sometimes look a little forced facially in their emotional interaction.

1st Mayo Alanen and Michelle Officer

Danced well in only their second competition they had great chemistry going and got off to a good start with a Waltz that really made you feel the emotion of the music. There were however a few missed connections and the potential for power was not fully realized both in distance and speed, both things that will no doubt be being addressed by them as they work their way towards the Nationals in September.

Michael Mead
4 Time U.S. National Professional Smooth Champion