On this latest episode of Dance Teachers Academy, José and Aimée interview the unmistakable voice of the Master of Ceremonies John DePalma. The sound of his engaging voice has been an important part of the dancesport experience. There is no denying why he is known as the “Voice of Ballroom Dancing.”
During the interview, they also explore all the “backstage” challenges of a dance competition and discuss his upcoming dance competition Capital Dancesport Championships August 21-24th, 2019 at Hilton at Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
At the 41st Ohio Star Ball, Nazar Norov and Irina Kudryashova announced their retirement from competitive dancing. They are 3 time United States and 3 time World reigning and undefeated Open American Rhythm Champions.
Below is the retirement letter that was read at the Battelle Brand Ballroom during the Ohio Star Ball.
It is never easy to say goodbye to something, that was a part of our lives for so many years, and what we love so much. Our journey together, started 17 years ago in a little town in Siberia, Russia and little did we know, what a journey that would be. After over 26 years of competing, tonight, we are saying goodbye to the amazing world of professional dancing. But before we do, we would like to thank so many people, that helped us in so many ways to achieve, what we ourselves have never dreamed of. Our gratitude goes to our parents and families, who gave everything and sacrificed so much, so we could dance Our first teachers during first 15 years of our dancing and our mentors for life – Vladimir Murashov and Lyudmila Murashov for not only giving us the love of dance, but teaching us the loyalty, importance of being part of the Team and work ethics. James Clemens and Tammy Clemens for giving us an opportunity to work in the United States Lori Foehr for welcoming us to the Dancelife family and giving us a chance to become studio owners All Our students, present and past for adjusting their schedules to accommodate our crazy ones Our fans and fellow competitors for always pushing us to be better than yesterday Brent Thomas Mills and Ballroom Playlist for always amazing and inspiring music Alex Rowan and Dancesport Photography and Mary Tweeddale for memories, that will be forever with us Peter and Cassandra Valeria Schneider and Dance America for the best shoes and practice wear we could ask for Boyko for Irina’s impeccable look Benito Garcia of Coreganize 360 for keeping our bodies and minds ready for the challenge Tatiana Ouellette of Anabell’s Dancewear and Bella Kogan of Dress for Dance for Nazar’s costumes And Dawn Smart of Dore Designs, who welcomed us to the Team ten years ago and was by our side all these years The coaches, who helped to shape us into the dancers and teachers we are today: Sam Sodano, Loraine Barry, Tonja Garamella, Judi Hatton, Paul Holmes, Paul Killick, Ieva Pauksena, Вячеслав Трубачев, Igor Ugay and Tatiana Ugay And of course, our Dream Team – the core group, that every dancer should find – the Team that will guide you, inspire you, bring you down to earth, when you feel too high and lift you up after painful defeats. Each one of you hold a special place in our hearts and we can not thank you more for being in our lives. Michael Chapman for creating our show program “Yoda” Eugene Katsevman for sharing your sense of musicality and understanding of the movement “Babaganoush” Ilya Ifraimov for creating unforgettable characters for our winning Ohio showdances “Gumada” Marianne Nicole-DePalma for making sure our clock is working and the eye is closed? “Dance Mom” Shirley Ballas for letting us be ourselves and going along with our crazy ideas, while never compromising the quality of movement And “Daddy” Rufus Dustin for believing in us from very beginning and being there for us for the last 10 years through thick and thin. The switch to American Rhythm 6 years ago was the best decision we have ever made and we thank everyone, who supported us in this journey. We sincerely hope that those who will come after us will cherish and respect American Rhythm the way we do. Ladies and gentlemen. Every journey has its beginning and the end. Our journey as professional competitors ends tonight, on this floor, under these lights. We could not think of a better way to go. Thank you
Your 3 -time United States and 3 time World reigning and undefeated Open American Rhythm Champions
Shirley Ballas is a British ballroom dancer who specializes in Latin dance and has won numerous championships earning her the nickname, The Queen of Latin.
She started dancing at the age of 7. While attending her weekly Girl Guide class she noticed a ballroom dance class next door. She was fascinated with the class and started lessons the following Saturday. This was the beginning of her lifelong love affair with Ballroom and Latin Dance.
By the age 23 she had won all major titles worldwide. Some of the most memorable titles for her include: 3 times British Open Champion, European Champion and 10 times Open United States Latin American Champion.
Shirley Ballas & her history with Dance Vision
Shirley was a Latin coach for Wayne & Donna Eng c. 1984- c.1992. She was instrumental in helping them become 3-time United States Latin Finalists, United States Rising Star Vice-Champions, 3 time Blackpool Rising Star Finalists, and Eastern United States Champions. Wayne credits her with giving him the confidence to believe in himself.
In 1996, she retired from competitive dancing at Blackpool. In 2017 Shirley Ballas returned to Blackpool. to join the judging panel of Strictly Come Dancing, replacing Len Goodman as head judge.
Her judging style is a no nonsense approach. She’s a real stickler when it comes to technique but she is fair. She is returning as a judge for series 16 of the ballroom competition on BBC One this Fall. Fellow judges Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, and Darcey Bussell, will also be back this year.
Wayne and Donna Eng are pleased to announce the 30th Anniversary of the Emerald Ball!
This year is bound to be bigger than ever before, and you won’t want to miss it! The Emerald Ball is one of the longest-running Dancesport competitions in the United States. It started 56 years ago under dance legends Ken & Sheila Sloan and now 30 years under Wayne & Donna’s supervision. The Emerald Ball attracts every status of dancer from beginners to professionals from Dancing With the Stars. It’s always the beginning and finale of the Dance Vision Circuit and a great place to see where your rank is in the national spotlight. Original organizer Ken Sloan will also be attending the big celebration!
Wayne and Donna Eng competing in the 1980’s
The Emerald Ball has an unmistakable and excitable charisma that has attracted dancers from all around the world! As Wayne says, it’s all about energy. He even uses an energy healer to help him incorporate his energy as effectively as possible while at the Emerald Ball.
A happy, excited energy always draws crowds of people, and we believe that’s part of the charm of the competition.
Rather than using status to intimidate newcomers, the Emerald Ball encourages new dancers to set new goals and see where they rank. It also gives them a chance to participate in a dancesport competition and get a feel for it. For the pros, it’s the beginning of the circuit, the starting point for the rest of the year, and a chance to compete against friends and colleagues that come every single year. It’s even great for visitors and family members, particularly during the Pro and Show Dance portions. There’s something for everyone at the Emerald Ball!