Open Professional American Rhythm

Elena Grinenko
May 14, 2010

1st Place ? Decho Kraev & Bree Watson: Decho and Bree were the clear winners of this competition. In everything they do, they dance very well as a couple.They do not appear as individuals on the floor. They are a team. Private ballet training gives Bree great lines and control over her movement, which is great. But at the same time, I feel that sometimes it doesn't let her get loose and bring more of that Latin characteristic to her movements.

2nd Place ? Emanuel Antoine & Liana Churilova: This couple looks much better since the last time that I saw them dance. Their skills in dancing as a couple are much improved. Emmanuel is trying to put more authenticity in his style of dance, which is great. At the same time, I find that they as a couple put too much effort into trying to win the competition and sometimes it gets a little out of control.

3rd Place ? Ricky Bentzen & Albina: I love this couple. They are very well matched and beautiful to look at. They always look their best in regards to hair, make up, and costumes. They seem to have the whole package. The only issue that I would say they need to work on is the endurance to finish each dance. They tend to lose their energy by the end of the dance at times. They need to learn to carry that through to the finish.

4th Place ? Ilya Reyzin & Amanda Reyzin: I love llya's masculinity on the dance floor. I find that many couples tend to lose the male/female story in their dancing. That is why he commands the floor for me. Amanda has beautiful lines due to her previous dance background. These things allow them to tell that male/female story. The one thing I would love to see come out of her is more hip action.

5th Place ? Jason Daly & Sveta Zlochevskaya: I found that I enjoyed the slow dances that this couple did, rather than the fast ones. This means that they are quality dancers in my mind. I find that it is much more difficult to impress people with the slowness of motion, rather than speed. It shows that they have control over their dancing. I would suggest they look into their choreography and try to gain this control in their fast dances.

6th Place ? Jeremy Gatlin & Anna Harwood: In my opinion, the choreography of this couple is too busy. It doesn't allow me to see the quality of their dancing. They do very good tricks, which I like. But, then they seem to struggle to find their balance afterwards. You need to find the perfect balance between your complicated and simple motions after your tricks.

Elena Grinenko is a professional ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor. Along with her partner Tony Dovolani, she is an undefeated National and World champion in the American Rhythm Category.