Pro/Am A1 Rhythm Scholarship

K. Todd
Aug 01, 2005
Last minute cancellations resulted in this event being danced as a seven-couple final, a little unfortunate since some of the couples danced with no warm up. I felt that there were three competitors clearly ahead of the rest, and indeed, these three finished in the top three spaces.

Of the three, I found two of the ladies quite similar in style and approach. These were Joan Goddard w/ Chris Johnston and Norma Glass w/ Vince Duhon. Both of these ladies are ?muscular? dancers who go full out most of the time. Today Joan was the victor winning all five dances while Norma placed third with placements of 3,3,2,2,3. I think the difference is consistency.

Splitting these two good lady dancers and placing second was a gentleman student, Yaniv Geller w/ Alla Profatilova from Canada who placed 2,2,3,3,2. Yaniv, who also won the closed scholarship this same night, must get the award for the most improved dancer. His erratic timing and loose footwork of times past have disappeared. I even thought he was in contention to win tonight.

Leading the following pack was Melanie Taylor Merritt w/ John King. Melanie has also improved since I last saw her. While I still feel that she could use more energy and focus, her basic techniques and control are definitely at a higher level. Fifth place fell to Denise Prado w/ Blake Kish a tall elegant dancer who could do very well in this field with a little more experience. Sixth was Karen Dobbs w/ Hayk Ashakian who looks very good at times, but seems to lose focus at other times. With a little more strength, this is another lady who could do well here. Closing this final was Velika Turner & Jeffrey White. I have always enjoyed this lady?s dancing and today was no different. I certainly felt that she could have placed a little higher.

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