All videos recorded of the first two rounds of the 2016 World Latin on 24 September in Chengdu, CHN, have now been uploaded here and on the WDSF YouTube channel DanceSport Total. The entire quarterfinal, semi-final and final will become available as multi-camera production through our Vimeo on Demand service DanceSport Total Plus from Friday 30 September, late p.m. US$ 3.75 will get you a 3-month rental of the programme (quarterfinal is the extra feature).
Pre-order right here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/2016worldlatin
YouTube videos of couples dancing in the first round of the World Standard ShowDance have been added to our Video Gallery oabove ... Remember, a multi-camera production of the ShowDance Standard final with all eight shows will also become available through Vimeo, probably early next week, free of charge!
Still on their journey back from Chengdu, currently waiting for a connecting flight at Frankfurt, the members of the WDSF Communications team continue to work off the backlog of videos and photos from the 2016 World Championships held over the past weekend.
More than 100 photos of the World Standard and Latin ShowDance have been added to the Gallery between yesterday and today. At least one photo of each routine should be available already.
Videos are also getting uploaded today. First, we finish off the 2016 World Latin Round Two, then we start posting clips of the World ShowDance routines that didn't make it to the finals, and finally the top three routines in Standard and Latin.
At the same time, the team is working to have the Vimeo on Deman programme on the 2016 World Latin ready for release by Friday 30 September.
Pre-order right: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/2016worldlatin
Two is the number that marked the two World Championships in ShowDance. In both, the couples that came in second last year moved up to the top echelon of the podium, claiming their title with the same routines. For Simone Casula - Laura Marras, ITA, and their "Charlot" in Latin as well as for Anton Skuratov - Alena Uehlin, GER, and their "Michael Jackson," the second time was the charm. Congratulations!
Two hours of coverage on the two finals were carried live on CCTV 5+, China's most important sports channel.
Nearly 40 videos of round one have been uploaded to YouTube and to our Video Gallery above. Another batch of videos from the second round is to follow shortly. Of the ones that are up and accruing views by the thousands already, it is the one of Marius-Andrei Balan - Khrystyna Moshenska, GER, dancing the Cha Cha Cha that broke the five-digit barrier first and in less than 12 hours.
Photographs we have nearly 200 up in the Gallery already and we are expecting more to follow when our photographer Helmut Roland will put together his "best of" selection later in the week. Reinhard Egli, photographer and publisher of the Swiss dance! magazine, is also sharing some of his pictures with us.
Today, all emphasis is put on the two World ShowDance Championships that are in progress. Tonight, the finals in Latin and Standard will be broadcast live by CCTV 5+, the #1 sports channel in China with a total reach of some 1.2 billion viewers. Obviously, the Communications team will be fully absorbed by that. But rest assured, the roughly two hours of coverage will become available free of charge through DanceSport Total Plus, our premium service on Vimeo later in the week. Stay tuned!
During his stay in Chengdu, WDSF President Lukas Hinder recorded the second instalment of "Skype The Prez," the informal exchange on topical issues between him and Athletes' Commission chair Ashli Williamson. This time it was an authentic Skype conference call, with some 7,500 km separating the two parties - and the difficulties inherent in relying on the quality of the Internet access at both locations. Only three topics were discussed: the work of the Competition Manipulation Task Force, the specifics of a recent case of alleged competition manipulation that led to the provisional suspension of an ajudicator, and - last but not least - the situation regarding the Russian DanceSport Union that has been downgraded to provisional WDSF Member and is under threat of expulsion by 31 October 2016.
Because of the urgent nature of the topic, the exchange concerning Russia is published on this blog already today. Post-production on the "Skype The Prez" video will take some more time.
Ashli: It is a delicate matter and a difficult situation. We discussed it among the athletes and the Athletes’ Commission. From the chair of the commission I came with a statement at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in reference to the Russian situation. To the extent that if there were any problems within the Russian Federation that Russian dancers would still be able to participate in all championships and WDSF competitions and to ensure that the political situation would not affect the dancers.
THE PREZ: As you know there has been a very serious internal conflict in Russia and this has created significant problems for DanceSport in Russia and our Member Body, the Russian DanceSport Union. Of course we have always sought to support the Russian Sports Ministry and the NOC in this difficult situation, but circumstances inside Russia have become intolerable for our athletes and officials.
After some two years of these conflicts continuing, WDSF’s members at our AGM in Rome in June this year overwhelmingly agreed with the WDSF Presidium that the opposing groups needed to unify under RDSU in the interests of DanceSport, the athletes and officials by 31 October 2016. If this unification is not achieved under RDSU by that date, then the WDSF Presidium is obliged by the AGM vote to expel RDSU and take over the administration of Russian athletes, adjudicators and officials for a period of time.
We encourage our Russian friends to do all that they need to do so that WDSF is not obliged to intervene. However, if a solution is not found by 31 October, WDSF will act.
Please be assured that the Presidium and I will not let down our Russian athletes, adjudicators and officials. We will take care of them and do whatever is necessary that international DanceSport will continue for Russia for as long as it is necessary under the WDSF administration. Whatever the costs!
Ashli: Some of the dancers have contacted us and asked, “Should we buy our tickets for the Moscow GrandSlam? Will it take place? Should we book and buy the visa?” Of course you cannot give any guarantees, but from the WDSF side, are we sure that the GrandSlam will take place?
THE PREZ: I confirm that we have been assured on more than one occasion that the Grand Slam events at the end of October in Russia will be proceeding as scheduled. I just asked again very recently – and this information is up-to-date. We are sure that the GrandSlam will happen and that the event will be run in the interest of DanceSport. Believe me, at the end of October, Russian DanceSport will still exist. It has a future. Great athletes in a great DanceSport country! All that cannot be destroyed just because a few egos do not have the guts to bring about real change. This is my statement to you, to all athletes and to the officals in the RDSU executives.
Ashli: It’s good to hear that the WDSF is doing everything it possibly can to solve the situation and to do it in the best possible way.
Gabriele Goffredo and Anna Matus, MDA, make it two in a row and successfully defend their title won last year in Vienna. The first and second runners-up of 2016 repeated in their respective positions too: Armen Tsaturyan - Svetlana Gudyno, RUS, as second and Andrei Balan - Khrystyna Moshenska, GER, as third. The ones to change their places were the couples from fourth to sixth: Timur Imametdinov - Nina Bezzubova came in fourth, Yury Simachev - Anastasia Klokotova, RUS, fifth and Charles-Guillaume Schmitt - Elena Salikhova, FRA, last year's fourth, were sixth. Yes, the whole final had some traits of a déjà-vu. But there were some real surprises too: Gabriele and Anna and Armen and Svetlana are stablemates now.
Petter Engan - Kine Mardal, NOR, concluded the account of their frustrations over the denied visa with a message to the fellow competitors and - in particular - to the second Norwegian couple. They wrote:
We wish all our fellow competitors good luck, and especially to the other Norwegian couple who will be attending.
Lars and Alexandra seem to be doing alright!
It was another Walk of Fame night that the couples participating in the three World Championships got to enjoy last night in Chengdu. Some knew the procedure from last year already, others had experienced a similar stroll down the red carpet at the GrandSlam Finals in Shanghai, but there were a few that had their premiere yesterday. What is worth mentioning: quite a few couples came well prepared, with the outfit befitting the occasion. She in a longe robe, he in a smart tuxedo ... Our photographer Helmut Roland took a picture of each couple. The 85 are in the Photo Gallery above: judge yourself who was dressed best!
Bright lights, cheering crowds, mass adulation, it's a little bit of feeling like Brad and Angelina on Oscars Night ... Poor choice of example!
Here's Ferran Castanyer's "Walk of Fame" clip!