As many who were in Stuttgart on 13 August, the day following the 2017 German Open Championships, probably know, the WDSF Sports Director, our colleague Tommy Shaughnessy, had to be taken to a hospital and submitted to emergency treatment there. The matter was serious and the luck of the Irish was certainly put to a test, but the fact that Dr Tim Rausche, the Vice-President of DanceSport Germany, and an ambulance crew were able to administer first aid right away helped to keep Tommy safe at all times.
Only a few hours after having been admitted and treated, he was back to being his usual self: as witty as ever! Now, four days later, he is getting ready to be discharged from the hospital and to fly back to Dublin. Both things are likely to happen on Friday 18 July.
He will, however, require more time to fully restore his health. And to do so, he will be taking a leave from his duties as Sports Director. This leave is of undetermined length. The WDSF General Secretary Nenad Jeftic temporarily assumes the role of Sports Director. He will be assisted by the WDSF First Vice-President for Sport, Shawn Tay.
WDSF kindly asks the DanceSport community at large to contact either Nenad or Shawn in all sporting matters - and to allow for Tommy to continue on his way to complete recovery.
Don't you worry, he will be back before you know it! Check his Facebook!
Yes, they have been dominating Standard since December 2015, winning all the titles and a majority of the GrandSlams over the past twenty months. Only one GrandSlam leg has eluded them so far: Stuttgart.
Dmitry Zharkov - Olga Kulikova, RUS, put themselves under a lot of pressure to claim this last missing piece to what should best be referred to as total dominance. After the Quickstep they knew they had it. And what a celebration they offered the public in the Beethoven Hall as well as the TV audiences in Germany.
Undefeated in Stuttgart for the past three years but runners-up in all four legs of the 2017 Series, Simone Segatori - Annette Sudol, GER, had first decided that they would not dance their home GrandSlam in 2017 and they that would use the time to train for the World Standard that is coming up in early September in Chengdu, CHN.
Only after they received numerous messages from fans who had bought their tickets for 11 August just to watch them dance in Stuttgart, did they reconsider and enter at the very last moment. True champions!
What's there to be said about the two Lithuanians who have been patiently waiting for their turn to move up an echelon or two on the GrandSlam podium? Well, Evaldas Sodeika - Ieva Zukauskaite will have to wait some more. Ahead of them are four exceptional Standard dancers who are in the process of pushing one another to even higher levels of excellence. To slowly close the gap to them is already an achievement for Evaldas and Ieva. They seem to do just that - with every competition they dance against them.
Evgeny Moshenin - Dana Spitsyna, RUS, have been in all GrandSlam finals they have danced since 2016 Stuttgart: a total of five, as they did not travel to Hong Kong at the beginning of July. What had been noticeable throughout the the twenty months that Evgeny and Dana have been dancing together was confirmed once more: their improvement is steady and doesn't appear to have a cap. In an interview with the two ahead of the GrandSlam Stuttgart, they both declared the title of World Champions to be their ultimate goal.
Vaidotas Lacitis - Veronika Golodneva, LTU, had made it onto the podium in the 2016 GrandSlam Stuttgart, claiming third place and their best ever GrandSlam result. Obviously, they had high hopes this year too, but with Zharkov - Kulikova returning to the floor at the Beethoven Hall, repeating as third was decedidedly more challenging.
They, too, danced very well and ended up in fifth place.
For the second consecutive year, Anton Skuratov - Alena Uehlin, GER, made it to the final of the GrandSlam Stuttgart. To get there, they had to leave Alexey Glukhov - Anastasia Glazunova, RUS, behind and in the unfortunate seventh place after the semi-final. Alexey and Aanastasia made the last two GrandSlam finals of the 2017 Series - Wuhan in April and Hong Kong in early July - before they got married at the end of July.
Anton and Alena were billed as the representatives of Bavaria by the MC. They took it in strides and showed good dancing.
That the Standard seems to be the GrandSlam of choice for the majority of the Stuttgart audience can easily be explained. On eight out of nine occasions since 2008, the winners were German couples. And local Stuttgart couples at that! Only Emanuel Valeri – Tania Kehlet, DEN created a brief interregnum – in 2013 – between the five-time Stuttgart Champions Benedetto Ferruggia – Claudia Koehler, GER, and their successors, the three-time Champions Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER.
The GrandSlam Standard Stuttgart has always been a German stronghold, to the extent that sometimes a few of the other couples have chosen to stay away – in the past as well as in the present. Even though there were again some previous finalists missing from the starting lists, the top three of the world ranking were present and ready to dance the final at the Beethoven Hall on Saturday night.
Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kulikova, RUS, have won everything there is to win this year and kept on top of their game ever since their last defeat, in Shanghai, CHN, in the 2016 GrandSlam Final last December. Over the past two years they have claimed two World and two European titles, they most recently celebrated their first victory in the GrandSlam Hong Kong, but they have never won in Stuttgart … For Simone and Annette, who were first in the last three GrandSlams in Stuttgart, it would be very important to return to their winning ways in front of a home crowd and ahead of the 2017 World Standard in September.
The fight between the two couples will probably be as tight as ever, threatening to eclipse the great dancing put in by the third: Evaldas Sodeika – Ieva Zukauskaite, LTU. But let’s not worry about them: their confidence is growing with every time they take the floor in a GrandSlam final.
A 6-camera production with full graphics plus interviews with the protagonists! The programme is made up of four parts: the full-length semi-final (1 · no commentary), interviews with some of the finalists (2), the full-length final (3 · no commentary), the interviews with the medallist couples (4). The full-length quarterfinais the bonus feature for all those renting the programme at the fair rate of US$ 3.75 for a three-month streaming period.