As the regular part of the 2012 WDSF GrandSlam Standard Series is about to conclude with the fifth leg taking place in Platja d'Aro Spain, a look at the other four seems perfectly in order.
The 2012 WDSF GrandSlam Series has taken the top couples on a long journey around the globe. Five regular GrandSlam Standard legs were scheduled throughout the year at different locations.
Billed as the first rematch between reigning and former World and GrandSlam Champions, between Valeri – Kehlet, DEN, and Ferruggia – Koehler, GER, the Tokyo competition was a memorable one for one reason above all. Held on 11 March, one year to the day after an earthquake and tsunami had brought death and devastation to northeastern Japan, the very GrandSlam that had to be cancelled in 2011 was the occasion to remember – and to join an entire nation in the mourning.
After a moving ceremony that involved young dancers from the affected area, the 86 couples competing in the Standard section paid their tribute with superb performances in all five rounds. When Benedetto Ferruggia and Claudia Koehler bid farewell to a crowd of 5,000 at the Tokyo Gymnasium with their Viennese Waltz as dance of honour, they had taken revenge for the defeat in last year’s World Championship. But as their formidable opponents, Emanuel Valeri and Tania Kehlet, pointed out:
“We still have that gold medal! It’s at home; stored away safely!”