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Copenhagen Grand Slam Latin 18/02/2009

Avatar The uncontested winners of the first 2009 IDSF Grand Slam competition held in Copenhagen, Denmark, were Stefani Di Filippo and Anna Melnikova (ITA). It was a pleasure to watch their interpretations of Latin American dancing. Andrey Zaitsev and Anna Kuzminskaya (RUS) came in second in all five dances. Only in the Samba the third-placed couple Batagelj/Strukelj (SLO) came close to the runners-up. The decision between third and fourth place fell in the last dance, the Paso Doble performed as a solo dance. In the final tally, Jurij Batagelj and Jagoda Strukelj ended up ahead of Zoran Plohl and Tatsiana Lahvinovich (CRO).

Zoran and Tatsiana were somewhat disappointed: at the World Latin Championships in December 2008 they beat Jurij and Jagoda. But both couples are now looking forward to the next IDSF Grand Slam Latin competition in Tokyo, Japan.

Aniello Langella and Natalija Maiduk (ITA) placed fifth. This promising couple will undoubtedly develop further over the months to come. The panel of adjudicators put Martino Zanibellato and Michelle Abildtrup (DEN) into sixth place.

The semi-final saw another five couples from Russia and one from Germany. From a technical point of view, the performances at the Copenhagen Grand Slam were at a level that was, possibly, even higher than the one at the recent IDSF World Championship. One reason for the couples to participate in Grand Slam competitions is the quality of the panel of adjudicators nominated by IDSF.

The secret to the success of an event like the one held in Copenhagen is an experienced organizer with a team of collaborators. My compliments go to Peter Dan Ringgaard and the team of KAF, the Copenhagen DanceSport Federation. It was a pleasure to work together with them. I am sure that IDSF will take this into consideration, and keep Copenhagen in mind, when it grants top-level IDSF competitions next time around.

Heinz Spaeker, IDSF Sports Director