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An Interview with the Stars of the WDSF GrandSlam 03/07/2022

Good music, a vibrant atmosphere, and a supportive audience — these are some of the factors of a great competition that excite DanceSport athletes. Held in Naron, Spain on 24th and 26th June 2022, sponsored by BDDance International and organized by the Spanish DanceSport Federation, the WDSF GrandSlam Standard and Latin proved to have been a spectacular first edition of the GrandSlam series since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very grateful to dance the first GrandSlam of the year in the beautiful Spain, with excellent organization and a cheerful audience!”

Elena Salikhova exclaimed, as she and her partner, Charles-Guillaume Schmitt brought home a silver medal for France in the GrandSlam Latin. Charles and Elena, who have been dancing together since they were Juniors, amazed the audience with an impeccable Paso Doble performance, when they scored an impressive 38.5 out of 40 points for the four judging components of Technical Quality, Movement to Music, Partnering Skills, and Choreography and Presentation.

When reflecting on their DanceSport careers, Charles and Elena thoughtfully expressed,

“Somewhere during the pursuit of our dream we became aware that it was not just the dream we were realizing, it was ourselves”.

Representing Germany, Marius-Andrei Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska were the Gold Medalists of the GrandSlam Latin. Marius and Khrystyna appreciated the beautiful lighting, supportive audience, and competition music, which had a Latino and Spanish influence in many of the songs.

The popular Latin couple scored an average of 39.20 points out of 40 across all five dances. When asked about their training regime, Marius and Khrystyna not only train extremely intensively, but also take classes in Ballet, West Coast Swing, and Hip Hop, to find inspiration from other dances to develop their unique dance identities.

From Bronze Medalist to 6th place, the GrandSlam Latin finalists were Edgar Marcos Borjas and Alina Nowak (POL), Winston Tam and Anastasia Novikova (CAN), Miculescu Ionut Alexandra and Pacurar Andra (ROU), Sutu George Eduard and Tereza Kucerova (CZE).

Also representing Germany, taking home a Silver Medal were Tomas Fainsil and Violeta Fainsil, who made their best result so far in the GrandSlam Standard. Dancing together since 2015, the newly-wedded couple recently tied the knot in August last year.

“Love for dancing and movement itself has always been, is and will be essence of our life, and we are obsessed with it. We are making ourselves better in every single way possible, trying to reach perfection, which may not exist but this is why we are who we are,” Tomas and Violeta remarked.

The Gold Medalists of the GrandSlam Standard were Francesco Galuppo and Debora Pacino from Italy. Having danced together for an impressive 25 years, Francesco and Debora are a dance couple whom many look up to for their professional working relationship, disciplined training schedule and clear synchrony of goals.

From 3rd to 6th placing, the other finalists of the WDSF GrandSlam Standard were Cojoc Rares and Matei Andreea (ROU), Dariusz Mycka and Madara Freiberga (POL), Vadim Shurin and Anastasia Meshkova (LAT), Mateusz Brzozowski and Justyna Mozdzonek (POL).

One can imagine that after a long break from large championship events, it is an energizing and wonderful feeling to dance in the comeback of the long-anticipated WDSF GrandSlam Series. The next leg of the series will be held in Stuttgart, Germany, on the 11th and 12th August 2022, one of the signature championships of the WDSF.