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The Competition


Jose Decamps and Johanna Zacharewicz took first place in both the group and show dances, sweeping the division title for American Rhythm. Watch for them in the finale.


The Finalists

 
Male dancer in black pants and red shirt dances with woman in red dress.

Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz

© Jeffrey Dunn

American Rhythm Champions

Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz
New York

Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz forged their partnership in March of 2007. Jose was born in the Dominican Republic, and started dancing at age of 18. The Mambo is one of his best dances, for which he has won many titles. Joanna started dancing at 8 in her native Poland. She moved to the USA to further her dancing career and compete in the American Rhythm style. Both Jose and Joanna live and teach in New York City.

 
Male dancer in camoflage dances with female dancer in camouflage and red heels.

Evgeny Dyachenko and Inna Ivanenko

© Jeffrey Dunn

Evgeny Dyachenko and Inna Ivanenko
Pennsylvania

In spite of their common roots in Russia, Evgeny and Inna met in a dance studio on his first day in America two years ago. Before that, he competed and won at many international competitions. Inna has a reputation as a successful competitive dancer in the United States. They have quickly developed a promising and playful competitive partnership.


Male dancer in black pants and shirt dances with female dancer in light blue sequin dress.

Decho Kraev and Bree Watson

© Jeffrey Dunn

Decho Kraev and Bree Watson
Arizona

Originally from Bulgaria, Decho has been teaching ballroom since he was 21 years old. Before moving to the U.S., he danced at an amusement park in South Korea. Bree was born in Georgia, where she started dancing ballet and tap at a very young age. She attended the North Carolina School of Performing Arts and met Decho at a studio in Phoenix where he was teaching. They also compete in the Theatre Arts division.


Female dancer in blue outfit straddles man in black pants and blue shirt.

Michael Neil and Danielle Wilson

© Jeffrey Dunn

Michael Neil and Danielle Wilson
Florida

Michael and Danielle have been dancing together for four years. Both live in south Florida and love to dance. Danielle's background in ballet and jazz is evident in her striking routines. When he's not dancing or teaching, Michael likes to spend as much time as he can with his children - ages 2, 8, and 12.


Male dancer in jeans and black shirt dances with female dancer in jeans and fish net shirt.

Felipe Telona and Carolina Orlovsky-Telona

© Jeffrey Dunn

Felipe Telona and Carolina Orlovsky-Telona
California

Afraid to risk their relationship, Felipe and Carolina avoided dancing together for the first year they dated. After a series of disappointing partnerships, they decided to take a chance on each other. They married and are still dancing together, widely known for their speed and challenging routines. Felipe, from California, is wonderfully musical. Carolina, a Canadian, has exceptionally quick, dramatic movements.


Male dancer in shiny black pants and leopard print vest dances with female dancer in leopard print skirt and top.

Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Julia Gorchakova

© Jeffrey Dunn

Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Julia Gorchakova
New York

After a hiatus, Julia Gorchakova has returned to dancing with her new partner, Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine. She began dancing in her native Russia at age 6, and has traveled the world winning championships. Emmanuel has trained in jazz, modern and ballroom for over fifteen years. Both are former Mambo Champions. He is a native of Haiti, and has spent a great deal of energy bringing ballroom there. He lives in New York while Julia resides and teaches in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Exhibition Dancers

 
Male dancer in tan pants and vest dances with female dancer in beige dress.

Tony Dovolani and Elena Grinenko

© Jeffrey Dunn

Tony Dovolani and Elena Grinenko
New York

Last year's American Rhythm Champions, Tony and Elena have decided to retire from performing. They are both very experienced dancers who have been friends for quite some time. Tony learned to folk dance as a young boy in Kosovo, and then fell in love with ballroom when he moved to the United States at age 15. Elena trained in ballet, folk and ballroom dance in Russia, before moving to America when she was 21. Tony and Elena have tremendous technique and dance highly creative routines. All their movements are well thought out, and Elena's footwork is exceptional. Both have won many titles with other partners. Elena has also danced on Broadway, while Tony has been a dance consultant for feature films.


Male dancer in brown pin strip pants and vest dances with female dancer in turquoise sequin dress.

Scott Lazarov and Christine Stanko

© Jeffrey Dunn

Scott Lazarov and Christine Stanko
Pennsylvania

An experienced athlete, Scott Lazarov became passionate about dancing when he realized it combines the commitment, strength, and athleticism of any sport with the creativity and personal expression of any art. As a teacher, he tries to bring out the best in every student by emphasizing technique and style.

Christine embraced Latin dancing while visiting Antigua, Guatemala during her final year of medical school. She was volunteering at a hospital to learn Spanish, and discovered salsa dancing was a common local pastime. She immediately became addicted. She felt drawn to dance, not only for the love of music and movement, but she found it to be a great form of exercise and stress relief. She won her first pro/am championship with Scott in 2005.


Male dancer in black pants and fuscia shirt dances with female dancer in fuscia dress.

Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus

© Jeffrey Dunn

Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus
Canada

Winson and Anna are a competitive young couple. Aged 12 and 13, they have recently won major 10-dance competitions in the United States and Canada, including the Ohio Star Ball. Both come from dancing families: Winson's father began dancing in Hong Kong and encouraged his son to get involved at age 7; Anna's older brother got her involved at age 3, and now her younger brother dances as well. In addition to dancing, they enjoy playing soccer, and both swim and run to stay in shape.


Male dancer in black pants and blue shirt lifts female dancer in blue dress with flowers.

Pasha Pashkov and Inna Brayer

© Jeffrey Dunn

Pasha Pashkov and Inna Brayer
New York

Born in Russia, both Pasha and Inna, aged 20 and 19, came to the United States when they were young, and have fervently pursued dance their entire lives. They have been partners for four years. Their training routine is tough, requiring work for four hours a day, six days a week. They are also full-time college students: Inna is in her sophomore year at Hunter College, and Pasha is a junior at Bernard Baruch Business School.


Male dancer in black pants and red shirt dances with female dancer in red dress.

Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova

© Jeffrey Dunn

Eugene Katsevman & Maria Manusova
New York

Dancing together for nearly fifteen years, Eugene and Maria are performing as amateurs for the final time. As of next year, they will be dancing professionally.


 
Music
EventSong TitlePerformer
Tony Dovolani and Elena Grinenko "Specially Composed Piece" William Josepha
Scott Lazarov and Christine Stanko "Ran Kan Kan" Tito Puente
Decho Kraev and Bree Watson "Do You Love Me" The Contours
Felipe Telona and Carolina Orlovsky-Telona "Tell Me 'Bout It" Joss Stone
Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus "What Is Coconut?" Senor Coconut & His Orchestra
Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus "Un Mondo Pieno D'Amore" Paola and Chiara
Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus "Coconut Woman" Karl Zero and The Wailers
Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus "Coconut Woman" Karl Zero and The Wailers
Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus "El Pollo De Carlitos" Los Rabanitos
Winson Tam and Anna Nina Kus "Bana Coco" Liza Da Costa
Michael Neil and Danielle Wilson "Hells Bells Song" Sonny Hodge
Michael Neil and Danielle Wilson "Back in Black" AC/DC
Michael Neil and Danielle Wilson "You Shook Me All Night Long" AC/DC
Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz "Dance at the Gym" West Side Story Original Cast
Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz "America" West Side Story Original Cast
Pasha Pashkov and Inna Brayer "A Mi Manera" Gypsy Kings
Evgeny Dyachenko and Inna Ivanenko "Confession" Brian Tyler
Evgeny Dyachenko and Inna Ivanenko "Swordfight" Brian Tyler
Evgeny Dyachenko and Inna Ivanenko "War End Credits" Brian Tyler
Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Julia Gorchakova "El Negro Bembon/Maquinolandera" King Bongo
Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Julia Gorchakova "Rompe (Remix)" Daddy Yankee featuring Lloyd Banks and Young Buck
Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova "O Fortuna - Camina Burana" Carl Orff

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America's Ballroom Challenge fourth season premieres on:
February 25, 2009
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