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The Competition


In what proved to be an incredible competition, all four champions brought their best to the dance floor. It was International Latin Champions Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova who took the title of "America's Best."


The Finalists

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

Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova

© Jeffrey Dunn

America's Best

Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova (International Latin)
New Jersey

Having won the Latin Championship but losing the title of "America's Best" last year, Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova are poised for action. Elena started as a figure skater and gymnast, but took up ballroom dancing when she was 9. Andrei was studying law in Moscow when he rediscovered his childhood passion for dance. He and Elena met in Moscow, fell in love and became dance partners. Since moving to the U.S. and marrying in 1999, they have been finalists in many international competitions in the Latin division.


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

Tomas Mielnicki and J.T. Thomas

© Jeffrey Dunn

Tomas Mielnicki and J.T. Thomas (American Smooth)
New York

This couple has only been dancing together since March 2006, and has quickly moved up the ranks in their division, taking the championship this year. Tomas' first championship was at age 16, when he danced both the International Latin and Standard styles. He left his home country of Poland in 2001, moving to New York, where he met J.T. She received a B.F.A. in dance from the University of Arizona and has competed in the Theater Arts and Latin divisions as well.


Male dancer in black pants and white shirt dances with female dancer in black shorts and shirt.

Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz

© Jeffrey Dunn

Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz (American Rhythm)
New York

Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz forged their partnership in March 2007. Jose was born in the Dominican Republic, and started dancing at the 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 black suit and tails dances with female dancer in white dress.

Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova

© Jeffrey Dunn

Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova (International Standard)
New Jersey

After winning the International Standard Championship as well as the taking home the prize as "America's Best," last year, ballet-trained Katusha Demidova has a new partner. She began dancing with Arunas Bizokas in October 2007, and they made their debut shortly thereafter winning the International Standard division.


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 tan pants and shirt dances with female dancer in feather outfit.

Max Kozhevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko

© Jeffrey Dunn

Max Kozhevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko
New Jersey

After many years as strong contenders in the Latin division, Max and Yulia have decided to stop competing as a couple. They are dedicated teachers with a wide array of students including children, professionals and ice skaters. Their reputation for innovative creative routines precedes them.


 
Music
EventSong TitlePerformer
Exhibition:
Max Kozhevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko "Main Title" Don Davis
Max Kozhevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko "Spybreak" Propellerheads
Max Kozhevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko "Clubbed to Death" Rob D
Max Kozhevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko "Burly Brawl" Juno Reactor vs. Don Davis
Short Program:
Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz "Merecumbe" Hector "La voz" Lavoe
Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz "Aguanile" Hector "La voz" Lavoe
Short Program:
Tomas Mielnicki an J.T. Thomas "La Cumparsita" Luis Bravo
Short Program:
Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova "Si Si No No" Machito and His Cuban Orchestra
Exhibition:
Max Kozhevnikov and Yulia Zagoruychenko "Hip Hip Chin Chin (Yaziko Club Mix)" Club Des Belugas
Long Program:
Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz "Tango in Harlem" Touch and go
Long Program:
Tomas Mielnicki and J.T. Thomas "Dancin' Dan (Me and My Shadow)" Eugene Fleming, Kim Morgan Greene, and Dana Moore
Exhibition:
Paul Shklyaver and Jocelyn Perchik "Cuban Pete (Arkin Movie Mix)" Jim Carrey
Long Program:
Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova "So She Dances" Josh Groban
Long Program:
Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova "Obvlion" Julio Bocca
Exhibition:
Allen Rudman and Michelle Tuzman "Cha-Cha Slide" Mr. C. the Slide Man
Allen Rudman and Michelle Tuzman "Girls Gone Wild" Travis Tritt

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