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Ballroom Dance Team Dominates In Major Manhattan Competition

By Miriam Sorell

TEAM MEMBER

The MIT Ballroom Dance Team spent Martin Luther King weekend in the Big Apple, making a splash at the 13th annual Manhattan Amateur Classic, dominating the standard division and the team matches. MAC is one of the most important competitions in the Northeast and the qualifying event for the 2003 National Championships.

MIT teams took the first and third places in the team matches, with the winning team composed of Dejan Mircevski and Maria Minkoff G doing Waltz, Christopher L. Douglas G and Katya Dolginova MS ’98 dancing Tango, Carlos A. Lopez ’03 and Genevieve Cuevas ’03 doing Cha-Cha, and Filip Ilievski ’03 and Boston University student Rita Kraner dancing Jive.

In the two highest levels of Standard, Master of Syllabus International and Champ International, MIT coaches Mark Sheldon and Didi von Deck took first place.

Team newcomers swept the Pre-Bronze Standard competition, taking five out of the six spots in the final round. Tyree W. Harris G and Nadezhda Belova ’05 took first place, followed by David A. Ovadia ’06 and Catia S. Verbeke ’06 in second, David C. Wang ’05 and Jane Gyrda of New York University in fourth, Adam Smith G and Fu Liu G in fifth, and Wei An G and Tatjana Atanasijevic G in 6th. Harris and Belova also placed 4th in the Bronze division, where Bradley Morrison G and Aurora C. Schmidt ’03 took third.

Newcomers also did well in the Pre-Bronze American competitions. In Smooth, first place went to An and Susanne Wagner, second to Smith and Liu, and sixth to Wang and Yiquin Bai. In Rhythm, An and Atanasijevic took second, and Carmine DiChiara and Yana Averbukh ’05 placed fourth. Bill Liteplo MS ’00 and Michelle Goldhaber placed second in the Rhythm Champ category.

In Latin, Todor Stavrev and Sofya Raskhodnikova G took 3rd place in Gold, and Boris Bernikov ’98 and Carrie Sougnez took sixth in the Master of Syllabus International.

Upcoming competitions for team this term start with the Boston University Ballroom Dance Competition on Feb. 8, followed by the Holy Cross Ballroom Dance Competition on Feb. 15.