We are so excited to be headed to the Grand National Championships in Doral, Florida October 24th thru October 29th! This competition is one of our favorites and is home to this year’s World Latin Championships! We will have 9 in our group, some competing in pro/am and some attending for the simple honor of watching these spectacular dancers compete for the World Title.
Why is this so important to us? The World Latin Championship is the Super bowl of Latin Dancing: the best professional latin dancers from all over the world will compete in 5 Latin dances- Samba, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive. They will compete in multiple rounds in one evening, Saturday, October 26th, dancing each dance several times, hoping to advance to the finals!
You know that feeling you get after your CrossFit or your hardest HIIT Workout? Imagine doing that workout over and over again, making each workout more intense than the one before - all in one evening. This is what these dancers do, over and over again, with the passion, energy, and engagement of a great actor, able to pull you into their dancing, their feelings, their lives, and secretly holding back the pain and intensity of the training it took to get them on the floor we so easily watch them dance- a floor that represents blood, sweat, tears, heartaches, breakups, injuries, and so much more. Never have we encountered athletes as superhuman as the ones we will see in Dancesport.
Usually, we have to stream this comp, as it’s being competed in Croatia or Germany, Russia or Japan. Sometimes we just binge watch older years on YouTube, pausing it several times and looking at each other with that “ how the f*** did they do that?” expression on our faces. We are always breaking down the choreography - 8 beats at a time - only to realize how impossible it is to dance that measure of music. These are the kinds of things Dance Nerds like us do. But, this year we will have front row seats to be hypnotized by the speed, the artistry, the technique, and the exquite costumes of these amazing athletes!
As if this couldn’t be exciting enough, the WLC will be the last competition for current US and World Latin Champions, Riccardo Cochhi & Yulia Zagoruychenko, as they are retiring this year. This couple is unbeatable, mezmorizing, and if there were ever a couple in dance who were perfect, this is the couple. They are machines. To say we are fans of their dancing doesn’t quite explain our appreciation and admiration for them.
We were blessed to watch them perform their first 5-dance show together in Indianapolis well over a decade ago. We already knew who they were, and we were obsessed with there dancing when they were with their other partners. We sat there, completely still, jaws dropped, hearts beating with fierce excitement at the stunning beauty and technique this couple displayed that night.
We were lucky enough to take lessons with Yulia and Riccardo the next day. Star-strucked and nervous beyond belief, we slowly stepped on the studio floor to introduce ourselves and dance our Cha Cha. It certainly wasn’t our best coaching lesson that year. Maybe, if we had listened more instead of studying each and every move Yulia would make, knowing we were in the presence of a Dance God, we might have been able to show her something better than we had. It’s kind of hard dancing in front of a Latin Goddess.
We all have athletes we love and admire. Ones we like for their technique or their artistry, ones we like for their dedication, their attitude and beliefs, or for the ways they teach and train other dancers.
For us, Riccardo and Yulia represent the perfect technique that creates a powerful connection, beautiful lines, lightening speed, dynamic rhythms, and elegance on the floor. Perfect technique is what we strive for, it’s what separates the amazing from the untouchable. Riccardo & Yulia are it. There will never be another couple like them. We are honored to get to watch their last competition and honored to be in the presence of such incredible athletes who represent the brilliance in dancesport.