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The Dance Review - Mark Willemite reports on the British Junior Latin Championship 2024

The British Junior Latin Championship 2024 promised to be a memorable event, the dancers gave their all and performed with determination which was the culmination of months

and years of preparation. It was a sensational competition from the first round.

The first dance proved to be a ‘taster of talent’, to be a spectator was a privilege. The journey these dancers have made both physically, emotionally and financially must be applauded and we should acknowledge the parents of each and every dancer that has come to the most prestigious 2024 Junior Blackpool Dance Festival.

Winning the title for 2024, were Stepan Bielievtsov & Marila Lisna.

Maybe a surprise win, but a deserved win and why not? That’s what Blackpool is all about. Nothing is a given, the excitement and anticipation of all the dancers hoping for the lucky break that will fulfil their dreams. This couple had their dream come true and they appealed in many aspects, and dramatically challenged the other couples in a way that obviously appealed to the judges.

They were solid in their delivery and gave a clean performance throughout the final. Congratulations.

2: David Komarnytskyi & Anhelina Cherkovska.

Undoubtedly disappointed and challenged all the way. They can only be admired as dancers, but tonight they looked a little overworked and tired, not a fresh presentation and with a dress that constantly molted causing a distraction to the overall look. I’m

sure this result will differ in the upcoming events and they will come back even more impressive than ever!

3: Matevy Starikov & Maria Samojlenko.

This couple were dynamic from the first round. They demanded the judges attention, both equal in their display of power which showed total commitment to each and every action. You couldn’t fail to see these two, they had a natural release of energy that took them to this well deserved placing in this truly International prestigious final.

4: Ivan Kuzmizhev & Arina Panasova.

In the semi final, I thought this couple could challenge for the title. They were on balance, showed good isolation, good connection and had an elasticity between them which gave a very watchable performance. They were not so on point in the final, but received first placings, however they didn’t show the attack they had in the early rounds and by the time they danced the jive, they seemed to struggle. No doubt they will study this result and gain knowledge from the experience.

5: Jay Jay Jiang & Jessie Li.

Such an elegant pairing. So stylish and well groomed, such a detailed dress as was their performance. They take care of each other and the connection between them looks genuine and not over affected.

Best dance jive! Super upper body rhythm and displayed an excellent technique. Delightful to watch and one can appreciate their detailed actions.

6: Keane Scerri De Carlo & Martina Camilleri.

Must have been elated to have made this incredible final and deservingly so. Such a striking couple, who manage to create good spacing between them and coordinate exact body rhythms which make each dance look authentic. Personally, I’d like a little more eye to eye contact to enhance the connection emotionally as well as physically. Very well done. Exciting potential and future challengers!

I have to mention Sultan Slambeck & Zhanel Niyazbekova who were but one mark from the final. I thought they were clear finalists as they attracted attention from the first round and gave a very considered and mature performance.

Mark Willemite

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