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CROWN CUP DUBAI 2014

Impressions! It is not enough for most people, to feel the fullness of life. Impressions are impossible to lose, and are never forgotten! Impressions are stronger than any stimulants and it is also a kind of special drug, which is one of the main motivators desired for a vivid life. Do you agree? I am sure that people do ballroom dancing just because there is a chance to get previously unknown experience, becoming a new couple, putting on a new unusual suit, leaving for the tournament and winning it. But participation in the competition, combined with a trip to one of the most unique countries in the world - its ... Well, judge for yourself.

In February 2014 in one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai for the first time in the history of the international tournaments in ballroom dancing CROWN CUP DUBAI 2014 took place. The uniqueness of this event was not only in the fact that such events are not usually carried out in the Muslim regions, where it is still not acceptable for local women to appear in public in causing clothes, but also in the fact that even at the first year of the tournament over 70 dancing couples from Italy, Russia, Hong Kong, China, Lebanon, Poland, Lithuania, and even the United Arab Emirates have taken part with big pleasure.

This tournament was organized exclusively for ProAm dancers. And this is another feature of it: here you will not get into the atmosphere of fierce competition and ruthless sport. Rather, there is a friendly atmosphere and high-end holiday. And at the same time - this is the real competition, with winners and losers.

The tournament was organized by the family of Duknauskas - Vytautas and his sons Justinas & Vytis, who specifically for the organization of tournaments of this scale and level created a company CROWN EVENT MANAGEMENT GROUP. And such a professional approach to business cannot be ignored and has to be appreciated. In all the details and at any one time it felt that the organizers have thought not only about the basic nuances of competitive events (beautiful parquet floor, light, sound, and convenient schedule of the tournament), but also have offered a complete package of services for participants: dancers could enjoy the work of professional masters of hairstyles, make-up, and order personal professional photos and videos. And most importantly: each dancer and the judge felt that he or she was the most important part of this magnificent celebration of dance.

The venue hotel is a well-known hotel chain KEMPINSKI, with its magnificence and elegance of interior design. Quiet corridors, spacious rooms, excellent cuisine & diverse waiting staff – an ongoing opportunity to be pleasantly surprised. Moreover, the view from the balcony of each room is the warm blue waters of the Persian Gulf and the excellent sandy beach – what else do you need to feel completely happy?!

On the first day of our stay we went to Dubai to explore this unique city. Can you imagine: the United Arab Emirates is only 43 years old! In the 70s of the last century in this area lived only nomadic tribes, who by combining (a big role in this was played by former president, re-elected to this post 7 times, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan) found oil and competent economic policy remade the vast desert into a real "paradise on earth".

During the 43 years they did not stop developing this land with the best and most expensive specialists in the world. They say that in this country there are no similar buildings. Here, as the norm, they have employed the most advanced technologies, ranging from the construction of skyscrapers to improving conditions of life for the people. It seems that this country aspires to be the best it all the things it does! Is this not proven by the tallest building on the planet, the tower "Burj Khalifa" which is 830 meters tall?

This tower tells a lot. There are simply not enough words to describe it all. It really is a miracle of engineering! Do not be lazy and watch movies about the most hyped tower in the world: " Building World's Tallest Skyscraper, Burj Dubai" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PUVbxr4lSo) and/or "Burj Khalifa Dubai's Vertical City" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq7Q5l-Cg3U).

By the way, we saw the silhouette of this majestic building almost from anywhere in the Emirate of Dubai, and we have traveled far enough away from it.

After visiting the observation deck located on the 124th floor at a height of 452 meters (this is not even the top) all doubt was eliminated: the sight of the city at night is really worth it to leave a great impression of the country!

Another "wonderful miracle" - the so-called "Palm Jumeirah" (look on the internet for the photos from the sky, you will not regret it). This is one of three artificial islands in the shape of palm tree, on which you can find all the infrastructure for an elite stay. Hard to believe, but the full length of artificially made waterfront on all three "palms" (in addition to the natural, which is only 72 kilometers long) has reached more than 500 kilometers! Just crazy! And throughout this unique facility are located extremely magnificent hotels, yacht clubs and luxury villas.

It is said that this city is not for pedestrians. There are wide highways, which are literally stuffed with " speed bumps " and massive one-way roads. Walking will not work - too hot and too long distances. Therefore, best way to travel - a sufficiently priced loyal taxi with a mandatory air conditioning.

For shoppers - it is simply a Klondike! The most extensive in the world (again!), Shopping and entertainment center "Dubai Mall" is waiting for you with open arms! In the Maaaaasive territory of the monster mall (the total area of more than 1.2 million square meters) you will find all imaginable and unimaginable global brands!

(Note: The prices are quite high, so without a credit card, you can feel, well, not very comfortable to say the least).

In the evening, the day before the day of the competition, the organizers have invited all the guests to the Welcome Dinner to celebrate the Day of St. Valentine. All judges and participants gathered on a special Yacht that goes to a small cruise from one of the finest marinas in the world "Dubai Marina". Merry company, great food, excellent jokes let everyone to get to know each other closer and have a great time.

At the end of this trip along the series of illuminated skyscrapers of the most incredible shapes and sizes  everyone was very pleased with fireworks over the water. Hospitable host Vytautas Duknauskas is still smiling when he is being asked: "And the fireworks were also your doing?"

And then came the day of the Competition. Beautiful ballroom of the hotel KEMPINSKI Hotel - 1200 sq. meters easily accommodated everyone. The original artificial light, well-chosen music, elegant decoration of the hall - all this has enabled participants of the tournament CROWN CUP DUBAI to catch the right inspiration and fill the atmosphere with their feelings and their understanding of Dance. Respect to the organizers!

Well, what kind of competition without judges? Referee panel was really impressing in its unprecedented scale: even the most eminent participants were amazed by so many well-known experts from Ukraine, Russia, China, USA, Poland, Hong Kong, Italy, Colombia and Lithuania. It expanded the understanding of international judging panel - this provided the dancers to get the most adequate and objective assessment of their skills on the dance floor.

I would like to share my own observations. Amateur Dancers who perform European program in the competition, always look very powerful and dynamic, charismatic and beautiful, they all are distinguished by incredible sports training and the highest technical level. But ... If you ever saw the Pro Am dancers, their performing standard - then you probably have noted, with some dignity and respect, how wonderful their partners are. It is a pair of professional and amateur (teacher and student). You can see what made it possible for the ProAm style to be a popular ballroom dancing for the past three centuries, namely, easily, naturally, I would say, thrifty attitude of men and women in dance. Man Partner is still the leader and both the leader and partner are driven to succeed. But the main dancer in a couple must always be a woman.

Couples danced many times and it seems that they did so with great pleasure. There were competitions both for individual dances (Single), and several (Challenge). But the highlight of the competition, as well as many tournaments for the Pro Am, of course, became the Scholarship competitions. Especially rich in quantity and quality was a scholarship in Latin program. It was very unusual to judge and watch the dancers for whom ballroom dancing is only a hobby, yet they performed complex and very interesting programs. When the professional dancer - an athlete of high class, dances and improves from dance to dance - this is no surprise. But when a seemingly ordinary man improves his/her performance with each new minute, all his feelings written on the face - this is the real show. After all, this is how dance is born, they say, right before your eyes!

It's nice that the winners in different categories were couples from different countries: Russia, China, and Italy. The judges really did their best.

Another highlight of the tournament became the team match competition. Different countries - different teams. It is always the most unusual competition. Most often the team with strongest team spirit wins. Stunning event!

The spectators in the ballroom were especially pleased and surprised. Fabulous costumes, huge irony and irrepressible imagination - this is what distinguished all the seen extravagant productions.

And in the evening program of the tournament all participants were able to enjoy the exhibition program of two great professional couples: Eldar Jafarov and Anna Sazhina (Azerbaijan) and Justinas Duknauskas and Anna Melnikova - Duknauske (Lithuania). Eldar and Anna struck everyone with the ease with which they performed all five dances of the European program. Extraordinarily beautiful costumes, easily recognizable style of performance and amazing inspiration! The real beauty!

Justinas and Anya are just amazing people! Always great friends, good company, always open and easy to talk to. Very unusual, that being one of the best pairs of the world, winning the most prestigious championships in such hard training mode of life, they have managed to create and maintain a full loving family: recently gave birth to their daughter Miliana.

Their demonstration program produced just an incredible experience! After all, their unique style, a special charisma and appeal has always been the benchmark for many, many dancers in the world. Costumes, choreography, style, music - all matched almost perfectly!

But that's not all! Participants had a little time to relax and wash–up, and then the organizers invited everyone to the After Party on the beach! It was unforgettable! 25ºC heat in February, the sea breeze, live music, plenty of unusual dishes - all perfectly entertained the guests after the tournament. Someone was frankly asleep, someone was unbridled joyful, and some even danced the hot salsa on the sand. Excellent completion of the tournament!

And that’s how it all ended - 1st International tournament CROWN CUP DUBAI. I was little sad to leave the hospitable hosts and wonderful country of United Arab Emirates.

But why be sad? On 12-13th of February 2015 all of us are invited for the next CROWN CUP DUBAI 2015! And the organizers have prepared many innovations for all the guests, namely:

  • expected more than 100 pairs of contestants;
  • Added new member countries: Ukraine, USA, Finland, Sweden, and Kazakhstan;
  • As part of the judging panel replenishment: judges come from Singapore, Scotland, Holland, USA, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, China, Colombia, Lithuania;
  • first held WORLD SUPER STARS CHAMPIONSHIP tournament to find out the best of the best without any ProAm category/age/gender restrictions.

Thanks to the organizers of the tournament in Dubai for the received invitation, impressions and, as a consequence, for the opportunity to create this report. By the way, the tournament CROWN CUP DUBAI - is one of the tournaments in the series of competitions held under the same name. Every October, next year in August for many years in a row in Lithuania dancers gather for a traditional and already well-liked CROWN CUP VILNIUS.

With great pleasure once again I would like to present to you the organizers:

Vytautas Duknauskas, always ready to help and solve any problem!

Justinas Duknauskas (Sorry friends, I could not miss the chance to advertise ZERKALNAYA STRUYA Competition:)

Vytis Duknauskas, Wonderful and very funny host of the tournament. This report has been in fact translated to English language by him.

Author of the report Gennadiy Khavkin (pictured with Anna Melnikova - Duknauske).

Looking forward to meeting all of you on 12-13 February in CROWN CUP DUBAI 2015!

 


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