11-11 WDSF World Championship Ten Dance – Shanghai / China

“The World Ten Dance Championship is the most difficult event for our athletes”. With these words WDSF President Carlos Freitag opened the championship on November 12th this year in Shanghai. 34 couples had come to compete for the title.

Last year in Vienna, Bjørn Bitsch & Ashli Williams from Denmark could win the title ahead of Timur Imametdinov & Ekaterina Nikolaeva from Russia. At the European Championship Ten Dance in Moscow in April we had experienced a rum start. Timur and Ekaterina were lucky to turn the situation. They won the European Championship Ten Dance ahead of Bjørn and Ashli. Is it time for a revenge now, I asked the couple during an interview in Moscow two weeks before the championship?

Bjørn and Ashli explained how they prepared and I think they worked hard to prepare for this event. There was no doubt: this couple wanted to win the World Championship Ten Dance again as they achieved in Vienna one year ago. And they felt confident to have a real good chance.

After the first round a rum start was in the air. While the two favorites,  Bjørn & Ashli from Denmark and Timur & Ekaterina from Russia, were marked 87 out of ninety possible marks by the nine adjudicators there were three other couples topping this result. Anton Belyayev & Antoaneta Popova from Canada and Jaak Vainomaa & Taina Savikurki from Finland got 88 marks. Janick Glud Löwe & Pia Lundanes Löwe from Norway even topped this result achieving 89 put of 90 possible marks.

Second round worked very well for the Canadian couple (85 marks). Timur & Ekaterina advanced to second position (79 marks). In third round the couple from Russia achieved 77 marks ahead of the couple with Janick & Pia from Norway (66 points) and Bjørn & Ashli from Denmark with 63 marks. This was the starting position for the final rounds.

The results of the first three rounds evidenced that the performance of the top couples was near-balanced. The adjudicators were still considering and there was no preliminary decision at the beginning of the final. So it was essential for the couples to improve their presentations.

Bjørn & Ashli knew that they had a chance to win the competition, if they could persuade the adjudicators with a top performance in standard section – and they did! They won all five standard dances with a majority of six, seven or eight 1st places. Latin section was more difficult. With 13 points (2,3,2,3,3) in latin and 5 points (1,1,1,1,1) in standard section the total result is 18 points. So the excellent performance in all five standard dances was the trigger to win the World Championship Ten Dance a second time against very strong competitors. Congratulations to Bjørn & Ashli!

The situation of Timur & Ekaterina is comparable, but just opposite due to the sections. The Russian couple dominated in latin section and won all dances. In standard section, Timur & Ekaterina achieved third and fourth places (4,3,4,3,3) while the Canadian couple attained a better place in all dances except the quickstep. So the better performance of Anton & Antoaneta in standard section at the end helped Bjørn & Ashli to win. Timur & Ekaterina were set on 2nd place with 22 points.

Anton & Antoaneta from Canada advanced from 5th place last year in Vienna to 3rd place in Shanghai this year. The couple was well balanced in both sections (standard 3,2,2,2,4 and latin 5,2,3,2,2). With a total of 27 points they had an obvious advance to the 4th place (45 points), which was caught by Martin Dvorak & Zuzana Silhanova from Czech Republic.

Martin & Zuzana from Czech Republic have their strengths in standard section. With respectable places (2,4,3,4,2) in standard they had a good start. In latin section, however, the competitors performed better. So they had to take 6th place in all latin dances. At least, due to the standard performance, they achieved 4th place this year. This is two places up since last year in Vienna.

Jaak & Taina from Finland gained 5th place this year. Last year in Vienna, they had been set on 10th place. This is a strong up position. The couple is well balanced in both sections with slight advantage in latin (4,4,5,4,4). In standard section the adjudicators voted the couple on 5th place in tango, Vienna waltz and in quickstep. In waltz and slow foxtrot they achieved 6th place. Actually the couple ranks at 2nd position in WDSF world ranking.

Last but not least Janick & Pia from Norway joined the final rounds. This couple had been valuated very strong in the first and third round. Therefore it was a surprise to see them on 6th place at the end of the final. Nevertheless it was a great step forward joining the finals this year. The couple actually is ranked at 5th place in WDSF world ranking.

The World Championship Ten Dance in Shanghai was well organized at Luwan Gymnasium. An enthusiastic audience set a fantastic stage to the event. From the point of view of the couples as from the view of television and photographers there was a slight problem with the eight spotlights positioned directly on the floor on both sides. Please disclaim those lights in future! There was plenty of light from the top. Less sometimes is more!

Final Rounds

1. Bjørn Bitsch – Ashli WilliamsLW: 1, TA: 1, WW: 1, SL: 1, QU: 1   SA: 2, CH: 3, RU: 2, PA: 3, JI: 3 Denmark
2. Timur Imametdinov – Ekaterina NikolaevaLW: 4, TA: 3, WW: 4, SL: 3, QU: 3
SA: 1, CH: 1, RU: 1, PA: 1, JI: 1
3. Anton Belyayev – Antoaneta PopovaLW: 3, TA: 2, WW: 2, SL: 2, QU: 4
SA: 5, CH: 2, RU: 3, PA: 2, JI: 2
4. Martin Dvorak – Zuzana SilhanovaLW: 2, TA: 4, WW: 3, SL: 4, QU: 2
SA: 6, CH: 6, RU: 6, PA: 6, JI: 6
Czech Republic
5. Jaak Vainomaa – Taina SavikurkiLW: 6, TA: 5, WW: 5, SL: 6, QU: 5
SA: 4, CH: 4, RU: 5, PA: 4, JI: 4
6. Janick Glud Löwe – Pia Lundanes LöweLW: 5, TA: 6, WW: 6, SL: 5, QU: 6
SA: 3, CH: 5, RU: 4, PA: 5, JI: 5


A Alicja Majewska Poland
B Craig Wilson Australia
C Chen Shuming China
D Daniel Helbling Switzerland
E Ito Tamiko Japan
F Marko Vodnik Slovenie
G Monique Maesschalck Belgium
H Oleg Yedlin Canada
I Vladimir Parakhnevich Belarus


Michael Eichert                                                                             Germany


See the photos of the championship …

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