Miami, Florida USA
Giancarlo & Masha were the only couple representing New Zealand at the World Salsa Summit & Global Salsa Championships in Miami, Florida USA. At the same time, Masha was proud of being the first and only Slovenian salsa dancer at this prestigious World Salsa competition.
At the time of this competition, Giancarlo & Masha were still officially representing New Zealand salsa on the international competition circuit.
Latinissimo's Mens Salsa Shines Team joined Giancarlo & Masha to Miami to participate in the Male Shines Team category. The team consisted of Latinissimo students Bob Hela, Dharshana Ratnayake, Juan Sandoval and Hohua Diamond. Giancarlo was also part of the team, making it a total of 5 team members.
Day 1 of competitions took place on Thursday February 6th and was held at the Deuville Beach Resort right on Miami Beach with over 800 participants from all over the world in various categories.
Day 2 of competition was on Friday evening 7th February and it was time for the Men's Shines Team to take the floor. There were lots of great teams with representives Colombia, USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and more. The Latinissimo team faced tough competition from seasoned professional teams, however managed to reach the the semi-finals round. We are very proud of them considering this was the first time for them competing at such competitions and also, it was the first shines team to ever represent New Zealand at a World Salsa competition.
3rd Giancarlo & Masha take 3rd place
Salsa "on1" Professional Showcase category
Giancarlo & Masha take the floor
Its is such a great experience competing at these important events because you meet lots of new people with the same burning desire of pushing yourself to be the best you can be., But best of all is to catch up with good friends, such as Vera Rowe and Uriel Garcia, multiple Salsa Cabaret and Bachata world champions. Giancarlo and Masha have been competing on the international salsa circuit since 2006 and made friends with many other dancers around the world. Their support is always appreciated as we are all under such pressure to do our best.
The judging panel
The judging panel consisted of 14 of the most respected, experienced and recognized judges in the salsa industry - the biggest judging panel we have ever seen in a salsa competition. Judges were Billy Fajardo - Head Judge (USA), Tito Ortos - Head Judge (Puerto Rico), Tamara Livolsi (Puerto Rico), Daniel Enskat (USA), Athoy WonPat-Borja (USA), Eric Caty (Canada), Jayson Molina (Puerto Rico), Osmar Perrones (USA), Nelson Flores (USA), Ricardo Sanchez (USA/Colombia), Anya Katsevman (USA/Russia), Jennifer Aucoin (Canada), Christina Morrison (Canada) and Joby Aranda (USA/Dominican Republic).
It may seem easy on video to dance infront of such a panel of judges, however there is an enormous amount of pressure when standing on your own and dance your very best for the judges and you only have one chance to impress them and show that you deserve to be there. Despite all, Giancarlo and Masha finished in 3rd Place in the Salsa "On1" Professional Showcase category. You can view the official results from the World Salsa Summit results page HERE.
This was Giancarlo & Masha's last representation for New Zealand at international events before moving overseas. In total Giancarlo & Masha have represented New Zealand in 4 different World competitions; World Salsa Open in Puerto Rico (rank 14th), World Salsa Championships in Hong Kong (rank 2nd), World DanceSport Games in Taiwan (rank 4th) and World Salsa Summit in Miami (rank 3rd).
Due to the fact that New Zealand has been a huge part of their professional dance careers, Giancarlo & Masha will continue to represent New Zealand at competitions in the USA, Europe and Asia.