4th Place 2016 World Salsa Summit

Miami, Florida USA

After last years unfortunate predicament, Masha got very sick and was unable to participate in the 2015 World Salsa Summit. This year Giancarlo & Masha returned to the World Salsa Summit & Global Salsa Championships.

They were once again the only professional salsa couple representing New Zealand and this time also Slovenia, Masha's native country. However, they had 4 of their amateur students joining them and competing in their respective categories.

Two of them entered the salsa pro/am showcase and two (a couple) entered salsa amateur showcase. The two pro/am ladies were Karmen Stezinar & Ana Segula. The Amateur couple was Mitja Kosmac & Katiana Ley. They all represented Slovenia.

What is Pro/Am? : Pro/Am is when a student (amateur) forms a partnership with a professional. Gian partnered both Ana & Karmen. During the competition, only the amateur gets marked. However, should the professional make a mistake an infraction will incur.

Competition Day 1 took place on Thursday February 4th and was held once again at the Deuville Beach Resort on Miami Beach. Over 1000 participants from all over the world in various categories.

Competition Day 2 was on Friday 5th February and the Salsa Pro/Am Ladies Showcase and Salsa Amateur Showcase take the floor. Lots of great ladies and amateurs representing Peru, Italy, India, Australia, Colombia, USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico and more. Of course this time also Slovenia. The level in each category gets higher and higher each year. Its inspiring to see the amount of creativity that is displayed on the dance floor

4th Giancarlo & Masha take 4th place
World Salsa Summit Global Championships | Salsa "on1" Professional Showcase category

Student results

The World Salsa Summit is the most strict World Salsa competition, where you are extremely limited with any kind of supported moves, but for good reason. The judging panel wants all competitors in all categories (except cabaret) to truly display salsa dance without resorting to tricks, spins or anything else that would not be considered "salsa".  For example a simple kick in the air can sometime be considered a "trick" if you are connected with your partner and you need his/her support. Therefor, one strict rule is that both feet can never come off the floor at the same time at any time during the routine with the support of your partner.

karmen wss2016 600px
ana wss2016 600px
mitja katija wss2016 600px

Of course you can remove any kind of moves where this could happen, but then you could be marked "too safe". You have to take risks, but do them with control and never loose contact with the floor. This is something that has to be practiced over and over again. As this was the first time for any of our amateur students to participate in such competition, unfortunately sometimes its can be difficult to control your movements unders such pressure. The adrenaline is pumping very high! For the two pro/am ladies the feet came off the floor and they got a 10% deduction in their final score. In the end Karmen placed 7th (left) and Ana placed 10th (center). Had they not come off the floor, Ana would have placed 6th and Karmen 4th. This shows how many placings a 10% deduction can cost.

Mitja and Katiana finished 10th place (right). Keep in mind the is a WORLD competition. They put in all the time, sweat, tears and financial commitment that is required to do this. We are very proud of all their results no matter what! This was the first ever representation for Slovenia at a World Salsa competition!

Giancarlo & Masha take the floor

Day 3 of competition on Saturday night is one of the big nights with all the semi-finals and finals of the professional couples divisions taking place. Giancarlo Masha were up and ready to compete among couples from the USA, Italy, Israel, Spain, Colombia, Peru and more. Masha was wearing a beautiful costume designed by William Flowers Designs from Australia.

In 20115, Masha got sick and was unable to participate, this year Gian came down with a severe flu and was struggling in rehearsals days before with competition. However, Gian was stubborn and did not want anything to get in the way of them competing again. Its very frustrating for someone who has been preparing for much for this particular moment in time only to not be able to do it to the best of his abilities. Either way, they went on the floor and danced. Unfortunately it was not what they had hoped for. The body really takes a beating during a flu and Gian was not able to dance his best. He could feel it and the judges could see it. Despite it all, they placed 4th out of the 10 finalists.

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Professional Salsa On 1 Showcase Finals 021016 0354 948px

The judging panel

This year the judging panel for the finals in the main Professional Showcase categories consisted of 15 of the most respected, experienced and recognized judges in the salsa industry. Judges were Tito Ortos - Head Judge (Puerto Rico), Tamara Livolsi (Puerto Rico), Daniel Enskat (USA), Eric Caty (Canada), Ahtoy WonPat-Borja (USA), Desiree Godsell (USA), Andres M. Trujillo (Colombia), Ricardo Sanchez (USA), Anya Katsevman (USA/Russia), Alex Morel (USA), Graziano Boggiani (Italy), Victor Burgos (Mexico), Kelly Lannan (Canada) and Joby Aranda (USA).

"- Personally I (Gian) was not satisfied with our result. Reason being, during rehearsals - despite me struggling with a terrible flu/cold - I was able to do everything I needed to be safisfied with my performance. However, on the night I was simply not able to perform 100%. Unfortunately this is how the game goes, you only have one chance to prove yourself, and that time I just didn't. However, up and onwards from here. Gotta look ahead for the next opportunity and hope to not get crippled again. We finished in 4th place with a margin of 0.3 points behind 3rd place and 0.4 points behid 2nd place. Very frustrating when you are not able to give it your all and leave it on the floor. At least then you know you did what you could. Me running out of breath while performing, could have been the difference between being on the podium or not."

The official results from the 2016 World Salsa Summit can be viewed HERE. For the Salsa On1 Professional Showcase scroll down to Showcase 401.

As a Professional Salsa couple, Giancarlo & Masha have now represented New Zealand at 5 World championships; 2011 World Salsa Open in Puerto Rico (rank 14th), 2012 World Salsa Championships in Hong Kong (rank 2nd), 2013 World DanceSport Games in Taiwan (rank 4th), 2014 World Salsa Summit in Miami (rank 3rd) and 2016 World Salsa Summit in Miami (rank 4th).

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 and also Slovenia at salsa competitions and world championships around the world.

About Latinissimo

Latinissimo was first founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 specializing in street Latin dance. 2005 Latinissimo relocated to Auckland, New Zealand.

Directed by World Salsa Champion Giancarlo, Latinissimo as a school has performed, taught and competed across 4 continents, are multiple international and national champions and have produced two World Amateur Salsa Champions.

  • Latinissimo Dance New Zealand
  • 0210 29 88 164
  • Email us HERE
  • Empire Dance Studios, 2 Bond St, Auckland

Auckland Grey Lynn

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