Last week marked a breakthrough in Israel's place in the world of ballroom and Latin American dancing as a competitive international sport. On April 8, over 3,000 visitors crowded to witness the The Ten Dance European Cup, the first ever to be hosted in this country. The annual competition, now in its second decade, was held at the Heichal Hasport in Ashdod.
Fifty dancers from 25 European countries - from Spain to Russia - competed in 10 different standard ballroom and Latin American dances. The modern waltz, the English waltz, the Viennese waltz, the foxtrot and the quickstep made up the ballroom portion, while the Latin American dances included the samba, the cha cha, the rumba, the jive and the paso doble. The dancers were categorized by type of dance and by age, the youngest competitors being only six years old.
This year's competition was another first for Israel in that a local couple, Anatoli Shenkel, 19, and Victoria Shutlesov, 16, from Ashdod, placed among the top 20. Over 20 dance clubs across Israel were represented, from Ma'a lot to Eilat, and Victoria Maglanik, Danny Vortman and Anna Aronov from the TV program, Dancing with the Stars, were in the audience.
Andrei Zeitsav and Anna Kozminskai from Russia won first place, Lantin Loosin and Ranta Booshva from Germany came in second and Italians Valerio Kolnatooni and Sarah Dabiira placed third.