BLACKPOOL DISPATCH #3: Final Day of Congress Lectures and Karina Smirnoff is in the House!

Or Garden, I should say…

A brief note from Eleanor regarding today’s final series of Congress lectures:

“Best lecture today by far was by Riccardo and Yulia. They did Paso, which I’m usually not a big fan of, but it was incredible. Also enjoyed Jukka and Sirpa — they actually spoke about stuff that was appropriate to my level of dancing! Just saw Karina Smirnoff eating dinner and was quite starstruck, which is quite unusual for me! Xx Eleanor”

I can imagine Riccardo and Yulia were great — they’re both very personable and they give quite entertaining lectures as well as, obviously, great demos. Jukka Haapalainen and Sirpa Suutari are former world Latin champions from Finland. They give good lectures as well. They are trying to take ballroom to the proscenium stage and have choreographed and performed a Latin version of Bodas de Sangre, based on the Federico Garcia Lorca play, which I desperately want to see someday (to my knowledge it’s only shown in Finland).

And interesting that Karina is there! I didn’t see her the past two years. Now that she and Maks are engaged, she may be there to support his little brother Valentin, assuming he is competing this year.

Anyway, Amateur Rising Star Latin was today; the next few days will consist of the Under 21s, the over 35s, and Rising Star pros. Wednesday is the next big day — the pro Latin. By the way, if you’re so inclined, you can check continuously updated comp results and follow Tweets here.


  1. Thank you for your sweet blog about happy stuff in Blackpool!

  2. Tonya!!! Anna Melnikova and Stefano Di Filippo split up! 🙁

  3. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Thank you JoAnn! Shim, wow, interesting!

  4. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Thank you JoAnn! Shim, wow, interesting!

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