El Diablo Esta Suelto by nyut545e2



Edition 0810-2

“El Diab
                         lo Esta S
   An exclu
                 sive inter
                           view with        uelto”
                                       Davide C

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 “El Diablo
 Esta Suelto”
(The Devil Is Loose)
by Didio Barrera
Many years ago I attended a competition in Ire-
land and it was there that I was first introduced
to “Team Diablo.” A group of energized young
men and women all wearing the “Team Diablo”
leisure jackets with their prominent Diablo logo. I
immediately presumed at that time that this group
must be some kind of a school or organization.
From the “Diablo” part I figured that it must be an
Italian or Spanish group. I was a little puzzled at
first by their Spanish or Italian name “Team Dia-
blo” meaning a Devil Team? Was this part humor,
a devilish team? Or was this a team to feared as
many fear the “Devil?”                                                               Davide & Olga Cacciari photo by David Mark
In my enquiries that same weekend in Ireland, I found out that this was a group      him one of my first questions to Mr. Cacciari was about the “Team
developed in Italy by world professional finalists Davide and Olga Cacciari. But     Diablo” name. “I can tell you very clearly why the name was se-
that the “Team Diablo” I was looking at were not from Italy, this group was from     lected. The name constituted in two words, firstly ‘Team’ because I
Spain. To me this meant only one thing that this “Team Diablo” must be some          presume that in order to achieve the best results in competitions and
sort of a franchise such as Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire is in the USA, and        the best ability as a dancer today it takes more than one person. You
even GallaDance in Russia.                                                           need a team of experts helping you to reach the best in your career.
                                                                                     This is why we decided to call it a team, just to give the idea that it
Since that time in Ireland I have continued to travel throughout the world cover-    is important to have a team of experts.
ing many different events and almost at every stop and every turn there is always
a “Team Diablo” member, sometimes a small group, sometimes in huge quanti-           And ‘Diablo’ is coming from a legendary very powerful bull from
ties, but year after year “Team Diablo” continues to grow bigger and bigger          Spain, from a “corrida” (a bull fight) and this bull was called “Dia-
throughout the world of DanceSport. Last year at the Embassy Ball in California      blo”. And the reason this bull was called “Diablo” was because
where a Latin & Standard IDSF Grand Slam is held, I approached Mr. Cac-              nobody could ever beat this bull. In other words he was an unbeat-
ciari, the creator and director and asked him for an interview. I wanted to know     able bull. So we thought that would be nice to take over this name,
                                                       more about the man that       like the car “Lamborginni” did for their main car some years ago,
                                                       heads and had the first vi-   they imported the “Lamborginni” name.
                                                       sion of “Team Diablo” in
                                                       his mind.                     I felt this was very good motivation for the people and the kids
                                                                                     dreaming about something that’s unbeatable. We did not want to
                                                      I had never really met Mr.     use any names of dancers because this would have looked a little
                                                      Caccari, but on this occa-     strange and funny. Surely we did not want to use our name. So that
                                                      sion I found him to be very    is the reason we called our organization Team Diablo from the be-
                                                      intense and focused on his     ginning.”
                                                      views of dancing and after
                                                      finding out a little about     So what in reality is this “Team Diablo” their website says this:

                                                      “Diablo’ is coming from a legendary very powerful bull from
                                                      Spain, from a “corrida” (a bull fight) and this bull was called
                                                                                                           Ferruggia and Claudia Kohler, World Latin
“Team Diablo is an International Team of top                                                               Amateur Finalists Zoran Plohl and Tatyana
level dancers in all age categories from all dif-                                                          Lahvinovitch as well as many others who con-
ferent countries all over the world. They are                                                              sistently make semi-finals and quarter-finals
based in Molinella, close to Bologna in Italy. It                                                          of World Closed and Open Championships.
is the biggest and most successful Dance-Sport
Team Worldwide.                                                                                            Team Diablo continues to constantly push the
                                                                                                           boundaries of ballroom dancing by conduct-
The main coaches are Davide & Olga Cac-                                                                    ing research together with the Institute of
ciari, also the founders of Team Diablo. A lot                                                             Medicine and Sport Science in Rome as well
of other Dance-Sport trainers and coaches are                                                              as working closely with the world’s leading
involved within Team Diablo. They regularly                                                                teachers in both Standard and Latin.
organize workshops and trainingcamps where
they invite other World-class dancesport train-                                                            They frequently organize camps and work-
ers (most of them former WorldChampions in                                                                 shops where the top teachers from England
Standard and Latin) to come to Italy to give                                                               and other parts of the world come to share
their students the best information available to                                                           their knowledge and experience with all the
improve their technique in dancing.                                                                        members of Team Diablo.”

Team Diablo is famous for the former 3 time                                                                Here is more high praise from a couple that en-
World Champion in the Standard Category                                                                    joys the benefits of being a Team Diablo mem-
Paolo Bosco & Silvia Pitton who turned Pro-                                                                ber, they are Jeffrey and Eneth member of Team
fessional in 2009 and current World Champi-                                                                Diablo since 2006. “We are the first Dutch
ons Amateurs Benedetto Ferruggia & Claudia                                                                 couple to be member of Team Diablo! We go
Koehler. But much more very good Ballroom           Benedetto Ferrugia & Claudia Koehler                   to Italy nearly every month to have lessons
dancers are involved within Team Diablo, both                           photo by Helmut Roland             with our Team Diablo coaches and trainers,
in Standard and Latin.                                                                                     Davide and Olga Cacciari and our co-trainers
                                                                                                           and current WorldChampions: Benedetto Fer-
                                                    ily. This is the first time that many of our readers
Team Diablo developed the very first and                                                                   ruggia & Claudia Koehler.” This is all very
                                                    and citizens of North America have heard about
unique Dance Sport Academy, in which stu-                                                                  high praise but in some camps “Team Diablo”
                                                    the group and so it is only natural that many
dents learn all about dancing, physics, psy-                                                               is looked upon with some suspicion. Some be-
                                                    are asking what is this group about? Some are
chology, business, marketing and even math-                                                                lieve that perhaps “Team Diablo” want to create
                                                    asking with suspicion others are welcoming. A
ematics and the English language. It gives                                                                 a monopoly in dance. Others like this disgrun-
                                                    well-known US couple Stephan Krauel & De-
young dancers a perfect platform to start a                                                                tled blogger chosen from a number of bloggers
                                                    nise Jourdaine admired the Dia-
successful dancing career.”
                                                    blo spirit and as Denise has told
                                                    me a number of times that they
One of the newest members to the group is in
                                                    hope to be the first to establish a
Canada, North America. This “Diablo” group is
                                                    “Team Diablo” here in the USA.
headed by Alexandre Chalkevitch and his fam-
                                                    The Canadian teams website
                                                    tells us something very similar
                                                    to that of the Italian Team:

                                                    “Team Diablo is the biggest
                                                    dance team in the world. At
                                                    this moment it is home to 2500
                                                    members and growing.

                                                    Team Diablo is a collaboration
                                                    of many studios from around
                                                    the world, who work together
                                                    with the goal of developing
                                                    their dancing and teaching
                                                    skills as well as furthering their
                                                    understanding and knowledge
                                                    of such a challenging sport as

                                                    Team Diablo has produced a
                                                    huge number of top couples
                                                    including many World Cham-
                                                    pions. Among its members are:
                                                    many times World Standard
                                                    Amateur Champions Paolo
                                                    Bosco and Silvia Pitton, the
Alexander Chalkevitch & Larissa Kerbel              current World Standard Ama-           Davide Cacciari judging at the German
                        photo by Park West          teur Champions Benedetto              Open, August 2010 photo by Andrew Miller
on the internet feels that the team                                                                       is mechanically the most efficient way to move.
coaches and adjudicators cooperate
                                         photo by Dave Head                                               What is the source of power you should use in
with one another to push the team’s                                                                       many different dance spaces.
interest and not that of dance itself.
                                                                                                          This is always something very important in my
“Ignorant, uninformed, naive                                                                              opinion to be aware and develop and you have
person would welcome the pub-                                                                             to be very open minded in order to be able to
lic show of appreciation to many                                                                          take knowledge from people that are not danc-
invited British Coaches involved                                                                          ers but they can be ingenious. For example, bio
with Team Daiblo.                                                                                         mechanical engineers. They might not be able
                                                                                                          to give you the right technique when dancing
A sceptic would ask : Doesn’t Italy                                                                       but when you explain to them what you are sup-
have enough talent to help Team                                                                           posed to do, they can tell you exactly which way
Diablo in their progress ?                                                                                will create the most efficient movement. For ex-
                                                                                                          ample in knee work, foot work, shoulder work.
 Is it not the same British Coaches                                                                       Or for example, speaking with a sports doctors
who accept the employment teach-                                                                          about the anatomy of our body, they can give
ing opportunities from the Team                                                                           you some incredible ideas and advice as to what
Diablo, who, in the function as                                                                           might be the best way to use your muscle system.
adjudicators, have an opportu-                                                                            For this reason I think it is important to have
nity (?obligation?) to better spot /                                                                      a team, for this reason it is important to have
notice / recognize their Team Dia-                                                                        finance and enough money in order to involve
blo students on the European and                                                                          the people and make the research with them on
British dance floors, and reward                                                                          the top couples. We discovered over the last ten
the use, application of their Brit-                                                                       years a lot a lot of different new things or things
ish teaching, in a completely un-                                                                         that were developed but not developed enough
biased way, not at all influenced                                                                         in my opinion.
by, and refusing any suggestion
of a possible conflict of interest ?                                                                      Mr. Caccari feels that in the past everything was
                                                    opinions about chains or companies like Arthur
                                                                                                          more about feeling but now with so many ad-
                                                    Murray International and even GallaDance in
As long as British Coaches involved with Team                                                             vances we can rely on research in order to im-
                                                    Russia. So it’s only natural for people to get a
Diablo behave as is expected of them by their                                                             prove the quality of performance and so he has
                                                    little concerned when they do not “understand.”
employers, the expressed sincere appreciation                                                             developed a team to research and study dance
                                                    Taking it with a “grain of salt” as they say here
is well deserved.                                                                                         to be able to produce a greater quality of danc-
                                                    in America, I figure that there is no one better
                                                                                                          ing. He also feels that today, you cannot just rely
                                                    than the creator, Mr. Cacciari, to explain what
Sceptics would not express appreciations too                                                              on feeling alone you have to go further into the
                                                    “Team Diablo” is all about, so I asked.
loudly not to make the competitors who are not                                                            world of understanding here is what he had to
a part of Team Diablo, raise their eyebrows                                                               say about feeling verses understanding “for ex-
                                                    “Team Diablo is a simple club. Many people
when they lose the ‘precious’ recall marks to                                                             ample, in those days my personal career and my
                                                    think or might have a distorted idea as to what
less able, but more recognized members of                                                                 personal improvement was based a lot on feel-
                                                    “Team Diablo” is. We believe that in today’s
Team Diablo, whom the judges “recognize”.                                                                 ings. But it is scientifically proven that the feel-
                                                    dancing it is important to have knowledge from
                                                                                                          ings that you have that we can call scientific and
                                                    experts, and when I mean experts I mean experts
Is it possible the sincere public show of ap-                                                             internal perception is not going together with
                                                    in many different areas. So we always use a lot
preciation is a subtle reminder to the British                                                            external perception. The external perception is
                                                    of the top teachers in the world, like experts of
Coaches not to forget what Cacciare had done                                                              what you see from outside and there is always
                                                    technique in different departments of technique.
for them, the lucrative future teaching op-                                                               an angle created by these two factors and this is
portunities, and the invitations which could                                                              scientifically proven.
                                                    Some of them are very expert in choreography,
follow as long as they are on his team?”
                                                    some very experts in leg and feet actions, some
                                                                                                          I remember one of my teachers used to say
                                                    very experts in dynamics, some very expert in
This particular blogger was commenting on the                                                             ‘don’t always trust your feelings,’ and he was
                                                    performance level. We also imported other dif-
praise to British coaches from Team Diablo.                                                               really correct in telling me this, because realisti-
                                                    ferent type of experts, for example like experts in
But you do not have to go far to hear an inflamed                                                         cally sometimes the feeling is not exactly telling
                                                    bio-mechanics, in sports medicine, in psychol-
version of what “Team Diablo” is, especially                                                              you what is happening. So for this reason it is
                                                    ogy, and in theory and methods of practice, in
now that the IDSF and WDC are not seeing eye                                                              important to investigate much more deeply and
                                                    physics. So we try to involve different top people
to eye. There are many people that associate                                                              so taking the knowledge of top teachers in the
                                                    in their branch in order to take all the benefits
“Team Diablo” with the IDSF because the ma-                                                               world mainly from England and trying to elabo-
                                                    that they can offer in terms of quality. Because
jority of their stars compete in the IDSF events.                                                         rate their knowledge and upgrade their knowl-
                                                    of course if you want to improve your quality
It is not a unusual phenomenon to me to hear                                                              edge with the use of some engineers and people
                                                    as a dancer you have to think in many different
such strong criticism of such a successful, chain                                                         like that, it’s an incredible experience. In this
                                                    areas and you also have to research. Like what
                         or group or persons. I                                                           work we are very dedicated.”
                                                    we have been doing for almost ten years in the
                         have often heard many
                                                    institute of medicine and sport in Rome, we have
                         people voice strong                                   By this point he really has my attention, it is quite
                                                    continued to research about the movement, what
                                                                                                  fascinating to me that anyone
                                                                                                  would have such a passion for
                        “Team        Diablo is a simple club. Many people think or might dance to want to research ten
                        have a       distorted idea as to what “Team Diablo” is.”                 dances to such a high level. I
                                                                                                  began to wonder what sort of

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                                                     photo by Park West
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team he has? He must have a huge team hun-            the things exactly as they are reported but I re-     physical and biomechanical engineering, psy-
dreds of people working in many different de-         peat as I just said it is important to know exactly   chology, etc. this he says is important because it
partments of dance and so I was very curious          what was the past. Because only by understand-        opens the young peoples’ minds. They improve
on how the departments work. He of course             ing and studying the past you can understand          their knowledge, they have a different point of
was very forthcoming, “we have a selection of         the present and you can develop the future.           view and very importantly, the young people be-
people that do different things. For example we                                                             come more cultured. “Because we think being
have a teacher inside our infrastructure, Fabio       We also have some experts in strategy and plan-       intelligent, being cultured is a very important
Bosco & his wife Marina. Their expertise is           ning, because of course it’s also important to        thing. And we always believe that you cannot
what we call first level technique, and that is the   plan the career and it’s not so easy in today to      be a champion if you are completely uncultured
technique book and so they teach all the couples      just do it. Yes it is important that you enjoy your   and stupid. For their future we feel that if they
the fundamental technique, exactly what is writ-      lessons and you enjoy your dancing and eventu-        have a lot of culture and if you are an intelli-
ten in the technique books originally.                ally you become one of the top dancers in the         gent person and if you are ready to study and
                                                      world or the world champion, but we feel that         you learn how to study it’s always an advantage
Some of these things are probably not much use        it’s always important to teach these people to        and we really believe in that. For this reason
today but it is important in order to develop         plan. To plan their career, to plan their future,     we started this academy 15 years ago and it has
your skills to start from the origin. And if you      their life, their work - planning seems to be         run for us quite successfully and I must say that
want to develop something you really need to          something very simple but realistically it is one     all the top couples that join Team Diablo join
have a very clear understanding of what was re-       of the main keys in many different aspects. And       this academy that takes place every Wednesday
ally in the beginning. So they spent in the last      you need a lot of experts that are able to guide      in our school. So we have one room dedicated
ten years hundreds of lessons around the world        you in some decisions or some thoughts and so         only for that where it is set up like a university
with big experts in technique in both ballroom        it is not something that is as easy as it might       room with tables and chairs and we are very
and Latin. And we want for example that all the       seem. So this is realistically the foundation of      happy about this way of proceeding with things.
top couples that work inside Team Diablo sus-         Team Diablo.                                          Probably some of the people can presume that
tain examination in the fundamental technique,                                                              this is all bull@*!@ and that this is not impor-
ballroom and Latin both groups. Even if you           Mr Caccari then spoke about a program he              tant . But we really believe this is the key point
only dance ballroom you have to also learn the        started 16 years ago within “Team Diablo”, a          and the art of our Team Diablo Club. So this is
fundamental technique in Latin because we feel        program that resembles a university where their       what Team Diablo is.”
that many things are linked and for knowledge         top students with the highest understanding and
                        it is important to know       knowledge of dance can attend once a week             I tried hard to pin down Mr. Caccari on the
                        both. Probably you can-       to hear lectures from many different experts          number of people who are affiliated with “Team
                        not dance today some of       in may different areas such as sport medicine,        Diablo,” but this was not something he wanted

                        “...... we always believe that you cannot be a champion if you are completely
                        uncultured and stupid.”
to discuss. The Canadian website tells us that         the dissatisfaction seems to point
there are over “2,500 members and growing.”            towards this type of innovative
Mr. Caccari claims that the majority of their          growth. This prompts me to ask Mr.
members are of the basic level of dancing and          Caccari why he thinks this is hap-
that, “If you look inside team Diablo as a gen-        pening? Is this fear? Or is it jeal-
eral structure it is of course quite a big number      ousy? “Honestly thinking I cannot
but that includes all level of dancers from the        see what you are telling me. I must
beginning to the very top. For that reason we          say that in the past we had some in-
have to divide these two things because high           credibly good teachers in Italy that
competitive ranking is not what is the most. Of        put lots of time and did an incred-
course the top class dancers are a smaller selec-      ible job. I remember people like
tion of what is the entire structure. I would say      Adalberto and Lala DeLorto I re-
they are about 10% of the entire structure and         member people like Giancarlo and
that is why I say that the entire number is ok and     Luiza Balbierri, Giordano & Katia
important but it’s not the must important thing.       Vanone, I remember these people as
Because realistically what we are speaking now         really good top, top teachers. Caro-
and today is about the top class dancing and the       line Smith and Tino Miqueloto. So
top class dancing are not big numbers around           I admired what they did because as
the world. So we deal with probably around 30          you say twenty-five years ago the
or 40 top class couples between ballroom and           Italian situation was very difficult
Latin.”                                                because we did not have any good
I’m still quite convinced that the number of
couples that they teach must me astronomical           In today’s scene the younger com-
not even counting the other affiliate countries        petitors came on the scene like my-
that have signed up for this team so I tell him        self Massimo Georgianni , Augusto
you obviously must have a huge pool of couples         Schiavo, Luca Barrichi, Fabio Sel-
in order to produce so many outstanding cou-           mi, I was out of all this people prob-
ples and he agree. “Yes, I must say this is true,      ably competitively the least suc-
in the beginning when I started this school 23         cessful. I admire Luca & Lorraine Paulo Bosco & Silva Pitton                    photo by DS Photo
years ago it was much harder because like you          Barrichi, Massimo Georgianni
say if you have only 10 couples it’s very difficult    & Alessia Manfredini or Augusto                     ably as I said before the worst one result wise
to have some 10 incredibly talented couples so         Schiavo & Katerina Arzenton have done in their in relation to the others, but I presume that they
probably over time you might have none or one.         careers, they became world champions, they all created a new statement a big change. So of
If you have one hundred couples then you are           created a new view for Italy. Really Augusto & course they today influence the dancing not just
more lucky and are probably able to find four or       Katerina were pioneers in this, they were the in Italy but all over the world and I do not think
five or ten with talent, and this for sure it is an    first from Italy to become world champions. I that what they are doing is not something that
important thing. But I must stress that this is im-    cannot forget this. I presume that in today days is going back or is going on the wrong direc-
portant but today, in our structure, not the main      in someway it is easier to become a world cham- tion. I think it is going in the right direction.
focus. Because some of the top couples now also        pion in Italy than what it was fifteen years ago I think it is an improvement. I think it is some-
come from different clubs and different schools        when Augusto & Katerina won their first title as thing that is creating a new view for the future.
and we don’t take all out top couples only from        world champions or when Massimo & Alessia What the past people in Italy did was a great
our pool. At times even different clubs and dif-       did. So they did tremendous work. They were job, but what these experts and champions have
ferent schools might ask us for help, so there we      fantastic dancers and I always admired them imported with their own quality, with their own
just have a friendly cooperation with Team Dia-        and I must also say that I was always a little teaching I presume is also an important thing. I
blo in order to be able to give their club mem-        envious of them because I could not beat them admired and I look at the future in a very posi-
bers a different type of structure and this is how     in competition. But I have to be very honest with tive way. I do not think we can stop progress and
we are growing. This is why out top couples do         myself and they were better as competitors. On I think that part of the progress that you see on
not only come from our pool of people.”                one side of myself I was a little envious because the floor today is just because these people came
                                                       I wanted to be first and not sixth for example, through. Even myself! I was fifth or sixth in the
 As you can see I tried, but he still could not give   but on the other side I admired and I really re- World Championship when they were first and
me a straight answer as to how many dancers            spect and understand that they were much bet- second and I even think that perhaps even me
are a part of this incredible team, so I moved on      ter. And Luca and Lorraine Barrichi, although and my partner contributed in some way to this
to my next topic. As someone that has grown            they danced for England, he is Italian. And I feel change. I do not see a change coming for the
up with the industry, recently I have witnessed        he is an Italian a part of Italy. Incredible danc- worse. I see a change coming for the best. I
a deterioration of relations and a clash between       ers as well they really created a new fashion can definitely see that things are changing but
the new and the old. In other words the famous         in dancing they imported into the mind of the in all things are they are changing they never
good teachers from the past are not in favor of        people a new inspiration, a new idea. All these stay the same.
many of the changes happening in dancing to-           couples really did a great job, like Fabio Selmi
                         day. And it seams to me       and Simona Fancello, they were not champions I’m not sure if Mr. Caccari is really that naïve or
                         that a lot of this has to     but were in the middle of the final, but again that is trying to avoid my question, but I now once
                         do with this new kind         was another fantastic couple.                       again try a more specific question, the tango.
                         thinking,       innovation                                                        Let’s take for instance the tango. I think the
                         and structure. Some of        And we were all of the same group. I was prob- tango has been revolutionized by the Italians

                         “I was out of all these people probably competitively the least successful.”
completely. It has more dynamics, tremendous       offer another example of the old      “Of course when you put on the mar-
emotion. But somehow it has turned into a fight.   establishment disapproving of
For example, I remember watching Massimo           what they do.                         ket something that is more revolution-
Giorgianni doing very unique and incredible
work in the tango and people turning their heads   Davide Caccari: “Of course
                                                                                         ary, more advanced, the first tendency
away saying this is not a tango. He seemed to      when you put on the market            for people is to try to
be winning the audience but the establishment
clenches when innovation comes up. More re-
                                                   something that is more revolu-
                                                   tionary, more advanced, the first
                                                                                         avoid the problems and
cently lets talk about one of Team’s Diablo’s      tendency for people is to try to      jump to the conclusion
best, Paolo Bosco & Anna Pitton, by the way        avoid the problems and jump to
one of my favorite couples in standard, but they   the conclusion that ‘it’s terrible,   that ‘it’s terrible, it is no
                                                               it is no good.’ I my-     good.”
                                                               self do not think this
  photo by Karin Moos                                          way. I have a very
                                                                                                         who taught the couple in 2009? It was probably
                                                               open mind and I think I’m very open
                                                                                                         the champion of 1999, so I admire these people
                                                               for progress. We cannot always stay
                                                                                                         because they put a lot of effort in order to de-
                                                               the same, as I said before. I respect
                                                                                                         velop what they achieved. And I must say that
                                                               the past, I admire past champions.
                                                                                                         including ourselves of course, I presume we are
                                                               When I watch old videos of very old
                                                                                                         all doing a successful, good job.
                                                               famous dancers around 1955, 1965,
                                                               1970,1980, I admire what they did
                                                                                                         So if things move forward and become more
                                                               and they were at that time the very
                                                                                                         dynamic, bigger, more speedy, I have nothing
                                                               best and at that time very inspiring
                                                                                                         to complain with that. I always think that the
                                                               and marvelous. But like every thing
                                                                                                         fundamental actions the basic actions are the
                                                               in life we must move on. We cannot
                                                                                                         foundation. So we need to study daily these
                                                               just close up and live in the past.
                                                                                                         things, many hours per day we need to study the
                                                               This would be an incredible mis-
                                                                                                         basic format, we need to study the basic funda-
                                                               take, and of course not only the tan-
                                                                                                         mentals. I really believe in this. I built up all
                                                               go has changed, every dance has
                                                                                                         my career on that and I really believe in that
                                                               changes. Life changes, human be-
                                                                                                         direction. But this does not mean that when I go
                                                               ings change, technology changes.
                                                                                                         on the floor to perform I have to necessarily do
                                                               What we know today is not what we
                                                                                                         only the basic routine or only the basic steps.
                                                               knew thirty years ago, so the skill of
                                                                                                         I have to use the basic principals but I have to
                                                               the competitors changes, the abil-
                                                                                                         use the basic principals in my opinion in order
                                                               ity of the dancers change. Thirty
                                                                                                         to develop the best choreography I can with the
                                                               years ago a top pro could be fifty
                                                                                                         best inspiration and motivation with the best
                                                               years old, today you cannot afford
                                                                                                         musicality I can.
                                                               this anymore, because the dancing
                                                               is so much more dynamic it’s so
                                                                                                         And this of course is depending on the ability
                                                               much more developed in many dif-
                                                                                                         and the skills of the dancers that are perform-
  photo by David Mark                                          ferent areas and skills that you need
                                                                                                         ing. Because not every dancer is the same, de-
                                                               to be more fit in order to support
                                                                                                         pending on the proportion of the dancers, de-
                                                               the dancing of today. You could say
                                                                                                         pending on the skills that they have. Like you
                                                               I think it’s too fast, I think it’s too
                                                                                                         said, Massimo and Alessia, they were fantastic
                                                               dynamic, we need to go to the past,
                                                                                                         dancers, very musical, the speed that they had
                                                               why? I presume that these changes
                                                                                                         at that time in their era was incredible. They
                                                               don’t come because one person
                                                                                                         probably doubled up everybody else’s speed in
                                                               wants a change. This happen be-
                                                                                                         quickstep and tango. Why? Because their skills
                                                               cause naturally everyone has put
                                                                                                         permitted them to do that. And I didn’t think that
                                                               an effort in order to make a change.
                                                                                                         was disgraceful for that time, I thought that it
                                                                                                         was always a different way, very progressive.
                                                                I think in this answer he was telling
                                                                me that the changes of today have
                                                                                                         Of course different couples like Augusto Schi-
                                                                occurred not because of his or Team
                                                                                                         avo and Luca Baricci had different structure,
                                                                Diablo’s dedication to research to-
                                                                                                         more classical body lines. They also too de-
                                                                wards improvements in the future,
                                                                                                         veloped different skills and different abilities
                                                                but because of the past champions.
                                                                                                         creating something with more volume, probably
                                                                So I ask him this and his response
                                                                                                         slower but always full of emotion, of quality, just
                                                                was “Yes! Of course, the present
                                                                                                         a different way. And that is what is the beauty of
                                                                champions have been built by the
                                                                                                         dancing. And the quality of the teachers is real-
                                                                previous champions. I always ad-
                                                                                                         istically being able to take out the best skills of
                                                                mired the previous champions be-
                                                                                                         that particular couple. I would not like to see in
                                                                cause they are able to teach even
                                                                                                         the future ten couples dancing all the same, it’s
                                                                better work than when they were
                                                                                                         very nice to see the different skills. I saw yester-
                                                                dancing. When I watch a couple to-
                                                                                                         day evening a fantastic competition right here at
                                                                day in 2009 of course this couple is
                                                                                                         the Embassy Ball (The Open Professional Stan-
                                                                better than the couple in 1999. But

dard 2009), where you had different couples on
the floor with completely different body struc-
                                                       “The judges of today are judging using differ-
tures, completely different body skills, complete-     ent skills than the judges of 60 or 70 years ago.”
ly different ability. One couple chose very slow
work, very basic work. One other chose very
                                                       much wider range of perspective and they really       the dancesport commu-
quick work, very sharp, very ‘spinny’ and for
                                                       seem in my opinion to have a much better un-          nity or as we used to call
me really all these performances were brilliant,
                                                       derstanding of the different skills of the individ-   it the ballroom world.
fantastic, completely different. Very difficult to
                                                       ual couples, and they really, in my opinion, are      There are issues be-
judge sometimes.
                                                       able to balance all of these things when it comes     tween the IDSF, the organization that manages
                                                       to a final judgment. Realistically, I can see some    what we use to call amateurs and who are now
Having been a judge for a while, I totally un-
                                                       couples that might be very classical and basic        called athletes and the WDC, the organization
derstand Mr. Caccari’s point of view when it
                                                       winning, I can see sometimes some couples very        that manages the professionals. In my opinion
comes to judging. However, as I said to him
                                                       inspiring, very powerful winning. So this just        their disagreements and divisions are continu-
sometimes, especially if the dancers are brilliant
                                                       proves the point that all my colleagues, the vast     ing to deepen. So deep are they sometimes that
there is very little difference between them, it is
                                                       majority, consider all these aspects when mak-        many competitors, professional and athletes
almost a matter of taste. You either like Greek
                                                       ing a judgment.                                       have often complained to me, especially those in
food or French food. “Yes and no, in my per-
                                                                                                             the higher levels of dancing, about the uncom-
sonal opinion. The time when the judge and the
                                                       So as you just heard, Mr. Caccari has complete        fortable atmosphere they now have to deal with.
teacher use to say ‘this the way I see things, it’s
                                                       confidence in the judges’ skills and the judging      So I figure that it must be very hard for a manag-
my way.’ I presume this is past. Not so many
                                                       system, but considering the times I think that        ing director like Mr. Caccari who has to explain
people today keep saying this, or keep doing
                                                       the world does not look as simple as he might         all this to those young people that just want to
this, in my opinion, of course I do not know, but
                                                       see it. Having to judge six or seven couples at       dance. There have been times when perhaps a
this is what I think. Because I think that for the
                                                       one time in a minute and a half is very diffi-        large boycott of events has been issued by a rul-
judging, everything is developed.
                                                       cult. My famous example of this is when I saw         ing body in different countries and I presume,
                                                       a champion fall three times in the jive yet they      being a director of such a prominent group, he
The judges of today are judging using different
                                                       received a full majority of firsts. Judging might     must now navigate these murky waters around
skills than the judges of 60 or 70 years ago. Of
                                                       have evolved slightly by adding some rules to         the world. I asked Mr. Caccari how he felt about
course. So I’m sure that the judges today take
                                                       the game but we have very little criteria. It is      all this and this is what he had to say:
full considerations of all the setup, totally inside
                                                       still one impression against another.
the box, all the elements. We cannot just say, I
                                                                                                             Realistically, I must say that it is much easier
used to dance all the basic and I only mark the
                                                       As Mr. Caccari mentioned the world continues          than what most people think and presume. Be-
couples that use the basics. I used to dance very
                                                       to grow and dancing has grown in huge num-            cause at the end of the day it does not matter
inspiring choreography and I only mark inspir-
                                                       bers in the past 30 years. So the more people         which group I belong to it does not matter which
ing choreography. I presume from what I see
                                                       the more problems and issues that arise. Right        idea I have. When the couples go on the floor to
that the vast majority of the top coaches and
                                                       now there are a number of huge issues dividing        perform this is what I do and this is what all my
judges of today look at all the couples with a
colleagues are doing because they                                                                            very difficult to do.
are professional. I do not think it
matters to us, we each judge what                                                                            Is it? Is it as simple as this? And are people able
that couple is performing. I am a                                                                            to leave their problems at home when they sit on
great believer in this and I presume                                                                         the bench to pass judgment? Or are our minds
that all of these top teachers and                                                                           clouded by our experiences outside the dance
top judges around the world, most                                                                            floor? Your guess is as good as mine and I pre-
of them were all past champions,                                                                             sume that this is one of the reasons Dancesport
and they know the effort you have to                                                                         is yet to be seen in the Olympic Games. The
put to achieve that goal and I pre-                                                                          Olympic Games I think is a fantastic idea and I
sume that they act like I act when                                                                           hope I live to see it happening. I honestly think
you go on the floor, you just judge                                                                          that if this dream were to become a reality there
the performance of the couples. You                                                                          would be very few people that would not ap-
do not take under consideration                                                                              plaud, including myself. However, there are still
which group this couple belongs to,                                                                          many obstacles that stand in the way of these
which political idea this couple has,                                                                        dreams, the judging for one, and most impor-
all the mess that is going on in this                                                                        tantly the now old argument - is it a sport or is
country that country.                                                                                        it an art?

I presume and I can still see this                                                                           One of the major divisions between many of
has not really infected the judgment                                                                         our peers is the new definition of Dancesport.
and the result of competitions. So                                                                           A huge group feels that Ballroom Dancing is an
I’m very simple on this issue. Yes,                                                                          art and it must be treated as one, the other side
probably there are a lot of difficul-                                                                        feel that it is a sport and that there is no question
ties around the world and I can see                                                                          about it especially when even the name has been
this. I live in Italy where I can say                                                                        changed from Ballroom to Dancesport. In fact
we have some of these difficulties                                                                           some of the world sports committees have al-
but I presume that this is all go-                                                                           ready accepted Ballroom dancing as a sport. For
                                          Zoran Plohl & Tatsiana Lahvinovitch
ing back only to what this person                                                                            many years now Dancesport games have been
                                                                            photo by Andrew Miller
believes not in the dancing world                                                                            held at the well know Good Will Games held
but what this professional believe,                                                                          every four years, and possibly the second big-
in the structure means how they see                                                                          gest games in the world. The next Dancesport
this structure in the future. Should we join this, So I presume that not one of us in our profession         Good Will game will be held in my country of
would it be good to go to the Olympics or not are so stupid to really believe that they should               Colombia in 2013 and I hope to be there. I have
to go to the Olympics? So it’s going back to really go on this direction. Or probably a very                 a slight suspicion at the time of the interview
their personal opinion on how to manage this minimum number of people would think in this                    that Mr. Caccari believes Ballroom dancing to
business and the management in this business way, but the vast majority would not think this                 be more of a sport but I must still ask him per-
should not be confused with the judgment in a way. Because they know exactly that it is too                  sonally this question. Is it a sport or is it an art?
competition.                                        dangerous, the best dancer should win on the
                                                    floor. And of course you can have a bad result,          I’m a great believer that it is both. You see danc-
This is all very well but you would have to do as a good result this can depend on many different            ing is an art because you should move people
Mr. Caccari does in other subjects, a scientific variables and this is understandable, but over              inside, this is the goal of a dancer. The goal of
study to know if some of these issues are or are a long period of time the best dancer would al-             the dancer should be moving the public, mov-
not carried out onto the floor itself affecting the ways win. So I’m a great believer that you don’t         ing the people inside, make the people clap for
young dancers. When you have a management need to spend a lot of effort fixing this. Because                 the performance you are putting on the floor.
that believes very strongly in these issues and this is something that does not need to be fixed,            Why the people clap? It’s a very difficult issue
they are the same people that are involved in and people are intelligent enough as judges to                 to explain, but they can clap for many different
meetings and decisions upon which their entire understand this, they have too much to lose in                reasons, you can inspire them in many different
life, their entire career has been built, how then order to try to create problems.                          ways. There is not only one way to move them.
in the next moment are they able to take a pen                                                               So you can inspire them because you are the
and have a clear conscience when judging? So I          Of course when we are not judging and dis-           slowest on the floor, you can inspire them be-
then asked Mr. Caccari to explain to me how he          cussing things, including myself, we all have        cause you are the fastest on the floor, you can
is able to teach these young people or explain to       our own opinion but this does not mean I have        inspire them because you are the must powerful
them how to ignore these issues while they are          to put my opinion on the floor. I mean, as an        on the floor, you can inspire them because you
trying to be creative and dance?                        administrator or manager, my opinion should          are the most beautiful on the floor and so on. So
                                                        stay with my opinion when I have a meeting dis-      you can inspire people for many different rea-
But like I said to you, I presume that all these        cussing with persons disagreeing with people,        sons and each of them for me is fine.
people cannot be this stupid to make these mis-         not bringing that on the floor and marking the
takes. We all scream, we all become angry, we           couples badly because they belong to a different     But we cannot exclude that it is also a sport.
all fight, we all try to save our rights, we all said   group or event. This would look rather stupid        You have to be fit, you have to rehearsed, you
what we like what we dislike but when we are            and I don’t think the majority of the top people I   have to practice many hours per day etc. Why?
in the competition floor we have a big respon-          know and the top people the people that trained      Because it is requested in today’s dancing with
sibility. And we know that if we try to destroy         me in my career are thinking this way. This can      the dynamics involved to be physically fit. Like
someone else the first thing we do is destroy           be the outside perception probably, people can       I said everything develops, probably fifty years
ourselves. So it would be very embarrassing for         perceive this, they can presume that these hu-       ago, six years ago it was less sportive. But today
a professional to try to destroy somebody else,         man beings are judging and so they are affected      it is very sportive, we cannot ignore this fact.
in trying to win this battle you destroy yourself.      by that. But I presume that more or less this is
                        “So this very simple test proves the point that we cannot say that dancing is not
                        a sport.”
                         If we make a very sim-                                                             an art because we have to move people, we have
                         ple test, if we measure      This does not mean you have to run, sometimes         to be musical we have to inspire. But in order to
                         the quantity of oxygen       it’s about controlling and so you spend a lot of      do that we have to use a lot of strengh so we also
                         that your lungs can          energy and a lot of power in order to control.        use our body to its very limit. I do not think that
                         breath in an out it would    Can you imagine to do and over a hover corte          these couples that we saw yesterday evening
show that it is a sport. We very clearly find out     in Ballroom, standing up on a toe of one foot.        are sweating at the end of the waltz because the
through dancers and I made this research, not         You need an incredible control, especially if you     dance is so fast. I think they are sweating be-
only on my dancers but we took dancers from           can imagine a fast variation in quickstep and         cause of the tremendous amount of control they
twelve couples from different schools. And we         you have to just stop. You need an incredible         have to have. And for sure you have to develop
find out that the level for the man that took this    control, and incredible strength in the muscles,      your skills as a sportsman.
test is around 60 and the footballers that are        in the system in order to control the stillness
playing in our national team is also roughly 60.      of your body. So you really have to be able to        So is it a sport? Yes! It is a sport, definitely
                                                      control that and in order to do that you need         dancing is a sport but it is not only a sport. It’s
So this very simple test proves the point that we     a lot of effort in your muscles. Imagine when         a very particular type of sport with art included.
cannot say that dancing is not a sport. Why?          you dance a three step and you want to look the       So it’s a very beautiful sport it’s very unique,
Because a scientific test proves that the amount      slowest on the floor you need massive control,        because no other sport can put together these
of energy and the amount of power that is re-         you want to swing around the floor so you want        two elements so closely. At the end of the day
quested form our muscles is tremendous and for        free movement but you want to look the slowest.       I presume everything is going back to having
this reason we cannot only presume that Danc-         So you body is running but your legs are hardly       incredible quality, technical quality to perform
esport is an art. Dancesport is a sport with an       walking in slow motion and so imagine the tre-        in the best way you can in the artistic part but
art form, and this is not just my opinion or your     mendous amount of control that in our system          also you should train good enough in a sensible
opinion, this is scientifically proved and when       we need to have?                                      way to create and be ready with your physique
there is scientific proof we cannot disagree, we                                                            to support the pressure of the competition that
have just to say it is like that. And it does not     So if somebody could think that we! Not we, (We       is not basically in terms of speed but in terms
matter from whom these couples train, what I          laugh) but that dancers of today are not sports-      of control.
just said is proof that this couple has developed     men they are wrong. And this does not mean
inside his body very particular skills, skills like   that couples should belong to one association or      I think Mr. Caccari is absolutely right, having
a sportsman. And so a top class dancer should         another (We laugh again) this is not connected        now traveled for a number of years looking at
be treated like a sportsman.                          with that, this is connected with a fact that it is   dancing, in some areas what I used to know as
Ballroom dancing has most definitely turned          thing for girls in Italy not for men.” His first    we also achieved the final in Blackpool, I think
into a sport. The arenas, the benches, the pop-      teacher in ballroom was Ferdinando Gardelin.        seven years ago around 2002 or 2001 not quite
corn, the sporting crowd in jeans but this is just   He has fun memories of him one that he found        sure of the date. The following year we retired
the superficial transformation. The dancers are      peculiar was the fact that this man never took      in the team match in Blackpool. We decided then
also doing things that were not possible to do       dance lessons he always study through books,        that we just wanted to dedicate our time to our
15-20 years ago. They are spinning more, do-         as Mr. Caccari calls them, “English book.” He       career of teaching.”
ing harder maneuvers to the point that it most       smiles when he talks about his beginnings in
certainly is looking like sport. And why not?        Latin. “To give you a funny example we used         Contrary to what some people think Davide
Especially if we are able to communicate and         to dance rumba and cha cha cha on beat one.         never left Italy or moved to Russia. Yes, he did
touch more fans.                                     So we all break on beat one instead of beat two.    represent Russia with Olga and taught in her na-
                                                     So we were dancing, of course, all out of time,     tive land at her studio but was always based in
I have also been to venues like the Kremlin, the     but that was what our teacher taught us, what       Italy. At the age of 18 before meeting Olga Mr.
Internationals, the Embassy Ball and our own         they though was right. I of course do not want to   Caccari started a dance school and once he and
US Championships where dancing is treated            blame the teachers of that area. I have a great     Olga retired from competition they both decided
with elegance as if you are going to a ballet        memory of this Ferdinando Gardelin, for me he       to concentrate on their teaching and their school
recital. The dancers, mainly the profession-         was a great teacher a great man.”                   “I always liked to teach both styles Ballroom
als in some of these venues, have shown me                                                               and Latin and we’ve always dance throughout
a beauty and touched me in a way that cannot         He does not know how Augusto Schiavo, Luca          or career both styles. And for this reason we
be described. Yes, they are not doing the hun-       Barrichi or some of the other well known danc-      thought it was good idea at that time to invest a
dred pirouettes and spins on their ears, but at      ers started their dancing careers but he remem-     lot of time in teaching and we did.” So there you
times made something out of silence, or were         bers being friends with all of them and having      have it, that is how Davide’s dream of “Team
so experienced and musical they turned a heal        some terrific good times. He also fondly re-        Diablo” got started.
turn into a magic step. At the WDC Professional      members as he put it, his first English teacher
European Latin in the Kremlin this year I was        who was Lindsey Hillier “she was my first           Davide hungered for information and complete
so touched I was left speechless. And even in        English teacher and I have a very good memory       dedication to studying Dancesport has propeled
one of the IPDSC events run in Spain, the Pro        about her. She taught me a lot of things. She       his venture to great heights. His “Team Diablo”
Latin, I was touched like this by a couple of pro-   was an incredibly good teacher, like she is till    is no longer a dream it’s a reality with teams all
fessional dancers (See the article in Dance Beat     today.” At the age of 18, 19 he and his partner     across the world including North America. I ask
World entitled, “Down Deep and Dirty). So per-       decided to go to England and two of their first     Mr. Caccari what his vision was for the future
haps there is room for both the “quadruples” and     teachers were Bill & Bobbie Irvine MBE. He          of Dancesport and this is what he had to say.
acrobatics – obviously a sport but also the more     danced with this partner till the age of 26 and     “My vision is that, today’s couples are much
mature dancer, the dancer that has lived through     they reached the semifinal of three major events,   more developed in skill and physics compared
many years of understanding that can touch us        Blackpool, the UK and the Internationals. At the    to my era and in the past eras. And I presumed
with a rumba walk, or a reverse wave done with       age of 27 he made his final change of partner-      that there is a lot more that we can do in or-
such magic and precision and elegance that is        ship and he started dancing with Olga. “Funny       der to achieve even better quality in dancing.
almost worth taking off our jeans and putting on     enough when Olga started training in England        What I mean as better quality is to develop even
our tuxedo out of respect for this magnificent,      her first teacher was also Lindsey Hillier. So      more the skill that the couples have today on the
beautiful art.                                       this was funny, so we both have very good           floor, meaning being able to inspire even more
                                                     memories about Lindsey and we are very good         people, through many different things. As I told
Yes, I agree with Mr. Caccari it is both and they    friends with her.”                                  you before there’s not only one way there are
can both live together side by side sharing their                                                        many different ways. We cannot live in the past
knowledge and understanding even if separate. Olga and Davide have been together ever since              we have to live in the future. We have to use the
I found myself very enlightened by Mr. Cac- that time. They are married and have a child.                knowledge of the past to continue our study to
cari’s philosophy of dance. As I looked at him Their biggest accomplishment on the dance                 continue researching. When I have lessons with
throughout the interview, always talking with floor according to Davide was a world champi-              some of the teachers they inspire me all the time
so much passion with so much energy almost onship and Blackpool (the British Open). “Our                 with the knowledge they have and they motivate
as if he himself is still competing on the floor, main results were when we achieved fourth              me in studying even more, to try to find out how
I can’t help but wonder about the man. When place in a ten dance world championships and                 we can develop even more those skills.”
did he start dancing, and what
were some of the experiences                                                                                             Mr. Caccari is completely as-
that turned him into this studi-       photo by Andrew Miller                                                            tonished by how far dancers
ous genius?                                                                                                              and Dancesport have come and
                                                                                                                         he feels that with more research
Mr. Caccari started dancing                                                                                              and an open mind the dancers
at the age of six but as he told                                                                                         of the future will be amazing.
me, not by choice. Unlike many                                                                                           “I really believe that if we con-
of the other well known danc-                                                                                            tinue to research and study in
ers in Italy his parents were not                                                                                        following this route the dancers
teachers of dance nor were they                                                                                          of 2020 will be amazing. They
heavily involved in ballroom                                                                                             will be even be better than what
dance, but they wanted him to                                                                                            we could imagine and I hope to
dance very much, especially                                                                                              arrive there to see how dancing
his mother “my mother impose                                                                                             will evolve. I think it will be
dance on me, I did not want                                                                                              fascinating and I look forward
to dance at all, at the end of 6                                                                                         to seeing it happen. So my view
all my friends laughed about                                                                                             of the future of dancing is amaz-
my dancing because it was a                                                                                              ing and great.”
                         “Dancing is our life, it’s inside our DNA, we cannot just cut this or take it out.”
                                                       supermarket, we do not speak about the meat            tations for his son in the dance world, does he
                        After talking about            we have to buy we speak about dancers and              wants Michael to become a competitor himself?
                        dancing for nearly two         dancing. And this is work this is a wonderful          “I presume that I would encourage him because
                        hours, it struck me that       work. Yes as you say before sometimes there are        dancing is a wonderful world. My mother en-
                        Mr. Caccari is not only        disagreements with people, sometimes there is          couraged me and I thank her ever since that she
                        passionate about Danc-         fighting, there are different types of battles. But    did this, but I would probably not oblige my son,
esport but it seemed to me that his whole life         this is part of the game I presume, that all these     but I would of course try to encourage him. If
revolves around dancing and so I boldly ask.           people that try to battle and try to make small        in the future he does not like it he can do what
Is there a time when you and Olga say enough           wars are always for the benefit of dancing, and        he wants it’s his life, but I would encourage
now it’s time for fishing, swimming, bicycling         so I presume that after all this it will all be even   him very strongly like my mother did with me
or something else?                                     better than before.                                    because I find this to be a wonderful business.
                                                                                                              You can say like you mentioned before there is
This is an important question. Really dancing          There is in my personal view, in our personal          a number of battles, arguments but you really
is our life and I think that for the majority of       life there is no other life there is the life or the   have to see the best side of this. This business is
the people that live for dancing feel like I feel.     dancer, the crazy life of a dancer. Because if you     keeping young people involved 16,17,18, 20,15,
We are all crazy we are not normal people, this        probably ask me to do something like I am do-          8 years old, all away from the street, away from
is what realistically I believe. In a good way, I      ing, I probably would not accept to do it, but         drugs, away from smoking away from crime and
mean not in a bad way, we don’t eat bread we           because I do I think it’s OK for me. So I live         away from many terrible things in life today.
eat waltz and samba. We don’t drink water and          like in a dream and I think like the majority of       So I would say that this is an incredible world.
wine we drink rumba and foxtrot. This is why           us dancers live a dream, a dream of dancing.           So this small war or battle that one section has
it’s very difficult to divide life in two separate     Before you are a dancer, then you are a teacher,       against the other is absolutely nothing in rela-
spaces. This is my dance life this is my normal        you become a coach, then a judge you might             tion to what could be in the normal world. So I
life. I have to say I have no normal life my life is   become a manager. And everything is changing           presume that I will encourage my son to do it,
dancing. So I’m always around dancers, danc-           but it is inside the same box, and it is inside all    I will. If he wants to do it is OK if he does not
ing competitors, teachers, colleagues and I am         your life. If I was not in this business I do not      it’s also fine it does not really matter. But I pre-
happy to be like that.                                 know what I would do.                                  sume that it is my duty to encourage him like my
                                                                                                              mother did to me.”
So for me coming here to the Embassy Ball, in          If I would go one week to an island where I
wonderful surroundings, a fantastic, brilliant         could not think about dancing I would probably         And with this I ended a very interesting conver-
hotel, everything is marvelous. We are together        go crazy. So I think we are crazy, all of us are       sation with the creator of “Team Diablo” one of
with a lot of friends, it’s a holiday. But someone     crazy about dancing and this is exactly what           the largest and fastest growing associations in
could think, but you are working all day long          makes this business so special. And this is what       Dancesport today. These organization or fran-
from 8 o’clock in the morning, you are judging         makes our people so special, all of us want to         chise is not just longer in Italy as I said before,
and this and that. Yes! But this is my holiday,        win all of us want to be better than the others        it is starting to set roots in different parts of the
this is my life, I enjoy doing this, it’s a break      but at the end of the day we all have great re-        world. They are very organized and as you
from my teaching. When I’m teaching I think            spect for one another. And we are like, in some        heard Mr. Caccari is very motivated and hungry
that the work is judging and when I’m judging I        respect, big children sometimes we have envy,          for research and development.
think that the work is teaching. And I think that      sometimes we have jealousy, sometimes we are
the vast majority of the dance teachers think this     happy, sometimes we are unhappy. But at the            So is it a danger? A Monopoly? Or just one more
way, the majority of dancers think this way.           end of the day we are very happy because we            step in the development of ballroom dance?
                                                       are like this.”                                        Who knows, only time will tell, all we know for
Dancing is our life, it’s inside our DNA, we can-                                                             sure is that “El Diablo Esta Suelto!” In English,
not just cut this or take it out. When we some-        That I think was what I would call a heartfelt,        the devil is loose.
times have a day off, my wife Olga and our son         honest answer and he does have a point, most of
Michael at the end of the day we find out that         us not only work in the world of dance but live        I want to personally thank Mr. Caccari for tak-
we have only spoken about dancing, and it was          dance. Hearing him talk made me wonder about           ing his time to talk to me so we can all have a
supposed to be a day off. When we go to the            his child and curios to know what are his expec-       little knowledge of this innovative team that is
                                                                                                              “Team Diablo.”

                                                                                                  Don’t miss part 2 of
                                                                                                Dance Beat After Hours
                                                                                                Starring Shirley Ballas
                                                                                                & Featuring the US Pro
                                                                                                 Smooth Championship
                                                                                          View Part I Here and stay tuned
     Coming to a computer near you!                                                                   for Part II

Desert Gets Great                                                                   IDSF Winners

Desert Classic 2010
Report by : Didio Barrera

Photos by Park West Photography
This was a great year for Desert Classic, up in entries and great support in many
of the events especially in the IDSF Latin and Standard where they received
good support from foreign couples. Countries like Belarus, Israel, Romania,
Canada, Austria and even as far as Estonia were present.

Of the two disciplines the IDSF Standard for me had the most interesting pos-
sibilities. I was glad that the Chairman of judges, Nick Kremishnenski from the
United Kingdom, decided to divide the semifinal into two groups since many
of them were quite new to me and we were able to pay closer attention to the
couples. It was funny but I nearly missed the winner Rares Cojoc & Katarzyna
Kapra from Romania in that first dance it was their unique, light subtlety of
movement that made me award them all first places in the final and it was possi-
bly this understated subtlety that I almost missed when watching the first dance
with all thirteen couples on the floor

In our blog the next day I wrote that some judges did not see it this way that
Alan Tornsberg from the USA awarded them a 7 in the Tango, and a 4 in the
waltz. Barbara Ambroz from Slovenia also did not agree with the majority but
she was more consistent she awarded them a 4 in VW, two thirds in the W,T,
and a second in the quickstep. The only dance that seemed to please her was the
foxtrot where she awarded them a first place mark.

Second in this competition were Anton Belyayev & Antoaneta Popova from
Canada. They placed second in all dances but the tango where they took third.
I myself had them coming in third position. I like Anton & Antoaneta but
                                                  sometimes I find their
 3rd                                              Standard dancing a little
                                                  to rough and abrupt. They
                                                  totally had the ability to
                                                  win but for me their danc-
                                                  ing now needs to be a little
                                                  more subtle and delicate.
                                                  When looking at the marks
                                                  their scores ranged from
                                                  first to sixth position. Their
                                                  best judge was Oleg Yedlin
                                                  from Canada who awarded
                                                  them all firsts but in the
                                                  foxtrot where he gave them
                                                  second. Their worst marks
                                                  came from Barbara Am-
                                                  broz who awarded them
                                                  sixth place in all dances.

                                                    Third position was awarded
                                                    to Sergei Kiselev & Ekat-
                                                    erina Popova from Belarus.
                                                    This couple for me started
quite good, but unfortu-                                                                               from Italy. I totally agreed with the decision.
nately as the dances went        4th                                     In seventh position was       I gave the cha cha and paso to Mirco & Maria
on they became more                                                      the only US couple to         who were a very interesting couple to say the
physical and so what                                                     make this final Lenoid        least. Unfortunately, in the other three dances
started for me as second                                                 Burlo & Sasha Alkseyeva.      the work got a little unfinished and lacked pow-
place in the waltz it ended                                              This couples got the ma-      er, perhaps due to the uncertainty of the work to
in fifth place in the quick-                                             jority of sevenths in every   the point where I found myself awarding them
step. I suppose I was not                                                dance, but this was not       two fourth place marks, one in jive and one in
the only one of the judges                                               for the lack of talent but    samba. Anton & Antoaneta’s work for me once
feeling this way they took                                               rather of experience and      again was very consistent and clear with lots of
third in the waltz second                                                understanding. The best I     power. I want to say that at times it needs a little
in the tango then third in                                               could do for this couple      more creativity but when it comes to precision
VW and fifth in the other                                                was three sixth place         they had it in the bag.
two dances. Barbara Am-                                                  marks in the VW,F,Q. I
broz gave them their best                                                think with time this cou-     When looking at the marks I noticed that the
marks she had them win-                                                  ple could really challenge    majority of the judges’ marks for Mirco & Ma-
ning all dances but the                                                  for higher placement.         ria ranged from first to fifth position but there
foxtrot were she awarded                                                                               were three judges who felt that this couple was
them a second placement.                                                 I was a little disappointed   the best by far they awarded them firsts in all
                                                                         not to see some of our bet-   dances: Valery Gulay from Russia, Olga Ko-
Francesco Paris & Natalia        5th                                     ter players enter this com-   marova from the United kingdom and Tatiana
Driker from Israel placed                                                petition. How many times      Pavlova from the USA.
fourth. I was possibly                                                   can a US couple enter an
this couple’s worst judge.                                               IDSF event on this side       Third place in this IDSF Latin went to Vitali
I gave them sixth in the                                                 of the world? Very rarely!    Proskurin & Natia Kuprava from the USA and
waltz, fifth in the tango                                                So you would think they       fourth position went to Andrey Tarasov & Laura
and seventh in the other                                                 would want to be chal-        Kveladze also from the USA. For me the fight
three dances. I have to                                                  lenge especially with the     for this position was very close. Vitali & Natia
say that Francesco & Na-                                                 quality of couples com-       have fantastic energy on the floor making you
talia impressed me more                                                  peting in this event. You     look constantly while Andrey & Laura tend to
in the semifinal. In the                                                 would have thought this       have a terrific consistency. My best marks went
final I found their work                                                 would have been a great       to Andrey & Laura this due to the fact that their
good enough for them to                                                  trial and practice before     work is clean and clear to understand but I can
be there but a little too flat                                           the largest Amateur event     definitely see how the judges might see it dif-
and unexciting for me to                                                 in North America in Au-       ferently.
place them higher.                                                       gust at the Embassy Ball,
                                                                         in California.
Szymon Kulis & Margar-                                                                                  3rd
ita Zvonovz from Estonia                                                 The IDSF Latin had a big-
took fifth. This couple                                                  ger entry but was more
for me has wonderful un-                                                 predictable. This time
tapped talent. Unfortunately for them in this        Anton Belyayev & Antoaneta Popova from
competition it was difficult to place them. In the   Canada won overall louing only the cha cha and
short time that we had to form an opinion the        paso doble to Mirco Risi & Maria Ermachkova
couple was not consistent enough and did not
have any impact to their dancing. You had to
almost find them on the floor. In my case the         2nd
marks ranged from third to fifth depending on
when I was looking at them, and in looking at
the other judges’ scores I think they were prob-
ably thinking the same as me. There was not a
single judge that did not change his or her mind
in their marks from dance to dance.

Sixth place went to Vadim Garbuzov & Kath-
rin Menzinger from Austria. I think this couple
were quite unlucky in this competition. For me
with the exception of the winners they had the
most consistency of work. I have to agree that
at times it looked a little prefabricated but for
me it was still good enough for me to award
them four seconds in the T,VW,F,Q. Honestly
based on the semifinal I did not think I would                                                         Alan Gilin & Anastasia Trutneva from Canada
mark them this highly but after the waltz where                                                        took fifth position. Alan & Anastasia have made
I gave them a fourth, I changed my opinion and                                                         huge progress in the past couple of years in this
found them easy to watch and as I said consis-                                                         style and so I can see why they were easy final-
tent in their work.                                                                                    ist in this competition. And I can see how some
judges including myself could have                                                                         couple and that was to Mikhail Avdeev & Olga
placed them high in this final. I
                                           1st                                                             Blinova who took second in all dances but only
awarded them a few fourth places                                                                           managed to obtain the majority of seconds or
myself. Their best marks came                                                                              better in the VW and Foxtrot. For me Mikhail
from Alan Tomsberg from the US                                                                             & Olga were the only other couple in this group
and Oleg Yedlin from Canada who                                                                            to demonstrate a maturity and consistency of
each awarded them three seconds                                                                            work to even come near Victor & Anastasia. I
and two thirds.                                                                                            actually do not see or understand the fourths and
                                                                                                           fifths that were awarded to them by some of my
Vadim Garvuzov & Kathrin Menz-                                                                             colleagues.
inger from Austria were the clear
sixth place in my opinion and that                                                                         I’m sure just as I wondered about the judges
of the adjudicators. This is well-                                                                         and their marks for second position they wonder
rounded ten dance couple but clear-                                                                        about my marks for the third place couple An-
ly for me their Standard was much                                                                          drea Faraci & Iveta Pauryte, who were awarded
better than their Latin. They placed                                                                       third position (4,4,3,3,3). For me I think on this
sixth in all dances and their best                                                                         outing Andrea & Iveta were trying too hard, I’m
marks came from Barbara Ambroz                                                                             a big fan of Iveta but I find that she perhaps is
who awarded them third position in         1st                                                             going to far with her flexible back to the point of
every dance.                                                                                               almost making her look a little too arched back.
                                                                                                           Andrea this time looked a little more forceful
The professional events were not as                                                                        than usual making some of the dances look a bit
well attended but that did not mean                                                                        heavy and stiff.
that they lacked in excitement. In
the Professional Latin, for example,                                                                       For me the third place couple overall this time
the battle for supremacy continues                                                                         was Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva who
between Daniele Gozzi & Cecilia                                                                            placed fourth overall (3,3,4,4,4). This is possi-
Giovacchini and the latest imports                                                                         bly the first performance for me where Artem
from Russia who are now represent-                                                                         & Inna have stood out from the rest easily. I
ing Florida, Nikolai Voronovitch &                                                                         particularly enjoyed their waltz. I awarded them
Maria Nikolishina. In Millennium                                                                           all thirds but in the foxtrot where I placed them
Nikolai & Maria had a terrible loss                                                                        fourth. In my opinion Inna, like Iveta sometimes
to Daniele & Cecilia in my opinion                                                                         suffers from that over extending of her upper
quite deservedly so. At Manhattan                                                                          body to the point where it looks like too much.
it all turned around. Daniel & Ceci-                                                                       I think perhaps they should both take example
lia had the terrible loss and Nikolai                                                                      from Loraine Baricchi who had a lovely posi-
& Maria got ahead. At Manhattan                                                                            tion when she danced during the show without
we wrote on our blog the next day                                                                          over extending or over stretching.
that “We thought it was an espe-
cially good night for Daniele & Ce-                                                                        Fifth place in this final went to one of my fa-
cillia” we were totally puzzled by                                                                         vorite couples, Anton & Lena Koukareko who
why they lost.                                                                                             on this occasion were not able to surpass their
                                                                                                           opponents. I was a little disappointed because I
Now here at the Desert Dance Clas-                                                                         have seen this couple dance and they totally can
sic it all turned again and now I                                                                          be divine to the point where I would say have
                                                       Third clearly went to Vadim Lyubushkin & Vik-
must reverse my thoughts because I was totally                                                             the potential to be one of USA’s best but their
                                                       toriya Fadina who placed third in all dances. In
puzzled by why Nikolai & Maria lost. This was                                                              inconsistency of work is mind-boggling. Sixth
                                                       looking at the marks I think I would have to al-
definitely the best performance I’ve seen from                                                             in this terrific heat was Anton Levbedev & Anna
                                                       most agree with Barbara Ambroz who awarded
this couple. In the past I have criticized this cou-                                                       Borshch, I have to say here too that in the past
                                                       them no higher than fifth place, I perhaps would
ple for being to bland and not bold enough. Here                                                           I’ve seen much better form this couple. On this
                                                       not have given them anything lower than a
they showed charisma as well as great body and                                                             occasion I found them pushing and working
                                                       fourth but I have to say that in this night had
International Latin technique from head to toe.                                                            harder than usual. This possibly was magnified
                                                       I been judging I would have placed Igor Usty-
In looking at the marks I found that the majority                                                          more due to their size. I quite like these two cou-
                                                       movych & Olga Ginzburg who came in fourth
of the judges favored Daniele & Cecilia who got                                                            ples. I hope that next time I see them both it will
                                                       in their third position.
the majority of firsts in all dances. There were                                                           be one of those occasions where I have to look
very few low marks awarded to them and only                                                                again and again due to their brilliancy of work.
                                                       In the Professional International Standard there
one judge was consistent in giving them thirds
                                                       was also some interesting observations. For me
or lower and that was Galina Gulay from Rus-                                                               My congratulations to Igor & Irina Suvorov for
                                                       as a judge there was a clear winner of this event
sia who went as far as to awarded them a fourth                                                            organizing a terrific event with great energy and
                                                       in every dance and that was Victor Fung & An-
place in the Rumba.                                                                                        also for providing a venue for our amateur and
                                                       astasia Muravyeva who did win all dances with
                                                                                                           professional dancers to compete at a very high
                                                       perfect scores from all judges. For me second
Nikolai & Maria did take a few firsts from Dan-                                                            standard and before an international adjudicat-
                                                       position could have only gone this time to one
iele & Cecilia the most were in the rumba and                                                              ing panel.
paso where they took five of their firsts and they
too got very few thirds and no fourth or lower
place marks.                                               For a complete report, see Dance Beat USA

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