(Photo of Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova from YouTube)
Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova have held the title of World Professional Standard Ballroom Champions from 2007 through 2014 according to the World Dance Council (WDC). They also are the U.S. National Dancesport Champions in Professional Standard holding the title from 2007 through 2014 as recognized by the National Dance Council of America (NDCA).
(Arunas & Katusha Slow Foxtrot@Dancesport Russia, 2013)
International Ballroom Standard Dance
Professional International Ballroom Standard dance is a category of ballroom dancing particularly popular in dancesport competition. It is popular in many countries in the world including the United States, Russia, all of Europe, Australia and Asia.
Blackpool, England is a center for this form of ballroom dancing and holds one of the most prestigious competitions where many renowned adjudicators and judges of this style of ballroom dancing live. International Standard ballroom is sometimes called Modern or International Ballroom but in competition circles is known as Standard ballroom. It includes the dance genres: International style waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz and quickstep.
World Cup 2011, Professional Standard, Kremlin, Moscow
International Latin & Standard Ballroom
The major ballroom competitions around the world offer two main categories of International style dancing: Latin and Standard Ballroom. The Latin division includes International rumba, cha cha, samba, jive and paso doble. Watch the World & U.S. Latin dance champions Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko here!
World Cup 2011, Professional Standard, Kremlin, Moscow
The Standard Ballroom category features: waltz, foxtrot, tango and quickstep (and at some events Viennese waltz). The terms “Slow Foxtrot” and “English Waltz” are sometimes used to refer to the International Standard foxtrot and waltz. There are also divisions including: professional, amateur, seniors, juniors and 10-dance. Ten dance couples compete in all ten dances.
Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova – Quickstep – 2012 WSSDF Standard
American Rhythm & Smooth Dance
In the United States, there are two larger categories of dance: American and International. In American style dance there are two categories: rhythm and smooth. The rhythm dances include: American rumba, cha cha, mambo, East Coast swing, bolero. The smooth dance category includes: American waltz, foxtrot, tango and Viennese waltz (no quickstep).
The two styles, American and International, have been converging over the past few decades and are becoming more and more similar. The dance genres included in the various categories vary slightly and the techniques in the two styles have some differences. For instance, in International Standard ballroom, the couples remain in a closed position with contact, while in American style dancing this is not a requirement. There are quite a few different styles of waltz worldwide including Viennese waltz, American waltz, country western waltz, cajun and French waltz.
The United States Dance Championships (USDC) was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in the early 1970’s for some years eventually moving to Orlando, Florida, its current location, since 1985.
Katusha Demidova was born in Moscow, Russia where she started dance lessons and figure skating at the age of seven. Eventually, she gave up figure skating to focus on her dancing. At the age of sixteen, she turned professional and began competing. Her dancing brought her to the United States where she first partnered with Jonathan Wilkins. After winning the 10th United States ballroom dance championships they ended their dance partnership of 12 years. Currently, Katusha resides in New Jersey and is the owner of Rogers Dance Center and competes Internationally with Arunas Bizokas.
Arunas Bizokas was born in Vilnius, Lithuania where he started dancing when he was seven years old. He tried many different sport in his youth like football, swimming and basketball but made the decision to focus on his dancing. He started dancing with his first partner, Edita Daniute when he was thirteen. Eventually, they became World Amateur Champions and went on to win many competitions in Europe, Internationally and in the United Kingdom. Eventually, the partnership ended.
Arunas took a few months off from the rigors of competition life. During this break he decided he wanted to continue to participate in competitive dancing. He asked Katusha to be his partner, she accepted and the rest is dance history. They have gone on to be one of the most successful ballroom dance partnerships in history.
(Photo of Arunas & Katusha @ World Cup 2011 in Kremlin, Moscow, Russia)
Arunas and Katusha’s dancing partnership started in 2007. Shortly thereafter, they the dancing community and themselves were surprised when they placed second at the prestigious United Kingdom Open Championships. Following that in 2008, they placed second in many major competitions establishing a position with the top competitors in the Professional Standard Ballroom competitions. They won their first World Championship title in 2009, after less than two years in their dance partnership. They are the reigning International and British Professional Ballroom Champions, as well as the United States National Dancesport Champions.
In 2014, they won first place in Blackpool, England at the Blackpool Dance Festival-Open British Ballroom Championship winning all four dances: International foxtrot, waltz, tango and quickstep (there is no Viennese Waltz).
Arunas and Katusha have also been guest performers on Dancing With The Stars, featured on the PBS show Championship Ballroom Dancing, and America’s Ballroom Challenge.
(Photo of Arunas & Katusha@WDC 2013 Viennese Waltz)
Arunas & Katusha Championship Titles
- Blackpool Professional Standard Champions 2010, 2011,2012
- World Professional Standard Champions 2009, 2010, 2011
- U.S. Professional Standard Champions 2008 – 2012
- UK Open Professional Standard Champions 2010, 2011, 2012
- International Open Professional Standard Champions 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
(Photo of Arunas & Katusha@ World Cup 2011, Moscow, Russia)