Eugene Katsevman And Maria Manusova

New York City becomes host to the Empire Dance Championships, an inaugural world-class dancesport competition and showcase of ballroom and latin dancers from North America and around the world, to be held at the Conrad New York hotel in lower Manhattan, with a formal Grand Opening Gala event on Wednesday evening, Aug. 7 and the dance competitions beginning Thursday morning, Aug. 8 through Saturday evening, Aug. 10.

The Grand Opening Gala on Wed., Aug. 7 will feature the latest dance works of internationally acclaimed, Chinese-born American choreographer and director Shen Wei, whose New York City-based Shen Wei Dance Arts will perform for the first time at a ballroom dance cultural event. Having performed in more than 30 countries, 130 cities and best remembered for his magnificent choreography at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies, Shen Wei promises a unique and memorable adaptation by its top dancers for the ballroom dance audiences.

Also performing at the Gala are Brooklyn-based professional latin dancers Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova, who are the 11-time National Champions and among the top competitors in the world.

The Empire Dance Championships are organized and presented by three of the world’s leading competitive dancers, Augusto Schiavo, Giampiero Giannico and Erminio Stefano, all from New York City and former champions themselves.

As the event organizers stated, “The Empire Dance Championships will exceed the expectations of spectators and competitors by pairing the most qualified judges from around the world with the most talented dancers, all within the heart of New York City, which has truly become an international mecca for the best of ballroom and latin dancing.”

At the Empire Dance Championships, already 6,500 entries have been registered, with representative countries including Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.

The prestigious world-class adjudicator panel includes many of the world champions in both ballroom and latin, including celebrity dancers from ABC TV’s “Dancing With The Stars.”

In addition to the Shen Wei Dance Arts performance at the Aug. 7 Grand Opening Gala, attendees will also enjoy dining and dancing to the jazz and swing rhythms of White Heat Swing Orchestra from Boston, “the hottest swing band in the country today”, who was a major pioneer in the revival of swing and lindy in the ‘90s. White Heat Swing Orchestra has backed up performances of Tony Bennett, Cab Calloway and Norah Jones. Band leader Craig Ball has often been called a “kind of Benny Goodman for the decade”, as the band infuses a millennial energy into its “four-to-the-floor 1940s beat.”

The general public may purchase tickets to attend the matinee and/or evening dance competitions held Thursday, Aug. 8 through Saturday, Aug. 10, by visiting the Empire Dance Championships website or at the door. It is highly recommended that evening performance tickets be purchased in advance as these events may quickly sell out. Schedules and other contact information are available on the website.

Photo Courtesy Of: AF Prince Associates