14 yr. old prodigy....

I know her. I mean I dont know her know her but I've run into them couple of times at comps and the little girl is just a sweetheart. Looks like a little Maria Manusova to me. She is one of the best dancers I have seen though. To see them dance live isamazing.Truly amazing. They will rule the dancsport world as they get older...like they already dont??? Got a standing ovation at that comp
..some of you should read the whole thread. It was not me that pointed out that that "prodigy" may not be an apt descritpion of Kiril, (impying that there are many equally talented kids). I disagree, and do beleive he is a prodigy.


...I know this is swing....but these kids were about the same age as Kiril and partner. As my wife just pointed out....swing is in Tori and Josh's blood. You can see it in their dance. What I would give to have my daughter have this kind of "passion" in her dance and connection with her partner.

...one of you suggested I should imagine Natella or her parents reading my post. If I met them in person....I would have no problem telling this to their face. Natella, obviously has a lot of training behind her.....I realize how much she and her parents want to see her be the best. I just know that some studios can be too technical and not conducive to teaching young dancers to dance from there heart and connect with their partner. If this isn't excellent advice for Kiril and Natella,...I don't know what is.

I would like to add....when I said that my daughter could have replaced Natella and taken Kiril just as far...was just support for comments by some of the posters mentioned above that there are many talented young dancers.....my daughter is one of them. Kiril has something that is a bit extraordinary.
I have complete respect for Natella and her dance ability.

...partner Kiril with this girl...have them train in lift/tricks for a yr. with my daughter and her partner....and you will see pure perfection.


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...partner Kiril with this girl...have them train in lift/tricks for a yr. with my daughter and her partner....and you will see pure perfection.
If your daugher is as amazing as you say she is, then what's the big deal? If she already has a partner, then so be it, why the fuss? And if she doesn't, then no doubt she will get a great partner, if she's so good.


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By the way, I think this kid is quite accomplished. Did you actually listen to the piano piece? It's amazing and requires lots of talent and skill to play. It's obvious from watching him dance that he has a great ear for music as well. Calling him a "prodigy" isn't a stretch, IMO. He's great, and anyone who tries to diminish that perhaps has insecurities? Maybe, maybe not.


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Okay, here's the thing Josh -- I said what I said out of a misunderstanding as to exactly what the word "prodigy" means. I thought it implied rareness, uniqueness, and extreme ability, like Mozart being able to read and write music at age 5, and composing an opera at age 11. But ashybang set me straight with the dictionary definition of prodigy: "a highly talented child or youth," which I agree with. All the top Junior competitors in the dancesport world are highly talented children or youths!! In fact, here's the results of the Junior II Championship Latin from USA Dance Nationals this year:

1) 201 Dmitry Ivashchenko & Gabriella Sabler - NY
2) 234 Taras Savitskyy & Liya Podokshik - PA
3) 292 Austin Joson & Lisa Lakovitskaya - NJ
4) 553 Vladislav Kvartin & Maria Ilin - NJ
5) 118 Joseph Odikadze & Dasha Kholodenko - MA
6) 490 Daniel Shapiro & Katya Kovalyova - NY
137 Phillip Kudryavtsev & Jessica Shrayber - MA
335 Kevin Morales & Elina Khotinskaya - NJ
616 Jordan Seawright & Mariana Barros - NM
497 Slavic Ben & Yana Orlova - PA
516 Cezary Dyrda & Patricia Jasionek - NJ
576 Nicholas Kharlamov & Rochelle Kharlamov - FL
188 Kiril Kulish & Natella Devitskaya - CA
225 Niki Malyeyev & Lizabeth Puckett - IN
359 Adrian Samsel & Daria Voskoboynikov - NJ
362 Misha Vorobiev & Sonya Tsekanovsky - WA
386 Alan Bersten & Melanie Melnikova - MN
547 Allen Yevtukhov & Katie Pisarevsky - NY

Lots of talent in this field!!!!


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It's all good Laura, I didn't even realize that you had disputed the word "prodigy", I wasn't referring to you. I just saw several comments and was making a general statement; I didn't even notice who wrote them.

I'm mostly impressed by latin/ballet/piano and such high levels in all these fields. Maybe "prodigy" is too strong a word, I guess it's quite subjective in the end isn't it? I'm just very impressed.


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I think when someone refers to anyone as "prodigy", it gives the essence that its someone who is by far, superior in "something". I think the boy is great. He is adorable. But......I do not see him as being better then many kids out there. He is a great kid. Out of curiousity, I checked his results on dancesportinfo. He went to Blackpool, and placed pretty poorly. Just because someone has a few talents or hobbies, does not classify anyone as prodigy, I think. He is a great dancer. He must be a great boy. But.....I still cant see him as a prodigy. Sorry. I hope he doesnt read this, since I dont want him tro feel bad.
sambanada, Kiril has a ballet background,....nothing you can say would hurt him. (...a very cutthroat world.).

Thankyou Laura for the results. ...and Josh, you've sort of missed my point. My daughter is a salsa dancer. Her latin dancing has a long way to go yet....and may never be as good as some of these young follows. I was just saying that it was Kiril that took the pair as far as they are. If Kiril had another partner like the girl I posted in the clip.....and....some better coaching with a touch of some outside (ballroom/latin) training (partnered lifts/tricks)......he would probably have been at the top of Laura's list.

I think of Kiril as being a prodigy not because of an extraordinary gift in one thing...but a gift in several things. I doubt very much if there is even another 14 yr. old boy with the total talent that Kiril posesses....though the may be one or two boys that are better latin dancers...or ballet dancers or pianist.

Added: I really do wish my daughter could find a ballroom/latin partner...but what will be will be. The studio owner has a daughter, the same age as my daughter and is very much advanced over my daughter in her ballroom/latin training. Should a young, talented and well trained gentleman be looking for a 14 yr. old partner and came to me....I would refer him to the S.O.'s daughter first....she deserves it.


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Barrefly, you've gone from proud dad to well, it's not cute anymore. If your daughter is such a salsa prodigy, and wants to do latin, then get her some lessons and let her see how she does. Until then (and well, even then), talking smack about other little girls/young ladies is really poor form. Especially around here. Kiril is great. At a lot of things. As are a lot of young dancers. As are a lot of young people. As is Kiril's partner.


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i keep hearing barrefly sing kiril's praises, not talking smack about him... is something wrong with my hearing or do some posters here need to read more carefully?

"I doubt very much if there is even another 14 yr. old boy with the total talent that Kiril posesses...."
...Before you criticize my post..perhaps you should read my previous posts to understand where I am coming from. I am not talking smack about Kiril's partner. She is talented...so are a lot of kids in the world. This is a ballroom/latin discussion board and certainly should include young dancers as well. I am just giving my 2 cents. Kiril and partner are currently the topped rank U.S.A. latin youth champs. When they competed at Blackpool (as Laura pointed out)...their best was top 36. (Incidently,...Dmitry and partner have not competed in europe). Europe has some amazing youth dancer...and dominate the top ranked international champs. I also beleive that the U.S. probably has a bit of disadvantage simple because they are "the U.S." (politics?). If Kiril and partner are to make their mark in europe...they are going to have to blow the other dancers away. I was just giving my opinion of the most effective way...which in my humble opinion...and not to bash his partner...."he may need to find a partner that is more suited to Kiril's outstanding abilities..and perhaps tweak their training a bit".

In salsa, dancers change partners all the time. Her current salsa partner is always testing follows. If he found one better than my daughter...she would be history. (though the seem to be a very good match for each other). My daughter would do the same.
Also, my daughter "is" training in ballroom at one of the best studios in L.A. and with a current blackpool rising star latin champion.
She has also trained and excelled (since she was 2 1/2 yrs. old) in ballet, jazz, tap, hiphop, modern, flamenco, w.c. swing and salsa. She has been called a prodigy by many as well. ...she is just beginning to get her ballroom/latin legs....but is already picking it up at lightning speed. (already taking gold level class and is one of the strongest in them).

My daughter could offer Kiril a great deal...but she, like his current partner doesn't appear to have the complete package for him.
I could be wrong...but that's my 2 cents.
I wanted to add this...but in a seperate post so it could be understood better. I am not a dancer. Dance is just a pasttime for me, like any sports fan. I find it fascinating. My daughter just happens to be one of the (youth) players that I am a fan of....but beleive me when I say, I am not bias. However,...I am a pretty good "armchair quarterback".
I can talk "smack" about my daughter all day long..(though, I would call it "my 2 cents"). The faster I find out if she has the ability to be the best....or not, the faster I could put my mind at ease. This is what comes with thinking one's child could be a world champ. and not b.s.ing oneself about it. If Natella's parents aren't concerned with this as well...then she is fair game (because she is a top ranked dancer). If they are receiving the best training as Kiril does in his ballet...they will understand where I am coming from and perhaps look for solutions...(if they thought there were some truth to me "criticisms".)

If someone were talking about my daughter like I, about Natella....I would either already know it because it was true....or the person talking doesn't know what he is talking about and I would not give it a second thought.

Just remember folks, my topic was "14 yr. old prodigy" and was refering to Kiril. I was a bit blindsided and found myself giving opinions about his partner. That was not my original intention.


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...they would probably think I jealous, which I am.

I also did not mean that in a hurtful sense. I was just being honest....such as in pointing out that they are not really "prodigies". (Get it.) Kiril and Natella are very gifted dancers. I really don't believe there are that many 14 yr. olds that posess the level of talent of Kiril. Natella is certainly a better trained latin dancer than my daughter..this isn't even a discussion. What can be a discussion is why Kiril is not deserving of being called a prodigy. My take was that he did not connect with his partner and that he wasn't dancing from the heart....two things my daughter would not put up with in a partner no matter how good he is. Therefore,...and I do hope that Kiril and partner reads this.......she will stand a greater risk of losing him if she does not make it clear to Kiril that she is not a prop for him.

..back in the ballet days, I remember seeing Kiril and his friend David togeather like they were joined at the hip. I remember them really enjoying their dancing and would have turn battles with each other, (who can do the most fouettes, best toure de force etc.). I don't see him having that connection with Natella and it doesn't look like they are having fun with there dancing. Missy and her partner have so many cool moves up their sleeve that they do when the social dance togeather...it not only makes audiences applaud...but makes them laugh. Buddy Schwimmer's dancers do the same thing. Buddy teaches his dancer that dancing comes from the heart...not a syllabus.
If Kiril is not a prodigy......he is a heartbeat away from it.
I appreciate your insight...but because we are talking about people who are not on this board and we are using their names, I think it far more prudent and sensitive to impart that information to the young man and his partner in private...the classy and concerned way to do it..as they are not here to read your assessments and are only being objectified and judged without their knowlege...while I welcome you and value your insight and participation, I think it more prudent to share those rather specific and less than glowing evaluations with them in private ...as all of us would prefer recieve input


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with a touch of some outside (ballroom/latin) training (partnered lifts/tricks)......
Just so you know, lifts and drops and floor sweeps and that sort of thing are not allowed in the regular dancesport events, partly for safety reasons. This is partially because there are between six and 24 couples on the floor at once (depending on the size of the floor).

Lifts/drops/sweeps etc. are allowed in showdance, but kids don't often compete in showdance events. In fact USA Dance doesn't even have a Junior Theater Arts or Cabaret (both forms of showdance) division.
fascination is right.

I don't know if anyone read my post stating I have an O.C. condition. It is difficult for me not to reply to a post directed at me.

Laura,...I don't know if I am using the right term by "tricks"...but some of the stuff my daughter does i.e., neck rolls, fancy/fast turns, dips/drops, slides, theatrical poses/moves...and small lifts where both feet are off the floor at the same time. (not technical terms)

I remember seeing Michal/Joanna in a comp. clip do a lift/carry?....perhaps they were penalized for doing it...but they were also doing funky stuff my daughter does in her salsa. Stuff I did not see as much in the lesser ranked dancers.

I am still trying to figure out the rules. I guess I want to beleive that artistic interpretation/expression are allowed...as long as it doesn't deviate to much from the dance itself.

fascination...I promise this will be my last post...because I will not look at this thread again.


New Member
small lifts where both feet are off the floor at the same time
There's some rule about how many beats of music that both her feet can be off the floor for, but I'll bet that Joanna had one foot on the floor enough of the time in the carry thing to be legal. I've seen them live so I know what move you mean. And as far as never seeing other competitors do it...I think you might need to get out more :) Of course no one does what they do as well as they do, being world champions and all!!!

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