World champions return to dance floor in Cuijk

2019 Worlds season opens in Netherlands

Ukrainian dancer in wheelchair wears glittering dress dances a conventional style Ukraine's Olena Chenyka won five titles at the 2018 European Championships © • Jacek Reda

The World Championship season kicks off this weekend as Cujik, Netherlands, hosts the Para Dance Sport International Competition, beginning on Friday.

Some of the biggest names in dance will be hoping to dazzle in the three-day season opener as the countdown to November’s Worlds in Bonn, Germany, begins.

Ukraine bring a crew of reigning world and European champions that include Olena Chynka, Illona Slugovyna and Valeriy Bevzyuk.

It is Chynka’s first competition since sweeping an incredible five gold medals at the 2018 European Championships last November. The Ukrainian danced her winning 2017 Worlds freestyle routine in Lomianki, Poland, to take the continental title. But Cuijk could see Chynka introduce a new routine in the women’s class 2 category.

She will join forces with sitting partner Oleksandr Onishchenko, a proven duo who are the reigning world and European champions in the Latin and standard disciplines. They partnered for the first time in the duo freestyle class 2 in Lomianki, which also proved to be a glittering performance.

The women’s class 1 side will be highlighted by Slugovyna. Owner of the 2017 world singles titles, the 34-year-old is also looking to pick up where she left off at Lomianki 2018 where she captured a trio of gold medals.

Two of those she won with sitting partner Bevzyuk, and they are looking to put on another dazzling show in the duo freestyle and standard class 1 events.

Standard specialists back

Belarus’ Hanna Harchakova and standing partner Roman Usmanov will return to the dance floor, with judges highly anticipating their combi standard 2 performance.

The tandem was flawless at Lomianki 2018 and Malle 2017, setting the standard high ahead of the Worlds in Bonn.

Finishing behind the Belarusians on the podium were Joanna Reda and Pawel Karpinski at their home Europeans. The young Polish couple will aim to perfect their routine ahead of Bonn 2019, and are a dynamic duo to watch in the Latin event.

Asian freestyle class 2 champion Yermek Kalymbetov will also be a talent to watch closely in Cuijk, as the dancer from Kazakhstan will be hungry for another gold following a win at the Beigang Open in Chinese Taipei last October.

The Cuijk International Competition will see 85 dancers from 15 countries participate.