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Giancarlo & Masha 1st Place Swedish Salsa Championships!

Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday 30 April, 2011

GiancarloGian Masha Winners SalsaSM & Masha traveled nearly 20,000kms, literally to the other side of the planet to represent New Zealand at the 2011 Swedish National Salsa Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. This competition would be one of the most siginificant competitions to date for Giancarlo specially as it is his home country and home town...

To have a chance in this competition, Gian and Masha would have to not only convince the judges, but also win over the audience... and audience that have no idea who they are and have their country men as their favorite dancers.

The competition starts off with qualifiers in the 3 major cities in Sweden, Malmo, Gothenburg and Stockholm. 9 couples go through to the final round - 3 from each city, at the Annual 24 hour Salsa Cruise. The 24 hour Salsa Cruise is held on the huge cruise ship, Silja Galaxy, which departs Stockholm and heads towards Turku, Finland "zigzaggin" through the Stockholm archipelago, out to open sea on the Baltic Sea, going through the Finish archipelago and then returns the same way back to Stockholm. All of this in a 24 hours period.

Stockholm-Sweden-Europe-575x359 www.tallinksilja Abokryssning med Galaxy

Gian & Masha qualified as a "wild card" through a video qualification. The competition is open to Swedish residents and citizens only, however, since Gian is a Swedish citizen and is married to Masha, this qualifies her automatically for residency in Sweden. Since the do not live in Sweden, they represented New Zealand at the competition. They had to prove their situation to the organizers of the competition in order to be able to participate.

The cruise is a 24hour Salsa/Latin party with non-stop dancing night and day.

Below is what the itinerary looked like


Leonardo Johanna7:30pm - Cruise departs from Stockholm
8:30pm - Dinner buffet is served
11:00pm - Competitors brefing
12:00am - 3x night clubs open for general dancing - Salsa, Reggaeton, General Latin
1:00am - Competition starts
3:00am- Live band on the Salsa floor and DJ's on the 2 other dance floors.
4:00am - DJ's on all dance floors
6:00am - Finish (ship docks in Turku, Finland)
6:15am - Breakfast buffet is served.

(click on image >> to see more photos from the 2011 Swedish National Salsa Championships)


SalsaKryssning dancefloor28:00am - Ship departs Turku, Finland
11:00am - Lunch buffet is served
12:00pm - Zumba class
1:00pm - Salsa workshop
2:00pm - All dance floors open for general dancing
3:00pm - Performances
4:00pm - All dance floors open for general dancing
6:15pm - Ship docks in Stockholm, Sweden

It is a very popular cruise that has been running for over 20 years and is attended by 1,000s of people.

This was probably the most "challenging" and unique competition Gian and Masha have ever participated in... this was a competition with a twist!

Gian Masha SweNot only do you have some great dancers to compete against... but the floor moves! Since it is on a ship, although it is a huge cruise ship... the competition starts about 5 hours into the cruise which gives it just enough time to be out in open waters on the Baltic Sea... quite rough sea! Gian and Masha were number 8 to get on the floor. When couple number 3 got on, the ship started tilting to the left, by the time it was Gian and Masha's turn, the ship and dancefloor was tilting quite significantly! Luckily by round 2 (final 3 finalists), it had stabilized somewhat, but was now tilting slightly the other way! But this was the case for all competitors as we were all "on the same boat"!

(click on image >> to see video of Gian & Masha's final winning routine)

salsaThe competition was a fantastic experience in every way due to its unique settings! Gian and Masha are very humbled and appreciative of all the support prior to and after the competition from New Zealand and Australia. Also, a huge thank you to all old and new Swedish friends who cheered for them during and after(!) the competition!

Gian and Masha took out 1st place and remain New Zealand's only international salsa dance champions with titles in Australia, Hong Kong and now Sweden. Giancarlo & Masha are also the 2009 and 2010 undefeated NZ Professional Salsa Champions.


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