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And the Winners of the Swarovski Elements On-line Contest Are …

by Yang Chen, Pres. Greater NY USA Dance Chapter 3004

As mentioned here for the last few weeks, Swarovski has been holding a contest on Facebook to decide which of the costumes created by four of America's top designers for 10 of the nation’s top couples were the people’s choice. Thousands of votes were cast on the Swarovski Elements Facebook page, and last Wednesday, June 8, I was privileged to be among the invited guests to a special gala event held at the Swarovski Crystallized store in Soho in downtown Manhattan at which the winners of the on-line contest held by Swarovski Elements were announced.

At the event, many of the USA Dance championship pision athletes selected to wear the beautiful costumes using the new Swarovski elements created especially for DanceSport were in attendance, including Senior I Standard Champions Xingmin and Katerina Lu, Adult Standard Champions Igor Mikushov and Margaretta Midura, and Junior II Standard Champion Anna Kaczmarski. Also in attendance were designers, including Dawn Smart and Troy Collett of Doré Designs, Maria McGill and Summer Gray of Designs to Shine, and Tatiana Noll of ElleDance Studio. Unable to attend was Dee Baker of Deirdre of London, who was in Australia at the time.

Before announcing the contest winners, Heidi McCormack, Swarovski's Key Account Manager Textile East, announced that the costumes sponsored by Swarovski Elements would be offered for sale and the proceeds would be split between the designers and Swarovski. Heidi declared that Swarovski would be donating back its share of the proceeds to USA Dance to support its DanceSport Development and Travel Fund for DanceSport athletes.

Heidi then introduced Angela Prince, USA Dance National Director of Public Relations, to talk about the partnership between Swarovski and USA Dance. After describing the brand ambassador program that has been established between Swarovski and USA Dance, Angela introduced Ken Richards, USA Dance National VP for DanceSport. Ken expressed USA Dance’s deep appreciation for the support of Swarovski for the talented and dedicated DanceSport athletes that represent the United States in world competition.

Heidi then introduced Stephan Toljan, Swarovksi’s VP Sales and Market Management, to announce the winners. Third place with 994 votes went to USA Dance National Latin Champions Val Chmerkovskiy and Daria Chesnokova from New Jersey, with a costume designed by Maria McGill of Designs to Shine. Second place with 1083 votes went to USA Dance National Youth and 10-Dance finalists Taras Savitskyy and Liya Podokshik from New Jersey with a costume designed by Dawn Smart of Doré Designs. First place went to USA Dance National Junior II Latin finalists Eric Rosenberg and Nicole Akhmerova from California, with a staggering 1811 votes, wearing a costume designed by Dawn Smart of Doré Designs.

Congratulations to all the couples who wore the fabulous costumes made with Swarovski Elements. And thanks to Swarovski for being such a great sponsor of USA Dance and DanceSport. You make our champions look like the winners they truly are.

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