The World Championship returns to Vienna after a year. The best worlds’ couples competing in standard dances will dance here this year. The record number of four champions titles in a row will be attacked by Dmitry Zharkov & Olga Kulikova. The highlight of the season is a part of the traditional Austrian Open Championships.

This year is unique. All main events of the dance season, the World Championship of adults in latin, standard and ten dances, as well as the ShowDance in both disciplines, take place in the Central European region in the cities far away only a few hours of ride. There were World Championship Latin in Ostrava (Czechia), the ShowDance in both disciplines in Bratislava (Slovakia), Ten Dance in Warsaw (Poland) just a week ago and now there is Standard in Vienna (Austria). It is a unique opportunity to be present at every adult World Championship for Central European fans of the dancesport.

Strong favorite

Zharkov & Kulikova © Reinhard Egli

81 couples from 45 countries will be presented in Vienna. The clear favorite of the competition is the Russian couple Dmitry Zharkov & Olga Kulikova. In 45 competitions they have received not gold, but silver medals only in three of them since September 2015. This incredible series includes three European Champions titles and three World Champions titles in a row. Last time Zharkov and Kulikova did not win competition in June 2017 at the World Games in Wroclaw, where they were defeated by professional couple Benedetto Ferruggia & Claudia Koehler. However, the scores of their performance was lower than usual. According to the previous statistics, it was very different.

Lithuanian couples Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite (last time runner-ups) and Vaidotas Lacitis & Veronika Golodneva (last time 5th place) will make efforts to show their best to receive medals from World Championship. And of course the fourth couple of last year’s championship, Italians Francesco Galuppo & Debora Pacini are having the ambition to move on the podium. Who is missing compared with last year’s final? Simone Segatori & Anette Sudol moved to the WDC where they compete among professionals. Andrey Gluhkov & Anastasia Glazunova finished at the third place in the Russian Championship this year and did not qualify for the World Championship 2018.

Free places in the semifinal

New faces will certainly appear in the final. Only the Moldovan couple Nikolay Darin & Natalia Seredina are missing compared to last year’s semifinal. However, a great chance could be taken by the newcomers, the second Russian couple, Evgeny Moshenin & Dana Spitsyna. Evgeny entered the category of professionals in 2013 roughly a year after breaking up with his Italian partner. But fifth place in the 2014 Professional European Championship was his last performance on the professional dance floor. He returned to the adult category with Dana Spitsyna after two years out of competition. They managed to qualify for the World Championship this year as they defeated Glukhov & Glazunova at Russian national championship.

So there are two places for couples who did not get to the semifinals last year. Considering the difference between 13th and 21st place was just 4 points at the previous World Championship, it will surely be a very balanced battle for the semifinal.

Austrian Open Championships

Imametdinov & Bezzubova

The famous Vienna competition has changed its format this year. Instead of two days it will take three. The World Open Adult Competition in latin begins on Friday and offers Timur Imametdinov & Nina Bezzubova, Andrea Silvestri & Martina Varadi and new World Champions in ten dance, Konstantin Gorodilov & Dominika Bergmannova among the biggest stars.

Then there’s the highlight in the form of the World Championship Standard on Saturday .The program continues with the next World Open competition in standard on Sunday. The finalists of the World Championship 2017 Alexey Glukhov & Anastasia Glazunov or the new World Champions in Under 21 Paul Rednic & Roxana Lucaciu from Romania will dance in this competition. There’s also scheduled a traditional open competition in the Vienna Waltz on Sunday, where over 110 couples are registered.

Austrian Open takes place in the suburb of Vienna, Schwechat, in the Multiversum multifunctional hall. The hall is easily accessible by car or suburban train lines (S-Bahn), the stop is right next door to the hall. Tickets are only available on the spot during the competition days.