Arts and Entertainment

Festival at Mount Si | Local pro ballroom dancers to show off world-class moves

Snoqualmie residents, and world-class ballroom dancers, Kora Stoynova and husband Simeon Stoynov show off moves  in a recent professional ballroom competition. The pair will open The Arts in Festival Hall exhibition during the Festival at Mount Si. - Courtesy Photo
Snoqualmie residents, and world-class ballroom dancers, Kora Stoynova and husband Simeon Stoynov show off moves in a recent professional ballroom competition. The pair will open The Arts in Festival Hall exhibition during the Festival at Mount Si.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Two of the best ballroom dancers in the world, and certainly the greatest to call the Snoqualmie Valley home, will show audiences how music feels when they perform for the opening night of The Arts in Festival Hall this Friday at 7 p.m.

“I enjoy making music visual, I enjoy creating emotion within my audience, I enjoy seeing tears in my audience’s eyes,” dancer Kora Stoynova wrote in an e-mail message to the Valley Record. “Dance has been my life since I was 5 years old, it’s a part of my soul.”

Stoynova and her husband Simeon Stoynov, live in Snoqualmie, have represented Simeon’s native country of Bulgaria in world championship competition, are undefeated Pacific Northwest Regional champions 11 times running, and are ranked ninth in the world as ballroom dancers. They will give several of their acclaimed performances as part of the opening night of the Festival at Mount Si’s The Arts in Festival Hall.

“For the festival, Simeon and I will be demonstrating four Latin dances: the Cha Cha, Samba, Paso Doble, and Rumba,” Kora wrote. These are four of the five dances in the Latin category, in which the couple competes, as well as the Standard, South American Showdance, and Classical Showdance.

Competitive dancing rules are strict and specific, setting the order of dances and the music to be played, but the competition itself is all about the individuals.

“Judging in Ballroom is entirely subjective,” Kora wrote. “Each judge has their own individual criteria, based upon their preferences, their knowledge, and their ability.”

The flowing dresses and crisp tuxedos that competitors wear also affect the judging in showdance categories, where dancers can choose their own music and costume themselves according to the theme. They are allowed more athletic moves, such as up to three lifts, and “we are allowed to blend dances to create a more effective show,” Kora wrote.

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