JB ballroom couple place fifth at world championships!
Svetlana Rudkovskaya (left) and Pavel “Pasha”
Cherdantsau compete in a dance competition. The
Jacksonville Beach pair were one of two couples representing
the United States at the World Professional Dance
Championships in Russia in May.
By CHUCK ADAMS STAFF WRITER
Pavel “Pasha” Cherdantsau and Svetlana Rudkovskaya, a husband and-wife ballroom dancing
team that teaches in Jacksonville Beach, placed fifth in the Classic Show Dance Division at the
World Professional Dance Championships May 5 in Omsk, Russia.
More than 6,000 people were at the stadium where the championships were held. The event was carried live on Russian TV. A link is http://www.wdcdance.org/index.php?set_ActivMenu=99.
As one of two teams representing the U.S. at the international competition, Cherdantsau and
Rudkovskaya had a unique opportunity in Omsk. They qualified by finishing runners-up in the national show dance championships in September.
Born in Belarus, the couple came to U.S. nine years ago. Rudkovskaya began dancing when she was 13, Cherdantsau started at 6. They became choreographers and ballroom teachers at the Belarusian
University of Culture, became dance partners in 1999, later opened their own school.
The couple, who lives in Jacksonville Beach, married in 2005 in Las Vegas. They teach ballroom dancing at Bolero’s in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Beach couple, were runners-up in the national show dance championships in September.
Working in the U.S. under green cards, they’ve applied for American citizenship. “The NDCA [National Dance Council of America], of which we’re a member, they have some requirements,”
said Cherdantsau earlier this year.
“You have to live in the country some period of time, so you can represent it. But not necessarily you have to be a citizen.” Rudkovskaya started dancing when she was 13, Cherdantsau began at 6.
They met in Belarus. “We danced in different studios and dance clubs, with different couples,”
recalled Rudkovskaya. “And we were competing against each other. Pasha started very long before I
did, and he already was a very good dancer.”
Asked that, when they competed against one another, who won, she responded, “Well, of course
he was winning, because he was already a star when I start. But I was coming up pretty fast.”
They became choreographers and ballroom dance teachers at the Belarusian University of Culture. They became dance partners in 1999, and later opened a school.
They came to the U.S. with a two-year stop in South Korea, because “it wasn’t a good situation economically in Belarus,” said Cherdantsau. “We couldn’t support ourselves there, we couldn’t
continue to compete. We were looking for more opportunity for our professional career and development.” Sarah Bohr of Atlantic Beach has been dancing with Cherdantsau as his amateur partner for eight years, or since the couple came to the U.S.
She is at the silver or second level in dance competition. Gold is the top level. “All their students love them. They’re like family to us,” said Bohr earlier this year. “They’re devoted, wonderful
instructors. They’re a little different than typical ballroom teachers. They really teach you the
fundamentals of movement, and how you move. If you can move better, you can dance better. They’re very good with beginners, and experienced dance students, as well,” she said.