Christopher Affonso of Everett and Holly Hatleberg of Chelsea just returned from Schladming, Austria, from the CSIT Youth and U21 Ballroom Dance World Championships. In a highly competitive field, they reached the finals in both age groups, receiving the Bronze medal in youth and placing fifth in U21. The field had the best dancers from all over the world: Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Austria, England, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Canada, Greece, Slovenia, etc.
The competition took place in one of the most beautiful ski paradises of Austria. Surrounded by the Alps, congress Schladming offered an elegant and classy environment for a world-class event.
Christopher and Holly are both 17-year-old competitive athletes from Champions Dance Sport Club of Everett, Mass. This ballroom couple has been emerging in the United States’ competitive field with high potential, clear personal and technical qualities and a desire to rise to the top of the ballroom dance world. They are USA Youth and Under-21 Standard Champions and Ten-Dance Vice-champions, and they are members of the U.S. World Team. They train under the guidance of Hungarian-born Judit Gaspar of Champions Dance Sport Club and Andrea Zaramella of Italy.
This year was their last opportunity to compete in the youth category, since Christopher will turn 18 in just a few days. They achieved their dream of making the podium in the world championship even though he had college application deadlines to meet just the day before the trip.
The young athletes would like to express their appreciation to their parents, their dance studio, their coaches and the local community who believed in them and helped them raise money for their training and to offset some of their travel costs.
In just two weeks they will be back on the road heading to Latvia to participate in their last international championship of 2023. Then they will reevaluate and set their next big goals.
Christopher Affonso and Holly Hatleberg have been dancing together since 2012. They have a special and successful partnership. Both dancers started dancing at Champions Dance Sport Club and are currently members. They also participated in a ballroom dance teachers’ training program and already teach at their studio as well as train competitive dancers of the Boston University Ballroom Dance Team.
Champions Dance Sport Club is an Everett-based business providing ballroom and Latin dance instruction to children and adults as well as social and competitive dancers since 2006.