Latin dance couple Marius-Andrei Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska of Germany reached third position in The World Games Athlete of the Year Award as the voting phase came to an end on January 31. In a gripping last 24 hours, the World, European and German champions amassed more than 43500 votes, overtaking Ju-Jitsu legend Faisal Al Ketbi (UAE) with just a little more than 6700 votes.
The pair, leader of the World DanceSport Federation World Ranking List since 2020 in Latin, spared a moment in their busy training schedule to share their delight with us.
“We were very happy when we realised that we were amongst the medallists! It means something big because it’s more than just winning in our discipline. The World Games is a multi-sport event so this is a great distinction for us.”
DanceSport has definitely observed a growth in popularity in the past few years. One of the disciplines, breaking, was even introduced to the Olympic programme for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Despite the discipline not making it to the LA 2028 programme, DanceSport continue to attract youth from different backgrounds.
Balan and Moshenska, respectively Romania and Ukraine natives, have witnessed this evolution and have been part of the journey for many years.
“We feel like our journey with DanceSport has made a huge impact because we have been competing at the top for more than 13 years in the main category. People recognise us and are very familiar with our moves.”
Everyone showed support
To secure votes and mobilise their community, the couple, who also teaches workshops for students, directly reached out to their audience.
“We have directly involved all our colleagues and dance students from all over the world. We have tried to reach our fans through social media directly! Plus, we have received a lot of support from the World DanceSport Federation, which helped with livestreams on YouTube and Instagram and a lot of posts during the contest,” they explain.
“Although we have followed the voting process closely, it wasn’t needed. So many fans and friends gave us live updates and were very involved for us. Everyone was so supportive!”
Both dancers have faced major hardships in the recent years. Marius Balan lost seven family members between 2020 and 2021, while in 2022 the Russia – Ukraine war started with one of the conflict zones being just 50km fromKhrystyna Moshenska’s home.
But regular, strict training sessions and commitment, are no secret to success. The couple knows that and admirably strive to improve this year.
“We are excited about how much we can push our limits during practice to drive performances! There have been so many moments we have faced obstacles in our career. In 2015 for example, I went straight from the competition floor to being hospitalised with a suspected heart attack. In the end, it was nothing too bad. It was such a relief,” confessed Balan.
“What has always kept us going was our love for dancing, love towards endlessly pushing our limits and developing even further this great artistic discipline. Our biggest inspiration and support came from our teachers, families and all sources of education we have received on the way.”
To the younger generation contemplating at enrolling, the inspiring duo from Pforzheim (GER) says:
“Start and continue to move your body to the music you love the most!”
We can’t wait to see the pair performing at The World Games 2025 in Chengdu (CHN) and be surprised by their routine.
The International World Games Association (IWGA) is a non-profit-making international sports organisation recognised and supported by the International Olympic Committee. The IWGA comprises 38 International Member Sports Federations. It administers and promotes The World Games (TWG), a multi-sport event held every four years that features around 35 sports on its programme. The next edition of TWG will be in Chengdu (CHN) from 7-17 August 2025. 5,000 participants from more than 100 countries are expected to take part in this 12th edition. The latest Games were hosted by Birmingham, Alabama (USA).