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1st USA TANGO CHAMPIONSHIP

by Rosalind Gortz
July 17, 2007
Il Campanello
136 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 695-6111
For more info, go to www.CelebrateTango.com
This year, during the 7th NYC Summer Tango and Film Festival, an exciting new event brought members of the Argentine Tango Community to Il Campanello Restaurant in Manhattan. Couples would be competing in Social Tango (Salon). The winning couple would be awarded a grand prize of travel vouchers to and accommodations in Buenos Aires. There, they would have the honor of representing the USA in the semi-finals of the prestigious V World Tango Dance Championship.

This fabulous opportunity attracted many couples from as far away as Florida, and Il campanello was alive with high energy and nervous anticipation. I spoke to a few of the participants in the competition. Philip Angulo and Sherezada Acosta have been dancing Tango for years, but are dancing as partners for just one month. They were very excited and spoke about "this incredible dance" and how they are working toward creating the perfect connection in the Tango. Richard Isaacs and his partner Duvall O'Steen were in agreement when they spoke of their decision to compete, "We thought the rookies should be represented."

The wonderful array of very talented dancers and teachers assembled to begin judging the competition-Jorge Torres, Alejandra Arrue, Sergio Natario and the master of ceremonies-Nelson Avila. The beautiful Tango selections were provided by Carlos Quiroga, DJ and editor of the magazine Reportango.

Gayatri Martin, who runs weekly milongas at Il Campanello, and who produces the Tango Festival each year, took the stage and introduced the Master of Ceremonies-Nelson Avila. Lovers of Tango, as well as friends and families of the competitors from all over the tri-state area assembled for the competition. Four couples danced in each group. There were 16 couples in all. They exhibited their dance skills with 3 very different Tango selections.

The onlookers applauded enthusiastically, not only for their favorite couple, but also for all the talented couples. The contestants preformed sacada, barridas and other Tango steps with elegance and precision. Those of us pursuing mastery of Tango, really appreciated the accomplishments of these dancers. Six couples were selected to dance in the finals, which will be held on Wednesday, July 18th at the Corazon Milonga at 101 Lafayette St. at 9:00 PM. Music will be presented by DJ Yesem. One couple will be designated the best in the USA, which will bring them to the "City of Tango"-Buenos Aires and the final competition with dancers from all over the world.

Later in the evening, the judges, master of ceremonies and several other Tango professionals performed to the surprise and delight of the attendees and competitors.

My congratulations go out to Gayatri Martin for putting together this great event…..
Sports fans have their baseball, soccer, and other sports. We, who love Tango, now have the Tango Championship!
Viva El Tango!
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