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Highlights Day 3 – UK Tango Festival & Championship 2017

This was it. The competition to crown the UK Stage and Pista Tango Champions would all boil down to just a few minutes of dancing under the scrutinising gaze of 6 judges, masters in the art of tango, each with their own style and musical interpretation and each with a firm opinion of what Argentine Tango must and can only be. Together these 6 judges MUST agree on one deserving winner.

This year two additional prizes would be awarded to the the highest scoring UK based Pista couple and the Europa Champion, voted for by the audience.

Master of Ceremonies, Ralph Cohen opened the evening by introducing once again the Judging Panel. Christian Marquez & Virginia Gomez, John Erban & Clarissa Sanchez and Javier Rodriguez & Luna Palacios were greeted with applause, as Ralph remarked, ‘Thank you to our judges for bringing to our festival your wisdom and experience throughout the daytime workshops as well as your humour, vitality, good energy and amazing performances every night’.

Let’s not delay a moment longer! Here are the results:

02. Louise Gauna and Mariano Gauna – Chateaulin
04. Shaun Mcenery and Anastasia Cioclea – London
05. Stan Lucian and Aldea Oana-Raluca – Bucarest
06. Lorena de Miranda Serra and Jory Raimo – Rotterdam
07. Fernando Zalazar and Sara Ferreira – Portugal
08. Despina Violari and Ozan Can Toker – London

06. Lorena de Miranda Serra and Jory Raimo – Rotterdam
Lorena and Jory win free entry into the UK Championship next year.

05. Stan Lucian and Aldea Oana-Raluca – Bucarest.
Stan and Aldea fly to Buenos Aries to compete in the Mundial Finals in August and also receive a pair of Yuyo Brujo Tango Shoes.

02. Mirella Santos David and Joao Carlos Santos David – El Haya
03. Mira van de Griendt and Santiago Onel – Amsterdam
04. Andrea Jolly and Jeremie Chevillotte – Aixenprovence
05. Irem Öztürk and Gøran Eliassen – Bergen
18. Louise Gauna and Mariano Gauna – Chateaulin
21. Gabriela Buccarello and David Frohlich – Berlin
22. Stan Lucian and Aldea Oana-Raluca – Bucarest
23. Lorena de Miranda Serra and Jory Raimo – Rotterdam

Danced to:
Cafe Dominguez – Angel D’Agostino
Farol – Osvaldo Pugliese
Una Noche De Garufa – Ricardo Tanturi

23. Lorena de Miranda Serra and Jory Raimo – Rotterdam
Lorena and Jory win free entry into the UK Championship next year.

02. Mirella Santos David and Joao Carlos Santos David – El Haya
Mirella and Joao fly to Buenos Aries to compete in the Mundial Finals in August and also receive a pair of Yuyo Brujo Tango Shoes. WATCH THE VIDEO!

A prize was also given to the highest scoring Pista couple from the United Kingdom. Congratulations to couple 08. Nozomi Akanuma and Mark Phoenix from London! Nozomi and Mark win free entry to the London Milongas for a year and dinner for two at the infamous London restaurant, Momos.

Congratulations to the deserved winners!
A word from the Championship Coaches:
Juan Martin Carrara and Stefania Colina
Backstage, the atmosphere was electric! I caught up with Juan Martin and Stefania, the official championship coaches who had spent many hours with each and every competing couple over the 3 days, helping them to prepare for the competition:

Rita: What do you look for in a potential tango champion?
Juan Martin: Pure enthusiasm. Winning a competition is not a coincidence. Tango technique is difficult. Becoming ‘good’ is a long road to travel. Yes, technique can be taught but there must be a real feeling for tango and a passion to master it. This cannot be learned. Actually, I see this when a couple lose rather than win. If they keep on dancing then this is when their passion for tango really shines through.

Amidst the buzz circulating the great hall, the milonga sprung into action, with DJ Andrea Dedo selecting the music for this last evening of festivities.

I begin to reminisce; A huge shout out to EVERYONE who has participated in this year’s festival. Yes, a cheer to all the festival team who have worked hard for months, voluntarily, to bring everything together in the spirit of community. Here’s to all the teachers who spent countless hours coaching and teaching, to every friend and family member who supported, to everyone who came along to the festival to watch, cheer and dance in the milongas and to everyone reading this from afar. There is no tango festival, like this tango festival, without those who love tango. ¡Vamos Londres!

At last, the crowd of social dancers, judges, volunteers and special guests gathered around the dancefloor to witness the final and truly inspiring performance by celebrated festival maestros and competition judges, Javier Rodriguez & Luna Palacios.

Again the milonga whirled into action. Now was the time for last dances with friends old and new. Indeed, the UK Tango Festival & Championship 2017 was playing out its last act in a drama that has kept us all thoroughly immersed in tango for 3 days and 3 nights. Soon the music will stop. The lights will go out in Edward Lumley Hall and the story of this festival will forever be accounted for in the history of Argentine Tango.

Sigh…. I write this here in a quiet corner of the building, listening to the music of the milonga in the background and the hub hub of people laughing and storytelling. My feet tap unconsciously as a tango I love comes on…

Right then. One last dance? Yes! There is ALWAYS time and energy for one last tango… 😉

Adios! Till next year.


Commentary: Rita Horne
Imagery: Magdalena Smolarska –
Filmography: Jonas Zadow –
More News from the Festival

Highlights from Day 1 – THE HEATS

Highlights from Day 2 – THE SEMI FINALS

PHOTOGRAPHY: Please respect the Photographer’s work by not removing the watermark from any images you share. We have a huge portfolio of really beautiful festival photos! If you would like a print quality version of any image, would like to enquire about images from our portfolio or would prefer we remove an image, please don’t hesitate to contact Rita –


posted by: Rita Maree Horne

About the author: Social Dancer, Writer from Edinburgh

Published: 3 Apr 2017 @ 00:45

Last modified: 24 Mar 2019 @ 10:35

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