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Dear Tango Community,

After coming out of a blissful delirium of joy and exhaustion, I feel like I am coming back to life. I am so overwhelmed by everything that happened this weekend that I dont know exactly where to start. First, I would like to extend my gratitude to the L.A. Tango Community for embracing the Southern California Competition/Festival, an event that I had envisioned several years ago. Thank you for all your support and making it such a magical event.

It was truly a dream come true to be able to bring such high level artists & musicians to LA for the first time and create such a magical event that had everyone bursting with fun and excitement. To watch my vision materialize before my very eyes filled me with so much gratitude and joy. I will never forget the way the energy in the room when Sexteto Milonguero started playing, it was pure tango bliss. What an incredible feeling to bring so many people together to share what we all love the most “TANGO”.

So many people stood behind this project, and with out all of their support and efforts, this event would not have been possible.

To my Sponsors

I would like to thank our sponsors who trusted in me and believed in this event:

Without your help, I simply could not have done this. I want to thank my family for always being there for me and giving me 100% of their support.

To the SCTC Team, Masters, Guest Performers, Hosts, MC, Coordinator, and Media (photo/video/sound/lighting)

Many thanks to Elaine Chiu who saw this vision from a year and a half ago and got on board. She has put her life into this event, spending countless hours, day and night, often without sleep, to make sure everything fell into place. Above all, she was a wonderful friend that believed in me giving me the confidence to keep going and encouragement to never give up. I would like to thank Danilo Maddalena, it was such a pleasure to have worked with him. He was gracious in sharing his vast experience in organizing events like SoCal.

He was a tremendous help both backstage and onstage, streamlined many details of the events to make sure there was no room for error. He was the export on board, sharing his many years of knowledge and expertise. In addition, it was a pleasure to share the stage with. Danilo, thank you for answering the millions of questions that I had, your patience is unparalleled. Many thanks to our maestros and judges who trusted in me and accepted my invitation to come to the United States and be apart of our event. Thank you Daniel Nacucchio & Cristina Valeria SosaSol Cerquides & Fernando Garcia. It was such an honor to share the stage with you. I am forever grateful to these incredible champions for making the event unforgettable.

Many thanks to our USA Salon & Stage Champions for gracing us with lovely performances: Tilia Kim & Adam Cornett, Amanda Ora Accica & Daniel Moreno. Thank you to our SoCal Champs: Derek Tang & Rachelle Lin.

Many thanks to Elsa SalgueroNargess PhillipsLynnochka L. Cascarrabia for hosting our guest performers & maestros. I cannot thank Javier Di Ciriaco for bringing such joy to us with your show in LA. What a historic and unforgettable moment celebrating the 10 year anniversary of SEXTETO MILONGUERO as they graced us with an unforgettable performance that kicked-off their United States tour. It made the arduous visa approval process well worth it in the end. Many thanks to Jay Esterer & Mahmoud Vahedian for taking care of them and hosting them in LA.

I would like to thank Julie Friedgen for taking on her shoulders one of the most demanding and critical roles, that of Master of Ceremonies at the SoCal event. Thank your for your professionalism and great talent.

I would like to give a special thanks to the man behind the scenes that was instrumental in making sure the competition ran smoothly. Thank you, Brian Nguyen. I was deeply touched by the thoughtful surprise that he arranged for me and Elaine with the maestros and competitors. It will be a moment that I will forever cherish.

Many thanks to the incredibly talented photographers that did an incredible job of capturing countless breathtaking moments on these lenses and videos. Thanks to Eric FinkeDon AnBassel Hamieh & Amanda DiGarli for taking videos and photos. Many thanks to Joyee and David who manned the front desk almost nonstop for 3 full days. Your dedication and devotion to this event is unmatchable. Thank you for being there for me. Many thanks to Ramada Salieri for assisting with lighting. Also more thanks to our 3 DJ’s, Yak BabaJonas Aquino, and Varo Boyajyan.

A big thanks to our vendors:

To Friends, Volunteers, Local Teachers & Organizers

To all my friends & volunteers that helped me so much with everything, a big thank you to you all: Vasco MartinsDavood YazdaniMarco BagnasaccoSusanna LilyVincent WongEric ChienRomina Daniela Rodriguez-CrostaJuan Gabriel MagniPaul DukeJeff WhiteFrancis SorianoBarbara TrellesAndreeaVioleta KenezOlivia Leona RobertsKarina Sigal, Meghan Breanna, and Ramona Gamache.

Thank you to all the organizers who were so gracious to close down their milongas for SoCal: Julie Friedgen & Angel EcheverriaTango Guillermo Macana & Giovanna DanIlona GlinarskyDa-WeiDavid LinAmerica MilongueroSilvia Askenazi & AnnMahmoud Vahedian, and Alex Vaschillo.

Many thanks to local teacher and organizers for helping me promote this event and encouraging their students to participate in the competition. Last but not least, I would like to thank Maria from Candela for allowing us to host our event in their beautiful venue. Once again thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making this dream come true. 

With love,
Yuliana Basmajyan