Mundial 2015 (World Tango Championships)

Yesterday the Mundial de Tango 2015 finished. The results are:

  1. Jonathan Saaveedra y Clarissa Aragon (Argentina)
  2. Cristian Poloma y Melisa Sacchi (Argentina)
  3. Germán Ballejo y Magdalena (Magu) Gutiérrez (Argentina)

2015 Mundial de Tango Pista (Salon) Rankings

Tango Salon Preliminaries
Tango Salon SemiFinals
Tango Salon Finals

Unfortunately none of the American competitors made it into the finals for salon. The U.S. Salon Champion is fortunate to be placed (along with any competitor who wins a B.A. sanctioned regional competition) in the semifinals automatically. It is interesting to note that only two couples in the finals were from one such regional competition and of the 108 couples in the semifinals 22 of them were winners of a regional competition. Of the 22 regional winners, 6 of them made it to the finals which is just 22%. Of the none regional champions the conversion ratio into the finals is 38%. If you can make it to the semi-finals from the qualifier round your odds of getting into the finals are significantly greater. It makes sense considering that the qualifier rounds in the mundial are probably significantly harder to get through then winning a regional competition.

Here are the placements of the US competitors:

Tango de Pista (Salon) Semifinals (108 Couples):

Ivan Troshchiy y Yamilla Viana – 99th

Tango de Pista (Salon) Pre-lim to qualify for semi’s (402 Couples):

Daniel Moreno y Amanda Accica – 152nd
Roberto Peña y Jacklyn Shapiro – 159th
Nicholas Tapia y Stephanie Berg – 178th
Varouj Neresien y Rosario Ortega – 180th
Artem Maloratsky y Gayle Maderia – 204th
José Ricardo y Correa Campbell Miller – 365th

2015 Mundial de Tango Stage Rankings

Stage Preliminaries
Stage Semifinals
Stage Finals

Stage Semifinals (50 Couples)

Ivan Troshchiy y Yamilla Viana – 45th

Stage (128 couples):

Daniel Moreno y Amanda Accica – 109th
Roberto Peña y Jacklyn Shapiro – 110th
Esteban Moss y María José Garcés – 122nd

Looking at the results of how the US did compared to countries here is the count of couples that made it to the finals: Russia – 11 (with one couple getting 4th place) , Italy – 2, Greece – 1, Japan – 1, Singapour 1, Indonesia – 1 (getting 5th place), South Korea – 1, United States – 0. I feel that the U.S. was underrepresented in the competition. We have many great dancers in the U.S. but I feel that there are two reasons why they do not compete. The first reason why many American’s do not compete is because they feel that it is “just not tango”. The second reason is that we do not dance Salon tango in the U.S., what we really dance is an amalgamation of Nuevo and Milonguero. We keep a close milonguero embrace but then at the same time we pivot the hips. Hip rotation is a salon standard and with our chests in a “V” type embrace it makes rotation easier.

If competing is not Tango then why does the world championship exist? Why is someone like Magdalena (Magu) Gutierrez (Horacio Godoy’s previous partner) competing? Why is Corina Herrera competing? Magdalena has traveled the world and taught with Horacio for about 3 years. She is highly respected and known on the world stage. Corina has a similar past with thousands of fans and thousands of views to her videos on youtube. Both of these women have taught and performed at the U.S.’s most prestigious tango festival (tango element). These two are forces to be reckoned with in the world and here they are competing. Magu got 3rd place btw 🙂 Congratulations Magu! Not to mention that Horacio Godoy has been the M.C. for this event many times in the past, putting his stamp of approval on it. Here is a shortened version of what I posted after Tilly and I competed at the U.S. Championships, which I feel is still very relevant. If you are interested in reading the whole thing you can see it on my FB page on April 10th.

"Overall we gained a lot of friends from the competition. It was a fun experience. I have never been one to support the idea of competing but after meeting Maximiliano Cristiani and Jesica Arfenoni (two of the best dancers in the world and the 2013 Mundial winners) and going to Buenos Aires in 2013 and learning that the entire country watches the Mundial de Tango, it made me reconsider.Tilly and I have been encouraged to compete again next year. Many people in the crowd felt that we should have won. Many competitors told us the same. One competitor actually came up to us and said "I would be proud if you two were the ones representing the United States in the World Championships." At this point I am not sure what we will do.The last thing I will say is that in the competition there were many good dancers. Honestly, I never felt like I was competing with them (threatened...yes,, I only felt that I was competing against myself to impress the judges and hope that they liked my dancing. This made the experience quite fun as the goal was to improve and impress. The same as what all the other competitors were doing. I applaud all the people that have tried doing this competing thing. It is very hard. It makes you take a long look at your own dancing, your technique, your moves, your spacial awareness, and your musicality. Competing is definitely harder than performing. We are judged when we perform but not to a standard of excellence, simply to a standard of entertainment. If you want to see 35 couples on a 10 x 20 floor all working on their walk, go to a tango competition warm up room, it was pretty awesome."

We are still not sure if we are going to compete in the US championships again. The idea of winning a free trip to BA sounds great but more importantly the idea of supporting the idea of competition is also a consideration. Many people feel that competition is not for tango, but then again, the country of Argentina does.