Japanese Couple Wins World Tango Competition

A Japanese couple outdanced the Argentines and more to win the traditional salon category at the Tango Dance World Championship.

Hiroshi Yamao and Kyoko Yamao figured they would simply enjoy themselves, but the married couple swooped away with the trophy in the most traditional of Argentine tangos. The rules dictate, for example, that couple must not separate while the music plays, and must move constantly counterclockwise.

“We came here to dance and enjoy ourselves, without thinking we would win or achieve anything big,” said Hiroshi Yamao, 36, after Saturday night’s final, where they earned a $15,000 peso prize (about $3,800). “We would like to express our thanks for the huge support we’ve received from everyone here.”

World Tango Champs

Edwin Leon Medellin y Jennifer Arango Agudelo of Colombia finished in second place, and the Argentines Jorge Marino y Sara Parnigoni in third.

The competition wraps up Monday with the finals of “stage” tango, a less traditional form that combines classic tango moves with elements of ballet and even acrobatics.

Tango emerged as a dance style in the late 1800s in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay, and slowly became popular in Europe, the United States and Japan.