Hometown couple Facundo de la Cruz Gomez Palavecino, 26, and Paola Sanz, 29, triumphed Monday in Argentina's annual tango competition, with a score of 8.81.
A couple in real life and on the dance floor, the pair out-danced teams from around the world as they were judged by a seven-member jury made up of dancers and choreographers, and as a crowd of 6,000 watched them twirl to the top in Buenos Aires's Luna Park stadium, reported the Associated Press. The Salon Tango finals are followed by Tuesday's Stage Tango competition, and are the highlights of the two-week festival, now in its tenth year.
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"This is the dream of every dancer, to win the global competition and have more job offers. We achieved it in the face of very good dancers from all over the world," a very emotional Gomez Palavecino said after their victory was announced, according to the AP.
"This is a magical moment," said Sanz, according to Agence France-Presse. "My grandfather listened to a lot of tango, and I started to dance at free classes in my province" of Chubut, in Argentina's south.
Gomez Palavecino and Sanz beat 41 other couples, including Belgians, Canadians, Russians, Americans, Japanese and contestants from across Latin America to take the tango title, reported AFP. Buenos Aires culture minister Hernan Lombardi said the winning couple will travel to Paris at the end of the year before heading to Japan, another world tango capital, for 40 days.