Tango World Championship Cliffhanger Goes to Colombians

It's official, these Colombians are the best tango-ers in the world.

A couple from Colombia edged out a Venezuelan pair following an unprecedented tie in the final round of the World Tango Championships on Monday night.

Diego Benavidez Hernández and Natasha Agudelo Arboleda were the first Colombians to win the category at the tango competition, which this year drew about 400 couples from around the globe.

A jury of seven experts picked them over John Erban and Clarissa Sanchez from Venezuela after a danceoff between the two pairs. The couple finished the final round tied for first among 40 couples.

"It's a dream. You think it is impossible to achieve, but this is proof that it can," Arboleda said after receiving the first prize of $7,500.

A U.S. couple, Brian Nguyen and Yuliana Basmajyan of San Francisco, finished third.

On Tuesday, the final round of the more creative "stage tango" competition, which combines classic tango with ballet. Twenty couples have advanced to that round.

Tango is the embodiment of the "criollo" culture of Europeans and natives who settled around the Rio de la Plata.

Born at the end of the 19th century, the music and dance reflect the passion, drama and melancholy of their experience. The dance is now celebrated worldwide, with many top dancers coming from Japan.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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