These are our 2019 instructors, Yuli and Octavio. See below to read about them!

Meet Yuliana Basmajyan

Warm and engaging, Yuliana prides herself on touching multiple facets of this unique and beautiful dance by passionately committing herself to excel as a tango dancer, teacher, performer, organizer, and ambassador that spreads the love of tango.

Yuliana and her former partner are the only couple to win two Tango Salon US Championships in 2010 & 2011, and to make the finals at the Mundial World Championship in Buenos Aires 4 years in a row! They are also the only US couple to ever place at the Salon World Championship by taking home the bronze medal in 2011.


She has taught and performed in several festivals and milongas in the US and around the world, including NYC’s La Nacional, Ukraine and Nocturne, Toronto’s El Congreso, Tijuana Tango Festival, San Diego Tango Festival, Ann Arbor’s Fire & Ice Festival, Tucson Tango Festival, Portland’s Valentango, Palm Spring’s Tango Mundo Festival, and Denver’s Mercury Café, only to name a few; and, has partnered with world-renowned dancers such as Carlos Copello, World Tango Salon Champion Maximiliano Cristiani, Oliver Kolker, James Friedgen, Mauro Peralta, Danilo Maddalena, Dominic Bridge, Sergio Almiron, Gabriel El Huracan, Ricardo Biggeri, Varo Boyajyan, and Meng Wang. 

In fulfillment of one of Yuliana’s dreams, she launched the Southern California Tango Championship and Festival. To date, it has successfully brought competitors and social dancers together for a grand event that features world-renowned instructors and orchestras.

Through years of experience, study and research, Yuliana has developed an invaluable knowledge of what tango dancers require to grow in their personal dance journey.

Check out Yuli's website!

Meet Octavio Fernandez

International tango sensation Octavio Fernandez was born into an atmosphere where Tango, Folklore and Rock 'n Roll were an everyday occurrence.  Smitten by Tango, Rodolfo Dinzel and Mauricio Seifert guided his first years of Tango.  

In 2007, with his partner Carla Espinoza, Octavio placed 3rd at the World Tango Salon Championship.  That same year, he started working as a professional dancer appearing in "Sensaciones de Tango", the Tango Show of the famous Cafe Tortoni of Buenos Aires where he is still an active staff member.  In 2009 he joined with his partner Corina Herrera "Tango X2”, the renowned company of Miguel Angel Zotto. 

Known for his precise teaching, sense of humor and dynamic style, Octavio is much loved as a maestro and performer, contributing to various festivals around the world including:  Uruguay’s Tango en Punta, Chile’s Santiago Maraton, Columbia’s Campeonato Mundial de Tango, Scotland’s Edinburgh Tango Festival, Turkey’s Ankara Tango Carnival, Denmark’s Tango Malevaje, Korea’s Soul Tango Festival, and Italy’s Roma Tango, Zucca Tango, Rosso Tango, and Apulia Tango Festivals, among others. 

He participated in the shooting of the Argentinian film, "Fermin, Glorias de Tango" and a musical video clip of the Italian rock band Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti for his song "La faccia della Luna.”  For the last 6 years he has co-organized El Yeite Tango Club, the popular and thriving milonga in Buenos Aires, which is also responsible, together with Lucas Molina Gazcon, Andres Molina and Martin Bel, for the "Yeite Tango Festival.”  

Elegant, but full of freshness, Octavio’s dance and teaching reflect the influence of great contemporary tango masters and dancers, as well as pay homage to the old "Milongueros."

Check out Octavio's Facebook page!


Meet Grisha Nisnevich

Greek Island Island Tango is pleased to announce that musician extraordinaire Grisha Nisnevich will be joining us for this coming year’s 2019 retreat as our DJ! Considered romantic in style, Grisha’s DJing focuses on the "Golden Age" with some delicious flavors added from the 1930’s. Grisha combines well-established, traditional tandas with an occasional “surprise” one. He enjoys educating dancers with his playlists and frequently adds at least one live guitar tanda for dancers to enjoy while he DJs!!! Additionally, given the depth and breadth of Grisha’s knowledge of tango music, he will also be teaching a comprehensive class on tango musicality specifically designed for dancers!

Check out Grisha's website!

Greek Island Tango 2021

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