Encuentro Milonguero Berkeley 2017!

   Testimonials! Testimonials! Testimonials!


Dear Olivia and Jonathan and all of the Encuentro contributors:


What a weekend!  Of course, the dancing was delightful but what really set the tone for the whole Encuentro was the full embrace of your welcome when you greeted us as we came through the door and the continuing attention to every detail by your whole community throughout the weekend.


Special memories:  the buzz of conversation and laughter during the delicious meals; the wonderful retreat of that cozy ladies room, where we chatted and laughed and compared notes and tips for foot care; the topsy-turvy fun of sharing a table with someone with whom you had already shared an embrace; the expert DJs who kept us dancing by lifting our mood or playing something dreamy just when we needed it; the growing sense of community among a group of dancers who are now forming a core group of Encuentro devotees.    And none of it could have happened without your talents and devotion to the science of organizing and the art of hosting.  


Thank you, thank you, thank you and see you at Port Townsend.


Besitos y abrazos

Liz Hensley



Dearest Jonathan and Olivia


A heartfelt thank you for being incredibly generous, thoughtful, and tireless hosts!  What a perfect treat the Encuentro Milonguero Berkeley was. The venue was as charming as you, the DJs infused our spirits, and the warmth and quality of dancers on all sides of the room was a total delight to indulge in each day. 


I hope you find time for some seriously deserved rest and self-nurturing this week, you must be exhausted!


I can't tell you how much this weekend has charged my own spirit. I've returned with a glow of connection, new friends, and heightened excitement for Port Townsend in May. 


Thank you thank you


Janet Stephenson




Dear Jonathan and Olivia


Once again I find myself at a loss for words to tell you how much we appreciate all you do and the generosity and energy with which you do it.  We felt very honored to be invited to your Encuentro and had a wonderful time.  It is especially meaningful to us since we have limited opportunity to dance in our community.  


I thought the DJ's were particularly good for the weekend.  The music was inspirational and Emilio was unique.  The dancers and floor craft were very good.  The food and wine were outstanding.  Your hospitality is unparalleled. 


Thank you for everything and we look forward to hosting you here in Port Townsend.

Warm embraces,

Nat (Natali)




Hi Jonathan and Olivia,


I just wanted to add to Nat's note. We LOVED our weekend in Berkeley and truly had an outstanding tango experience. We so enjoy you both and your effort to make the gathering hospitable and warm goes without saying. We feel right at home and very welcomed by you and your tango community. Thanks so much for inviting us! We enjoy the Encuentros a lot, as they offer fabulous music, great line of dance and fun and skilled dancers. We always have a lot of fun!!! 

The food as always, was delicious and we appreciate the work of your community to make it perfect. Yum to it all!!!!!

Our Airbnb was an old, renovated Victorian and we felt very relaxed there. It was close to your hall, and Cafe Trieste....so it was ideally located. Everything was effortless.

Thanks, thanks, thanks and we really look forward to seeing you both up here in May. Can't wait!!


Much love, Ruthie (Phelan) oxoxxoxoxoxo




Dear Jonathan and Olivia,


Your encuentro has been over for three days now, and I still haven't come down. Without hyperbole, I can honestly say it's been the best tango experience of my life -- including numerous stints in BA. From dinner to the sound quality to the bottomless Pelegrino to the DJs (especially Emilio Flores, wow) -- it's clear you put an amazing level of consideration into every facet of the event.


But the thing that really made the event were the people. Without exception, I found everyone to be incredibly considerate on the floor, generous with introductions (especially to their wives), and more concerned with connection than show. I walked in knowing 3 people (including you two) and walked out with more invitations than I'll be able to follow up with before we do this again next year.



~Jeff Wallace




Dear Olivia and Jonathan,


Thank you so much for the Berkeley Encuentro. It was an extraordinary weekend. The DJs, the dancers, the food and the general ambience were all exceptional.

Yours with gratitude and admiration, Ernie

Thank you both for your graciousness, your openhearted spirit, your incredible attention to detail. Everything was top notch. From the music to the scrumptious, sumptuous meals and good wine that you provided. I made some new friends and look forward to dancing next year at the Berkeley Encuentro. 
Barbara Baumgarten


Jonathan and Olivia,

MARIO and I feel gratitude and happiness for being so privileged to enjoy the Berkeley encuentro milonguero. Thank you so much!

Sandra Copenhaugen




Hi Jonathan & Olivia,


The tango energy, enthusiasm and level of dance was exceptional!   Thank you Olivia and Jonathan for, once again, putting together such an outstanding, lovely and totally fun event!   And thanks to all your assistants who helped make it happen.  This just keeps getting better and better!

With Great Appreciation,

Linda Bronzan




Dear Jonathan, dear Olivia!


Thank you very much for the wonderful Encuentro! It was an amazing experience for me! Three joyful days with friends dancing tango! Delicious dinners, the best music, relaxing and friendly atmosphere! What can be better? 

I can't even imagine the amount of work you have done to make it such a success! 


Thank you again,

Karina Levin




Dear Jonathan and Olivia,

I can't find words to express my gratitude for all your great work! This wonderful venue will always put a BIG smile on my face. Cozy atmosphere, nice people, great dancers, fantastic food!!!


Best regards,

Lilia Gunn




Dear Jonathan and Olivia, 


Thank you for all the hard work, thoughtfulness, time, care, and dedication you put into organizing this incredible event I look forward to attending every year. 


I very much enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones this past weekend. I love the way dancers come together from all over the US and abroad to connect with each other in a milonguero embrace. It's a very uplifting feeling. 


Sharing meals and then dancing to the wonderfully DJed Golden Era music was just a perfect combination. I very much appreciate your keeping to traditional tango codes, including seating and the cabeceo.


Thank you too for making Jeff welcome to the community even when he's not a tanguero himself. It shows how open and warm hearted you are.


See you next time!

Brenda Barcelo




Dear Jonathan and Olivia,


Last year I went to my very first Encuentro ever. It the Berkeley one – since then I was hooked! I then went to two other Encuentros and now I returned for my second year at Berkeley. I don't how the two of you do it – but you outdid yourselves. You are masterful at putting together so many wonderful things to create a truly memorable event. The hall itself was fabulous, as were the music, food – and most especially the other dancers. Since music is the food of life, I want to dance on – and dance on at your Encuentro for next year. COUNT ME IN!!! With gratitude for the loving care you devoted to every detail.


 Sara E. Melzer




Dear Olivia and Jonathan,


I want to thank you and your helpers for all your hard work to make this so enjoyable for everyone. And I want to thank everyone who attended for creating something with such a high degree of civility. To have three days of this kind of bliss is a real joy.


Bob Lansburg




Thanks so much for the warm weekend.



Barry Gillaspie




Jonathan and Olivia,


Many thanks for your gracious hospitality and well-orchestrated encuentro. Everything was well done.  Till the next time....Norm Horii


Dear Jonathan and Olivia,

I want to thank you again for a wonderful Encuentro. You guys really do an amazing job!  The food was great, the dancing was great, and everyone was so into it!

Marjorie Shachnow




Jonathan and Olivia,


Thank you so much for the encuentro, the food, the dancing, the ambience, the friendly atmosphere…I could go on and on. You took care of everyone so well and the music was out of this world. What a great time with a great group of people. 

Thanks you for all you do! 


Best, Niki Glen and Jeremy Soule




Jonathan and Olivia,

Thank you so much for a lovely weekend.   Great music and beautiful event as always.  

Abrazos!  Tom (Clark) and Sarah (Bradley)




Jonathan and Olivia,


We wanted to thank you again for the fantastic Encuentro in Berkeley.  We had a fantastic time.

I am amazed at how well it was organized: the dancing, the food, the music, the communication, the logistics...!!!!  We made a lot of new friends who we look forward to seeing at future Encuentros, etc.


Penelope and I would like to attend the Albuquerque Encuentro so any introduction you could give us and/or contact information would be much appreciated.  I know we're a little ahead of time here but just don't want to miss out.


You two are the best.


Andy & Penelope Gottlieb




Jonathan and Olivia,

Congratulations on a fabulous event!!!

Everything was simply lovely last night; Emilio and I are so very excited for both of you.

So very well planned and executed.

I can only imagine how much it took to put this event on; but you came across as masters of design and beauty.

Thanks so much for including Emilio in your planning.

He is more than excited for Sunday....


Hugs and Loves,

Diana Jensen and Emilio Flores




Dear Jonathan & Olivia,


Thank you for a wonderful weekend of Tango - you are fabulous hosts - it was a very rewarding experience:-))

In Tango,

Patty Leverett




Jonathan and Olivia,

We had a blast this last weekend. Thanks to you and Olivia and all the volunteers for a great Encuentro!

Walt Stillman and Raquel Mashiach




Dear Jonathan and Olivia, 


Thank you so much.  We have fond memories of last weekend in Berkeley.  People were calm and connected...nothing was hurried or rushed; everything unfolded organically.  People helped.  They cared.  They acted thoughtfully and with intention to both preserve and experience a tradition.  


The pace was excellent; participants had time and took time to connect with each other over shared meals as well as on the dance floor.  The music was magnificent. The meals were creative, healthy, and delicious.  We enjoyed everything. 


We truly look forward to our next Encuentro with you.




Mark & Lorraine Christensen




Thanks Jonathan and Olivia!

Lots of wonderful dancers, good food and really exceptional music!

Ely Gilliam




Dear Olivia and Jonathan,


I'm sorry that an overwrought schedule this week delayed my deeply grateful, enthusiastic testimonial to last week-ends exceptional encuentro.  Ditto, ditto, and hear, hear to all of the lavish praise other attendees have already offered.  I too am in awe of the remarkable organizational skills, hospitality and fabulous ambiance the two of you bring to the Encuentros.  Even though I was still recuperating from foot surgery I couldn't keep myself away from a single one of the five fabulous milongas, nor the over-the-top scrumptious dinners.

This is the third of your Berkeley Encuentros I have attended, and each one outdoes the last.  Be careful!  You're setting too high a standard.  Very sincere appreciation for the joy you bring us.

Judith Stacey




Jonathan and Olivia,

Thanks for all of your hard work and attention to the important small details.  The music was delightful and I loved having a chance to reconnect with dancers from other areas. 

April Lax




Olivia and Jonathan,

Thank you for a wonderful event; the organization, down to the last detail made for a great experience. The music, the ambiance, friendliness, the food... everything was beyond expectation.

Thank you!

Patricia Varela




Thank you both very much for hosting such a wonderful event.  It was a fabulous weekend!  I had a wonderful time and enjoyed everything especially the "just right" number of participants and both of you are very classy hosts.

Neil Alkan




Dear Jonathan and Olivia,


Thank you so much for hosting such a beautiful event. very detail, from the venue, DJ, dancers, floor craft, and food to the hospitality, was truly exceptional. It provided not only wonderful memories for us to bring home, it also further grew our appreciation and love for tango.  We were very honored and grateful to be part of Berkeley Encuentro.  This was our first time attending but definitely will not be our last.  Looking forward to seeing you both in Port Townsend. Until then, thank you again!! 


Margaret Wu and Kevin Cathey