Testimonials Encuentro San Francisco 2019!!!

Thank you all for sharing your feelings and thoughtful words of appreciation for us, our volunteers, our DJs, and our fellow attendees who together, helped to make this past weekend a huge success at every level!

Encuentro San Francisco 2019!  was our sixth annual Encuentro and fourth in the San Francisco Bay Area. We look forward to seeing all of you again soon!

ps. Keep an eye out for your early invite to Encuentro New Orleans which we are in the midst of organizing and scheduling for the 1st weekend in November!

With Warmest Regards,
Jonathan and Olivia
We are extremely grateful to our Encuentro photographer, Dale Bennett for capturing wonderful memories of Encuentro San Francisco 2019! which took place January 25-27, 2019 at the Verdi Club in San Francisco, CA.

Tango events organized by Jonathan and Olivia have really stood out to me for their absolute commitment to providing a really first class experience, from the quality of the food and wine to the excellent DJs, and more. 

I'm especially grateful that Jonathan and Olivia have asked me to take photographs at all of the encuentros they have organized. As some people know, my health does not permit me to dance for a long time, and being the official photographer has given me a way to express my love of tango and my respect and affection for the tango community. I am very grateful.

Dale Bennett

Dear, dear Jonathan and Olivia,
You always pull out all the stops!!! You have organized each dance event as a total experience. While you rightly place dancing at the center, focusing on things such as floor quality and DJ’s, etc, you also take into account other important factors that contribute invaluably to the experience. Your choice of venues has always included a pleasant lounge for the women to hang out. This is an invaluable bonding experience amongst the women – and, for me, contributes to the general, positive vibe on the dance floor. In addition, your choice of volunteer staff has always been so wonderful and warm so that I feel at home the minute I step into the hall. This time, your inclusion of a foot massage was terrific. You meet so many different needs of the dancer, not only on the floor but off the floor as well. I loved the Verdi as a venue so much that it was worth reconfiguring the times of the milongas around it.
I feel so grateful to have thoughtful organizers such as yourselves to help promote and nurture the tango community. Thank you.

Dear Jonathan and Olivia,
Thank you for all the work that went in to this encuentro. I will remember this event for some of the best dances I ever have had.  I have spent every November in BA for the last 18 years. When I said I had the best dances at your Encuentro, I included all those milongas in Buenos Aires over all these years.
Claude Bigler

Having attended two encuentros hosted by Jonathan and Olivia (Salt Lake City and San Francisco), and others hosted by others, I can state without hesitation that Jonathan and Olivia put on a first-class encuentro. Everything runs smoothly- attendees receive a generous portion of information on lodging, eating, etc., prior to arriving at the encuentro, and then once in town, the wheels move so smoothly all I had to do was sit back and enjoy!
Their venues are top-notch; the dance floors are excellent;  the music is as good as it gets (particularly Jonathan’s skilled hand at DJ’ing); and food and libations are plentiful and delicious. I cannot think of anything that could be improved.
Jonathan and Olivia make everyone feel welcome and as far as I am concerned, they have set a high bar for other encuentro hosts.
Deborah Lacombe
Dear Jonathan y Olivia,
Best yet ever, what a great weekend.....I hope you feel joyous and proud for putting together such a stellar event.  I really have no idea what a huge undertaking this must be but can only imagine what a nightmare it must be.....
Everything from the Verdi Club, volunteers, tummy fuel, DJs, guests was sooo good

I just had the BEST time (including our yummy tanda Jonathan) and want you to know how much I/fellow dancers appreciate what goes into an event like this‼ ‼ ‼ ‼
It was truly heaven, thank you, thank you, thank you....so glad I was there to experience the fellowship.

Shirley Putnam
Thank you both for all your hard work putting on this fabulous event in the fabulous city with fabulous weather to boot.  I am still high from all the wonderful dancing and new friendships that were made.  I’m happy being part of this “family” and look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City again.  Beso y abrazos. 

Linda Reiss
Dear Jonathan and Olivia,

Thank you again for including us in this weekend. You and Olivia are fabulous hosts. A real class act, the venue, DJs, receptions, food, and ambiance. We had a lovely time. And thanks for arranging the great weather.

All my best,
Ann Dobyns

What impressed me from the moment I arrived for the meet n greet was the “It Takes a Village” feeling. Enthusiasm can wear down with repetition or habit; however, I felt like I was welcomed by your team as if I were the first person to show up, even though many had already shown up for the Friday afternoon milonga. All the volunteers guided us to the “what’s next” steps, even though Jonathan had already prepared the attendees so well via his emails.

I watched as the volunteers went around and served, and helped, and pitched in. Olivia and even Jonathan came around serving water (Shouldn’t there have been a “serviette” over his left arm??  Thank you… ;-)

The DJ’s were wonderful!!!. It’s a special treat to watch the face of a DJ as he/she surveys the movement of the dancers on the floor, and smile as if to say “I actually made this magic happen with the music”....So many couples flowing and “breathing” as one organism. 

I’m still basking... “while the tango flavor lasts” from some wonderful tandas and close embraces !!

The dosas were delicious. I arrived too late to experience the sushi. Appreciated the tea and coffee and CHOCOLATES! (Not a wine drinker, ( can’t drink-n-dance!) but I’m sure they were excellent as well

A big thank you for bringing together all these people who speak the same wordless language of tango... and for all the months of preparation and dreaming about a successful event. 

With gratitude,
Vera Berv ;-))
My feet are still throbbing, but my spirit is still soaring two days after one of the most satisfying encuentros ever.  Heartfelt thanks to Jonathan and Olivia and their crew for treating us to yet another blissful week-end of wall-to-wall tango and superb hospitality.  Great music and pista, yummy empanadas, dosas, vino, and dancers. An all around great time with tango friends "old" and new.  
Judity Stacey

Hi Jonathan, 
Thank you and Olivia for organizing such a lovely encuentro. It was one of the most enjoyable that I have attended. 
I wanted to take a moment and particularly thank you for executing what is, no doubt, the least enjoyable part of your job...being the occasional traffic cop. I have seen more than one encuentro disintegrate into near free-for-all as first one leader decides that the cabaceo is not working for them, walks over to the follower's section, and begins asking for dances face-to-face, and then other leaders decide that conduct is acceptable, until soon half the leaders are no longer using the cabaceo. This did not happen, or come close to happening, at your and Olivia's encuentro, as you police the event and politely let people know what conduct is not acceptable. For that I am very appreciative! 
Great job! 

Daniel Boardman

Dear Jonathan & Olivia,
Wonderful encuentro weekend! Kudos to the both of you & all your volunteers. Such a spectacular, organized, friendly event. Love reconnecting with familiar tangeroes & meeting new ones. I thought the milongas & social hours were spaced out perfectly. Think this is my 10th encuentro & feel you have the best foodie options! Nice wines is always a plus too!
I stayed at The Phoenix Hotel in the Tenderloin & loved it also. Very funky place, quite different from anywhere else I have stayed for festivals/encuentros for sure.
I look forward to information & dates for next years encuentro.
Thank you again for all your efforts in making this past weekend so memorable for all of us tango addicts!
Sandra Hoffman

Dear, Jonathan and Olivia 
Thank you so much for having me DJ at your lovely Encuentro! I had such a great time Djing, dancing, and socializing! What a wonderful event that you guys worked really hard for... 
Hope you are getting some good rest, we all know how much work it goes to making event like this! Congratulations, it was awesome!!!  Can’t wait to see you guys until next time! Thank you again and take care! 

Jonath and Olivia,
I really enjoyed the Encuentro last weekend.  I had wonderful dances with many different interesting women; it felt and was wonderful.
This would not have been possible without all that I have learned from your lessons over the years.  It has made a tremendous difference in my dancing and, frankly, in my life!
Thanks again and see you Sunday at the new venue for the Practica Milonguero!

Hi, Jonathan and Olivia.
Thank you for the great encuentro last weekend! I really enjoyed it. The skill level was high, and the event was engineered very well. I hope you both get some rest and recover quickly!
Michelle McRuiz
Olivia and Jonathan: I would like to express my appreciation for the wonderful Encuentro last weekend. You guys did a marvelous job of organization, with excellent DJs, also the venue, ambiance, food and drink were wonderful. Thank you so much for all the work you put into it. Hope to see you guys again soon.
Patricia Varella
Jonathan y Olivia,
Thank you again for such a lovely Encuentro....This was a first for my husband, Christian and me.
The people were charming and the venue was super. Maybe we all need to work on our  “cabeceo"....
To me, I love the cabeceo because it is some of the mystery of tango.
Hope to see you again soon....
Carole & Christian
Jonathan and Olivia, we were very happy to be there, thank you very much for having us and creating such beautiful event, thought thru to the littlest detail!!
Thank you!
Alla and Mike Grinshteyn
Dear Olivia and Jonathan,

Thank you for another great Enquentro with excellent milonguero style dancers. So nice to meet and dance with old friends and new attendees. Thanks to the DJs for providing traditional tunes that kept us delightfully engaged at every milonga. You guys are truly wonderful hosts, always taking care of your guests at every turn. I look forward to your next event!

Margaret Sacks

Olivia and Jonathan, THANK YOU so much for your hard work in putting together such a great weekend. Had a lot of fun dancing with great milongueros / milongueras. Even when I sat out a tanda I was stunned by the beauty of the dancers, and the gorgeous flow of the couples on the dance floor swirling about, feeling the energy and enjoying the happy faces. The venue was a nice surprise, with the bar area refreshments, and the little retreat of the lounge. The food was delicious, empanadas arrived at the right time to re-invigorate. Very happy to have attended and hope you both and your wonderful helpers are all feeling the love and gratitude for making this so very nice. 
Mary Ruskusky, Portland OR

Dear Jonathan and Olivia,
I'm still smiling over what a great experience the Encuentro was! Merci, miles fois, pour toutes!! 
Robin Mills
Hi Jonathan & Olivia,
Just want to send a big thanks for all your efforts in producing such a nice encuentro. I can’t even count the number of great tandas I had, and it was a pleasure to DJ the closing milonga. It was nice to see some new/different faces, too. I found some really nice new dance partners. The Verdi Club was a lovely venue for it as well (even if it was a bit challenging for cabeceo at times). If you do it there again, I might suggest alternating sections of men and women to allow for some closer diagonal sight lines as opposed to across the whole room.
The wine, the food, the snacks were all great, not to mention the solid music and high level of dance!
All the best, Paul Akmajian

Jonathan and Olivia,

It really was the best of the four Encuentros I have attended. The Verdi Club is a traditional Tango venue and has a great dance floor, bar and food facilities and plenty of parking. It is an ideal location.
Thanks for doing such a great job.
Larry Paulger
Jonathan and Olivia,
Thank-you for wonderful and gracious weekend!  Your organization and hospitality was once, again very defining in assuring that all those attending had a splendid time.  The venue was fabulous and your willingness to attend to the needs of the dancers; assuring that all the dancers felt welcome and comfortable was greatly appreciated.   Looking forward to next year!
Barry Gillispie
Dear Jonathan and Olivia,
This was our third year in a row that we attended the SF Encuentro Milonguero.  That is probably testimony enough about our feelings for this event.  Every year we think, this is the best, and then the following year you outdo yourselves again.
We floated home in a "tango bliss" on Monday and are already talking about next year.  Thanks again for all the hard work you two do to make this event the success that it is.
Andy & Penelope Gottlieb

Hi Jonathan and Olivia,
I feel so honored to be a part of your encuentro.
Thanks a lot for letting me participate the event.
I'm looking forward to the next year already.
Thank you so much,
Miki Kamiya
Hello Jonathan & Olivia,
Thank you so much again for having me on your guest list last night!
The Sunday Supper was great. I love the food from Udupi Palace (I've been a vegetarian for 30 years) and was thrilled at the healthful dosas with the delicious sauces... and the excellent rose wine! (Rose wine is my favorite!) Wow! What a treat! 
I happily got to visit with my longtime Seattle tango friend and a tango friend from Atlanta I had not seen in 10 years. I really appreciate your kind invitation, generosity and hospitality! 
I know the work that goes into hosting a big tango event. Bravo! It was a lovely Encuentro!
Chelsea Eng

Thank you Jonathan and Olivia for providing a memorable encuentro experience.
The weekend felt friendly, lively, and nourishing on many levels.
Dyana Foldvary
Dear Jonathan and Olivia,
I'm so full of happiness that I'm still walking on air.  This was such a lovely experience for me, and I thank you both from the bottom of my heart for all the work and planning and love you put into your Encuentro.

Debra Burnham
Santa Cruz
Dear Jonathan and Olivia,
I'm still very much floating about my regular daily routine after a most wonderful weekend.  Thank you both again for a class ‘A’ event.  You made a lot of people extraordinarily happy!
Marcos Christodoulou 
Dear Jonathan and Olivia

Thanks again for another wonderful Encuentro! Everything worked very well and we both enjoyed some extraordinary tandas with old and new friends. 

Best to you both and hope to see you soon 

Ely and Karina 

Dear Jonathan and Olivia,
My thanks to you both and to all of your helpers for a lovely weekend of dancing. Well done and great DJs. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Jonathan and Olivia,

Thank you very much for organizing and hosting such a wonderful event.  Jadwiga and I had a very enjoyable weekend.  The Verdi Club was an excellent venue,  and it exceeded my expectations.  The dance floor, decor and overall feeling of cleanliness was excellent!  I wish we had more venues like it available.  The wines, DJ’s, snacks, food and especially the warm and friendly embraces were especially delightful.  

Looking forward to seeing you both again soon,

Neil Alkan and Jadwiga Galka
Jonathan and Olivia,
Thank-you for wonderful and gracious weekend!  Your organization and hospitality was once, again very defining in assuring that all those attending had a splendid time.  The venue was fabulous and your willingness to attend to the needs of the dancers; assuring that all the dancers felt welcome and comfortable was greatly appreciated.   Looking forward to next year!
Barry Gillaspie


Hi Jonathan and Olivia,

Life has been fast and furious since returning from your lovely
Encuentro weekend.
I had meant to write sooner to let you know what a lovely time I had.

I enjoyed myself thoroughly the entire weekend with a fabulous balance
of lovely dances and time to recuperate, refresh and be a tourist in
your lovely city.
The venue, music and atmosphere was superb.  I very much appreciated
the special touches that you provided, and solidly felt the welcoming
that you both obviously worked very hard to create.
It was lovely to see familiar faces and to have the opportunity to
meet some new dancers.

All in all, so glad I came.  Thank you!


Dear Jonathan and Olivia,
Thank you so much for everything you did to provide for us a wonderful weekend of abrazos. I want to extend my gratitude to Dale for the beautiful pictures, and all the volunteers who work so hard as well to make this event happen.!!!
Un fuerte abrazo to both. Until next time!
Liliana Kruszel

Hi Jonathan and Olivia,

I'm delinquent in thanking you for another great Encuentro. I appreciate the two of you for adding such lovely events to our calendars. They are inviting, community gatherings which have nurtured my dancing soul saving me from hanging up my tango shoes. I look forward to seeing you again soon.


Hello Jonathan and Olivia,

Many, many thanks for the fabulous weekend event that you hosted in SF. Nat and I enjoyed it immensely. You guys have perfected these Encuentros to a tee! Superb dancing, food, music and friends...what more could one ask for?

You two sure know how to do it right! Many thanks for the effort you make to ensure the event runs well and is fun for everyone. 

Much love to you both,
Ruthie and Nat xoxooxox

Hello Olivia and Jonathan —

I just wanted to thank you for inviting Jessica and me to your encuentro last month. As you’ve heard from others, the event was superbly organized from start to finish — and Club Verdi was not only an excellent location, but also the staff were gracious and helpful.

Each evening I returned home happily footsore from so many excellent tandas. It was a special pleasure to make new friends in the community.

Congratulations on a wonderful event. I look forward to seeing you both again soon.

— Eric Scace