Our Event

Pioneer Encuentro is an Encuentro Milonguero—a private, invitation-only, dance-role balanced event for experienced dances of milonguero-style Argentine tango. Dancers agree to observe traditional customs at these events and attempt to recreate the social dance experience found in milongas frequented by the milongueros of Buenos Aires. These customs include separate seating for leaders and followers, use of the mirada and cabeceo, carefully observing navigational etiquette, and use of classic musical structure that involves cortinas (musical breaks between dance sets) and tandas typically of three or four similar songs from the orchestras of tango’s Golden Age.

Our Mission

To host an Encuentro Milonguero:  to bring like-minded dancers and superb DJs of milonguero-style Argentine tango together for a unique and memorable experience in a historical and intimate social setting where tango was danced more than 100 years ago.

Our Values

Friendliness, Respect, Tradition, Connection, Harmony


Pioneer Encuentro participants aim to be friendly, to greet as familiar persons they might know, to welcome again previous participants, and to extend a warm embrace to any dancers new to the event; essentially, to not overlook or take for granted anybody.  


Pioneer Encuentro participants are respectful of everyone, particularly of their partners and fellow dancers, but also of service personnel and others with whom their paths cross during the Encuentro. 


Pioneer Encuentro participants value the codigos and observe traditional practices and codes of behavior that make the Encuentro experience smooth, safe, and enjoyable for all participants.


Pioneer Encuentro participants value connection with their partners and fellow dancers both on and off the dancefloor. They are sensitive to nuance in connection and value the quality of partner connection above that of dance elements, figures, or choreography.


Pioneer Encuentro participants value harmony: musically, physically, and energetically. Though they individually improvise, they are aware of their surroundings and aim to dance in harmony with those around them so that the pace of movement and energy of the entire room is coordinated.

Our Team

Pioneer Encuentro Steering Committee

Mark Christensen, Founder

Lorriane Christensen, Founder

Sage Agbonkhese

Eileen Barber

Claudia Goulston

William Howell

Sherrita (Rita) Magalde

Dmitry Pruss

Irene Pruss


We acknowledge and thank Jonathan Yamauchi and Olivia Levitt for their example and for co-hosting the first Pioneer Encuentro Milonguero, August 10-12, 2018. We also are grateful for the amazing and energetic hosts, Meredith Peebles, Rita Magalde, and Don and Dena Rosenberg, who assisted with PE2019, March 29-31, 2019.

Our Images

Many of the photos displayed on our site were taken by photographers Adrienne Yvr, Andrey Yaroshchuk, or Matt Doval who are dancers themselves.  The fleeting moments they capture reflect their love for tango, respect for their subjects, and photographic skill.  They have generously shared the results of their work and this effectively has documented events and preserved memories for many.  We recognize and appreciate their contribution. (More of their Pioneer Encuentro images are found under Past Events).

 Adrienne Yvr

Adrienne Yvr2.jpg

Adrienne is a tango dancer and photographer from Vancouver, Canada. She enjoys travelling to expand her tango family.  With her camera she tries to capture the connection that happens at a milonga - the joy, intensity and communal spirit that makes dancers glow from within.

 Andrey Yaroshchuk


Andrey has been dancing in the lovely SLC tango community for year and now applies his love of tango to photography as well.

Matt Doval


Photography is a way to capture fleeting moments of beauty where often it goes without notice. Whether it is in my favorite form, portraits, or in one of my favorite environments, the milonga, I love catching authentic expression of presence.