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Ballroom champion who is an instructor at the Chinese New Year mass murder dance studio pays tribute

‘A prayer for all my dear friends’: US ballroom champion who is an instructor at Chinese New Year mass murder dance studio pays tribute to the ten victims and ten hospitalized

  • American ballroom champion Liana Bakhtiarova was an instructor at Star Dance Studio
  • Bakhtiarova teaches in the 10,000-square-foot studio intended for Saturday nights
  • Another incident occurred at a ballroom dance studio three miles north of Star

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An instructor at a ballroom dance studio where a gunman opened fire last night during a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration has paid tribute to the ten killed and ten wounded.

Liana Bakhtiarova, who was not present at the time of the shooting, is an American ballroom champion and one of the top 22 ballroom dancers in the world.

“A prayer to all dear friends and colleagues involved in the mass shooting at the Star Dance studio in Monterey Park,” she wrote on Instagram the morning after the deadly attack. “What a sad day for our industry.”

Bakhtiarova teaches classes at the Chinese Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park in the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue, about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Twenty minutes later, another ballroom about three miles north was also targeted, but it’s not yet clear if the incidents are related.

Liana Bakhtiarova (right), an instructor at the ballroom dance studio where a gunman opened fire last night during a Lunar New Year celebration, has paid tribute to the 10 dead and 10 wounded. She is pictured here with dance partner Valeriu Ursache (left)

Bakhtiarova teaches classes at Chinese-owned Star Ballroom Dance in Monterey Park at the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue

Bakhtiarova teaches classes at Chinese-owned Star Ballroom Dance in Monterey Park at the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue

Bakhtiarova teaches classes at Chinese-owned Star Ballroom Dance in Monterey Park at the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue

On Saturday night, Star Dance Studio was hosting a Chinese New Year party when a male gunman came in at around 10:15 p.m. and began firing indiscriminately.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said the suspect is Asian, between 30 and 50 years old, and did not have an assault rifle.

About 20 minutes after that Star Studio shooting, a male Asian suspect walked into another dance studio in the neighboring suburb of Alhambra with a firearm. No one in the second studio was killed due to it being closed indefinitely.

“Some individuals wrestled the firearm away from him and that person took off,” Luna said. Police have not yet confirmed whether the two incidents are related.

The suspect remains free.

In September 2022, Bakhtiarova was a winner of the US Dance Championships

In September 2022, Bakhtiarova was a winner of the US Dance Championships

In September 2022, Bakhtiarova was a winner of the US Dance Championships

The Star Ballroom website (pictured) describes the venue as one of the largest studios in LA

The Star Ballroom website (pictured) describes the venue as one of the largest studios in LA

The Star Ballroom website (pictured) describes the venue as one of the largest studios in LA

“A prayer to all dear friends and colleagues involved in the mass shooting at the Star Dance studio in Monterey Park,” she wrote on Instagram the morning after the attack.

The Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio at Alhambra, the second proposed location, is located in the 100 block of South Garfield Avenue and about three miles north of Star and a ten minute drive.

The Star Ballroom website describes the venue as one of the largest studios in LA.

Star Ballroom Dance Studio was founded 30 years ago in Los Angeles. With 10,000 square meters of floor space, it is one of the largest dance studios in the city, with dozens of teachers and artists from Europe, America and China.

In September 2022, Bakhtiarova, with dance partner Valeriu Ursache, was the winner of the US Dance Championships.

Los Angeles China Chamber of Commerce head Chester Chong told a local ABC7 exhaust pipe that he believes the massacre was not a hate crime, but rather an example of domestic unrest taken to the extreme.

He said he believed the shooting was caused by hatred between a “wife and husband” and that it was a “personal matter” brought to gruesome ends.

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