Ballroom champion who’s an instructor at Chinese Lunar New Year massacre dance studio pays tribute

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

  • US ballroom champion Liana Bakhtiarova was an instructor at Star Dance Studio
  • Bakhtiarova teaches at the 10,000 square foot studio targeted on Saturday night
  • Another incident occurred at a ballroom dance studio three miles north of Star

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

Liana Bakhtiarova, who was not present at the time of the shooting, is a US ballroom champion and has ranked among the top 22 ballroom dancers in the world.

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

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

Twenty minutes later another ballroom venue around three miles north was also targeted, but it is not yet clear if the incidents are connected.

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

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

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

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

On Saturday night Star Dance Studio was hosting a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration when at around 10.15pm a male gunman entered and started firing indiscriminately.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said the suspect is Asian, between the age of 30 and 50 and that he did not have an assault rifle.

About 20 minutes after that shooting at Star Studio a male Asian suspect with a firearm walked into another dance studio in the neighboring suburb of Alhambra.

‘Some individuals wrestled the firearm from him, and that individual took off,’ said Luna. Police are yet to confirm whether the two incidents are linked.

That suspect remains on the loose. 

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

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

'A prayer for all the dear friends and colleagues involved in the mass shooting in Star Dance studio in Monterey Park,' she wrote on Instagram the morning after the attack

‘A prayer for all the dear friends and colleagues involved in the mass shooting in Star Dance studio in Monterey Park,’ she wrote on Instagram the morning after the attack

The Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in Alhambra, the second venue targeted, is in the 100 block of South Garfield Avenue and around three miles north of Star and a ten minute drive away.

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

‘Star Ballroom Dance Studio was founded in Los Angeles 30 years ago. With 10,000 square feet of floor space, it is one of the largest dance studios in town, featuring dozens of teachers and performers from Europe, the Americas, and China,’ it read.

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

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