Derek first started Tango at Oxygen back in 2012 where he was part of the Lucky 7 Challenge group. From the beginning, he was asked to perform at local milongas to showcase the newer generation of up and coming tango dancers.
His main teachers Brian Nguyen and Yuliana Basmajyan encouraged the challenge of competing. He began competing in only his second year of dancing where he made the Finals in the category of salon tango. In 2016, Derek won the Southern California Tango Championship and became the first to win in all three categories of Tango, Vals, and Milonga. He would also become the 2016 Milonga Champion at the Argentine Tango USA Championship.
Derek prides himself as a social dancer. He frequently travels to various festivals and marathons locally and internationally. He has also been invited to DJ in various festivals and marathons throughout the country. Well traveled, Derek has taken instructions from dozens and dozens of well known Tango instructors and performers and continues to learn. His teaching is strongly supported from his experiences as a public speaking and writing instructor at the college level.