Home Arts and Culture 3 things you need to know about doing the tango in Buenos Aires

3 things you need to know about doing the tango in Buenos Aires

written by Webjet Australia June 28, 2015

An alluring mix of European architecture and feisty Latin American attitude makes Buenos Aires the destination of choice for hopeless romantics around the world. 

From the cultural wonders of Plaza de Mayo and the Metropolitan Cathedral through to the thumping bass of the city's night clubs, the Argentinean capital radiates a sense of passion and confidence unlike anywhere else on the planet. 

Plaza de Mayo is steeped in history.Plaza de Mayo is steeped in history.

Buenos Aires' beloved dance, the tango, is the physical embodiment of these fiery traits. Emerging out of the city slums in the early 1900s, the tango has steadily evolved over the years to become the elegant, sensual set of movements we know today. No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without getting a closer look at this mesmerising dance.

1. Where can I see a tango show in Buenos Aires?

In the many tango theatres around the city, you'll find women in dazzling evening gowns stepping and twirling in steamy harmony with their tuxedoed partners. There are countless places where you can catch a show, but our pick of the bunch has to be Piazzolla Tango. Set in a gorgeously preserved historical theatre, you'll enjoy a classy meal and a selection of fine wine as some of the best performers in the city strut their stuff on stage. Admission starts at around $174 and includes a three-course meal.

Don't forget to pack your dancing shoes.Don't forget to pack your dancing shoes.

2. How can I learn the tango?

While you may never achieve quite the same level of coordination as the extraordinary performers at Piazzolla Tango, the tango is actually a fairly accessible dance to pick up, and a quick lesson is usually enough to learn the basics – even for those of us with two left feet. 

In the cool, sophisticated neighbourhood of Palermo you'll find La Viruta, a hub of music and dancing that seeks to promote the culture of the tango. Despite the hip surroundings, La Viruta is anything but pretentious and caters to a range of different experience levels, from total beginners to bona fide 'bailarines'. Under the expert eye of the seasoned instructors, you'll be sweeping across the dance floor in no time.

When the sun goes down, Buenos Aires comes to life.When the sun goes down, Buenos Aires comes to life.

3. Once you've mastered the basics, it's time to hit the streets

All over the city you'll discover a thriving world of milongas – essentially, underground dance clubs where people go to tango. Remember, the people of Buenos Aires are a nocturnal bunch, and things don't really get moving until long after the sun goes down. Don't even think about heading out to a milonga before midnight.

Congratulations, you're ready to go! Let your hair down, feel the rhythm and dance until the sun comes up.

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