Start planning now for your trip to Buenos Aires to escape from winter in the northern hemisphere. The city has a very European vibe, and is considered to be on of the most exciting cities in Latin America. Known for its sophistication and elegance, visitors to BA are reminded of Paris, with cafes spilling out onto the streets. Every kind of world cuisine is available, and you can dance all night at nightclubs.
Dance Immersion in Buenos Aires
Where better to learn the sultry art of the tango than in Buenos Aires, Argentina? In a city where you will see and hear tango everywhere, you can also study it for yourself. Strap on a pair of dancing shoes and have private and group lessons to learn the basics or more advanced steps. Schools are happy to customize your lesson schedule to allow plenty of time for sightseeing. Make sure you take in a Tango Show at the local theatre.
You don’t need to book group classes in advance as most schools have ongoing schedules, but if you want private I recommend getting in touch in advance. Check out DNI Tango, La Viruta Tango Club or La Catedral Club.
Once you’re more confident with the steps, you will have the opportunity to dance at a Milonga, an open tango dance party where dancers of all levels get together. It is designed to let you switch dance partner each time the music changes so you can get a feel with how different people lead. It’s a true test of your skills to be able to dance with people you’ve never practiced with.
In case you need any further incentive to work on your dance skills, check out this clip of Antonio Banderas and Canadian Latin Dance Champion Katya Virshilas from the movie Take The Lead.
There is something about learning to dance with a great partner. A great dance instructor can spin you around the floor effortlessly, making you feel graceful and talented. I took ballroom lessons for several months while I was living in West Palm Beach, Florida. I enjoyed every minute of it, and at nearly $2 a minute, it’s a good thing I did.
The only thing I complained about was that, during every class, we danced salsa, foxtrot, tango, two step, jive, hustle, waltz, samba, cha-cha-cha, rumba, east coast swing, and merengue. The way the school was set up, there was no way we could spend an hour focused on just one type of dance and really get comfortable with the steps. The dance schools are set up to be social and fun, but I think the best way to learn a dance is to spend time getting a feel for the music and working on it every day.
The 2004 movie Shall We Dance with Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, and Susan Sarandon, is streaming on Netflix and gives you a realistic glimpse of what I experienced in ballroom dance class.
Brush Up On Your Spanish Language Skills
Of course, spending time in a dance school in Argentina also affords plenty of opportunity to practice your Spanish. When I lived in Cozumel, Mexico, I had a yoga instructor from Argentina, and I just loved her accent. It probably helped that she was quietly saying the Sanskrit names for the poses we were doing, but whether she was speaking Sanskrit or Spanish, it always sounded melodic.
It must be the Italian influence. Argentina has over 1.5 million Italian speakers, which makes Italian the second most spoken language in the country. A great way to combine learning dance and learning Spanish is to stay with a host family. You can also take some Spanish Language classes while you’re in Buenos Aires. Some of the Tango schools offer combination packages so students can spend time on the dance floor and time in a classroom setting.