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?It takes two to Tango?!

April 2016

This improvised and passionate dance was born in the bordellos and immigrant neighborhoods of Buenos Aires city in the late 1800s.

In the beginning it was danced exclusively by men who vied with each other to show off intricate footwork, before they were joined by the women working at the brothels, which gave rise to the intensely physical and sensuous moves that are so characteristic of the dance.  The tango soon found its way into the dance salons of the upper classes, brought by the young men who frequented the seamier side of life’s pleasures in Buenos Aires.  It was not long before it crossed the Atlantic to become the rage in Paris, the liberal capital of fashion and glamour at the turn of the century.

Tango’s passion stems from the origins of the dance, when immigrant men and women, often from very different cultural backgrounds, used it to communicate and express their feelings; nostalgia for their homeland, hope for a new life, and their need for a new identity. Cultural diversity, in fact, belongs to its origin and is part of its essence and roots.

Today thousands of tourists regularly pack tango shows in Buenos Aires as they marvel at the live orchestra, stage dancers & singers and enjoy a typical Argentine dinner. You are also certain to find couples displaying their skills in squares in San Telmo on Sunday afternoons or any busy weekday morning on the pedestrian Florida street.

In most shows, one goes to watch as a spectator, but how about becoming an active character in the tango experience?  Immerse yourself in the world of Tango by taking an exclusive private tango lesson.

You will be taught the basic steps of this mesmerizing dance with its sensuous moves and gestures.  Once the music starts, its tempo and soul engulf you and who can resist the dance floor under tango’s magic spell?  Discover the culture and passion for Tango at the hands of expert dancers and instructors.



The venues vary according to the size of the group.  There are large scale venues, such as Esquina Carlos Gardel or Tango Porteño, which offer an almost Broadway style show, or the interesting Café de Los Angelitos, where you access the tango venue via an old-style café, which provides an element of surprise.  Here the show offers modern elements, such as electronic tango, along with the typical tango style.

There is traditional La Ventana, where the show includes not only excellent tango dancing but also folklore, music from the Argentine northwest, and an Evita segment.  Then there are more intimate spaces for smaller groups such as the elegant Gala Tango, or Rojo Tango, with its cabaret style décor and more sensual dance numbers.  In most of the venues, one can combine dinner and the tango show, or just attend the show.

To make your tango experience as real as it can be for the novice tango dancer, you can also visit a milonga, where local tango-lovers of all ages gather as the evening draws on to share their passion for the music.  Sitting at a table in one of Buenos Aires’ famed dance halls you will watch couples dance in their elegant and sensual way and you will be able to share the dance floor with them to practice your newly acquired tango skills! You will be, simultaneously, the performer and the audience of the tango spectacle.


The codes of Tango

Tango is traditional, respectful and conservative. This nocturnal world has its codes, its secrets.

At a “milonga”, men & women are not seated together unless they are a couple, in which case the woman is off limits to other dancers.

Men ask women to dance by first exchanging a look from a distance and then nodding their head towards the dance floor. This is called “cabeceo”. If the woman does not wish to dance, she simply avoids the glance, so the rejection is subtle and allows the man to save face.

The “tanda” is a set of 4 tangos, milongas or waltzes.  Between each “tanda” the DJs play fox-trot, rock or other tunes. This is called the “cortina”.

"Thank you" is only said at the end of a “tanda”.  Sooner means: “Please let me sit down; I do not feel comfortable dancing with you.”

Dancers always move counter-clockwise, with novices in the center of the dance floor and the experts on the outer edge, and it is absolutely forbidden to cross the dance floor when dancing is in progress.

Be careful with the length of your steps, it depends on how many people are on the dance floor. The more people on the dance floor, the shorter the steps.

You are assigned a table and nobody can sit at your table unless you invite them. The gentleman always accompanies the lady back to her seat once the “tanda” finishes, but will not stay unless invited to do so. Never sit down at someone else’s table, especially if it is someone of the opposite sex.  

Tango is a partner dance, of improvisation, sensual and complex.  It is about participation and seduction. Tango should be danced from the heart.


For further details, please contact Argentina Travel Partners (ATP DMC), Mrs Merina Begg at




Tango Porteno

Tango Porteno

Tango Show Hall



Gran Milonga de cierre