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March 24, 2014

Argentine Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Part 1)


Our dance studios are not ordinary, and you know that. Ordinary is not in our DNA. Everything we do must be extraordinary. If we’re going to dance the Argentine Tango, we have to dance it the right way… where it all started. So we decided to take our students on a little (read: HUGE) field trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina to immerse ourselves in the culture and dance Argentine Tango like the pros.

Argentine Tango has become widely popular in recent years and we often receive requests from students to learn more about the authenticity of this passionate and sexy form of tango. We wanted to find a way for these students interested in Argentine Tango to get just that; a true firsthand experience. So… we decided to take them to Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Well actually, the brains behind this idea was non other than… Maksim Chmerkovskiy!He came up with the idea during his feature with the cast of Forever Tango on Broadway. He was inspired by the very talented, authentic tango dancers on the show. One of the dancers was Ariel Manzanares and together with him, the idea was born.

After tons of research for the best local restaurants, hotels, and of course, Milongas(Tango parties), the day had finally arrived for departure. The seven days ahead would consist of traveling to the top tourist destinations, learning from some of the best tango dancers, and exploring the city of Buenos Aires…starting out with a tour of La Boca, a multicultural neighborhood that gave birth to the Tango.

After a visit to La Boca, the students enjoyed a guided panoramic tour of  the San Telmo district, the hidden colonies of Buenos Aires. Their next stop was at the Plaza De Mayo to view one of the most important landmarks in the city, where the famous public figure, Evita, would make her famous speech to the people of Argentina.

Afterward, they toured La Recoleta, a district known as “Little Paris of South America” and one of the most affluent areas in the city. In addition to admiring the stunning architecture of the city, the students went horseback riding on a ranch, saw fantastic Tango shows, had some extraordinary dinners and….

“Wait, but I though this was going to be about dancing?” Hold your horses my friendly readers.  This was just the beginning…

Of course there was dancing, that was the whole point of the trip!

Ralph Abel and Lori Golden

In fact, the students were invited to work with aforementioned tango expert, Ariel Manzanares, along his partner/fiancée Antonella Sarago! From firsthand exclusive coaching lessons and intense workshops by authentic Tango coaches, to experiencing the excitement of multiple traditional Milongas and showcasing their newfound skills, theDance With Me Family‘s  knowledge of dancing and Tango was taken to new level in Buenos Aires.

Now, we are not going to be the ones to tell you the firsthand experience from the trip.  We will leave that up to our students who were actually there. The first one up is…Stephanie Miritello! Let’s see what she had to say…

Read about her experience taking dance lessons in Argentina below:

“Monday, Wednesday and Friday were Tango Days. On Monday before our first workshop we went shoe shopping. Shoe shopping was an experience itself, and we spent a good two and a half hours trying and picking new shoes.


Our dance lessons were held in a local cultural center where we would have about one and a half hours of general instruction before breaking for lunch. After lunch we had our private lessons or technique class for about 45 minutes and then about 45 minutes of practice time. Overall, the workshops and lessons were fabulous.   Ariel and Antonella made sure we had great instructors and they made the lessons fun and informative.

One the last day, we even showed them a bit of our dancing!

Next…Milongas! You have to see them to believe them!

We went to four different Milongas during our stay and each one had its own character.  The first night was probably the most crowded and since we had not had any instruction yet, it was a bit intimidating.  The rules of the Milonga are very strict; you must dance going in a counterclockwise circle around the floor, and there is no passing or talking while dancing.  Between dances you are allowed to exchange social niceties.  A dance set usually lasts four tangos and as a rule, if you start dancing with someone, you remain their partner for the entire set.  Gentleman will gesture a lady they would like to dance with and the lady may then accept or not.

The Milongas the second and third night were more intimate and had more of a local flavor.  These nights the club had a separate dance floor, which we made use of to practice before venturing out onto the main floor.  Ariel and Antonella arranged for a professional dancer to be there on the third night, so we had a chance to dance with a more experienced partner, which was fun.  The last night we not only got to experience the tango, but this club played a wider variety of music and we actually danced some salsa and bachata with our hosts.

We not only danced during our trip, we also saw two Tango shows while we were there. Each show was accompanied by a three course meal. The two shows were great (along the same lines as Forever Tango) and the dancing…AMAZING!


I would have to say that overall, the trip was very successful.  It was a great congenial group and we enjoyed each other’s company.  Our hosts, Ariel and Antonella could not have been more accommodating, and really provided us with a first class experience!”

-Stephanie Miritello


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