American guide, Stephen Aldaco, gives a no-holds-barred account of what it’s really like to learn the tango in Argentina.

Thanks to shows like Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing, going to Buenos Aires and learning to tango is high on the bucket list of many a traveller.

We all dream of mastering the moves, experiencing the drama and romance of the city, and getting swept along by the passion of its inhabitants.

Plenty of dance schools have popped up across Buenos Aires to meet this demand. But what’s the reality? 

American tour guide, Stephen Aldaco, headed to the Argentine capital to learn to tango and in this video gives a no-holds-barred account of what’s involved.

Stephen’s journey begins at a group lesson in one of the city’s multitude of dance schools.

Some students are better than others, of course. But for those of us with two-left feet, it’s encouraging to see that the teachers are patient and long suffering!

A street musician playing a bandoneon (Adobe Stock)
Street tango in Buenos Aires (Adobe Stock)

Next, Stephen has a one-on-one lesson in a small private studio before hitting Casa Colombo for a practica

Casa Colombo is a cantina club where a couple of guys in t-shirts play tango music. A practica is simple the chance to practice and refine your skills amongst people as crap as you are.

Finally, Stephen heads off to a milonga in La Catedral. At 1:50 in the morning!

A milonga is a weekly event where locals show off their impressive tango dancing skills.

The evenings start late and begin with eye-wateringly good demonstrations dances performed by professionals. 

Once they have strutted their stuff, before the floor is thrown open to everyone.

Be warned: Tango in Buenos Aires is not for the fainthearted.

The video ends with Stephen stumbling back to his apartment at 5 am in the morning.

Exhausted, for sure. But elated too.

Main image: Couple dancing the tango on the streets of Buenos Aires (Adobe Stock)