April 04, 2009

The Tango: Music and Lessons

Our Third Dance Lesson at La Viruta

This dispatch will be short, because we have not had a lot on our agenda.
The one thing that has been on the agenda has been the Tango.

Lorena - Dance Instructor
Lorena - Dance Instructor

We only made it out for live music once. We really liked the live music. I have a Facebook friend, Vivian Scarlassa, who we met several years ago. She put us on a notification list for Tango Jam. This event takes place every Tuesday night at the bar EL Empujon del Diablo, which is located at Angel J. Carranza 1969, Buenos Aires. Many musicians came to the jam. They played as individuals or in a small group. Each group would play two to four songs before the next group got its turn on the stage. From what I understand some bars, such as Bar Sur, provide similar venues every night of the week. We will be going back to the Tango Jam and want to visit Bar Sur, too.

La Viruta Dance Instructors
Lorena - Dance Instructor

We also have started taking dance lessons at La Viruta. We love the club. We have been going there off and on since 2002. The biggest change has been the entrance or cover cost. It has more than doubled in cost. The turn out for lessons seems as popular as ever. They teach the Tango, rock swing dancing and salsa. Hungry or thirsty? There is food and drink to be had here. They have shows later at night, long after we go to bed. I give this place five stars for fun and value. We have been learning to Tango there with lessons two or three times each week.

Group Part of Salsa Lesson at La Viruta

Our dance instructor told us about a practice session held on Monday nights in Palermo. We went last Monday and plan to go the next. The Tango looks extremely elegant. It looks impossible to learn. But the truth is that it is not so hard to learn, although it does take a real change in perspective. Most dancing in the past fifty years has not been true paired dancing. The Tango requires the man to lead with his body movements, especially the torso. The mind set shift is dramatic as is the thought of a woman reading my movements to follow wherever I might go.

We bought some dancing shoes. Betty bought her the first pair of high-heals that I have seen her in for many, many years. No, hers are not very high, but they are a necessity. They make moving backwards so much easier. The soft leather soles on our shoes makes pivoting a lot easier too. For Betty this is critical to reducing stress on her knees and hips while turning.

Not a lot has changed in Buenos Aires since our last visit four years ago. As I mentioned above the biggest change has been the cost of everything. Their inflation rate is quite high, more than twelve percent each year, which means that in pesos most things cost 50% more. In tourist areas and for things that tourists are buying the cost has often doubled. The only positive change in this area for us has been the increase in the value of the dollar, which will buy 20% more pesos. The loss of at least 30% in buying power in Argentina has moved Argentina from an extremely good value to modestly good value for the tourist. They say the peso will fall after their next election. If it does, then Argentina should become a really good bargain again.

I will write another entry this month. Betty and I are planning a trip to Salta after Easter. So, I will try to send a dispatch off right after we get back.

Posted by bill at April 4, 2009 02:10 PM

Priceless to watch the two of you dance.

Posted by: MIckie Turk at April 4, 2009 03:38 PM

Ooh, Lorena ... I think I'm in love.

Posted by: John G at April 4, 2009 07:10 PM

Wow!! you look great!! I thought at first that
Betty was the dance instructor! What a fabulous new look you have!! You two have the most exciting life of any of the people that I know.
I have spent the winter in Tucson in a small mobile home that I purchased last year. Having escaped the horrible MN weather, it has been the best winter of my life and I really want to move out here permanently. Hope to see you back in MN this summer.

Posted by: Dianne at April 5, 2009 10:52 AM

Awesome that you are both interested in the Tango. I love the Gypsy Kings music Which I belive keeps your heart beating and is very similar to the Tango type music. I even took my Mother to the concert when they were here in Minneapolis, MN. The dance lesson and just being in the club sounds like great fun! Both of you take care. Well it snowed a bit yesterday 4/5 - maybe the snow will end by July!

Posted by: Margie Sanroman at April 6, 2009 08:52 AM

Ahhhh, dancing the night away with Betty and lovely Lorena. What a great retirement!


Posted by: marty christensen at April 6, 2009 05:21 PM