As the new year starts many tangueros and those curious about the birthplace
of the Argentine Tango, start making travel plans to go to Buenos Aires.
There are two popular times of the year for the Tango traveler. Great groups
of foreigners make the pilgrimage to the Paris of South America either
from September to November or from February to April. One enterprising
tour operator took a group at Christmas time, and another planned a February
group trip. It bodes well for the future that with the ever increasing
popularity of Argentine Tango, that the Tango touring season will keep
extending until it encompasses the entire year. For the Tango dancer, there
is no bad time to be in Buenos Aires (albeit Summers can be very uncomfortable).
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Tours and groups seem to be the popular way for tangueros to travel.
Couples like to go with a group or travel alone together. Most singles
who brave it alone come back from the experience with mixed feelings.
No matter which way you choose to go, a myriad of questions comes
to mind as you ready yourself for the most exciting of Tango experiences.
Whether you are part of a tour group or truly on your own, if your
are a single woman in Buenos Aires there are a few things you can expect.
ďEsta solita?Ē is a question a woman might be asked. What exactly does
it mean when someone asks if you are alone? (especially when youíre sitting
with a group of Tango tourists). Mostly itís an invitation to get involved,
and not only for three minutes at a time on the dance floor. "Vamos a tomar
un cafe," being invited for a cup of coffee, can also have other connotations,
leading to a serious come on.
American woman are very casual and open in the touchy feely department.
Off the dance floor, an arm draped around a manís shoulder or a little
innocent off handed touch can mislead the man to thinking that overtures
are being made.
And what about the actual dancing? How close is too close when you
dance Argentine Tango with a native? Letís just say that there are front
ochos and then there are front ochos. Ditto for the way a hand is placed
on the back. If itís not acceptable to you, finish the dance and then excuse
yourself by saying ďGracias,Ē thank you, as you walk away. Donít feel obliged
to dance with any or everyone who asks you. Be selective. Dance with who
you feel comfortable with.
At the milonga, the concept of women and men being friends like we
are friends with men here in the States, is not customary in Buenos Aires.
So a certain amount of behavior adjustment on a single womanís part might
be applied. It mainly has to do with acting a little more formal. Even
though "Argentinos" often meet and greet with a kiss (this usually happens
after several introductions when you are known to each other)¸ that
is the extent of touchy feely between the sexes. Flirty and coy and silly
little girl word games can be tricky too (unless your Spanish is perfect
and his English is equally perfect). Leave the fringe, low cut and slit
dresses at home. Clothing here does send a message.
Argentine men can be great dancers, can have impeccable manners as
only South Americans can have, be charming, intelligent, attentive, romantic
and sexy. They also can easily assume more of a message than you intend.
Traditional role playing runs deep here.
Of course, if youíre taking the kind of recreational holiday that
includes more than just dancing and socializing, by all means disregard
all of the above advice.
You might wonder how I come by this completely subjective information.
Girl Talk! Girl talk and observation. As an experienced attached woman
(meaning "no estoy solita") I watch and I listen and in these pages I report
the most printable information I have casually gathered from the women
who have made The Trip. Itís given with the affectation of a sister. Since
it has no scientific or scholarly bearing, and is offered in the broadest
and perhaps stereotypical strokes, it is meant to be taken lightheartedly.