Filling the Void – Tango Lesson at La Viruta in Buenos Aires

Tango at La Viruta Buenos Aires from Jet Set Life on Vimeo. Filling the void (when work is removed) brings us to some interesting places around the world. The most recent of which is taking a Tango lesson at La Viruta Armenian Cultural Center in Buenos Aires. The idea for this came straight from the Oracle himself-Tim Ferriss. If you prefer watching video over reading text, then watch the video above and for a good laugh go to minute X and watch Kim’s head tilting to show me where to move next. It’s hysterical. I don’t expect Dancing with The Stars to be calling anytime soon. I’m getting ahead of myself here.

In reading Tim’s fantastic book the Four Hour Work Week he talks about becoming a champion Tango dancer (on a mini-retirement to Buenos Aires) and how he trained at a Milonga called La Viruta. What’s a Milonga you ask? I asked the same question. By definition a Milonga is-a term for a place where Tango is danced. I thought, well, O.K. that seems clear enough.

Kim and I sat down at the beginning of the year and created our 2008 dreamline. In the ‘do’ category we decided to list ‘take a tango lesson at La Viruta Armenian Cultural Center in Buenos Aires’. We really had no idea what to expect and wanted to be surprised.

So, here’s how it goes down. The Milonga itself doesn’t really get started until around midnight. If you want to take a lesson you get there at around 11 p.m. You purchase a ticket at the door for a beginner, intermediate or an advanced class. Have a drink at the bar and wait for them to call your class. Oh yeah, it’s all in Spanish. I mean entirely. Not a word of English to be heard anywhere.

Our group (maybe about 20 people) was called to the dance floor and our lesson began. We had two instructors, a male (I think it was Lorenzo Llamas) and a female (I’m pretty certain she was Penelope Cruz- and BTW very pregnant). Our instructors give us very detailed and very fast instructions in perfect Argentine Spanish. Of which I understood – Zippo. The good news is that they demonstrate a set of Tango steps for us to mimic. The bad news is I couldn’t mimic squat.

After an hour of a hysterically funny and embarrassing Tango lesson it was time for the Milonga to begin. Imagine people ranging from 20 to 90 years old showing up at around midnight and dancing Tango until the sun rises the next morning. It’s really quite an experience. Everyone Tangos in a counter clockwise direction in amazingly beautiful synchronicity.

It got me thinking about life. It cost us five bucks to get in and 2 cocktails at the bar. That’s it. I say, don’t wait until retirement to experience all there is in the world. Use a mini-retirement to sample your deferred life plan NOW! It’s worth it. I promise.