For beginning and advanced dancers alike, La Viruta tango club in Buenos Aires is an obligatory stop. It's popular amongst locals and visitors of all ages, who come for the early classes and the later milonga sessions that go until 3:30 in the morning.
Most days there are several tango classes on, and a few days a week, they offer rock 'n' roll, bachata and salsa classes as well.
While it's not as atmospheric as some other tango clubs, La Viruta’s ample offerings and good vibes have made it a classic.
Live music at La Viruta — Photo courtesy of AHLN
All of the classes at La Viruta are separated into three levels with three sets of teachers, so there's always something to learn regardless of your skill level.
If you find a group too advanced or too basic for you, don’t be afraid to mosey on over to join one of the others. Some of the teachers do speak English, too.
After the classes finish for the night, more of the seasoned dancers come out and the dance floor gets packed with swirling couples showcasing their moves and enjoying the music. Occasionally, there are live orchestras, dance exhibitions and special events.
La Viruta has a restaurant and bar that serves sandwiches, pasta, pizza, meat, wine and cocktails. However, if you plan to eat there, or sit down at all for that matter, then reserving a table in advance is a must. You can do that through La Viruta’s website or by phone.
Earlier on during the classes it's more flexible, but once the milonga starts, the place gets packed. So if you didn’t make a reservation, then your choices include standing at the bar or dancing all night. But table or not, there are coin-operated lockers available if you want to store your stuff.
And if you forgot something, then head to the bathrooms. There they sell items like hand fans, hair ties, breath mints, small toiletries and even some clothing.
La Viruta is located in the basement of the Armenian Cultural Center in Palermo. (If you have a good eye, look out for the dance steps decorating the sidewalk outside.)
Check La Viruta's website for the days and times of dance sessions. You don’t need to bring a partner; the classes usually rotate, so unless you opt to dance only with your date, then you'll get a chance to dance with several others.
Whatever you do, La Viruta is a fun place to learn, dance and watch tango in Buenos Aires.