“In Tango jou don’ move, jou gliiiide,” our slick-haired teacher Pablo silkily informs us as his long limbs swirl seductively across the polished stone floor.
I take a deep breath and clutch the top of Phil’s arm as the haunting music starts up again and we jerkily try to “gliiide” through the sequence we’ve been practising for the past hour.
To be honest it just looks a bit like we’re trying to polish some spilt red wine off the floor with our toes.
Pablo’s instructions to “feeeel the music slowly seducing jou” are somewhat thwarted by the curvy Brazilian woman dancing behind us, who can’t stop giggling at Phil’s ‘Tango face’ (which depending how you look at it, is either full of a burning passion, or a bit like The A Team’s Mr T. If he were about to rob someone).
Meanwhile, my attempts at a sultry pout are more akin to a temper tantrum.
A particularly tricky leg-crossing manoeuvre nearly makes me fall over every time, but I don’t care – this is my birthday treat and despite the mishaps, I’ve been having a great time at the enticingly entitled Buenos Aires venue, Sabor A Tango (“Tango Flavour”).
Eventually our five-seven-nine sequence clicks more or less into place and, swept away by the dramatic accordion-filled chords, it feels like we are smouldering around the floorboards of this 19th-century classic spot. All that’s missing is a red rose I can attempt to pass to Phil between our teeth.
Thankfully, before I get too carried away, it’s time for some dinner and the chance to watch the experts at work.
We walk down the winding white marble steps and are led into a vast dining hall decked out with tables decorated with crisp white cloths, flickering candles and shining tableware in front of a large stage.
Knocking back bottles of Malbec accompanied by tender steak and a suitably chocolate-ified dessert, we chat to a very sweet Colombian couple at the next table who are celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary.
Suddenly the deep red velvet curtain rises before us and three hairy-headed and even more hairy-chested ‘gaucho’ men stroll proudly into the spotlight.
Despite sporting what can only be described as silky MC Hammer-style trousers, they start performing an amazing style of tap dance incorporating long leather cords concealing wooden balls at one end, which they swing furiously around to provide extra taps when they strike the floor.
After the enthusiastic round of applause for their efforts, a group of stylishly-clad musicians appear and strike up a lively tune as three attractive couples take to the stage and start flicking their legs around here, there and everywhere in that unmistakeable Tango manner.
As one of the men flings his partner high into the smoky air I feel relieved Pablo didn’t try to make me or Phil “feeel” any of those moves, as I’m pretty sure one of us would have ended up in A&E…again.