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Strictly tango

When Lucille Howe agreed to marry her partner of seven years, it was on the condition that they see what the tango could do for their dynamic. Two lovers, one week in Buenos Aires, and a population of 15 million with dance in their DNA…

Two people need to work on improving a relationship. And, as the saying goes,it takes two to tango – which is why, at 3pm on a humid Friday afternoon in Argentina, my partner, Rama Knight, has his size-nine brogue on top of my foot in an unfortunate misstep. Rama has two left feet. I have one of each. Rama is also accommodating, easily led and erratic. I am an alpha female: controlling, eager to please and slightly neurotic. This summer, we are getting married so, before we combine our sometimes opposing temperaments, we have decided to learn to tango, in the home of the dance, in a bid to rebalance our relationship, ready for marital bliss. Easy, right?

On the outskirts of Recoleta, we meet our coach in this transformation, the legendary and formidable, Carlos Copello – five foot, six inches of Latin intensity, passion and authority. His slicked hair, Cuban heels and tailored suit enlarge his presence. ‘He is always a gentleman’, translates his glamorous assistant, Maria Eugenia Brandulo, who, despite her beguiling beauty, insists that she has been single for as long as she can remember. ‘Tango is my lover’, she says, sweeping her chestnut locks to one side.

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