However, be prepared to develop a thick skin, as not every girl is prepared to have her toes splayed by clumsy gringo feet.“If they’re not happy dancing with you, you will know it because they will be rolling their eyes.“A good way to meet people, because of the dancing culture here, is just to pick a partner and ask her to dance with you.” Even if you don’t have time to squeeze in salsa classes, it is still worth the effort to at least try and get your rusty hips and leaden feet moving, according to James.

“For Colombian women it is more about feeling good about yourself based on how well you fulfill these stereotypes of being a nice girl,” she said.

“Foreign women aren’t nice girls, they are loud and demanding.” While an invitation to dance offers the perfect ‘in’ with the average Latino, for those with a fear of rhythm there are still alternatives to pounding cheek-to-cheek musical passion/sweaty palm grasping and awkward stumbling.

People here aren’t scared to express themselves,” said James.

For foreign women, dancing presents a similar opportunity but also a dilemma – who asks who?

Will an invite back to your hotel lead to a night of passion or a slap in the face and a condemnation to the fires of hell for your sinning ways?

Latin America, though, is rightly renowned for its fiery passions and beautiful people, and to miss out on this side of the region’s culture through fear is far more unforgivable than embarrassing yourself with culturally inappropriate body language.

For James, the answer for gentlemen is clear – get your wallet out. “The whole roots of man-pays-all dates at the door and enjoy the free ride.

“At first I resisted but it’s such a pain in the ass, and really so hard to get a man not to pay for you that it’s almost embarrassing,” she said.

“With girls here, if they’re really interested – it’s obvious,” said James.