The Many Styles Of Tango
The tango is a dramatic, sensuous partnered dance style that comes from 19th century Argentina. It’s a mix of the waltz, polka and other European styles that got mixed with African and Cuban moves. If you’re thinking of learning to tango in Boston, MA, it’s a great choice and one that looks fantastic on the dance floor!
But which tango in Boston, MA do you want to learn? While the word tango implies one dance, there are actually many different styles to this Latin art, and you might have different preferences based on what you want to get out of your dancing. So let’s take a closer look at the different tango styles.
What a name! The Fantasia style is also known as “show tango,” so, as you may have guessed, this is a style that is usually learned for people who plan to tango for professional performance reasons. The motions are much more dramatic and exaggerated, and the embellishments and poses that most people associate with tango come from here. The style originally developed as an exhibition dance and was often used to keep audiences occupied during intermissions and breaks.
Tango De Salon
This is a more social form of tango, meant to be taken up by just about anyone, that emphasizes the dancers enjoying the dance, and not so much the audience. Tango de Salon itself is a broad “umbrella” that covers a whole suite of different styles. One consistent element is that the woman is usually held more distant from the man to more easily turn, and perform other moves.
If the Tango de Salon holds the woman at a distance for greater mobility, the Milonguero style keeps the woman and the man nearby—at least the upper body—for a closer, more intimate dance. This style is all about the partners maintaining closer contact, and expressing themselves more through steps and leans than any big flourishes such as a spin.
This is a more technical form of tango dancing, not for the faint of heart. Nuevo tango is all precision in the steps, about structure, discipline, and much more emphasis control. It’s a style that is for dancers more concerned with technical accomplishment than “just having fun,” so it might be a better fit for dancers who are already proficient and want to add a bit more depth and even structural analysis to their dancing. This is a newer manifestation of the tango style.
This style of dance originated in the poorer quarters of Buenos Aires, and was, for many years, frowned upon by the more refined or disciplined tango dancing community. It is a looser style, with allowances for flourishes that look good, even sensuous, that may not be the most technically proficient. It’s more of an informal, passionate, edgy “street-style” but looks quite impressive when performed by the right couple.
There’s a lot of variation in the world of tango! If you’re interested in learning it in Boston, MA, just remember to be patient with yourself! Like any art, this is a skill that takes time and practice, but you can have a lot of fun learning it!