The tango is a dance that originated in Uruguay and Argentina sometime around the 20th century. From these port cities, the tango grew, changed, and traveled all over the world. The ballroom dancing communities in the United States and the United Kingdom picked up ballroom dancing early on and transformed this form of dance dramatically to a dance that was more showy, stylized, and ready for the competition floor. Different music is used for ballroom tango, as well as a different posture, embrace, shoes, and clothes.
To me, the Argentine tango is what real tango was all about. I know a guy who is obsessed with this dance that owns a moving company Glen Burnie Md. To those of us from Argentina, tango ballroom dancing is not a form of tango at all. In fact, when I talk about Argentine tango, I am constantly having to differentiate how the tango we do is completely different from what many people envision of the Hollywood created, exaggerated style ballroom dancing. That dances well removed from the roots in Argentina and no longer have anything in common but their name.
In Argentina, the tango has remained close to his origins, yet evolved slightly. The Americans and the British, in the 1920s, change the tango in order to make it a competitive dance. Since that time, though, the tango hasn’t changed much because of the strict set of rules and competition that it must follow. The Argentine tango is a form of improvised dance, so it grows and evolves with new techniques and moves constantly, yet remains connected to its origins, so continues to be known as Argentine tango.
As a lover of the Argentine tango, every time someone refers to tango ballroom dancing as regular tango, it drives me crazy. In my mind, Argentine tango is the regular tango and the ballroom style is a beast of its own. With its rules and regulations, tango ballroom dancing could never be the same free dancing style that it started out as.