Lv 4
ME!! asked in Arts & HumanitiesDancing · 1 decade ago

Whats the difference between tango and salsa?

So I might be starting dance lessons soon. And I want to do salsa or tango but honestly I don't know what the difference is between them.....So ya.... Help?


9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Salsa and tango are really very different dances, and people tend to be either 'salsa people' or 'tango people' - like dog and cat people!

    Firstly, let me be clear that there are two dances called tango which are different dances from each other. There's ballroom tango, the stuff you see on shows like Dancing with the Stars - all dramatic and hammy. That's a ballroom dance , like foxtrot or waltz, you learn sequences and enter competions. Then there's Argentine tango - called just 'tango' by us tangeros, because tango is by definition Argentine (It came from Argentina, not Cuba as someone above me said!). Ballroom tango is a dance which evolved in Paris in the early 20th century *from* proper Argentine tango. Argentine tango is a social dance. It has no steps, no sequences, it's completely organic and improvised (which means you can go to a class and be dancing straight away).

    To be clear, contrary to what someone said above, neither (Argentine) tango nor salsa is a 'latin' or a 'ballroom' dance - those are categories that belong to competitive dancesport, ballroom and latin, the stuff you seen on Dancing with the Stars. Salsa and (Argentine) tango are social dances, not competitive.

    OK, back to your question.

    Salsa is more of a fun dance, a party dance. It's kind of an open dance, in that the couple don't embrace, instead they hold one or both hands, changing often. It's a non-travelling dance - they don't travel around the floor, they dance in one spot, swapping back and forth, doing turns and spins, etc. There's a lot of spinning. Girls will spend a *lot* of time spinning. There's also often a lot of hip wiggling, but that depends partly on which kind of salsa you learn.

    Tango is a more serious dance - not a party dance like salsa - tango music tends to be quite sad. As a dance, it's more... intimate. Tender. Emotional. It's danced very close, the couple embrace closely. It's a travelling dance, you move around the dance floor anticlockwise. It is basically a walking hug, but as you get more proficient you can learn fancier stuff if you want. Contrary to popular opinion, it is *not* overtly 'sexy'. Just intimate.

    Both are danced socially - people go to salsa clubs and milongas (like tango clubs) to dance for fun.

    The best way to know the difference is to see it in action. Here are a couple of videos.

    Youtube thumbnail

    - this is (Cuban) salsa.

    Youtube thumbnail

    - this is tango (nuevo).

    I suggest you try one beginners class of each dance. You'll know instantly which one is more you.

    Source(s): I'm a tanguera
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Tango Vs Salsa

  • 5 years ago

    Learn Salsa Quickly From Home!

  • 1 decade ago

    Salsa is not one of the competed ballroom/Latin dances, but it is latin. Tango, despite its origins in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, is not a latin dance. This will actually even make sense to you eventually, but that's quite a few lessons in your future. The music, the tempo, the feel, everything about them is quite distinct. Rather than worrying overly much about it, you should be patient and let the lessons come to you. You'll start with some basic patterns that are starkly different, and later you'll be able to use elements that are common to all the partner dances and still put the character of the individual dance into the element.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Tango has a distinctive beat and came from Cuba. It's also a dance. Salsa, I think, is later and more pop.

  • 1 decade ago

    salsa is less structured than tango. Tango is a form of ballroom/partner dancing whereas salsa is a form of latin jazz.

    Both are lovely, however.

    Source(s): I'm a dancer.
  • Brad H
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In salsa, you mostly dance by yourself. In tango (especially the Argentine tango), you hold your partner very very close against your body and the movements are very sexy.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, there are SOME differences I suppose. for example, the music used is contradictory to the other. then there is the matter of clothing used in each of the dances. also, the PELVIC THRUSTS are much more intense and violent in one than the other.

  • 1 decade ago

    you cannot dip chips in tango

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