General Dance Discussion > Argentine Tango or Ballroom Tango?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by DanceMentor, Apr 14, 2003.


Do you prefer Argentine Tango or Ballroom Tango?

  1. Argentine Tango

  2. Ballroom Tango

  1. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    By the way, I didn't vote.

    I've learned some ballroom tango. It's usually enjoyable, but I usually enjoy dancing almost anything. I do it because it's part of the standard mix.

    My knowledge of AT comes mainly from DF. I'm both attracted and repelled by the information provided here.

    The videos tend to bore me. I like some of the things people say about the connection and the use of simple elements. BUT ... I'm intimidated by the intensity of the feelings about the RIGHT way to do this or that. If I ever start to learn AT, it will be with great care and alertness to make sure I don't make a faux pas.
  2. to be or not to be

    to be or not to be New Member

    argentine tango or ballroom tango

    having had some exposure to At I can say that most groups of tango fanatics are warm and helpful while there are some clicks that look down on the people with a ballroom back round and even their fellow dancers however they are fortunately in the minority
  3. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Very well said...
  4. spectator

    spectator Member

    surprised no one has really pointed out that the music is so different that the ballroom and argentine tango are not interchangeable. Certainly at a milonga if I saw someone doing ballroom tango they would have to be very talented and skilled to make it appropriate, or fit the music. Could you do ballroom tango to something by D'Arienzo? It's like when you see people trying to do at to cumbia music. just do cumbia, it's easier than trying to make at work.
  5. spectator

    spectator Member

    oops just found some posts on music! sorry!

    by the way everybody it's been driving me mad for 3 years. It's not "click" it's CLIQUE.
  6. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Spectator: Only clickey people say 'clique'.:p

    Voted for Argentine, since it's the only dance that I've ever found that absolutely fits me like a glove - top to bottom (and I rarely find anything that I love and fit into so unreservedly... I'm a picky and awkward ol' swine...).

    No disrespect to Ballroom or any other dance though - I just don't feel them at the moment: one day, hopefully, I will....
  7. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I've never danced AT, but I love how it looks. Still, I really really love the look of ballroom tango, and also how it feels.
  8. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Pas vrai, though your point is quite correct that the music is the primary difference, perhaps I and several others are in the gracious minority of whom you spoke because we have done it many times... mostly to prove a point to BR dancers at socials, etc. ;)
  9. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    I think comparing dance forms does not make sense--particularly when it involves derivative forms.

    Myopic old guard, vociferous neo-classicists, and snobbish avant-garde hordes respectfully aside, this opinion is distilled from a particular view of partner dance as a concept beyond the confines of each and every style--including Tango.

    To me, any argument about a style (BR, Latin, NC etc) about how the old is better than the new or vice-versa or more pertinently that BR, Argentine, American, Chinese, or Filipino Tangos are better AND every possible shade betwixt is merely a reflection of our the inability to comprehend dance styles and movement at a larger and broader context, albeit in its elemental or fundamental construct.

    Study enough dance forms, and one day you'll be able to dance a Waltz using Foxtrot forms, incorporate Tango forms into VW, and make Rumba more expressive using a QS move.

    Style, any particular one (BR, Latin, Tango, NC, etc.), becomes irrelevant, its movement subverted to the wishes of its master and applied almost whimsically.

    The point is mastering each form so that you can deconstruct a move into its fundamental level and incorporate that move into another form, and lift that new form into a different piece of music (and blend it so it can express the character of that music).

    At such a point the relevance and strict specificity of a form to a particular style diminishes into a malleable set of movements that can be wielded by a master to create expression in any dance.

    So that the concerns around the dance will no longer be the suitability of a style to the music at hand or a host of others (like: a) how you will navigate the floor, b) how you will interact with your partner, c) how you will use the music, or d) what the technique should be).

    Instead, the focus becomes expressing what you feel--in unison with your partner--using any movement you choose which, at the end of the day, is the "why" of dancing.


    While I comment mainly on Standard--which lends itself to the geometric side of my nature, I have studied Latin, AT, NC, and other forms just as long to serve my artistic inclinations.
  10. plugger

    plugger Member

    It would be a challenge to dance ballroom tango on a floor populated mostly by Argentine tango dancers, if only because the frequent pauses in place that are an essential part of AT don't mix well with the relentless forward drive of ballroom tango. If the room isn't crowded and the lead has excellent floorcraft, collisions might be avoided, but a ballroom couple would probably attract stares, simply because it's incongruous with the setting (and AT dancers tend to eye newcomers closely anyway).
    It might also bring some frowns, because dancing ballroom tango at a milonga really ought not be encouraged. If they learn that you're a very nice person and this is the only tango you know, they'll probably be kind about it, but they still might worry that you'll invite your ballroom friends to come along next time.
  11. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I remember reading somewhere on these forums that AT couples don't get too close to one another. I.e. in ballroom couples can pass one another within inches, and as long as they didn't collide, it's OK and nobody minds, and in AT world that would be bad.
  12. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    IMO. It is patently fallacious to say that you cannot dance BR Tango on an AT floor (and vice-versa for that matter).

    I've danced AT on a BR floor and BR on an AT floor--the issue is not a mechanical or technical one, but one of bias/prejudice and tolerance within the social community of the dance (BE THAT AT OR BR).

    First let's address the fallacies of BR Technique. Here's 3 :
    • BR Tango can and does pause and stop (albeit some of this may be characterized as florid displays by the AT community). As in any partner dance this is dependent upon the lead, whether such pauses are taken or not.
    • BR Tango can go backwards (albeit this is seldom used)
    • BR Tango can go against line of dance (again seldom used)

    Now the Social aspect.
    • One should always respect the social and conventional norms of a community--more pertinently, a dance community.
    • Whenever possible, I think it is the height of disrespect to dance a certain style in a community that is not tolerant of the style and sees it as an affront to the aesthetic, historic, and stylistic sensibilities.(And there are times that you just cannot avoid this--like having to dance with someone who only knows one particular style and not the other--in which discretion, floorcraft-speaking, become the better part of valour).
    • Likewise, a community should also respect the rights of the individual, especially an outsider. It is the apex of discourtesy to make a dancer of a different style feel disrespected, outcast and unwanted--in any scenario.

    As I've said, I've danced BR on AT floors and AT on BR floors many, many times (mostly because the situation warranted it--ladies I was dancing with did not know the appropriate style).

    But most often, I dance to the specific style required on the floor.

    Can you guess which style I got the most stares with, when dancing a different style?

  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    .. if I could only show you all the scars and cicatrices on my legs... If it is crowded (and strange enough, it is always crowded), you have to dance with contact to either side...
  14. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I'm not that great with the search engine here, but I definitely remember the thread where someone with AT background commented how he was watching ballroom people dance and one couple just went by another couple within mere inches, and how in AT world that would be disrespectful to their personal space. Maybe I'll luck out and find that thread without too much trouble.
  15. spectator

    spectator Member

    in buenos aires the floors are so packed at busy times that you are an inch from the next couple on all 4 sides if you are in the middle lane. That is a fact. Over taking is not tolerated. everybody accepts that they will be very physically close to other couples.
  16. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Tanya The Dancer: Might it have been the combination of speed/energy and proximity that the poster was objecting to/mentioning?
  17. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Maybe. Or maybe it was about overtaking and passing too close at the same time (since in ballroom, it's perfectly fine to overtake another couple, as long as you don't collide). Like I said I am not that great with the search engine, so I couldn't find that thread (and it doesn't help that having tango as one of the key words results in a gazillion of results).
  18. dlgodud

    dlgodud Active Member

    Definitely Ballroom Tango for me.
  19. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    :notworth: Absolutely LOVE this.
  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Re: feeling awkward

    Hi Legacy, first, I really dont mean to poach on different hunting grounds, b.c. we all here benefit from the fact that different styles are in contact and in discussion... but, I know several cases in which this awkward feeling will not vanish. And only in that case you should concider to change the style: The argentine dance position is laid out to provide a maximum of a comfortable feeling. Speaking fankly, there are also dancers, that dont get along with the argentine hold. So try to find out what suits you.

    Please have a look






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