Difference between Tango and Salsa Dance

Key Difference: Tango and Salsa are the two forms of dance. ‘Tango’ is a type of South American dance. It is danced very closely where the couple have to embrace intimately. On the other hand, ‘Salsa’ is a category of a stylized Cuban rhythmic dance with the elements of rock and soul music. In this dance couple don’t embrace, instead they hold one or both hands.

There are two types of ‘tango’ – Ballroom Tango and Argentine Tango which is called just ‘Tango’. Here, we are particularly focusing on ‘Tango’. Tango is a dance that has an impact from European and American culture. There are many forms of tango dances which still exist. It is a very serious dance which expresses more about one’s sadness. It’s a very close dance where couple embrace so closely and walk so proficiently and pleasingly. It’s basically a ‘walking hug’.

Different styles of Tango are:

  • Tango liso
  • Tango Argentino
  • Tango camacupense (Angola)
  • Tango Canyengue
  • Show Tango (also known as fantasia)
  • Tango Oriental Uruguayan tango
  • Tango salon
  • Tango milonguero (Tango apilado)
  • Tango Nuevo (New Tango)
  • Ballroom tango

Whereas, salsa is a dance form which origins from the Cuban Son and Afro-Cuban dance, generally associated with the salsa music style. Salsa has a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The dance has many moves and one should have a correct posture and flexibility in. The arms play the most important role in Salsa; as it allows or gives signal to the follower to either move in an open or closed position. Salsa can be performed as a partner or one can perform alone.

Salsa dancing is more of an international dance still it is seen in metropolitan cities and all over the world. It is more commonly held in nightclubs, restaurants, casino or pubs.

However, salsa is a popular music; it has different styles for different places:

Colombian / Cali Style: Colombian Salsa, also known as Cali-Style, had been established in Colombian City of Cali. The essential parts of Cali-Style Salsa were very strongly influenced by dances to Caribbean rhythms which anticipated salsa, such as Pachanga and Boogaloo. The basic thing about this style is that it is a game of footwork and has quick and finished motions. Their footwork is complex thus it helps several Colombian Style dancers win major world championships.

Miami-Style Casino: Miami’s people are greatly known as ‘Flash Mob’ dancers but they are also amazing Salsa dancers. It was originated by Cuban migrants to Florida which is also called as LA Style. Miami-Style Casino is a dance where a dancer breaks On1 step that is first step and sometimes miss 4 counts instead of full “8” counts.

Cuban Casino Style: White Cubans during the mid-20th century derived this style. This style is also known as “Casino.” Casino was quite popular as a part of social and cultural gatherings. It was mainly popular among the White Cubans that were better off. 

Los Angeles Style: L.A. style is danced on 1, in a slot, with a measure of easiness and adaptability to it. It is strongly influenced by the Mambo, Swing, Argentine Tango and Latin Ballroom dancing style.  L.A. style places strong emphasis on sensuousness, theatricality, aerobics and musicality. The lifts, stunts and aerial works of today's salsa shows are derived mostly from L.A. Style forms with origins in Latin Ballroom and Ballet lifts.

New York Style: It is similar as Casino Style, that is LA style, however, NY Style is danced on the second beat (On2) and the follower steps forward on the first step of the music, not the controller. There’s a specialty of this dance that all separate from their places and dance solo which looks very impressive and has a unique form.

How to Dress for Salsa Dance thumbnail

One should be very choosy about fabric. In both the forms, the best fabric is Nylon. Even if you get wet no one will able to recognize your sweat and the plus point is in few minute you dry. There should be an appropriate selection of a top that should not open during your performance. You should wear a zip or pull on top, with hip-hugging and close fitting and should not be full sleeves. It is not necessary that should be tight from hips because it’s a flowing dance so light wear is more preferable, it depends on the song. Ensure the shoe is tight enough to stay firmly in place during quick salsa moves. Women should wear a medium height heel or lower to execute spins safely.

Tango and salsa are both different and opposite form of dances, even then people compare it with each other by their moves, flexibility, counts or beats. People predict that tango is easier than salsa, but actually tango is very difficult. It needs lots of basic techniques and one should remember all the counts. It is critical but not impossible to learn. Nowadays, dancers adapt ‘Salsa’ more commonly than any other form of dances like ‘Tango’.

Image Courtesy: msmunited.com, ehow.com

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