Tango Dances – 8 Popular Styles

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If you’re new to tango, you may be surprised to learn how many different styles there are. The various tango styles differ in both tempo (music speed) and basic dance movements. The tango styles can be divided into two categories, close embrace, and open embrace. In a close embrace, partners dance very close to each other. In an open embrace, partners dance further apart, allowing the opportunity for a wider range of movement. The following list contains the top 8 styles of tango.

Tango Milonguero

Milonguero-style tango is usually danced in a close embrace, with a slightly leaning posture. Partners must maintain constant upper body contact throughout the entire dance, even during turns. While some instructors of the style will coach dancers to lean against each other, others prefer that they maintain their own balance. Dancers should lean forward only enough to remain in the embrace. This embrace is often referred to as Apilado.


Tango Nuevo

Tango Nuevo (new tango) developed as a style upon careful analysis of the basic structural movements of tango dancing, and the discovery of new step combinations. Tango Nuevo is danced in an open, loose embrace in an upright posture, and each dancer must maintain their own axis. This style can be performed with either traditional tango music or more contemporary, non-tango music.​

Ballroom Tango


Ballroom tango was developed from Argentine tango styles but modified to fit into the category of ballroom dancing. Ballroom tango incorporates different techniques than the smooth, Argentine dances. Tango is considered one of the easiest of the ballroom dance styles, making it a great choice for beginners. Ballroom tango is divided into two categories, American Style, and International Style. Each of these styles is considered to be a social and competitive dance, but International Style is generally used more often in ballroom competitions.

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