Latin Dance is represented by a collection of dances. There are two main camps of Latin Dancers. Firstly, there is the Latin/Ballroom camp, who thinks of Latin Dance as being represented by Rumba, Cha Cha, Jive, Samba, and Paso Doble. However, with the increased multi culturism we see today in Canada and the rest of the world, a new camp of Latin Dancers is found in Canada, the United States, and Europe. This camp is evolved from the South American and Mexican immigrants who think of Latin dance as a more street (less formalized) style, represented by dances such as Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Samba, Argentine Tango, and others.
The street Samba (often called the Brazilian Samba) is a completely different dance from the Ballroom/Latin Samba. The two do not resemble each other, and its hard to see the connection of where the two might have diverged away from each other. The controversy in dance shows itself here too, where some of the South American immigrants are offended by the alternative ballroom style, since Samba is representative of their culture back home in Brazil. However, the ballroom Samba is an elegant latin dance, which most experts would consider to be the the most difficult and involved latin dance of all.
In the same way, the Argentine Tango hardly resembles its Ballroom counterpart at this point in history. When Argentine Tango is danced as a performance level dance, it borrows from ballet and theatre arts, and is a unique and interesting dance with a somber (but passionate) characterization. It is particularly different in that the man and lady are often dancing on the same foot, while dancing in closed hold. On the other hand, the modern Ballroom Tango (represented by an American Style and a British International Style) is a highly stylized dance, with staccato, legato, and roboto actions, angular walks, line figures, quick head movements, and a fascinating characterization. Often, Ballroom Tango is danced improperly with the wrong characterization, leading many people to believe that this Tango is an angry, cold, aggressive, and hard dance. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.
The Ballroom Tango has borrowed some level of inspiration from the Argentine Tango in today’s environment, especially when danced as performance, rather than as a competitive dance. The Tango continues to evolve.
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