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Comparing the Waltz Dance Style to the Tango

Comparing the Waltz Dance Style to the Tango

on Jul 7, 2014 in Waltz

Deciding on a dance style to learn can be difficult.  There are so many dance styles out there that it is easy to confuse one with the other, mix and match them in terms of their moves, and really grasp the concepts of each.  Once you decide on a dance style to try and learn, you likely are going to stick with that style for quite some time.  It is very normal for someone to take lessons to try and learn once dance style for a year or more, depending on how quickly you learn and how much you want to master it.

Two of the more popular dance styles out there are the classic waltz, as well as the tango.  Each are unique in their own ways, but just are often confused with other styles, as well as each other.  Comparing the two styles can help put them into perspective for you as a potential new student of the dances and give you an idea as to which would fit you and your personality more.

Basics of the Waltz

The waltz style of dance is a mix of both folk and progressive ballroom.  It is a very smooth dance that is performed by two people, primarily in a closed position.  The rhythm of the waltz is one that makes it easier than most other dances for two people to learn together.  There are a few different versions of it, each with different tempos.  The most common version of the waltz, though, carries a 3/4 tempo to it.

The dance style is characterized greatly by the action of rising and falling.  The partners doing the waltz together will slide across the dance floor, step, and slide again in that 3/4 tempo.  The length of the step is key with the waltz, as is keeping up with the beat of the music.  One of the more romantic, slow-paced, and exaggerated dances out there, the waltz is highly accepted around the world as a great form of dance to learn.

Now for the Tango

The tango is very different from the waltz, but is just as historic and widely accepted.  The roots of the tango stem from Argentina where it originated.  It has since been adapted in America as well as around the world Internationally.

The tango is a much faster dance style than the waltz, allowing the two partners to pick up the pace greatly with more high-tempo music.  The tango is all about the feet and the head action.  It is well-known for its quick foot movements, as well as snaps of the head to exaggerate turns and keep up with the music.

The best way to think of the tango is like a much faster version of the waltz.  You are with a partner, and typically are in a closed position.  The tango does allow a big more freedom, though, allowing to break from that position.

Both are Great Social Dances

The speed that differentiates the tango to the waltz is one that will help you decide which dance works best for you.  If you are more of a high-tempo individual who wants to try a more difficult dance, the tango may be a choice to make.  The waltz, a slower and more methodical dance, is usually easier for beginner dances.

Both of these dances make for great social styles that will put you with a partner and allow you and that partner to really feel the music.  They also make for great competitive dances due to the way in which they can be interpreted and adapted to all sorts of pieces of music.

Each dance style is full of history and can be seen all around the world.  Though the dances may vary slightly in terms of the way certain parts of the world perform and interpret them, their general themes remain the same and are widely celebrated.
The dance styles of the tango or waltz are both great to take up as a student of the dance game.  As great social dances, you will easily be able to take what you have learned and try them out in enjoyable party settings.  Whether you choose to learn the tango or the waltz, you are going to be taking up a dance that is both practical and useful in your social life.  Understanding the basics of each and how they differ from one another will help you decide on which will fit you best.

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