The ballroom version of Tango is a dance style that branched from its traditional Argentinian roots. Originally considered a dance appropriate for thugs and organized criminals, the Tango was highly popular in brothels. The sensual evocation of Tango is still prominent in variations danced today.
While the dance style offers an extensive history, the early song La Cumparsita is still considered one of the most popular songs. The wider interest in the dance arose in the early part of the 1900s, First in England in 1912 through the film Sunshine Girl and then in America In 1921 by Rudolph Valentino who popularized the dance in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The Tango is one of the most alluring dances in history. It is characterized by simple, yet dramatic, movements. In order to properly perform the distinctive style of the Tango, it is vital to develop controlled staccato footwork, along with fluid, graceful movements. The particular rhythm of the music is great training for timing and phrasing, which develops as a dancer becomes more proficient. Tango practice is essential towards becoming a good overall dancer.
At its inception, the dance was considered a looser version of the English standard but is now a popular competitive dance in its own right. The Hollywood likeness of the Tango is represented by gentlemen in tuxedos dancing ladies in elegant cocktail attire around a party or ballroom floor. Movies — such as True Lies, Scent of a Woman, and Shall We Dance as well as the television show Dancing With the Stars — have helped keep Tango a popular ballroom dance.