In the early 20th century, the Tango came first to be known as such in Argentina. The style of dance was danced under various names throughout all of Latin America. The origin of Tango is not clearly defined, it may have come from Argentina, Brazil, Spain or Mexico, but its descendant is clearly known to be the Milonga, an early Spanish folk dance. It bears traces of Moorish and Arabic ancestry as well.
In the American history, the Tango make its first apparition during the greatest period of the dance evolution (1910-1914). It was an instant hit with the public for its intriguing, asymmetrical, and sophisticated patterns which added a touch of romance.
Years later, a modified version of the Milonga was danced by Argentine plainsmen or “gauchos”. The new version was less than socially acceptable cafes in Buenos Aires. It was renamed years laters by the Argentine and Cuban youth generations to make the dance more acceptable to the society. Cuban dancers performed the Tango to a habanera rhythms which were syncopated. These rhythms obscured the basic Milonga rhythm. It was not until the dance style caught on in Paris and was re-introduced to Argentina that the music was restored to its native style.
The four beat Tango has endured for more than 60 years. Thanks to its universal music with many types of sub-styles, the Tango has continued to prosper around the globe. However, among the dances that came into being in the early 20th century, only the Tango style has prospered and enjoyed this much popularity.
The Tango is one of the most highly stylized ballroom dances. The staccato movement of the feet and the flexed knees, highlight the emotional style of the dance. It is dramatic with measured crossing steps and poised pauses. The tango’s characteristic in dancing close to the partner might be the main reason for its universal popularity.