Some people might find that talking about styles of Tango is a bit of a controversial subject. Whilst some tangueros will happily say they dance in a certain style, others like to say that the only Tango style there is is Tango. So, we will let you make your mind up with this and digest of some of the various flavours of Tango. These are in chronological order!
The Tango Cayengue is the earliest form of Tango. It is danced "bien pegado" (glued to each other) and very much into the ground. Definitely a fun style to try and not many teachers left to continue on the legacy.
The Tango Milonguero is characterised by a close embrace with the two partners leaning slightly towards each other. This posture reflects the limited space available on the crowded floor. It is the style you will come across in the busy Milongas of Buenos Aires.
The Tango Salon is one of the most popular. It is danced in a flexible sliding embrace, staying close and opening as and when required. This is arguably the style taught and danced most widely around the world and if you were to rock up to a milonga in St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Sydney, Hong Kong, Auckland, Oslo, London... you get the picture?
The Tango Escenario - sometimes also called Tango for Export - is what you are likely to see in a stage show. It is characterised by an open embrace, flamboyent move with large sweeps and numerous ganchos, and foreign choreographic elements (often from ballet).
As Tango music keeps evolving, so does the dance. The nuevo style is characterised by a very flexible, elastic embrace, (changing between open and closed) counteracting movements and out-of-axis steps (colgadas and volcadas for example). Nuevo though is a particularly tricky subject. Tango masters like Gustavo Naviera and Fabian Salas for example would say that Nuevo is a period of time not a style of dance. Anything after the 1980s in terms of composition and dance is nuevo. Astor Pizzolla opitomises the nuevo style of composition.