Salsa or Tango? The Additive Effect

6 Reasons Why Many Salsa Dancers Love to Tango

People often compare salsa and tango, asking themselves: which dance is better? But as one tango/salsa dancer Dong Sung An said recently, the most exciting thing about salsa and tango is that it’s not a comparison; it’s an additive effect. Try tango while continuing salsa. It enriches your dancing life significantly.

What is the additive effect?

The most exciting thing about salsa and tango is that it’s not a comparison; it’s an additive effect. Try tango while continuing salsa. It enriches your dancing life significantly.

- Dong Sung An, Salsa and Tango dancer

1. See your same salsa friends in a different context

One aspect of the additive effect is that there is a great amount of overlap between the salsa and tango dancers. As a dancer said recently, “I met an old salsa friend at the Tango Room in March. I had not seen her in more than five years! We danced tango and also asked the DJ to play salsa music, and then we danced salsa just as we did five years ago. It was awesome.”

2. Double the number of options where you can dance

Dancing both salsa and tango can mean that you find yourself in the very difficult position of saying to yourself, how can I choose where to dance tonight when there are so many options?

3. Improve your salsa technique and creativity through learning tango

Learning tango will improve your salsa dancing by helping you connect more with the floor and achieve something mysterious called “groundedness,” as well as improve your overall posture in dancing, connection with your partner, and musicality. You may also find that you can incorporate some of your salsa moves discreetly into your Tango dance and vice versa.

An unconventional performance revealing the Afro-Cuban rhythm and freedom of movement characterized by salsa.

4. The tango community is fun, sensitive, respectful - and quirky in a good way!

Okay, so it’s true. There is a slight nerd element in tango. In a good way! Many Tango dancers are serious about practicing. And the dance encourages beautiful human qualities such as elegance, dressing up, and best of all...a nice embrace. The tango community is tight knit, and known for fostering lifelong friendships between like-minded people. At a milonga, people dance for four songs in a row, creating a stronger sense of connection while dancing, and more time to get to know fellow dancers through that sometimes-awkward-sometimes-fun chitchat beween those four songs. Also, there is a growing movement for women to lead each other in tango, creating more opportunities for a feeling of sisterhood.

5. Discover the emotional depth and playfulness of tango

Salsa embodies a passion for Afro-Cuban rhythm, has freedom of movement, and is overall more cardiovascular in nature. Tango brings a sense of emotional depth and playfulness combined with a meditative element in the dance.

Tango performances revealing the emotional depth and focus on connection in this dance.

6. Add a dance you can enjoy your whole life

Yes, you can dance tango into your nineties. Whereas salsa may favor a younger type of dancer, tango suits everyone of all ages and degress of physical fitness. You can enjoy dancing tango from your 20s to your 90s, and you will always discover something new in the dance during this lifelong journey.

In conclusion, there is no reason to feel a need to choose one or the other. Salsa dancers: consider giving tango a try, and see how your world expands.

Feeling curious? Meet more salsa dancers who love to tango! Read interviews with Salsa dancers who fell in love with Tango: Edith, Gary, Katya, Soloman, and Shane!