Many would argue or dispute on tango’s origins and hereby we refer to the word and not the dance and that it is a mystery, which makes it even more desirable. Some scholars are of the believe that the actual word, “tango” believe that it has its origin in Portuguese and related to Tambo which means playing a drum. Other on the other hand believe some that the word is coming from African languages spoken during the early 19h century before the dance was born, these Africans passed to Argentina through River Plate.
Even though the actual word are disputed, something that has never been disputed is that it derives from Uruguayan candombe and milongo and Cuban habanera with some of its elements coming from the African communities that lived in Buenos Aires. It has been influenced by both European music and African rhythms and this make the tango an international dance from its very start. It has seen it beginning in the mid to late 19th century in most of Buenos Aires’s working class dance house and brothels.
It did not remain in Buenos Aires for long as in the early twentieth century it was fast spreading throughout the world and first noticed in Paris and then London, flowed by Berlin, United States and the rest of the globe. It was no longer danced by the working classes as al upper class society started adopting this passionate dance as their own. Through this other dance, styles like salon, tango and ballroom were born too. There are hardly any city today in the world that does not have a tango club. It should however not be confused with ballroom tang which has a distinctive posture and very spectator and competition focus, which is a far cry from Argentine, connection, improvisational and organic focused tango dance.