How America Brought Tango to the Ballroom:
The Tango originated in the lower class districts of Buenos Aires, Argentina in the late 19th century. Wealthier classes then encountered it at brothels as Madams of the brothels would hire tango musicians to keep the men entertained while they waited in line for women to become available (Denniston).
The Tango is a theatrical dance that is full of improvisation. This dance typically depicts a man pursuing a woman and her partially resisting him.
As Argentinean men began to travel abroad, the Tango was introduced to Europe, and in 1912 the Tango took Paris by storm. From there the dance became increasingly popular throughout the world and various different styles were developed. These different styles included the Argentine style, the English (International) style and the American ballroom style.
The Tango had already become popular in Europe and the Europeans started adding their own styles and culture into the dance. The English then standardized this version of the tango in order to teach it in dance schools. This standardized version of the Tango was originally referred to as the English style and then changed to the International style as it became the version that was practiced competitively around the world.
Although the American ballroom tango is probably the most simplified version, it is also the most ostentatious of all the Tangos. Following the English standardization of the Tango, American ballroom dance instructor, Arthur Murray, standardized a version of the Tango that could be taught in his chain of dance schools in America. He incorporated this style of Tango with both Argentine and Hollywood influences as well as mixing in other socially popular influences and techniques.