The Street Latin dances are the modern social dances of South America.
They are most easily recognizable by a much freer and smoother style of body movement than is characteristic of the Ballroom Latin dances, with the rhythms being expressed through the dancer's whole body.
In Merengue, the emphasis is on intricate 'twister' like turn patterns.
In Argentine Tango there is a significant focus on fancy footwork styling with lots of fast kicks, flicks and rhondaes.
The speed of Salsa and Merengue and the intricacy of the movements in all of the dances demand good leading and following skills, as well as good balance and control, so they might take a bit longer to learn.
Its definitely worth the extra effort though because the freedom and flexibility of these dances gives them a unique appeal and makes them intriguing, passionate and spirited.
Most of these dances can be danced very compactly, except for Argentine Tango which is much more easily danced on a larger floor.
Modern and traditional South American music suits these dances best, but both Salsa and Merengue can be adapted to other upbeat popular music.