Learn About the
Rumba
An American Rhythm Dance
(An International Latin Dance)

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The Rumba is thought to have originated in Cuba, 400 hundred years ago with the African slaves.  The earliest forms of the dance was a pantomime by the natives under the spell of elemental music (rhythms).  The Rumba became popular in the late 1920's and has remained popular ever since.  It soft and sensual rhythms are reminiscent of two lovers, sad when its time to part and happy upon coming together.  The music is very romantic, a dance for lovers.  The Rumba is the "Mother" of all Latin Dances.  There are three versions of the Rumba danced today. They are:

   1.  American Box Rumba

   2.  International Rumba (also known as the Rumba Bolero, or the English Rumba)

    3.  American Bolero

 

Character: 

Slow, romantic and  rhythmical, hip action is essential.

1. Danced in One Spot
2.  Cuban Motion (hip action)
3. Subtle use of Rib-Cage action
4. Na-Ni-Go action (Forward & Back)
5. Rocking Actions, Walking Steps
6. Soft or Staccato use of Arms in Open Positions
     7  Sensual and Flirty
 

Footwork:

Ball/Flat throughout

Inside Edge to Flat can also be used on side moving steps.
 

*Note  1.  On side movements, the foot can roll from the inside edge to a flat foot

*Note 2.  And on  "Back" Rocking  the heel may or may not lower depending on the speed of the music.  Also, when dancing Back Spot Turns (Natural Tops) the right "hooking" should be placed with weight on ball of  foot only.  

 

Tempo: 

American:  32 - 36 MPM
International
: 26 - 27  MPM

Count:

American Rumba Rhythm:
1 - 2   3   4,   1 - 2   3   4
SL     Q  Q     SL    Q  Q

International Rumba Rhythm:
 2  3  4 - 1,    2  3  4 - 1,
Q  Q   SL     Q  Q   SL

There are various other counts that can also be used.  Arthur Murray coined the Slow, Quick, Quick count, while Fred Astaire used the Quick, Quick, Slow count.  Both counts are correct and used in the American Style.  The International Style Rumba is more easily counted with numbers.

 
This content is intended as general information and should not be used in lieu of an actual dance class to learn the aforementioned dance.

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