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Rumba Dance Steps

Rumba dance steps are not very difficult to pick up and is a fabulous dance form for couple dancing. Scroll down to know more about this dance with a Cuban origin.
Rumba is one of those sexy and slow ballroom dancing forms and forms a significant part of the Latin dances which are popular world wide. It originated in Cuba and then spread all over, influencing and inspiring the rise of other dance forms, cha cha cha, for instance. Does this excite you? Well, then put on your dancing shoes and let's learn some dance steps!

Basic Rumba Steps

Rumba Fundamentals
A cardinal rule of couple dance is to have impeccable eye contact with the partner. Like other Latin American dances, hips have to do a lot of work here, on a slow-quick-quick beat. To tell you more, rumba songs are usually 4/4 time. In addition to that, the leading partner, the man has to be confident all the way, because if he is not, the follower may get confused. On the other hand, the woman must follow the man's movements carefully and properly, even in case of a wrong move. This will help the leading partner correct the move, sans any sort of confusion. Finally, before we actually get to the steps, an important point to be mentioned is that the primary step in Rumba is the 'box step', which resembles waltz a lot. However, Rumba does not use the dance floor in totality, like waltz. It is a rather compact dance with small steps.

Rumba Dance Moves
I have illustrated the dance steps for both the leader and the follower in the following text, go through it and try to follow the same.

For the Leader
  • Stand with your feet together, facing your partner.
  • Your right hand should be on the waist of your partner.
  • Stretch your left hand up to the height of your chest.
  • The elbow should be bent and the palm has to be raised.
  • Hold the hand of your partner in a loose grip.
  • Listen to the 2/4 or 4/4 beat when the music is played.
  • Step 2 feet to the left with your left foot and then do the same with your right foot.
  • Again step 2 feet forward with your left foot.
  • Now, step forward 2 feet and to the right 2 feet with your right foot.
  • follow that by bringing your left foot to the right and then step with your right foot, 2 feet backward.
  • Finally, get your left foot together with your right.
  • Repeat.
For the Follower
  • The basic thing is to follow the leader.
  • Start with placing your left hand on the shoulder of your partner.
  • Then hold the stretched hand of your partner in your right hand.
  • When your partner steps back, you take steps forward.
  • When your partner steps forward, you step back.
  • Finally, mirror the steps of the partner and your job is done!
That was the basic Box step involved in Rumba!

Distinct Rumba Steps
The so-called hip movements are created as a result of the ankle, knee, leg and foot action done in an impeccable manner. Once weight transfer is controlled well with these elements, the hip part is taken care of. A full step is completed in 2 measures of music. Rumba is done in a couple of ways by those who do this professionally. One way is the sweet, subtle and romantic, while the other is the aggressively romantic and is done with a lot of gusto.

Moreover the fan, hockey stick, alemana turn, open hip twist, fencing line, hip rolls and El Paseo are some of the other steps. Normally in Rumba and even in other Cuban dances, the steps are compact and there is normally no rise and fall. The figures and postures are evolved from times dating back to pre-revolutionary period in Cuba.

It is all these factors which make Rumba such a delight to learn! Happy dancing!
By Medha Godbole
Last Updated: 9/27/2011
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