The Rumba dance is a passionate, sexy, Latin dance that is one of the most popular of the Latin Ballroom dances and great fun to learn. Today's Rumba, a modification of the Cuban "Son" (a version of the original Afro-Cuban Rumba) arrived in the United States in the early 1920's. The Rumba dance does not progress around the dance floor but rather remains in one area of dance the floor. This is demonstrated in the Rumba video on this page.
The Rumba is a slow, sensuous, romantic dance with flirtation and intense energy between the dance couple. This dance highlights the distinctive body and hip movements resulting from the use of "Cuban Motion". Cuban Motion is a figure eight movement of the hips that is created from the alternate bending and straightening of the knees when changing weight from foot to foot. The upper body movements further convey the slow, sultry, seductive nature of the Rumba dance. There is also emphasis on the sensuous leg movement along with the peeling of the feet off the floor foot action.
Rumba dance music is written in 4/4 time. There are two styles of Rumba. The first Rumba dance style is the International Style Latin Rumba, which is danced to a slow Latin beat and is counted 2 3 4(1), 2 3 4(1). In this dance style, the weight, when stepping from foot to foot, is taken onto a straightened leg. The second Rumba dance style is the American Style Rhythm Rumba, which is danced to a faster tempo and is counted Slow-Quick-Quick(SQQ). In this style, the weight, when stepping from foot to foot, is taken onto a bent leg rather than a straightened leg. Both style of Rumba dance are demonstrated in the Rumba video on this page.