The rumba is a passionate, slow dance. The rumba music comes from the island of Cuba. If you’ve seen the television show “Dancing With The Stars,” then you know how sultry and soft the rumba can be. Today, you’re going to learn how to dance the basic rumba step.
Now there are two kinds of rumba in the ballroom world. American rhythm and International rumba.
Rumba Music For Rumba Dance
You’re going to be learning the American rhythm style, as it’s easier and more social. The International rumba is more for those wishing to compete at a high level.
Alright, let’s get started.
The rumba is danced in 4/4 time. That means there are four beats per measure. The rumba count is quick, quick, slow. Each quick lasts one full beat (a quarter note), and each slow is two full beats (a half note).
The dance starts in a regular closed dance position. That means you are facing your partner square on. Your shoulders should be pointing at each other.
The man takes his left hand and clasps it around the lady’s right—the man’s right hand cups her left shoulder blade.
Steps For Rumba Dance
Alright, now we’re ready to do the basic rumba step! Here we go:
1. Man starts with his left foot. Step to the side (about shoulder’s width distance). Shift about 70% of your weight to that left foot. This count is a quick – or one beat of the music.
2. The gentleman now brings his right foot over to the left and brings them together. At this point, shift your weight to the right foot while they are both closed and touching. This count is quick.
3. On this count, the guy goes forward with the left. This count is slow, so it should last a full two beats of music. Of course, the lady does the exact opposite, moving back on her right foot. Also, one thing to note – don’t step with the heel first. Step with the ball of your foot, and then roll onto the heel.
4. Almost done! For this next step, the man steps to the side with his right foot (lady steps with her left). The step length should be again about the shoulder’s width apart. This is a quick count. Shift 70% of your weight to that right foot.
5. Now, bring your left foot to the right and close. Shift your weight to the left foot. This step should take a full beat (or another quick).
6. Finally, step backward with the right foot (ladies step forward with the left). This is two full counts or a slow count. Shift all your weight to that right foot, guys.
And there you have it. The basic rumba step. Basically, it’s a box figure. So if your feet had pencils and were drawing on the floor, you’d make a box or a big square.
The count, again, is quick, quick, slow. The first step is taken on count “1” of the music.
It’s always tough to learn how to dance through the text like this, but pat yourself on the back for giving it a try.