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How to Dance Rumba

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# Beginner Guides

Did you know there are two styles of Rumba? More to learn and more to love. In this article, we'll break down the basics and get you dancing the American and the International Rumba in no time.

The American Rumba is a mixture of International Cha Cha and Rumba. This dance allows for faster speed and steps than its International Rumba counterpart. Danced with a bent-to-straight leg action, the American Rumba is upbeat with strongly accentuated hip actions known as "Cuban Action."

The International Rumba is the slowest International Latin dance in terms of music, however, it showcases alternating timings to depict fast moments within a slow dance. Known as the dance of love, the Rumba is crowd favorite, often telling a romantic story between two people. Unlike the American Rumba, the International style is danced with a straight leg action, likened to the International Cha Cha. Okay, ready to learn how to dance rumba?

 

Timing

The American Rumba breaks on count one, unlike its International Rumba counterpart. This dance can also be counted in a “Slow, Quick, Quick” timing, where a slow represents two counts, and a quick represents one count. Therefore, a “slow, quick, quick” can also be counted “one two (slow) three (quick) four (quick). 

The International Rumba breaks on count two, like the Cha Cha. Instead of a syncopation on counts "four and one", the International Rumba uses these two counts for one step. This will make more sense as we discuss the breakdown of the basic step!

Breakdown of Basic Step - American Rumba

As a follower:

  1. Prepare to dance with your weight on your right foot with your left foot free.
  2. Step forwards with your left foot.
  3. Take a side step with your right foot and close your left foot to your right foot.
  4. Switch your weight to the left foot, now the right foot should be free.
  5. Step back with your right foot.
  6. Take a step to the side with your left foot, now close the right foot to the left.

This basic step should look like you are drawing a box with your feet. 

INTLRumba_FL

As a leader:

  1. Prepare to dance with your weight on your left foot with your right foot free.
  2. Step backwards with your right foot.
  3. Take a side step with your left foot and close your right foot to your left foot.
  4. Switch your weight to the right foot, now the left foot should be free.
  5. Step forward with your left foot.
  6. Take a step to the side with your right foot, now close the left foot to the right.

This basic step should look like you are drawing a box with your feet. 

INTLRumba_LD

Breakdown of Basic Step - International Rumba

As a follower:

  1. Prepare to dance with your weight on your right foot with your left foot free.
  2. Step to the side with your left foot.
  3. Take a step backward with your right foot.
  4. Step back onto your left foot.
  5. Step to the side with your right foot.
  6. Take a step forward with your left foot. 

As a leader:

  1. Prepare to dance with your weight on your left foot with your right foot free.
  2. Step to the side with your right foot.
  3. Take a step forward with your left foot 
  4. Step back onto your right foot.
  5. Step to the side with your left foot.
  6. Take a step backward with your right foot

Try it from Home

Discover our 4 tips on how to learn to dance from home with Dance Vision.

Dance to the Music

We love Rumba so much, we found two playlists for it! Check out our curated Dance Vision Spotify playlists created with dancers like you in mind. Take the playlist with you to the studio or use it to practice from home. Who knows, you might find your new favorite song to jam to and get inspired by!

American Rumba:

 

International Rumba:

 

Now that you’re hooked on the Rumba, check out more steps on our website and App! Let’s dance!

Go to dancevision.com

 

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