The ballroom version of rumba dance originates from Cuba where it was derived from a dance called Bolero-Son. The modern international ballroom style of the rumba dance was brought to England by Monsieur Pierre who visited Cuba in 1947, 1949, and 1953.
The international ballroom rumba dance tempo is slower than American rumba, which is more of a social dance. International ballroom rumba is danced to a rhythm of 120 beats per minute.
How to dance international rumba
There is no rise and fall in dancing rumba. The steps are small and precise in relation to the beat. It is very important that the step happens right on the beat. When taking a step, we arrive on a straight leg with our weight positioned right over the leg.
The timing of the step and arriving on the straight leg is more important than the hip action. It is critical to take the Rumba step and arrive on it just as the music beat strikes. The common mistake of many beginner dancers is taking the step too early.
Watch the rumba video below to see how precise and sharp Michaels and Joanna’s steps are. Also pay attention to their posture. Pay special at attention to the sensual aspect of the dance. Note you may disregard the introduction and focus on the dance itself.
The correct Latin dance posture is standing with the weight positioned over the balls of our feet, and our body being aligned over the balls of our feet, as well. When we stand correctly with our hip bones our shoulders aligned over the balls of our feet, then we feel very stable, which allows us to take quick and precise steps deriving speed and power from the dance floor.
A good way to develop a solid rumba technique is by practicing rumba walks from the first day that you start dancing. You will find that rumba walks are practiced in many competitive ballroom dancing studios by beginners and seasoned dancers alike. Below you can watch a rumba walk demonstration by Slavik and Karina.
Dancing the basic step
The basics step in Rumba is danced on 2 – 3 to take a step forward on 2, then transfer the weight back on 3. You can also count 2 and 3 as quick quick. Once you’ve danced two and three by taking a step forward and transferring your weight back on the count of three, you will take a step to the side on four and you will hold for the count of one. You can also count the four-one count as a slow. Please note that the step will still be quick and precise, but the hip action will be danced for two counts (4 and 1) to fill the music. You can watch the rumba basic demonstration video below.