Rumba Learning Center
The Basic Step of Rumba
Rumba music is written in 4/4 time, with four beats to each measure. Two measures of music are required to complete one full basic step. In the music, the heavy beat is the one beat, the first beat of the measure. The music tempo is typically 104 to 108 beats per minute.
In Rumba, three steps are taken during each measure of music. In other words, three steps are taken to four beats of music. The steps are actually taken on beats 2, 3, and 4 of each measure and knee straightening, weight transfer, and turns are performed on the intervening half beats. No step is actually taken on count 1, but hip movement does occur on count 1. In American style Rumba, the step timing is sometimes counted quick, quick, slow; quick, quick, slow.
In International style Rumba, the step timing is counted 2,3,4-1, 2,3,4-1. Recall that stepping action only occurs on counts 2,3, and 4. Hip movement and spiral turning actions occur on count 1. Learning to count the music correctly is the first big hurdle for beginners. Students are seldom able to dance the Rumba correctly until they are able to count it correctly.
All steps should be taken to the inside edge of the ball of the foot. As steps are taken, the pointed toe of the moving foot skims the floor as it moves into place. As with all Latin dances, the footwork is ball-flat, ball-flat for all steps. All steps are taken with foot turn out. Latin motion is an essential element of the dance. Latin motion, especially the hip action, comes mainly from the alternate bending and straightening of the knees.
Like the basic for mambo, a full basic of the Rumba can be thought of as having a forward basic, which takes 4 beats of music, and a backward basic, which takes four beats of music. So, eight beats of music are required to complete one full basic. Each forward and backward basic can be considered to contain the following three steps: a break step, a replace step, and a slow step usually taken to second foot position.
Good Rumba music is hard to find from mainstream artists. To really be good, rumba music needs to be highly and correctly accented.
History of the Rumba
Sometimes called the grandfather of the Latin dances, the Rumba originates from Cuba and it was first seen in the United States around 1920.
Tips & Info
Beginners usually make the following mistakes.
Advice & important points to remember when dancing the Rumba