Last modified on 16 November 2009, at 01:47

Social Ballroom Dancing/Rumba/American Rhythm Technique

{moed from w:Rumba (dance)}

The basic move in American Style Rumba is known as a Box Step. It is similar in basic structure to Waltz and other box-step dances in step position, but uses a 4/4 timing versus the 3/4 timing found in Waltz. Assuming an eight count step (two measures of 4/4), steps occur on one, three, four, five, seven, and eight. This leaves a "slow--quick-quick-slow--quick-quick" pattern to the dance in its most basic form.

Description Image
Step 0, Starting position. Lead (represented in blue) and Follow (represented in pink) face each other, feet closed, roughly squarely in front of each other. Rumba0.png
Step 1. Beginning of movement. Lead steps forward with the left foot while Follow steps backward with the right foot. This begins slightly before the first count in the music, so that the foot comes down on the first count. Dancers hold this position through the second count. This is the first slow in the slow--quick-quick pattern described above. Rumba1.png
Step 2. Lead brings the right foot forward and then to the right, while Follow brings left foot back and to the left. This occurs for the third count. This is the first quick in the slow--quick-quick pattern. Rumba2.png
Step 3. Lead's left foot steps to the right to meet the right foot while Follow's right foot steps left to meet the left foot. This occurs for the fourth count of music. This is the second quick in the slow--quick-quick pattern. Rumba3.png
Step 4. Lead steps backward with the right foot while Follow steps forward with the left foot. This move is basically the reverse of Step 1, and occurs with the fifth count of music in the same manner that Step 1 occurred with the first count. Dancers hold this position through the sixth count of music. This is the first slow in the second part of the slow--quick-quick pattern. Rumba4.png
Step 5. Lead brings the left foot backward and then to the left, while Follow brings right foot forward and to the right. This occurs on the seventh count. This is the first quick in the second part of the slow--quick-quick pattern. Rumba5.png
Step 6. Lead's right foot steps to the left, meeting the left foot, while Follow's right foot steps to the right, meeting the left foot. This occurs on the eighth count of music. This is the second quick in the second part of the slow--quick-quick pattern, and leaves the Dancers in the position in Step 0, to begin again at Step 1 on the next count of music and with the next slow--quick-quick pattern. Rumba6.png

The basic is only to provide a framework for the rest of the dance. Mastering the dance requires learning additional steps that fall within this framework.