Learn to Dance Rumba

Ballroom dancing has a way of making you feel good. But, with so many dances to choose from, how do you know which ones to learn? Actually, many people claim you should make Rumba one of the first dances you pick up. As a matter of fact, according to centralhome.com*, “The word ‘rumba’ comes from the verb ‘rumbear’ which means going to parties, dancing, and having a good time.” Right there you have 3 good reasons to learn to dance the Rumba.

*A website featuring posts on Dance, Exercise, Diet, Weight Loss, Fitness and Sports.

Find out “The Best Thing About Ballroom Dancing” in this Dance Safari post.

In the American Style of Rumba, the basic step is called the Box Step.

The Rumba Box Step is a classic ballroom move that’s easy to learn.

To begin with, the Rumba Box uses six steps (or changes of weight from one foot to the other) and takes eight beats of music. In addition, the timing is counted in Slows and Quicks, where a Slow uses 2 beats of music and the Quick only 1.

The man begins by moving his left foot (LF) forward first.

  1. LF forward – Slow
  2. RF side – Quick
  3. LF closes to RF – Quick
  4. RF back – Slow
  5. LF side – Quick
  6. RF closes to LF – Quick

The lady starts by stepping back with her right foot (RF).

  1. RF back – Slow
  2. LF side – Quick
  3. RF closes to LF – Quick
  4. LF forward – Slow
  5. RF side – Quick
  6. LF closes to RF – Quick

Leading and following the Rumba box step.

To make this work for the couple, there must be a leader and a follower. Accordingly, tradition has the man leading and the lady following. As they dance, he’ll use his frame (or how he holds his arms) to communicate direction to his partner. As a result, the lady will follow a split-second after him.

Of course, mastering the Rumba Box Step proves you can learn to dance. As a matter of fact, you’ve already learned some technique, such as directional movement, timing, and partnership skills. At last, it’s time for you to hit the dance floor.

Why learn to dance the Rumba?

It’s considered a very versatile dance.

You can dance it in on a crowded floor or one that has room to move. Therefore, it can be very small and intimate or big and flashy. Moreover, Rumba is a playful dance that’s sexy and flirty. And yet, it can also be soft and romantic or just plain friendly.

As you improve and add some technique, your appearance will become more polished. For example, a little hip action will make your dancing feel more grounded and expressive. Leading and following skills develop a more natural look and feel.

Read this Dance Safari post, “Destroy Your Poor Latin Hip Action with 3 Easy to Do Tips” for some help with your Latin motion.

What about music?

The best thing about learning to dance the Rumba is that it’s a dance you can use right away to any kind of music. That’s right, any music. For instance, the basic Rumba steps like the Box Step and Underarm Turn can be done to Latin music, pop music, Disco, Country, whatever! Here’s an example of a song that fits perfectly.

Rumba box step with an underarm turn for the lady.
Rumba underarm turn for the lady.

Learning to do a simple Rumba Box Step is the quickest way to start using your dancing. Equally important, it’s a common step that’s used throughout the world. That means there’s a very good chance that your partner will be familiar with it. And, that’s a step in the right direction.

learn why Dance Safari recommends you learn to dance rumba


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