Waltz, Quickstep, and Rumba Work Together

I spotted the following question on Quora. “What are some partner dances that are similar to Waltz, but faster and more challenging?” I’ve got this one. To begin with, Ballroom dances come in two styles; traveling dances and non-traveling dances, aka, spot dances. To be sure, from time to time traveling dances may stay in one spot, and spot dances may travel.  However, the main style of the dance will prevail.  Without a doubt, Waltz is a traveling dance.  Are you looking for a traveling dance that’s similar to Waltz, but faster and more challenging?  The first thing that comes to mind is Quickstep. On the other hand, some of the non-traveling moves from the Waltz fit beautifully into the Rumba.  As you will see, Waltz, Quickstep, and Rumba have some things in common.

Let’s see how these 3 dances relate to each other.

Waltz and Quickstep

Picture shows close dance hold for Waltz and Quickstep.


  • Waltz and Quickstep are both traveling dances.
  • The dance hold for each of the two dances is closed position with body contact.
  • The rotating Box step combines with other steps to move along the Line of Dance (counter-clockwise around the room).
  • Many of the steps are commonly used in both dances.


  • Waltz music can be quite romantic.  Some say it makes you feel like you’re floating on a cloud.
  • On the other hand, Quickstep music is very jazzy; think Ragtime, classic 30s & 40s Big Band, or more contemporary big band Pop music.
  • The biggest difference between the two dances is in the physical and emotional energy displayed.

Here’s a Dance Safari post with some thoughts about Quickstep, “Learning Quickstep? 5 Dances You Need to Know First.” (Hint, one is the Waltz.)

Waltz and Rumba

A rolling Latin hip action is used when dancing Rumba.  Here's an example.


  • Both Waltz and Rumba use the Box step as the basic step.
  • Crossbody leads and breaks are common in both dances.
  • Spins and underarm turns are also used often in each dance.


  • Rumba uses a more open dance position.
  • The Rumba Box rotates less than the Waltz Box.
  • Rumba uses Latin hip action to express the music. There’s no hip action in Waltz.
  • Because of its playful, sexy nature, Rumba is sometimes called the dating dance.

Waltz, Quickstep, and Rumba help each other out. Each one has a job on the dance floor. Waltz is for slow, romantic songs, Quickstep showcases speed and liveliness, while Rumba is the in-between dance that goes with many different rhythms and tempos. The beauty of having some knowledge of all three dances is you’ll be able to dance quite comfortably to a variety of different types of music. As a result, you’ll dance more and sit less. And, that’s a good thing!

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  1. I was station in Texas for almost seven years. I learn the Texas two-step and the Waltz. They had free classes and lady nights on Tuesday everywhere. I need a night of dancing. I love your post. I am retired now. Maybe time to go dancing again.

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