Ballroom Dances‎ > ‎American Style‎ > ‎

Rumba

Note! These are notes from dance classes prior to 2004. They are archived here for occasional reference.

Notes and Tips:
  • Cuban motion according to Pearl. On first half of slow, LF forward, place weight on ball of foot. On second half of slow, put down heel. feet facing outward, i.e., not pointed in same direction from the way she described it, it seems like Cuban motion is leading with the hip. Another possibility for how Cuban motion works: First place foot without shifting weight. Then right at the end, place weight on that foot. When I place weight on that foot, then straighten leg. Always step with inside ball of foot, and slide feet along ground, instead of lifting foot. Count is SQQ. Position of left hand: in closed position, elbow is always in front of my body, and hand is in front of my elbow. Hand presses lightly against hers, and I use this hand to lead in any movements where I am turning right. Cuban motion: on the quick chassés, it should look like the hips are going in the opposite direction from where I am going. The way I achieve this, moving foot has knee bent and heel lifted as far as I can without leaving the floor, at last minute, when I plant my weight, the leg goes straight. Hips go back to front, not side to side.
Tempo
  • Music has a beat of 4/4, 32-36 bars per minute. 128-144 bpm
  1. Rumba Box

    Variation of: Rumba Box: Bronze 1
    S. Left Forward
    Q. Right Diagonal, don't brush
    Q. Slide left foot to right
    S. Right straight back
    Q. Left back diagonal
    Q. Slide right foot to left together
  2. Under Arm Turn(UAT)

    Variation of: Rumba Box: Bronze 1
    On back box, lead her to walk around under my LH, turn next forward box left to meet her.
  3. Preferred UAT ending

    Variation of: Rumba Box: Bronze 1
    Instead of double rock step, go straight into forward basic.
  4. Quick Chassés

    Variation of: Rumba Box: Bronze 1
    When stepping to side, turn hip in while foot goes out. Can add styling by dropping the left hand while doing the chassés
    S. Forward Left
    Q. Right foot side
    Q. Feet together
    Q. RF side
    S. Feet together
    Q. RF side
    Q. Feet together
    Q. RF side
    Q. Feet Together
    Q. RF Side
    Q. Feet together
    S. Right foot back
    Q. Left foot side
    Q. Feet Together
    Q. Left foot side
    Q. Feet together
    Q. LF side
    Q. Feet together
    S. LF forward
    Q. continue basic
  5. Cross body lead

    Variation of: Rumba Box: Bronze 1
    SQQ. forward box
    S. step back with right, lower my left hand and hold her there, pivot left
    Q. left foot behind right
    Q. right foot feet together, bring her around to my left
    SQQ. forward box, in opposite direction from where we started
  6. 1st position breaks

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    S. LF forward
    Q. RF foot together
    Q. CW LF
    S. RF back
    Q. LF Foot together
    Q. CW RF
    S. LF side
    Q. RF foot together
    Q. CW LF
    S. RF side
    Q. LF together
    Q. CW RF
    QQS. Rumba Basic
  7. 2nd Position Breaks

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    S. LF forward
    Q. RF right
    Q. CW LF
    S. RF feet together
    Q. LF left
    Q. CW RF
    S. LF forward
    Q. RF side
    Q. LF feet together
  8. Basic Fifth Position Break

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    S. LF forward
    Q. RF side
    Q. LF feet together
    S. RF side
    Q. LF 5th position
    Q. CW RF
    S. LF side
    Q. RF 5th position
    Q. CW LF
    S. RF side
    Q. CW LF
    Q. CW RF
    S. LF side, pivot QT left
    Q. RF side
    Q. LF feet together
  9. Rocking Break

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    S. LF forward
    Q. RF forward
    Q. WC to LF
    S. WC to RF
    Q. LF forward
    Q. WC to RF
    S. WC to LF
    side together, do same going backwards
  10. Parallel Break

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    S. lf forward
    Q. rf diag
    Q. lf feet together
    S. rf right
    Q. lf cross over rf
    Q. rock back on right
    S. lf back (nw corner of box)
    Q. rf cross over lf
    Q. rock back on left
    S. rf to ne corner of box
    Q. lf cross over right
    Q. rock back on right
    S. lf to nw corner of box
    Q. rf cross over lf
    Q. rock back on lf
    S. rf straight back
    Q. lf diag back
    Q. rf feet together
  11. Cross Over Break

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    After forward half of basic box
    S. RF right, release closed hold, change grip on LH
    Q. LF cross over right, maintain open angle of feet, place left foot on same track as right, lead LH through
    Q. Ball change
    S. LF left, take her LH with my RH, release her RH
    Q. RF cross over left, lead through with RH
    Q. Ball change
    can move into UAT, Paseo, Walk around turn
  12. Bolero Break

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    After forward half of basic box
    S. RF right
    Q. LF forward
    Q. Ball change
    S. LF left
    Q. RF back
    Q. Ball change
    Preferred ending, on LF forward on Q., do rocking break
    Can move into fifth position break close, UAT, etc.
  13. Fifth position break

    Variation of: Rumba Breaks: Bronze 1
    SQQ. Forward Basic
    S. rf right
    Q. turn body quarter turn left (W), left foot behind right (SE), feet make right angle
    Q. rock forward on right
    S. turn body quarter right(N), left foot straight left(W), release closed hold
    Q. quarter turn right, rf behind left in fifth position, lead her right hand back along the line we came from
    Q. rock back on left
    S. qt left, rf straight right, rh back into closed position
    QQ. repeat fifth position break
    S. as I'm bringing her back to my left,instead of stepping west, step northwest (direction is between her feet, but don't actually step between her feet)
    QQ. Finish forward box
  14. Cuban Walk

    Variation of: Cuban Walk: Bronze 1
    walk straight forward for two bars. On third bar, forward basic walk straight back two bars. Third bar, backward basic
  15. Open cuban walk

    Variation of: Cuban Walk: Bronze 1
    SQQ. Front box
    S. RF back, Drop LH and hold her back
    Q. LF back, QT left
    Q. RF feet together, Lead is like side by side break, so I am releasing closed hold.
    S. LF forward, LH at waist level, palm in
    Q. RF side
    Q. CW LF
    S. RF back, slightly toward partner, to circle around her
    Q. LF back
    Q. RF back
    S. LF side, Lead her to continue stepping forward with her LF, then turn her around to face me, LH at waist level
    QQ. 2nd position break, lead her into UAT
    S. RF side
    QQ. Rocking break for ending
  16. Wrap around

    Variation of: Cuban Walk: Bronze 1
    SQQ. forward box
    SQQ. begin outside turn, but keep back of right hand on her upper back, and guide her into walking around, instead of completing turn
    S. left foot start circling around her. I need to keep my hand on her upper back, and lower her right hand (my left) so that it is in front of her and not awkwardly high.
    Q. short step right foot continuing to circle around her
    Q. short step left
    S. step right foot, begin inside turn
    Q. left foot short step, keep left hand high, as her free hand comes around, catch it
    Q. right foot short step
    S. step left, second inside turn
    Q. right short step
    Q. left short step, by this time we are in the cuddle position
    S. right foot step. If we are in a good position for it, begin outside turn to unwrap, otherwise wait until next timeright foot steps on slow
    Q. not sure if I should end with a forward box or a double rock into forward box
  17. Alternate Wrap Around

    Variation of: Cuban Walk: Bronze 1
    Starts the same as the Wrap Around, but now I lead her around my back, and end with an under arm turn and a fifth position break. Liz suggests I do a little more walking as I do the turn. On the slow step with RF where in the Wrap Around I would start wrapping, in this pattern I step under my arm to move into position for Open Cuban Walk.
  18. Open Break and Underarm turn

    Variation of: Open Break and Underarm Turn: Bronze 2
    S. left forward
    Q. right diagonal
    Q. left to right slide together
    S. right foot straight right while right hand releases, left hand goes down and pushes away
    Q. left back rock step
    Q. rock back forward
    S. left foot straight left while raising left hand for turn
    Q. right foot rock step back
    Q. rock forward
    S. right foot even with left, close hold
    Q. left foot to just forward and left of right foot, rock step
    Q. rock back
    S. complete with forward basic box
  19. Open Rocks

    Variation of: Open Break and Underarm Turn: Bronze 2
    Open her up on open break to put my right arm around her back. Like fifth position breaks, but my arm goes around her, and I do a second position break.
  20. Alternate Underarm Turns

    Variation of: Open Break and Underarm Turn: Bronze 2
    Open break, lady's UAT left, then I go under my arm for a turn to the right.
  21. Sweetheart

    Variation of: Open Break and Underarm Turn: Bronze 2
    After open break, same as all the other sweethearts.
  22. Curving Chair

    Variation of: Curving Chair: Bronze 2
    Variation on Open Cuban Walk. When I am stepping slow with LF, on first half of slow continue her forward, then turn her around as I QT left and step side, and go palm to palm, my RH to her LH. Q, reach RF crossing LF and point, bending left knee. From here, I can lead her into inside turn, preferably on the QQ, and then follow it with my own UAT, starting on the slow.
  23. Back Spot Turn

    Variation of: Back Spot Turn: Bronze 3
    It starts out from open break, which can be out of an UAT. With left hand down and holding her back, rock step back on left on quick, rock back forward on right, step forward on left, drawing her left hand into my center line to go back into closed hold, as I turn right. Step fifth position with my right foot, left foot left. When I am turning, I end up so that I have gone around 3/4 of a turn in place.
    S. From open break, hold her back with left hand, rock back on left
    Q. Rock forward on right
    Q. Pull her hand into my centerline, step forward left, turn body to right, close position
    S. Right foot fifth position, start her into outside turn
    Q. Left foot left
    Q. Right foot fifth position break
    S. Right foot even, close hold
    Q. Left foot fifth position, complete as in fifth position breaks
  24. Walk Around Turn

    SQQ. Do normal basic, but on backwards right basic, release closed hold on the slow step, raise right hand, finish the basic. On next measure,
    S. Left foot forward
    Q. Step around with right so that I am facing her again, and can restore the closed hold
    Q. Slide feet together.
  25. Paseo

    SQQ. forward box
    S. right foot right for x-over break
    Q. left foot crosses over right, break
    Q. rock back on right
    S. left foot left, take her left hand in my right
    Q. right foot crosses left, hang onto both hands
    Q. left foot past right(W)
    S. break with right foot going to fifth position
    Q. left foot continues left (W), stop her left hand with my open right hand
    Q. weight onto right foot
    S. x-over break with left foot
    Q. lead her right hand (my left) back to do free outside turn, while I right with right
    Q. turning counter-clockwise, step E with left, I will be facing away from her
    S. continuing to turn, step E with right
    Q. complete with double rock into forward box
  26. Inside Turn to Shadow and Spiral Turn

    2002.1.3
    On forward box, lead lady into inside turn on QQ
    S, RF side, continue turn, changing to R2R hold.
    QQ, turn her into shadow position, with my RH on her right shoulder, and continue walking backwards, so we are turning around counterclockwise.
    SQ, continue turning.
    Q, feet together, stop turning.
    S, as she is placing her weight on her left foot going forward, keeping RH at shoulder level until it is necessary to take it over her head, lead her into spiral turn, which all happens on this S.
    QQS, she will be ready to step with RF on Q, lead her to make one more half turn, as I walk forward to go into next forward box.
  27. Spiral Turn

    All happens on a slow. As she places her foot going forward, lead her to turn in direction opposite to that foot, so she ends up with trailing leg crossed in front of leg she is turning on. I have to time it just right for this to work.
  28. Inside Turn to Fade Away Rock

    2002.1.3
    SQQ, forward box
    S, RF side, turn frame slightly left to prepare her for inside turn.
    QQ, 2nd position break left, while leading inside turn. As soon as she goes far enough around, place hand back on her back, so I can keep her from running away, and lead her back down the line.
    S, face to face, palms out, just change weight back to LF.
    QQ, QT right, leaving LF in place, 5th position rock with RF, leading her to do the same on her side.
    S, put weight back on RF, QT left to face each other again
    QQ, 2nd position break left
    SQQ, back into box
  29. Lady's Left and Right Spiral/Double Turn Ending

    Forward half of box to crossover break
    Outside Turn
    Parallel Breaks
    After parallel break on left, on slow, lead lady into outside spiral into hammerlock, and then two steps leading her to walk forward down line.
    S. Lead inside spiral turn, unwinding her.
    From here, we can do side together side into crossover break or lead another inside turn into crossover break.
  30. Window Rock

    Start like Lady's Left and Right Spiral.
    After right spiral, two walks forward for lady, on slow, stop her with right hand on hip.
    QQ. rock onto RF, CW to left foot, starting to unwind her on second Q.
    S. Weight onto RF as she finishes unwinding.
    QQ. Side together, and then go into forward box.
  31. Back Spot Turn/Open Rock Ending

    Three back spot turns, end with second position break into forward box.
  32. Forward Spot Turn

    Forward Half box
    Cross body lead
    S. Place left foot between her feet, and start going in left circle around her, crossing LF in front.
    To end, think of this as a rumba walk going in a circle.
  33. Aida

    Two forward spot turns, so that on slow I am stepping on LF.
    Lead her to continue stepping back on the S, and when I know she is stepping back, release RH, and start to walk back with her, side by side.
    QQ, two steps back.
    S. RF back.
    QQ. Rock onto LF, then back onto RF.
    S. Pivot QT left on LF, extending right leg.
    QQ. Lead walkaround turn.
  34. Crossover Swivels

    Start with Crossover break.
    S. Step side, facing partner, take both hands, palms out and slide RF to LF, turning RF in.
    Q. Turn both feet right, RF side, and brush LF to RF.
    QS. Repeat left and right.
    QQ. Continue into Crossover break, and repeat the whole thing if desired.
  35. Window Wrap Turn with Bolero Break

    Open Break, keeping both hands.
    SQQS. Outside Turn into Hammerlock, RF to LF on last S.
    QQ. Side break.
    SQQS. Back Spot Turn footwork, while I lead lady to turn left into cuddle. We should be positioned so that her LH is tight around waist, i.e., wound up.
    QQ. I break forward and around her with LF, and then back to RF, leading her to break back.
    SQQS. LF side, lead lady into one and a half turns right, unwinding, and I follow.
    Bolero Break to Side Break ending.
  36. Sliding Doors

    Open Break to Cuddle
    Walk forward around her, until I step slow LF.
    QQ. Making sure I am at right angles to her, and my RH connection is taught, rock forward LF, leading her to rock back.
    S. LF side, lead her to step in front of me.
    QQ. Side break right, lead her to break left.
    S. Lead her to continue back into cuddle on my right, while I step forward with RF.
    When I am done sliding back and forth, walk forward around lady until I am stepping slow with RF, and lead lady to unwind, and go right into forward half of box.
    I can combine sliding doors with Window Wrap Turn by inserting it in the middle.
  37. Back Spot Turn with Banquera Break

    Start with Back Spot Turn.
    After one measure, RF feet together on slow, at right angles to lady on my right.
    QQ. Side break left, lead lady to back break.
    S. Lead lady across me, with a 'C' lead, and step across with LF, so that we are side to side.
    QQ. Side break right, lead lady to side break left.
    Open Cuban Walks.
  38. Spot Turns With Breaks

    Start with Forward Spot Turn.
    One measure around.
    S. RF feet together.
    QQ. Just rock left and right with feet in place, and lead lady to break left and back.
    S. LF side, start back spot turn, and continue into side break ending or banquera break
  39. Shadow Turn

    Open Break to Lady's Outside turn, overturn it, walking around her, to end up in shadow position, L2L hold.
    QQ, rock clockwise.
    S. LF hook.
    Q. RF side, lead lady into underarm turn right to my left, with slight lunge on my part.
    Q. CW LF, lead lady continue turn right, back into shadow
    S. RF feet together, lead lady to step back.
    repeat twice.
    To end, walk around clockwise 2 measures, after stepping slow RF, lead her into free spin right, and close up into basic.
  40. Rumba Promenades

    Crossover break to outside turn into PP.
    QQ, forward steps in PP.
    S, RF cuts across lady, left arm goes around her back.
    QQ, forward in counter-promenade
    S, lady cuts across me
    to end, instead of cutting across lady from promenade, close her up and go into box.
  41. Rumba Promenades with Pivot

    In Rumba Promenades, when I cut across lady with RF, do a pivot, then go back into promenade.
  42. Shadow Promenades

    Start with Promenades
    When I flip lady from my left to my right arm, catch her in shadow position instead of having our arms behind each other. (This might be tough.)
    On this step, which is a slow step on the right foot, I need to fake. I do this by just tapping the right foot, and then letting my right foot go back for the next QQ.
    Get both hands on her hips. S, RF forward, and turn her so that
    QQ, we cuban break left.
    S, LF cross in front.
    QQ, cuban break right.
    End this by taking her left hand, and leading spiral turn when we step slow on RF.
  43. Push and Pull

    Open break, but with strong push, going into sit break.
    S. Come back together, to push off with man's RH.
    QQ. RF step back, and turn to face right, so that we are facing the same way and extended out.
    S. Turn back to face partner, and step outside with RF, doing ronde with LF.
    QQ. Continue ronde, while lady crosses behind with RF, then steps side with LF, going around me.
    S. Step back with LF, leading lady to step forward with her right.
    SQQ. Curl
    SQQ. RF forward, LF forward, turn frame half turn right, RF back.
    S. LF back, turn to face partner, both hands out.
    QQS. Rock to RF, LF, RF
    QQS. Both do walk around turn.
  44. Oversway

    Starting from shadow position, lady stepping Slow on her RF
    Lead spiral turn left after she places her RF, and get my RH on her back as she goes around, and after her LH clears my head, let it go.
    Q. RF forward, keep her turning until she is facing me.
    Q. LF forward, lunge position.
    S. Lead her to step back on her LF, and then lean back. This is the oversway.
    QQ. come back up.
    SQQSQQ. Pivots
    S. Into promenade to end.
  45. Rope Spin

    Like Around the World in Two Step
    SQQ. Back spot turn.
    S. Lead lady into spiral turn right, getting RH on her back.
    QQS. Cuban Break left, as I lead her to walk around me clockwise
    QQ. Cuban break right, as she comes side by side on my left.
    S. RF back, into open cuban walks.
  46. Open Spirals

    From open cuban walks.
    On LF stepping slow, turn left into lady's arm, putting my RH on it, but don't start turn.
    Q. Step through her arm, leading her into a spiral turn on the Q.
    Q. Keeping same orientation, LF cross.
    S. RF back and side, so that we are side by side again, to continue with open cuban walks.
  47. Shadow Rocks

    QQS. Lead outside turn, overturning lady into shadow, while I step around her clockwise, RF hook, LF side, RF forward.
    QQS. Rock forward on LF, leading her to rock back on her RF, end feet together.
    Q. Lead her to step out past me on my left, under my left arm, turning right, to face me, as I lunge right.
    Q. Lead her to continue turning right toward me, back into shadow.
    S. RF forward, as she steps LF back.
    QQ. Rock forward on LF, as she rocks back on RF.
    S. LF feet together, and after she steps on RF, lead her into spiral turn left, and then close up.
  48. Rumba Promenade to Challenge and Oversway

    QQ. walk forward in PP.
    S. LF forward in PP, and extend frame out past feet, both of us together. This is the challenge.
    QQ. Turn my right hip toward her in a spiral down to an oversway. If I do this right, she should be supporting all her own weight.
    S. RF steps between her legs, and I use this movement to prod her left leg into a ronde.
    QQ. Slip Pivot, LF forward, turning left, and then RF back, continuing to turn.
    Rumba Box.
  49. Lady's Underarm Turn Right with Quick Spiral

    Lead open break to underarm turn, and on last slow, lead lady into spiral, her weight on LF, turn right.
    Continue like rope spin.
  50. Man's Rolling Off the Arm

    Lead lady's open spiral.
    At end of it, when I take L2R, be facing lady, instead of side by side
    roll in left, LF stepping slow, so we end up side by side, my left arm wrapped around me.
    For one measure, do cuban walks, wrapped up.
    Unwind turning right and stepping back with RF, to continue open cuban walk motion.
    Can alternate open spirals and man's rolling off the arm.

Comments