Sliding Doors

Rumba Sliding Doors

Rumba Sliding Doors is a Gold Level figure. This online reference gives a detailed description of the different variation of the dance steps, including timing, and movement; a list of figures that may precede or follow the pattern; and videos providing instruction and demonstration of the figure, techniques and practice routines that include it.


  • 2: LF fwd | No turn | Start from Fan Position. Slightly release L arm tone.

  • 3: Transfer weight to RF

    • Contract L arm

  • 4 1: Close LF to RF

    • Raise L hand in front of Lady's head

  • 2: RF behind LF (Cuban Cross) | 1/8 to R

    • Extend L arm fwd. Take R to L hand hold (Double hold) at waist level.

  • 3: LF fwd and slightly leftwards | No turn

    • Lower L arm to waist level. R arm behind Lady's back.

  • 4 1: Close RF to LF in RSP

    • Retain tone in arms.

  • 2: LF to side | Slight body turn to R

    • Option: Man can do side Cucarachas from step 7 to 12. Footwork: Flat on 8 and 11.

  • 3: Transfer weight to RF

  • 4 1: Close LF to RF in TP | Slight body turn to L to normal position

    • Extend arms slightly fwd

  • 2: RF to side | No turn

    • Extend arms to L

  • 3: Transfer weight to LF in TP

    • Retract arms

  • 4 1: Close RF to LF in RSP | --

    • Retain tone in arms.


  • 2: Close RF to LF | No turn

    • Start in Fan Position. (Other entries: this often follows Hip Twist.)

  • 3: LF fwd | --

  • 4 1: RF fwd | --

  • 2: LF fwd | 1/8 to L

  • 3: RF to side and slightly back under arm | No turn

    • Hands could be crossed in front of body. Or, Man could change to R to R hand hold. See notes below.

  • 4 1: LF back in RSP | --

    • R arm to side.

  • 2: RF back | --

    • This is often the starting point of sliding door.

    • RF heel down, but make sure L upper body is still stretched forward, do hip action to roll R hip back, but do not move weight too far back, keep upper body forward. R upper body rotate to R.

    • Common preceding entry: When previous figure finishes with Lady's LF fwd on 41 e.g. Alemana - in which case, sharp 1/2 turn to R (turn body first, keep legs tight, squeeze; take center in) then, RF back. create elasticity.

    • R arm go up, next to ear (but keep space), flip wrist. Fingers same plane as palm, don't break fingers (except for middle finger styling) Keep R shoulder blade down. Body rotated to R.

    • There are different hand hold options:

      • Lady's LH to Man's LH (L elbow flat with arm, not down), Lady's RH go straight up on side.

      • double hand hold: Lady's LH to Man's LH, Lady's RH to Man's RH

      • Lady's LH on her own left ribs, L elbow forward (don't hit Man),

  • 3: Transfer weight to LF | --

    • Hip Twist action: Rotate R hip more back high, counter balance with rib cage forward. Then twist (Use swivel technique, contract L ribs, rotate L) and upper body will rotate the other way (to R) to counter the hip to L. Shoulders stay about same to front, but rib cage is twisting against hip direction.

    • Wheel on R elbow, R hand and upper arm behind head, do it completely, not half way; then elbow in front, then down to side of body

  • 4 1: RF fwd and across in TP | --

    • Pressed walk on 41.

      • R leg/RF close to the standing LF first (R knee drape over) before it opens to pressed walk position. (Anna Kovalova's tip for Lady.)

      • RF leg is diagonally leftward. Do not step RF too big forward, make it more cross LF, more rotation to L.

      • RF needs to be turned out to R (turn knee out, R heel in to left & up)

      • R leg is pressing fwd, L leg is back straight, stretching/creating space between the 2 legs. L hip rotated back L.

      • R side of body is forward, create diagonal stretch between L hip rotating back and R side of body stretching fwd.

    • Arms: Focus on working the body, not "working the hands". arm and hands movement comes from body movement. Arm movement to right syncs with when hip rotates to L.

      • R arm full arm to side, or

      • R upper arm vertical next to body, flip lower arm to side like carrying a purse. Or,

      • R hand on hip.

    • End of 1: Straight R leg, RF slide diagonally fwd, bigger R hip rotation which brings LF in, collect LF before stepping LF out (but seamless, no stopping LF).

  • 2: LF to side | --

    • Before stepping LF to side, first hip twist (swivel technique) on RF, collect LF next to RF, collect thighs together, L knee drape over R leg, create nice line and then step LF out. (seamless, passing, no stop)

    • Option: Traditionally LF goes to side, current day, LF is taken more diagonally fwd to give it 3D (nice picture from every angle) and it makes next turn to R easier as well).

    • L arm extend to left, squeeze side, full straight L arm action from side to front, leading with wrist, then hand follows. Then bent and collect L arm (don't bend too early). (R arm elbow in.) Cucaracha action

    • Finish L hip high.

  • 3: Transfer weight to RF in TP | --

    • L elbow in, R elbow down.

    • At end of 3, collect LF to RF first before stepping back on 4

  • 4 1: LF back and across in RSP | --

    • If continuing, man normal hold Lady's L wrist at this step.

    • Advanced version: at end of 3, 1/2 turn to R , LF fwd on "4", End of "1" half turn to R, RF back, continue with Advanced hip twist or or another Sliding Door.


    • Alternative hold:

      • Man:

        • keep L hand below chest level, taking R to R hand hold at end of 3, releasing hold with L hand.

        • Then, lead Lady with R hand to pass in front of him to R side, releasing hold at end of 5, allowing R hand to trail along Lady's R arm until it reaches her R shoulder blade o step 6.

        • Then, take Lady's L hand into his L hand. (R shadow position, hold 1) Retain this hold for steps 7 to 12.

    • When following with Lady's Spiral, man lead Lady into her spiral turn by lowering L hand, then immediately gaining normal Fan or Open Position hold at end of last step.

    • When following with Progressive Walks Forward, retain R Shadow hold.

    • Variation w/ Lady's R turn to hip twist position:

      • 2: Cucaracha LF to side, whole foot

      • 3: weight to RF, LF push floor, L heel lift, L hip up, hip diagonally to R and then rotate to R, collect LF near R ankle and then step forward to Man's R side on 4.

      • 4: LF forward to Man's R side. L arm to side, R hand on Man's chest.

Preceding Figures

  1. Advanced Hip Twists

  2. Alemana

  3. Closed Hip Twist

  4. Curl

  5. Fan

  6. Open Hip Twist

  7. Opening Out From Reverse Top

  8. Rope Spinning

  9. Spiral

  10. Three Alemanas

  11. Three Threes

Following Figures

  1. Progressive Walks Forward (in Right Shadow Position, hold 2 or 3 (Kiki Walks))

  2. Spiral