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Dancesport - Rumba

Louis van Amstel and Julie Fryer
The Netherlands


Rumba History
Rumba Characteristics
Rumba Interpretation
Couples to Observe
Rumba Music
The next Dance, Paso Doble
The previous Dance, Cha Cha


Rumba time... thus time to increase the tension between the Male and Female dancer. It is important that the choreographic patterns allow the Woman to emphasise her hips trough movements. In the Woman's expression she must show her awareness of the impact that these hip movements have on the Man. The Man's hip movements are sensual, he is aware doing it, but this is not the most important action for the Man. He uses his total body to create physical domination to impress the Woman and he stays strongly focused on his partner.
The man should express that he wants her......

Competitors should not travel around the floor, they should create the dance in their own space they fill as a couple. The walks are not invented to travel but to transfer weight, this combined with a sensual slight twisting body action and a natural usage of the hips define the true character of the Rumba.

I hate to see complex, gymnastic type of choreography, with un-natural facial expressions, choreography, that doesn't tease the man at all..........
My message to those couples is go back to the basics elements of nature: tease, run, man, woman

Best Regards

Piet Rullens

Attention: This Information, may not be reproduced without our written permission signed: © Piet Rullens, Rullens Dance Consultancy 1996 all rights reserved For reactions and messages send your mail to:

Rumba History

They estimate that the Rumba was brought to America by the African slaves. But arround 1928/1929 the actual steps and figures of this dance were not clear. Many people treated and danced it, like a new type of foxtrot with additional hip actions. After the World War II The rumba was further developed into the "Cuban Rumba" by monsieur Pierre and Doris Lavell which had a school in the Regent street, London but still the standardisation was a problem until Walter Laird started to write his Latin books his work was accepted by many official dance Associations and the standardisation was a fact.

Rumba Characteristics

  • Character: Erotic, Sensual and passioned, Tease and Run
  • Movement: Stationary, Spatial, Sliding, Continuously with accents
  • Timing: 4/4
  • Bars/min: 27 according the IDSF Rules
  • Accent: On the 4th beat of each bar
  • Competition: 1,5 - 2 minutes
  • Rise and Fall: Nil
  • Dynamics: Heaviness, Timed motions, Walks are strong and direct

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Rumba Interpretation

In this dance the emphasis is on the "Body" hip actions are produced by controlled transfer of weight from foot to foot. Each foot movement takes 1/2 beat of music, body action occurs on the second half of the beat.

Great attention should be paid on the used "Dynamics" and the "Timing" aspects of them to create a continuously movement with the required contrasts and sensuality. The body never stops changing its shape. Arm movements are starting from the "Centre" of the body and are a result of body movement!

Attention should be paid to foot presentation and foot articulation, feet slightly in contact "skimming" the floor continuously. Man need a sensual lead in hands, arms and mind
the message here is......... let the lady dance

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Couples to Observe

I have found my personal favourites, this time some individuals are on the list:
  • Donnie Burns and Gaynor Fairweather
  • Louis van Amstel and Julie Fryer
  • Michael Wentink and Beata Onefater
  • Olga Mueller Omeltchenko

Rumba Music

The CD's that flow into my mind when writing this page are the following:
  • "I'am not giving you up" Gloria Estefan. (Received from Peter Suba)