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American Rumba – Cross Body Lead

Learn how to dance the Cross Body Lead in American Rumba.

How to dance the Cross Body Lead in Rumba

Timing

The timing for Rumba is slow, quick, quick which equals one measure. The Cross Body is a dance compenent that takes 2 measures to complete by itself, but it is usually put together with other dance components to match the phrasing of the music.

This pattern will consist of the first half of a box, cross body lead, and a back half of box to equal 4 measures of music.

Leader’s Footwork:

Forward Half of Box Step:

Left foot forward, Right foot to the side and then close the left foot to the right foot and change weight. (slow, quick, quick)

Cross Body Lead:

With the weight on your left foot you are going to rotate left through the hip and take a step back with your right. By rotating through the hip it causes the step to be off to the side instead of straight back.

Left foot to the side and close right foot to left foot and change weight. (slow, quick, quick)

With the weight on the right foot you are going to rotate through the hip and take a step forward with your left foot. By rotating through the hip you take a step off to the side instead of straight forward. This rotation will also cause the follower to rotate and change direction.

Right foot to the side and then close the left foot to the right foot and change weight. (slow, quick, quick)

Back Half of Box Step:

Right foot back, Left foot to the side and then close the right foot to the left foot and change weight. (slow, quick, quick)

Follower’s Footwork:

Back Half of Box Step:

Right foot back, Left foot to the side and then close the right foot to the left foot and change weight. (slow, quick, quick)

Cross Body Lead:

Left foot forward. At this point the leader will be getting out of your way allowing your to continue to walk forward. Right foot forward.

Left foot forward. After you transfer all of the weight to your left foot the leader will lead you to rotate on your foot 1/2 turn to the left.

Note: the timing for the turn is slow, quick, quick, and. The initial step takes place on quick, but then you will turn on “and”. Another way to count it is 4-1, 2, 3 and.

Right foot back, left foot to the side and bring right foot to left foot and change weight. (slow, quick, quick)

Forward Half of Box Step:

Left foot forward, Right foot to the side and then close the left foot to the right foot and change weight. (slow, quick, quick)

Rumba Technique Tips:

Turning on the half beat

Many turns in Rumba for the follower happens on the half beat.

Generally when we talk about timing for rumba we use slow, quick, quick. In this case slow gets 2 beats and a quick has 1 beat. The numerical timing is 4-1, 2, 3.

A half beat further divides the timing down.

  • 4 and 1 and, 2 and, 3 and

We generally don’t always count out the half beats, but they are often used for turns. In this case the follower turns on a half beat during the cross body lead.

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