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American Rumba – Open Break and Underarm Turn

Learn how to dance the Open Break and Underarm Turn in American Rumba.

How to dance the Open Break and Underarm Turn in Rumba

Timing

Rumba is counted in slow, quick, quick, which equals one measure. The Open break and Underarm Turn takes 4 measures to complete.

Leader’s Footwork:

Open Break: 

Starting in closed dance position – Left foot forward, Right foot to the side and then close the left foot to the right foot and change weight.

Right foot to the side, Left foot back rock and replace weight forward back onto Right foot. As you take your left foot back you will release your partner and change to open dance position.

To lead this you will give pressure through your left hand to push the lady away into the open break position.

Timing: slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick

Underarm Turn Right: 

Left foot to the side, Right foot back and across in 5th position for rocking action and replacing weight to Left foot.

Right foot side, Left foot back and across in 5th position with rocking action and replace weight to Right foot.

To lead the underarm turn, as you take your right foot back and across for the rocking action you will raise your left hand signaling the underarm turn for the follower.

To help with this turn instead of keeping your body square to the lady allow your body to open up to the right. This will help the step feel more natural.

Timing: slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick

Follower’s Footwork:

Open Break:

Starting in closed dance position – Right foot back, Left foot to the side and then close the Right foot to the Left foot and change weight.

Left foot to the side, Right foot back rock and replace weight forward back onto Left foot. You will feel the leader give you pressure in the right hand pushing you away to signal the back rock for the open break.

Timing: slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick

Underarm Turn Right:

Right foot forward and slightly side. At this point you should feel your right hand being raised by the lead to signal the underarm turn. 

As you stand on your right foot you are going to take left foot forward and across take the step and then turn to the right half a turn on the left foot. 

Take right foot forward, stepping first and then pivoting right to face your partner. 

Left foot side, right foot back and across in 5th position rocking back and replacing weight to left foot.

Timing: slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick

Rumba Technique

Weight is on the ball of your foot

When taking a step in any direction you will put the weight on the ball of your foot. 

Cuban Motion

When dancing the rumba you want to make sure you are using Cuban motion. This involves rotation of the hips around the spine which is caused by the bending and straightening of the legs.

Alternative Ending

Instead of ending with a 5th position break you can just end with a basic in place.

Check out the video below to see the alternative ending for the Open Break and Underarm Turn.

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