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Rumba is a fun, slower dance that allows you to accentuate your movements as you interact with your partner. Check out our American Rumba Step List.

Rumba Step List

Rumba Box

The rumba box is a foundational step and one of the first steps you should learn.

Check out our full description of the rumba box step.

Open Break and Underarm Turn

With this step you are introduced to the open break which is a helpful dance step that serves as a lead in for other steps. In this case it helps you lead the follower into an underarm turn.

Check out our full description of the rumba open break and underarm turn.

Parallel Break

With the parallel break you introduce outside partner position. This step can be done in closed dance position or open hand held position.

Check out our full description of the parallel break.

5th Position Breaks

As we work through this step list you will notice that there are several different types of breaking actions you can take in Rumba. With the 5th position break you open up and break back.

Check out our full description of the 5th position breaks.

Crossover Breaks

The crossover breaks allow you to open up and then create a forward breaking action. In is common to do a series of crossover breaks to the right and to the left.

Check out our full desscription of the cross over breaks.

Side Break

You can also do a breaking action to the side.

Check out our full step description of the side break.

Walk Around Turn – Left and Right

The walk around turn is sometimes referred to as a spot turn. There are two basic type of turns a spiral turn and a pivot turn. The walk around turn incorporates both of these types of turn.

Check out our full description to learn more about the walk around turn.

Alternating Underarm Turns

This step is a fun progression of the open break and underarm turn. With this step it introduces an underarm turn for the leader. In this case the follower turns, the leader turns and then the follower turns allowing you to alternate between the follower and leader.

Check out our full step description for the alternating underarm turns.

Slow Underarm Turn

The slow underarm turn typically is lead from the box step. The step is often referred to as the ladies underarm turn. As the name describes this turn is slower and takes a number of steps to complete. This is a fun step for the follower because it allows them to show off as the go through the movement.

Check out our full description of the slow underarm turn.

Quick Inside Turn

The quick inside turn is a fun way to spice up the box step. This step is performed during the second half of the box step where the follower is lead in an inside turn on the quick, quick.

Check out our full description of the quick inside turn.

Cross Body Lead

The cross body lead is a foundational step that you will see in rhythm and smooth dances. The cross body lead allows you to change places with your partner.

Check out our full description of the cross body lead for rumba.

Butterfly

The Butterfly is a fun variation of the cross over breaks. Instead of doing continuous cross over breaks from right to left you will stay on the right after your initial cross over break and open up to a 5th position break to the right and then continue with another right cross over break.

Check out our full description of the Butterfly step in Rumba.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of shoes should I wear to dance Rumba in?

Generally rhythm and latin dance shoes have a leather bottom that allow you to slide around the dance floor. For rhythm dances you will typically see open toe shoes whereas with smooth dances it is more common to wear closed toe shoes.

Learn how to dance the other American Rhythm dances

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