Did you know that the word Rumba derives from the Spanish word for “road?” This style of dance was born in the courtyards and docks of Havana, Cuba in the eighties. They used to meet up and celebrate by dancing and singing. At the time, they would use furniture drawers or crates as percussion instruments. Today they use the congas, but the rhythm is still as infectious!
Sometimes festive, sometimes sensual
There are several versions of Rumba. The original version is a festive dance; others practiced in dance halls are slower and more romantic. What they have in common is a sensuality of movement, with a lot of swaying—hence Rumba’s nickname, “the dance of seduction and love.”
Originally, when the Rumba was first integrated as a social dance, it was a little more macho. It echoed the timeless power game between men and women, where men always emerged victorious. And this macho side can still be seen in Rumba choreography, which has elements of desire and rejection between man and woman. This makes the dance more interesting for people who enjoy a sense of the theatrical and love to have fun.
So why choose the Rumba?
Rumba is fairly easy to learn and a great activity to keep the flame alive in your relationship, while improving your muscle control and coordination. Like many Latin dances, it is an aerobic exercise that gets your heart beating to the sound of percussion and uplifting music. If you’d like to try it, you can take courses in almost any dance school. You can also try it in Latin clubs, even if you don’t have a partner. It is a fun and active way to spend a Friday or Saturday night—and a great alternative to a night in front of the TV!