Rumba, the dance of love, is one of the most romantic and passionate of the Latin dances. Of all dances, actually. It’s no wonder why it’s a second most popular Latin dance, just behind Salsa. It’s a great dance for weddings. In this article we will take a peek into the history of rumba, or sometimes rhumba.
Rumba developed in the 16th century in Cuba and has African origins. It appeared when the Spanish colonists brought African slaves to South America and the Caribbean. Music that original rumba was danced to was a mixture of Spanish melodies and African rhythms.
Originally, Rumba was an extremely erotic and sensuous dance. Because of this it was often deemed immoral and inappropriate. The word rumba comes from Spain. Spanish word “rumbear” means to go party, to dance, to have a good time.
Rumba was first introduced to the United States in 1920s. With some modifications it became American Rumba. Early on it was accompanied by Big Band music and used very high tempo. It was danced almost twice as fast as the rumba we know today.
Modern rumba is usually danced to music with four beats to the bar. The rhythm is slow-quick-quick. It can be danced to a wide variety of music genres from Latin music to modern day pop hits. The famous rumba songs include: Traces – Gloria Estefan, Falling Into You – Celine Dion, And I Love Her – The Beetles, Girl from Ipanema – Frank Sinatra, It’s Now or Never – Elvis Presley, and so on.
Rumba evolved quite a bit from its Afro-Cuban roots. From the original wild and fast paced dance to more stylized and slower appearance. In both cases, it is the dance of passion.
Today, rumba is danced all over the world and is one of the most popular ballroom dances. One of the main reasons of its popularity is the ease of learning.