AniDance: Animation & Dance - The Virtual Amateur Dancing School
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Paso Doble


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The Style
Rumba is a stationary dance that is danced extensively at the place. Rumba is an erotic dialogue between man and woman, in which the lady changes between abandon and prevention, the gentleman between affection and glory. In hip- and pelvis-movements the feminine seduction art appears.

The Rhythm
Rumba is played in 4/4-time with the emphasis on one and three in the rhythm quick-quick-slow. According to ability, 28 to 31 beats are possible per minute. On tournament, Rumba is danced with 28 beats per minute.
Good dancers orient to the claves, the typical percussion instruments. In "Cuban Style" Rumba is played in 8/8-time. The "Clavero" emphasizes in the first tact 1, 4 and 7, in the second tact 3 and 5.

Past and Present

Rumba is a collective term for a great variety of historical and actual dance forms in Cuba. Some of these were known even in the 18th century. Many of the later forms were confined to Cuba. Above all, the sugar cane plantations in Havanna and Mantanzas have been the main centres for the evolution of Rumba. Characteristic elements of this open couple dance, with often complicated dance figures, are the hip and pelvis motions based on African tradition.

Rumba is characterized by erotic and sometimes grotesque looking motions. The songs often tell about the everyday life of the coloured working class people. Many elements of Rumba have influenced and enriched other folk dances: Guaracha, Carioca, Beguine, Conga, Mambo and Cha-Cha-Cha. In 1930 Rumba via New York came to Europe in a stabilized and commercialized form. Meanwhile it had adopted several elements of Jazz music.

During the Third Reich the Rumba was banned, but the common interest eased even in other countries. After the end of World War II there was a renaissance of this fascinating dance. But there were two variants: the fast Cuban style Rumba (Mambo Bolero) choreographed in Great Britain, and the continental slow Square style Rumba (Rumba Bolero) based on a French choreography. (Cuban Bolero must be separated from Spanish Bolero based on Fandango in 3/4 time rhythm.)

From 1956 to 1958 and from 1961 to 1963 two "Rumba wars" took place between Great Britain and France, in order to standardize Rumba. The quarrel finished with the international committees decision to accept both variants. Finally the slower variant of Rumba was included as "Square Rumba" in the world dancing program and the more difficult Cuban Rumba was included in the dancing competition program in 1964.