OUT to Dance offers ballroom dance classes and more at West Roxbury School of Dance:
Ballroom Rumba and Rhumba
However you choose to spell it, Rumba is a smooth, elegant and often funky partner dance based
on Cuban Rumba and Son. This type of "Big Band Rumba"
was also known as Rhumba. The interaction, emotion and the soft
rhythm between the partners earned the dance the title "Dance
of Love." Rhumba is the smooth, sophisticated cousin of salsa
and cha cha. A tremendous number of contemporary pop and Latin
tunes are actually rhumbas, so rumba is a very useful dance, overflowing
with spins, wraps, and heat.
Rumba arose in Havana in the 1890s. As a sexually-charged Afro-Cuban
dance, rumba was often suppressed and restricted because it was
viewed as dangerous and lewd. Later, Prohibition in the United
States caused a flourishing of the relatively-tolerated cabaret
rumba, as American tourists flocked to see crude sainetes (short
plays) which featured racial stereotypes and generally, though
not always, rumba.
Perhaps because of the mainstream and middle-class dislike for
rumba, danzón and (unofficially) son montuno became seen
as "the" national music for Cuba, and the expression
of Cubanismo. Rumberos reacted by mixing the two genres in the
1930s, 40s and 50s; by the mid-40s, the genre had regained respect,
especially the guaguanco style.
Rumba is sometimes confused with salsa,
with which it shares origins and essential movements.
In the 1990s the French group Gypsy Kings of Spanish descent became
a popular New Flamenco group by playing Rumba Flamenca (or rhumba
gitana, Catalan rhumba) music.
Rumba, like salsa and some other Caribbean
and South American sounds have their rhythmic roots to varying
degrees in African musical traditions, having been brought there
by African slaves. In the late 1930s and early 1940s in the Congos,
musicians developed a music known as rhumba, based on West and
Central African, and Caribbean and South American rhythims.
This brand of African rhumba became popular in Africa in 1950s.
Some of the most notable bands were Franco Luambo's OK Jazz and
Grand Kalle's African Jazz. These bands spawned well known rhumba
artists such as Sam Mangwana, Dr Nico Kasanda and Tabu Ley Rochereau,
who pioneered Soukous, the genre into which African rhumba evolved
in the 1960s. Soukous is still sometimes referred to as rhumba.
"I think rumba is deeply cool and sexy, and
I was grateful that you made learning it so simple and clear."
Sheila A., Dedham, MA
When joining our rumba, Latin, salsa, or other dance classes, note that our OUT to Dance studio locations, West Roxbury and Roslindale, are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton and Quincy; and within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Wellesley, Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Foxboro, Weymouth and surrounding towns.We are also less than an hour from Providence, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.