Rumba is one of the most erotic and sensual of all the Latin dance styles due to its slow rhythms and hip movements that create intense bodily expressions.
Rumba was also brought to the Western Hemisphere by African slaves. Its new rhythms, bouncing music, and typical gentle movements thrilled audiences everywhere.
19th century descriptions of the rumba describe it as a very passionate, seductive dance, where the woman seeks to seduce the man with her flirty, sexy hip movements. The word rumba means “party” or “spree”.
The rumba was carried to Europe in 1930. “The Peanut Vendor” was the first rumba song, which conquered the world. After the First and Second World Wars, the original rapid rhythm of the music was replaced by a slow rumba.
Since 1964 it has been recognized as one of the five dances of the Latin American program of international ballroom competitions.
Ballroom Rumba is split in to two main styles, American and International. The main difference between the two is that American-style Ballroom Rumba focuses on the Cuban motion, which requires the bending and straightening of the knee in order to achieve the desired hip-swaying movement. On the other hand, International-style Ballroom Rumba utilizes the Latin motion, which requires the dancer to step on to a straight leg, and does not include the bending of the knee that is seen in Cuban style. Even moves with the same footwork that are practiced by both International and American-style Rumba dancers are called by different names.