International Rumba History:
The Rumba, which is also called danzon or son is a slow and sensual dance, traditionally performed by a man and a woman. The Rumba has become a recognizable dance with the passage of time. It was influenced by the native dances from Africa and a number of related dances like the mambo have also developed from this dance.(Greene) Several basic elements of the Rumba involve a “tease and run” theme in which the man is rejected by woman after she flirts with him. The dance involves highly-charged sexual moves and the lady is spotlighted, particularly her sexuality and rhythmic motions. A more intense and serious expression is effected by the Rumba unlike the Cha-Cha dance. (Rumba)
It is generally believed that the Rumba began when the African Negros were brought to Cuba as slaves. These Negro dances focused on the movement of the dancer’s body instead of emphasizing on footwork. The tune of the Rumba was thought to be less important as compared to the complicated cross rhythms due to the striking of spoons, bottles and pots. (The History of Rumba Dance) When the Rumba was introduced in the Caribbean because of the slaves, it got more stylish and eventually settled down into a series of codified steps. The woman’s steps became smaller than before and the dance was performed in a diamond-shaped pattern of footsteps. More instruments were added such as the claves and the maracas. The Rumba did not have any strict rules at that time and it was usually performed in colonies and towns until the early nineteenth century when it got more popular as the slave laborers were gradually released in the Caribbean.