Monday, June 29, 2015

La Rumba

By Guy Takiyama, Honokai Hale.

The term rumba refers in Cuba to a variety of dances in which a drummer accentuates the dancer’s movements in a complex improvisation. Somewhat similar to the start of the Salsa. These folk styles of rumba -- including columbia, yambú and guaguancó -- have polyrhythmic percussion and call/response singing that was native but strongly favored by African slaves. And they were mixed by background,to make sure they would learn a new language along with their slavery..Many could not even speak the same language.

"There are four great classes of learners: The dumb who stay dumb. The dumb who become wise. The wise who go dumb. The wise who remain wise."

In the 1920s Havana nightclubs promoted a stylized version of the Rumba, Musically, it included bass, guitar, violins, piano and trumpet and was much closer in style to the Cuban Son than to the fast folk rumba. It was mainly for White patrons and tourists, featuring frilly costumes and sexual flirtation between man and woman. It was misinterpreted as the Rumba.

"Contigo A La Distancia"
por Christina Aguilera

It became a rumba dance show and Cuban bandleader Don Aspiazu toured with in the U.S. where he started a rumba dance craze with the 1930 song, El Manicero (The Peanut Vender). Further confusing the picture was the development of an even more different ballroom rumba dance  by Arthur Murray and other dance profeesionals.


At present we have two official styles, American and International. And the American is further divided into the Arthur Murray and the Fred Astaire schools. They make their own rules. The third is the social night club style which is largely based on the American style but the basic is the alternative method. And they have a lot of different basic moves not covered in the official styles but are very easy to lead and follow.