The Rumba has progressed to be one of the most enjoyable dances in the world. In West Oahu we have some of the best Rumba dancers in the Pacific. From the music and moves which were first introduced to the Caribbean by natives of Yucatan about the time of the Mayan civilizations. Most of the World was still dancing the Even Step. One can still see videos of African dancers dancing the Even Step. left, right, left right to the beat. Nothing wrong with that. The natives of the Americas were dancing these newer steps when the first illegal aliens arrived and there were many different versions of the "Rumba," though not in partner dancing, which was fast and resembled the Mambo more than anything else.
“Many social dancers believe that if you are not dancing, your dead."
In 1500, there were maybe 100 Europeans and a couple of blacks. They were a Big, Big influence on the dancing? Not by a long shot. One hundred years later, in the 1600s it has been stated as a fact that the blacks outnumbered the whites in the Caribbean but they were slaves. Probably true, however they are again completely ignoring the natives of the Americas, At that time there may have been 10000 whites and blacks but nowhere near the populations of the natives and mestizos (mixed) which was closer to a million and a half by then. The Europeans consistently ignored the Indians as nothings but nobody was going to stop the natives from dancing.
"Rush Rush" by Paula Abdul (1991)
The poorest of the whites learned the Indian way but they did introduce partner dancing. The Blacks had been picked in Africa very young and not because of their dancing abilities. They all learned like everyone else the Indian way and they learned it very well. The dancing remained a native Indian dance, that had been danced by the natives for centuries. And this was in their kuleana. It is not African and it is not European, it is from the native populations of the Americas. Modifications? Many, like most dances and many dances have come and gone.
"Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is
no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself." ~ Havelock Ellis