As a former Latin dancer I love fusing Latin styles with belly dance, not only because Egyptian dancers have done so successfully for many decades, but also because it technically and musically works for well.
The Rumba, also spelt Rhumba, is a rhythm all Egyptian and non-Egyptian table players will know, but it’s also a rhythm many dancers struggle to interpret.
You don’t need to have studied Rumba in order to move to the rhythm, but as always in dance, it pays to have done your research and not least know your topic, if you start fusing different dance forms and not least label them as such.
In a margency the Rumba will often appear very briefly, and most dancers will be able to dance to it without problems. But if you’re creating a whole dance or choreography to an entire Rumba track, you should study the dance and get a clear feeling for the basics before creating your ‘belly dance fusion’.
As a partner dance it can be very complex, but simplified it’s all about the passion, legs and timing. It’s a dance that really requires you to work your core, as you need to ‘nearly pause’ as you ooze into your pose. Your legs are straight and pushing into the floor, creating resistance, which translates into the hip work. The Rumba is all about the horizontal figure of 8s in the hips. Finally, it’s a 4/4 rhythem, but in Latin Rumba you never step on the 1, but rather you prepare and melt into the second count, something which can be very to master, yet it’s what gives the dance it’s flow.
As part of my Improvisation Station series I did a quick improvisation video trying to capture the feel and some of the leg work, as well as the passion of the Rumba, whilst still keeping it very much belly dance. This is not a rehearsed choreography, but a one-take wonder, as I also wanted to share the honest process of how I improvise as part to the series.
I hope you can take some inspiration away from both this blog and the video and feel more confident about when you’re creating a Rumba fusion. If you would like to learn more about Latin Belly Dance fusion, including Rumba, then check out my studio and online class schedule for more details.
Happy dancing always.
Did you miss my last post? Read it here: Health, Harmony and Belly Dance