Skip to main content

How to Dance the Rumba

The rumba is an upbeat Afro-Cuban dance. The dance steps are described here.


  • Step 1: Bend your knees Bend your knees and relax your shoulders.
  • TIP: The rumba can be performed as a couples dance, as a competitive flirtation between male and female dancers; or as a fast athletic solo by male dancers.
  • Step 2: Step to the side Step to one side, and then back to the center. Then step to the other side and back to the center.
  • TIP: Keep your weight on the side of your body that you step out from.
  • Step 3: Move your hips Move your hips in the direction that you step out in, and then bring them back to center.
  • Step 4: Use your arms Move your opposing arm toward the outer foot as you step out, and then bring it back to the center as you move the foot in. Twist toward the outer arm when it is outstretched.
  • Step 5: Combine these elements Bring all of these elements together and start dancing.
  • FACT: Bandleader Xavier Cugat, known as the "rumba king," is credited with popularizing the rumba in the U.S. in the 1930s.

You Will Need

  • Rumba music
  • Dance floor

Popular Categories