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How to Do a Rumba Underarm Turn with Cuban Walk

Learn how to do a rumba underarm turn with Cuban walk from instructors Aaron Mitchum and Kristina Reese in this ballroom dance tutorial from Howcast.


Aaron: Hey guys, it's Aaron.

Kristina: And I'm Kristina.

Aaron: And we are professional dance instructors here in New York City, and today we're going to be continuing our rumba series, talking about the underarm turn to an open Cuban walk. So what we're going to be doing is starting in closed position with our basic action. And slow, quick quick. Slow, quick quick. Slow, quick quick. Slow, the lady does a normal underarm turn, side together. Forward, as we have stepped through this window here passing behind the lady.

Now from here guys we're going to turn to our right and step side together as the lady continues to walk around. And side together. And now we're going to step in place. In place, in place, in place, and one more step in place, as we give the lady a signal with our left hand, guys, to turn to face us. And from here we have our right leg free and we walk back as the lady comes forward. Quick quick. Slow, going back into our basic action to the side. Slow, now one more close careful look at this again, quick quick. Slow, quick quick. Slow, quick quick. Slow, and side together in place. One, two three. And quick quick. Slow, side together. One more look at that, side together. She goes, quick slow. I go, quick quick. Slow, and quick quick. Turn, and walk walk. Walk. So now let's take a closer look at what the ladies are doing here with this.

Kristina: Okay, so ladies, most importantly when we are walking around in that circle, continue to take forward steps, and there's a lot of rotation and the gentleman is rotating himself. He's walking backward and we're going forward, so just continue to walk in a forward pattern as you're making that turn. So starting with the basic we have slow, quick quick. Slow, forward forward. Forward, forward forward. Forward, forward forward. Forward, rotating, and then we have foward forward. Forward, side together. So the other important thing while we're taking those forward steps is to be mindful of the count, so as we're going slow, quick quick. Slow, make sure your steps match that count so you'll step slow, quick quick. Slow. And that way you'll keep on the right foot.

Aaron: Two very other important thing to note as well. Once we have stepped underneath and passed behind the ladies, guys, notice that we end in this side by side position. Now as the lady comes around, gentlemen, we are basically the center of the wheel, so we are going to hold our position as she makes her way around the rim going quick quick. Slow, quick quick. Slow, and so forth, as well. Now up to our lead and approach to turning the lady back to face us, let's talk about this.

This is where it's going to require a more advanced sense of awareness and just a heightened sense of awareness of staying with our partner and making sure she as well as ourselves are on the right foot to give her this signal so as we don't turn her early or late, which could be disastrous. So, let's take a look at this again as we make our way around, starting with the lady's right foot, and gentlemen with our left, going quick quick. Slow, giving her a little flick of the wrist, not a big jerk of the arm as we step on our left and she steps on her right to rotate, and then to walk, walk, walk. Now let's try that with some music.

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