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Start dancing like a pro from Cuba by learning how to add authentic flavour and styling through Rumba body movements and technique. Cuban Rumba is the most important stylistic influence in modern day Cuban salsa.



These classes are being offered on an ongoing basis format, which allows you to join at any time.


Learn the most important source of style elements used in Cuban salsa nowadays!

These ongoing classes will focus on the fundamentals of Cuban Rumba, mainly Yambú and Guaguancó, for both men and women. Elements of Rumba dancing, as well as Afro-Cuban, are the most commonly used repertoire additions by salsa dancers in Cuba to enrich their dancing. One can often see salsa couples in Cuba switching from dancing casino (salsa) to rumba within the same song, and back again to casino. Many of the songs themselves are Son with one or two rumba sections in them.

These classes will cover:

  • Yambú, a couples form of rumba done at a slower pace
  • Guaguancó, a fast paced rumba danced by a couple, where the man tries to conquer the woman through a vacunao gesture
  • Introduction to Columbia, a fast paced solo dance executed mainly by men where the dancer and the quinto drummer engage in a battle of virtuosity


No Partner Needed

You do not need a partner to join any of our Cuban rumba classes.

Class Attire

Workout gear is recommended for this class. Socks or flat shoes (running shoes, dance sneakers) is best as footwear.


Afro-Cuban rumba is based on African rhythms and dance moves but with influences from Spanish Gitano/gypsy flamenco dance and song. Another strong influence in Rumba comes from the Congo dances such as Yuka, where the pelvic movement of vacunao is already present. In rumba guaguancó the vacunao (vaccination), a symbolic gesture with a sexual meaning, can be represented by the flip of a hankerchief or by throwing his arm, leg or pelvis in the direction of the woman.

In all rumba types, the clave beat (2-3 or 3-2) plays a very important role. Afro-Cuban rumba is entirely different than ballroom rumba or the African style of pop music called rumba. Rumba developed in rural Cuba, and is still danced in Havana, Mantanzas and other Cuban cities as well as rural areas.

Cuban rumba played a very important influence in more recent styles of Cuban music, specifically Son and timba. These days one can hear many timba or salsa songs displaying segments of rumba in its percussion or style of singing. Cuban dancers heavily infuse their salsa dance with elements of rumba, in addition to Afro-Cuban.


The old people's rumba

The oldest known type of rumba, also known as the old people's rumba because of the slow pace and softer movement. It can be danced alone (specially by women) or by couples (men and women). There is some level of flirtation between male and female dancers during the dance, but they do not use the vacunao.


The rooster and hen game

Rumba Guaguancó is faster than Yambú, with more complex rhythms, and involves flirtatious movements between a man and a woman. The woman may both entice and "protect herself" from the man, who tries to catch the woman off-guard with a vacunao -- tagging her with the flip of a handkerchief or by throwing his arm, leg or pelvis in the direction of the woman, in a symbolic attempt at touching or sexually contacting her. When a man attempts to give a woman a vacunao, she uses her skirt to protect her pelvis and then whip the sexual energy away from her body.


The virtuoso soloist challenging the Quinto drum

A style of rumba dance that is done solo by a dancer, designed to showcase the virtuosity of the dancer, on a fast and energetic music. Solo male dancers provoke the drummers to play complex rhythms that they imitate through their creative and sometimes acrobatic movements. Men may also compete with other men to display their agility, strength, confidence and even sense of humor. Columbia incorporates many movements derived from Congo dances as well as Spanish flamenco, and more recently dancers have incorporated breakdancing and hip hop moves. Women are also beginning to dance Columbia, too.