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Plaza Column - View article
Written by : Max M Ali MD
Date : 12-02-2004
Title : Rumba Essentials
Article: Dancing Tid-bits Issue #206, Thursday, December 2, 2004

Today's Topic: Rumba Essentials

No, this is not a long list of things that you can or must do to execute an eye pleasing Rumba. Any good coach will tell you that on any given day, you can work on only one or two things. Here are 2 important tips that I feel you must learn to make your rumba exciting. Nope, this is nothing new, but then when it comes from

Mireille Veilleux it makes an impact and now I realize how bad my rumba was so far and how much I learned from her in 1 hour.

NUMBER ONE: "Rib Cage!" ...If you take care of your "rib cage" your stance and presentation will improve 100%. As I finished some basic figures, she had the same expression as I had experienced with Jennifer on Tango. Mire said "Monsieur Max! Good! I understood everything but where is the Rumba? So first thing she corrected was my Stance, Posture, Poise, Balance, Presentation, Center, Foot Pressure and all by just telling me to lift and isolate my rib cage. With some basic knowledge of Anatomy that I had picked up in my Medical School, I was able to engage my front of the Chest muscles (the Pectorals) and back of the Chest muscles (Scapular and Para-spinals). This resulted in my stomach being sucked in without any conscious effort, my spine straightened out, I became at least 1 inch taller, my center or the Xiphoid (check dictionary) moved forward, my neck became longer, I took greater space and my whole body became more toned. It was a great feeling. This is the first time my chest muscles are sore after 1 hour of Rumba.

What does it all mean? Simply "engage your rib cage muscles to elevate it" and it will improve your posture and presentation100%.

NUMBER TWO: Use the "Ands" You know what I mean. You divide each beat in two parts.2&, 3&, 4&, 1&. The hip settles on "&" which creates the Cuban motion. Rumba basic timing is 2, 3, 41.We all know that, but again when it is shown by Mire, it matters a lot more. Delaying the settling of hip and using the very last part of weight change to create hip motion creates speed and "Good Timing." I like 2&, 3&, 41& timing. It is most important to think of this on the last step i.e. & of 1. It does happen on the & of 2 and 3 also but because of more time on 41, it is more pronounced and defined.

These 2 Essentials for today should suffice and your comments are greatly appreciated. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and with best wishes, Max