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Are there two major schools of International Rumba
Posted by Voco
3/28/2014  10:54:00 PM
Are there two major schools of International Rumba?

I recently discovered some of Allen Tornsbergs teaching videos. For example:

The more I study them, the more I like them. For example: The accent on 4 in Rumba, the moderate hip movement as opposed to the exaggerated movement many teachers prefer. I always thought that exaggerated hip-movement is OK for the lady but looks a bit strange on the man. Allen seems to confirm that.

Rumba Walk. Allen transfers the weight on the exact beats of 2, 3, 4 right away, while Slavic goes through a split-weight position on Rumba Walk (in his teaching video with Karina). It seems there are two schools.

All opinions would be highly appreciated.
Re: Are there two major schools of International R
Posted by terence2
4/6/2014  4:51:00 AM

Technique, in Latin, has moved into different directions over time. Going from Pierre, Thru Laird , Hancox etc.to todays proponents .

I would certainly agree with this.. The mans CM in latin, needs to be more subtle and not as overt as the ladies; and as to a stress on 4, thats a Son dominant expression, and moves closer to Clave.

To remember.. latin,particularly, and its "style ", allows one much more of a personal choice, than does Standard .
Re: Are there two major schools of International R
Posted by Voco
4/9/2014  11:37:00 PM
Hi terence2,

Thanks for your comment. Of course, Latin is more flexible than Standard.

It seems, you are at least partially supporting my observations. In the meantime, I asked the same question (are there 2 schools?) from a well-known teacher and she more or less agreed, adding the same observation which you also noted, that there is more room in Latin style than in Standard.

If one compares the two teaching videos, I quoted, there is a definite major difference.

What is your opinion on emphasizing to accent the 4 (as per Allen Tornsberg)? Obviously, one does not want to do that at every 4 in a routine, but it seems to me that it adds musicality, if used properly, as in the original Rumba music the 4 is predominant. He says something like: the more you hold the 1 the more you accent the 4.
Re: Are there two major schools of International R
Posted by terence2
4/30/2014  11:57:00 PM

The musical reason for the "4" accent is.. its the signature note emphasised by the tumbao and base, which is dominant in Son rhythms , and Son is the foundation of todays latin dances . Even a "slap" by the conga on 4and1, may often be heard,and if not heard, is always implied .

The " clave "which is incorporated into the phrase , is often debated whether or no, it occupies 2 bars .Sometimes yes, and sometimes no .

The 2 major forms of Clave are " Rumba and Guaracha " both in 3/2.. also.. " Son and Guaguanco " , which are in 2/3 .There are also other clave signatures, as in Guajira and Montunos

NB.. The Rumba I quoted is NOT the formalised one that is dance in partnership, but, the indigenous style which is danced solo.

Clave rhythms, are the " Alma Y corazon "( heart and soul) of latin music.

Bottom line.. the many layers of latin music, gives us the opportunity to express the music ,as our ears perceive it .
Re: Are there two major schools of International R
Posted by O.K.
4/23/2014  3:09:00 PM
Voco. It is impossible on any step in any dance not to have right in the middle of the step split weight. You could divide the step into a million parts. At some stage the weight will be equally divided. Just as Slavic suggests if you listen.
Re: Are there two major schools of International R
Posted by Voco
4/23/2014  11:06:00 PM
Hi OK,

Thanks for your comments. I am surprised that there are not more readers participating in this discussion.

I fully understand what you and Slavik are saying about the transitional moving positions. However, I still maintain that there is a major difference of style between Saviks and Allens. Of course both are great dancers and teachers. It looks to me, and to some of the experts I discussed this theme, that Allen transfers his weight earlier (say on Rumba-walk), whereas Slaviks foot arrives on split weight on the beat and then transfer his weight on the following And-count with considerable body motion. In other words, Allens weight is pretty much close to 100% on the stepping foot on the beat, whereas Slavik is 50%-50% split weight at that point of time. Do you agree?

To me this represents two major schools. And the two styles look definitely different.

I am not saying that one is better than the other. I am saying that there are two major styles, and I dont hear much discussion about that in the dance world. Most teachers settle on one style or the other and that is what they teach, as if it were set in stone.

Allen makes a point to stop or nearly stop the body after 4 in order to accent 4 (on Rumba walk). While the other school says never stop the body, so the And 1 looks different, in that aspect also.
Re: Are there two major schools of International R
Posted by Voco
4/28/2014  11:28:00 AM
Hi OK,
RE: Hip movement in International Rumba

The hip movement is pretty continuous and difficult to distinguish from the body movement. The main components are the Figure 8, the Pendulum and the Compression. Karina explains this pretty well in Rumba Innovation video under the chapter Body Movement:


at approx.. 53:00

(Of course they teach the continuous body movement school including 4 AND 1, as opposed to Allens style, as Allen stops the body on 1, as my original theme.) I think Slavik & Karina demonstrate it in cucaracha and in walks, but it applies to basic as well. (Except that the 2 is a check-step in basic and it is a little different in body.) I think Karina does a good job explaining the general concept of body movement.

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