This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Rumba Dance Essay

3242 words - 13 pages

The rumba is a dance that rivets its image on the mind. Holding much history, it has been and is a dance of oppositions: love and hate, hostility and harmony, sensuality and prudence. Musically, it taps into the realms of technicality and improvisation. The dance and music is a marvel, leaving a lusty taste in its trail so that a natural tendency towards it never fades.
The origins of the rumba stem from Africa. The steps and song of traditional rumba may have begun as remembered pieces of dance from the Ganga or Kisi people in Cuba, generalized groups of West Central African descent.
Some prospect that the Sara peoples of northern Nigeria are the originators of rumba, a similar dance is of rows of boys in front of rows of girls, approaching one another in movement and then separating. In present-day Zaire, a traditional BaKongo dance called vane samba appears to directly link to rumba’s progenitors. A characteristic highlight occurs when the bodies of a dancing pair meet, or almost meet at the navel. This movement mirrors the rumba’s vacunao, a prominent feature in some forms of rumba.
The name rumba possibly derives from the Spanish language, the word rumbo translates to route, rumba translates to heap pile, and rum is of course the liquor popular in the Caribbean. Any of these words might have been used descriptively when the dance was being formed. The name has most often been claimed to be derived from the Spanish word for carousel, or festival.

Rumba developed in the 1850s and 1860s among free black slaves gathered to express their struggles with one another. Following the abolition of slavery in Cuba in 1886, poor Cubans dealt with a society still emphasizing color and class, by participating in communal gatherings known as rumbas. The cathartic music and dance created eventually found its name from these meetings.
Post 1518, enslaved Africans had a continuous influence on Cuba, particularly after 1700 through 1886. During these years, “massive numbers of new arrivals kept a persistent and forceful garden of African culture growing whenever and wherever they could in the nooks and crannies” (Shephard, Beckles 457). Overwhelming colonial authority and restriction, the convention of the enslaved Afro-Cubans implicitly permeated Cuba for more than two hundred years.
Havana was the cradle for large numbers of enslaved Africans by the end of the eighteenth century. Slave barracks became kernels of anguish. Rebellion was prohibited and dangerous, so resistance was expressed in recreational music and dance.
Because revolts were feared by authorities, factionalism was tolerated and black cabildos were molded. Cabildos were homogenous African ethnic groups that operated as mutual aid societies. Unintentionally, the cabildos proved fundamental in the crystallization of African cultural traditions in Cuba, including language and religious practices.
With the end of slavery,...

Find Another Essay On The Rumba Dance

Caribbean Music and the effects of it on life today - Essay

282 words - 2 pages to gain a Latin style. Candomble, Vodou, Shango, Kumina and Santeria are religious traditions that have made their effects on the Caribbean music style. The African and European styles of music can be noticed in popular dance-hall styles like rumba, samba, soca, etc as well. This overall demonstrates different examples of the departure from traditional presentations of music and culture of the Caribbean.

The Evolution of Dance Essay

1724 words - 7 pages the other is dedicated to perfect style and skill; which is dramatic. Dividing dance into types can be made on different grounds depending on who is doing the dividing. Court Dances developed in the 16th century, Ballet and Western in the 17th, and Irish, Balkan, and English country in the 21st. Some of the best-known social dances back in the day were: The Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Rumba, Samba, And the Cha-Cha (Dane). Modern dance is when


723 words - 3 pages currently rumba is extremely popular, older Cubans are fans of danzón, which is a mix of Cuban folk dance and the dance of slaves (Cuba). The main musical genre is son, a combination of lively rhythms and classical guitar (National). Most Cuban movies are based on humor, romance and music (Cuba). The subject is usually from real life situations. Cuba is also very proud of its significant sports accomplishments, and supports an active life for their

"Dancing A Sad Thought" from KGB Bar Reader. Includes paraphrase and personal commentary on the work

1417 words - 6 pages part of some of them; to see the joy that comes while learning something new. Until now I've only had the chances to play piano and sing in front of an audience and also to take so called sport or "exotic" dance lessons in a private school. About the music, especially about the piano-played music and the feeling which comes with its performance, I can talk a lot as result of my long standing experience; but I cannot say much about the sport dances

Celia Cruz Life

712 words - 3 pages Salsa is one of the most distinctive genres of the 1900s in the music industry; characterized by a very lively, powerful and danceable upbeat. Salsa is a fusion of many Latin musical genres that combines rhythms, instruments and musical elements primarily from the Cuban son based on a three-two beat with syncopation rhythmic pattern known as the clave and Afro-Cuban dance. The roots of salsa originated in Eastern Cuba, but by mid-century the

Gullah Lives

2371 words - 9 pages Latin America. There is uncertainty of the reason for its name. The name Merengue is argued to have come from the desert meringue since it was created by slaves in sugar beet fields, but there is also argument that it comes from the African word meaning dance or dance music (Golds). Salsa is a dance deriving from an Afro-Cuban Rumba type of dance created by the African slaves and Cuban people in Cuba (Golds). The dance consists mostly of weight

Equivocally Human

731 words - 3 pages A dance between partners can be arduous and intense. One step thrown too far to the left can be the difference between a seamless performance and an unforgettable blunder. Though the concept of dance is natural in nature, the concept of good and evil is unique to humanity. Humans perceive actions as being either morally right or utterly wrong. On the contrary, the classifications tend to coexist. As the idiomatic expression states, it takes two

American Culture During the 1950´s

3285 words - 13 pages wherever they choose. This dance really demonstrates the freedom at the time, where people were no longer being told what to do and when to do it. The Mambo was different from the previous style we have seen so far because it started on the second beat of the phrase making it a harder dance to learn and required talent to be able to hear and feel the music. The Mambo was a combination of Rumba and Swing and was the most esteemed Latin dance of

Retention and Preservation of African Roots in Jamaican Folk Music

4172 words - 17 pages some event or occasion is a conceptual oddity; the language lacks vocabulary to describe it. The functionality of music couples with a theme of collective participation. The audience is active and essential to the music. The music does not exist without significant involvement of work, dance, song or clapping of hands. African music of Jamaica has been identified with unique sounds. Peter Manuel elaborates, naming an emphasis on rhythm

Rapping About Rap

2617 words - 10 pages fascinating "fit" between Puerto Rican "clave" and characteristic rap rhythms"(583).Puerto Rican's also played a big part in the influence of break dancing, a big part of rap culture, as noted by Flores,"The speedy footwork, elaborate upper-body movement and the daring dips in up-rock rested in a formative background in rumba and guaguanco, and was to some extent anticipated by the Latin hustle. It is indicative that the Rock Steady Crew, the most

Latino Music

1848 words - 7 pages Latino elements, illustrating growing acceptance and integrations between both parties. Various elements present in black hip-hop include Spanglish lyrics, rumba rhythms (Morales 300-301), and the celebration and desire for a Latina woman, who shares similar physique to African-American women (Rivera 131-132). In examining Latino Hip-Hop history, an overall theme of inclusion and exclusion emerges, where Latinos are included if they provide

Similar Essays

Afro Cuban Music Essay

869 words - 3 pages most popular are the rumba, danzon, and son. Especially among the working class poor, dancing and music was simply a way to blow off steam and have a good time. The rumba is a dance and music genre that originated in Cuba in the mid 1800s. It has often been compared with North American blues, as it was a vehicle of protest and expression among the working class poor of places of Cuban and African decent. The rumba is a combination of percussion

History Of Rumba, Merengue And Salsa

1782 words - 7 pages According to Holger Henke in his The West Indian Americans, Jamaican Rex Nettleford was correct when he said, “’dance was a primary instrument of survival’.” As such a vital part of cultural traditions, dance plays and integral role in the history culture. Three of the most influential styles of dance in the Caribbean are the Rumba, The Merengue, and the Salsa. The word Rumba is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as “a ballroom dance of

About The Love Of Dance, Told Through The Eyes Of A College Freshman. Description Of Quite A Few Dances: Salsa, Merengue, Swing, Cha Cha, Fox Trot, Waltz, Etc

1042 words - 4 pages advantage. Who says dance isn't powerful?What about love? There is a plethora of dances dealing with this subject. I have mypersonal favorite, the Rumba. It's close to the Waltz is original design, but that's where thesimilarities stop. The Rumba is all about flirting. Getting close and breaking away, touchingeach other, but only for a second. Incredibly enchanting dance when done correctly. It's mypreferred dance to do in competitions and

Analyse The Contribution Made To The Different Cuban Musical Genres By The Various Ethnic Groups Which Have Populated Cuba

1615 words - 6 pages and making music began to take on unique characteristics, perhaps because those taking part were from such widely varied backgrounds. Although these festivities certainly had their origins in the slave compound the new environment lent them a totally new kind of expression, so that rumba ceased to be simply another word for party and took on the meaning both of a defined Cuban musical genre and also of a very specific form of dance, quite