Rumba

What is the major difference in motion from American style Rhythm to International style Latin?

"It depends on how far you go back. We think of the American Style Rumba as a social dance primarily and it's based on a different timing than the International style. International style has a different timing for its basic figures. But also, American social dance has a tremendous amount of variety. You can go from one figure to another very easily and have many more options. So, as a social dance form, it's far superior.

"The International style is superior as far as standardization goes. It has techniques and figures known worldwide, so in other words it makes more sense globally. The American style can be a little bit confusing because some groups use a different timing than other groups; they call the same figure something different from place to place. But maybe that's the beauty of the American style ? the variety of it.

"Other than that, there's a different type of action of the body. The American style is quite a bit more compact than the International Style. It's meant to be danced in a smaller space ? a dance floor as opposed to a ballroom. It's not set up in a linear style, like your international Rumba is. It's more of a circular idea. There are many other differences, but that's a good start!"

Answered by Ron Montez (Professional Dancer, Teacher, Coach and Adjudicator at the Emerald Ball)