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Rumba Arm Styling – Tips For Beginners

Rumba Arm Styling

In this post, I will share some of my best tips to improve your arm styling in Rumba. You’ll learn how to build a strong foundation and become a more confident ballroom dancer. Let’s Dive In!


First, let’s define arm styling. Arm styling is a result of proper body action and in Rumba, body action is Cuban motion. (check out this awesome YouTube video for tips to improve your Cuban motion) Once you’re feeling more comfortable with your Cuban motion, it’s time to enhance the movements of your arms and hands, which is commonly known as “arm styling.”


Now that we have a better understanding of “arm styling”, let’s dive into some of the many my favorite tips.

Rumba Arm Styling Tips

  • Learn The Basics of Cuban Motion
  • Maintain Your Space
  • Dance in Character

1. Learn The Basics Of Cuban Motion

Rumba is a beautiful and sensual dance! To portray the true essence of the dance, you need to learn how to move your body correctly. The foundational body movement in the Rhythm dances is Cuban motion. Dancing proper Cuban motion will create a natural movement in your arms that will feel right! So, before you start learning to properly move your arms and hands in Rumba, you need to be able to dance the basics of Cuban Motion.


If you need more practice on this technique, click the link below and practice, practice, practice. Then come back and follow steps 2 and 3!

Merengue Cuban Motion

This is a great dance to practice basic Cuban Motion! To learn more, give us a call at 346-274-2772 or visit our website at: https://buff.ly/2WzRTzb #dancetips #Cubanmotion #merengue #shakethosehips #houston #dancelessons #dance #justdanze

Posted by Just Danze on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

2. Maintain Your Space


The first step in learning Rumba arm styling is creating arm circles. To do this, you will begin by lifting your left elbow to just under shoulder height, then begin to extend your forearm out to the side, next extend through the wrist and lastly the fingers (palm down). This action happens as you step onto your left foot and are lengthening through your left side body, thus creating space. The next part of this movement is what happens when you transfer your weight back to your right foot, completing your Cucaracha. You will rotate the arm so that the palm is facing up, bring the elbow in towards the body (but not touching the body) followed by the forearm, then the wrist comes close to your center, but does not touch your body and voila – you have created your first arm circle!


Next, let’s talk about maintaining space. It is very easy to get carried away with arm movements and before you know it, you have lost your presentation and poise. In order to maintain poise and beauty in your arm movements, you need to maintain space. How? First, as your arms and hands are coming in towards your body, you will want to make sure you don’t let your elbow touch any party of your core and the same is true for your arms as well.


Before moving on to the next tip, take a few minutes to practice moving your arms and hands, without touching your core.

3. Dance in Character

In any dance, there are little things you can do with your arms and hands to characterize the role you are playing in the partnership. As a leader, you can portray a masculine quality by setting an intention to present your partner and command the space on the floor for your partnership. One way to do this is by having your arms more rounded when out to the side, and slightly in front of the body with the palms facing up. If you are trying to match your partner with a certain line and the palm is down, make sure to keep more of a “C” shape with your fingers by having your thumb slightly down and fingers together.

Rumba Arm Styling with Trish at Just Danze dance studio in Houston, TX


As a follower, you can portray a feminine quality by having a bend in the wrist and fluting the fingers. To do this, extend your arm out to the side, press your palm down, flex your wrist downward and flex your fingers upward – this action exerts great energy from your spine out your fingertips. New to fluting? Fluting is the way a dancer stylizes their fingers. A great trick to fluting is to take a pen and place it under your index finger, above your middle and ring finger (have your ring finger a little higher than the middle), and under your pinky finger. Another way to think about fluting is to pinch your middle finger and thumb toward each other as if you are holding a credit card lengthwise!


Whether you are a leader or follower, always remember to keep the energy flowing throughout the arms and fingertips – there is nothing worse than a dancer with incomplete lines that lack energy

Rumba ARm Styling – Recap

  • Learn the basics of Cuban Motion, before focusing on arm styling
  • Maintain your arm and hand space in connection to your core.
  • Dance in character


Looking for a visual on today’s post? The video below will dive into each tip and help you in your journey to becoming a more confident dancer.

Interesting in taking lessons or hiring us for an event? 

Contact Us!

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3 thoughts on “Rumba Arm Styling – Tips For Beginners”

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