Ballroom Dancing – Rumba Open Break and Underarm Turn

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 76,436
    Professional dance instructor Terry Dean demonstrates the Rumba open break and underarm turn.

    Terry Dean

    Terry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.

    Hi, I am Terry Dean from Terry Deans Dance Studio, were working on the Rumba today. Now, were going to do the open break and underarm turn.

    Open break, lets discover what that means. Open is a dance position. So, first of all, this is what we call closed dance position, because were both closed circle. An open position will be if I release one of my sides, so now were open. Again, close position, open position. An open break, break is another term for a rocking step. So, if we do a rocking step in open position, were going to do, rock step, rock step. So, were in open position doing a rock step or an open break, rock step. Now, again, one of the important things is how to get in and out of the different position. What happens is while the man -- were both going to do half of a box, man does the top, lady does the bottom; slow, quick, quick. Instead of finishing the box were going to take side step; side and open our bodies apart from each other, and then do the open break. Lets try that again. So, were going go half of a box, quick, quick, then a side step on slow, then the back rock for quick, quick. That is an open break. We went from close to open. Now, were going do the underarm turn portion. The man is going to take a side step and continue to do another back rock while the lady turns; slow, quick, quick, slow, and were going to do a fifth position rock; quick, quick, and then back to the box step.

    Now, Im going to demonstrate this in total, and then Im going to break it down individually. So, were going to go slow, quick, quick, open break, quick, quick, underarm turn, quick, quick, fifth position break, quick, quick, and back to the box quick, quick.

    So, let me first demonstrate the mans part. Men, the top of the box slow, quick, quick, a side step, slow, then a back rock; quick, quick. Notice Im open at this point. Then Im going to do a side step and turn her under; quick, quick, and another side step with another back rock; quick, quick, and then into the box step again. So, really all youre doing is side steps and back rocks while youre leading the lady.

    So, again, it goes slow, quick, quick, side, back rock, side, back rock while you turn her, side, back rock while you get back together, and then into the box step again.

    Ladies, you will be doing the bottom of the box; slow, quick, quick, then side, back rock. Then the next part as you turn, side, now youre going to cross your feet and unwind quick, quick, coming back forward on your right foot, then do slow back rock and back into the box.

    Now, the underarm turn part is the trickiest part here, so Im going to go over this again a little slower. Were going to do the bottom of the box; slow, quick, quick. We take a side step; slow, quick, quick. Now, here comes the turn. Were going to take a side step first, slow, and then on the first quick were going to cross and turn. Quick, we place our weight forward on the next quick, and take a side step on slow. Then youre going to do the back rock, quick, with a little bit of a recovery step, and then back into the bottom of the box.

    One more demonstration and I will use Cindy, here we go. Bottom of the box, open break, underarm turn, fifth position break, and back to the bottom of the box. So, if I could have Cindy and we will demonstrate. Slow, quick, quick, open break, quick, quick, underarm turn, fifth position break, and back to the box. One more time; basic, open break, underarm turn, fifth position, and back to the basic.

    So, thats youre basic open break and underarm turn. Next, were going to combine them all and show you what it looks like.