The second season of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), USA which is presently being shown here on TV8 every Sundays at 11.15 pm introduced audiences to many different styles of dances. During the "Top 18" show which was telecast on January 4 2009, audiences got to watch the krump and the American jive. The krump is a relatively new urban street dance form born (circa 2001) in the streets of South Central Los Angeles, USA and is a fusion of several dance styles including, hip hop, breakdancing and clowning. The American jive is similar yet slightly dissimilar from the Latin jive which most of us are more familiar with.
At the "Top 16" show of SYTYCD which was aired on January 18 2009, a group of six dancers called "Step, Hop and A Jump" performed an American swing dance, the lindy hop before the competition began. It was entertaining and fun to watch. During this episode, audiences also got to watch one pair of competitors dance the Cuban rumba, which is totally different from the Latin American rumba which we are so used to watching or dancing. The Latin American rumba is a slow, sensuous and romantic dance characterized by the the use of strong hip actions. The Cuban rumba on the other hand is a fast-paced, energetic dance with little emphasis on hip actions.
The Cuban rumba was performed by couple number 2, Ryan Rankine and Heidi Groskreutz (pic). Heidi, a trained Latin American dancer who thought she had it easy was surprised to learn that the Cuban rumba is so different from what she had expected. Alex Da Silva who choreographed the routine said that the feature of the dance is of a man trying to seduce a woman, and of the woman resisting his advances. The dance is often considered risque, even vulgar at times. Ryan and Heidi however put on a splendid performance which won praises and applause from the judges Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Olisa Thompson and Cicely Bradley.
The Cuban rumba is believed to have derived directly from the dancing of African slaves from around the West Indies and the Caribbean during the late 19th century. The dance moves require a high degree of athleticism and frequently includes acrobatic moves like handstands, flips and cartwheels usually performed by the man. The refined and elegant Latin American rumba or sometimes known also as the ballroom rumba is a variation of the Cuban rumba. It has a much slower tempo and is meant to feature the female teasing and seducing her partner culminating in the two becoming as one. If dance be the food of love, carry on!