Rumba Timing History

by Frank Regan

The QQS timing was originally the timing of the “fast rumba” aka the Guaracha,resulting on the emphasis being on “3”. The SQQ timing was used in the son rumba and also in the Beguine “RHUMBA” ( note the different spelling) causing the break to be on “3” . When Son Patterns were introduced into the Guaracha which the dancers began executing at a slower tempo it now caused the phenomenon of breaking on “1”.

The SQQ timing was favored by the top exhibition couples of the fifties because it was more closely aligned with the musical expression of the Bolero when the tempo slowed breaking on “3”.

Interesting, Breaking on “2”as a Rhumba Characteristic derives from the Son Montuno which was the forerunner of the International Rhumba, not the Mambo.

Hope this is of historic interest,