2. Alternative Basic
Another figure that is used as a basic repeatable pattern in Rumba is known as the Alternative Basic. It can function as an alternative to the Box as a basic, or it can simply be used as an additional variation taken occasionally in addition to the Box. The Alternative Basic is derived from the basic movement of the Mambo, as well as that of the International Rumba, and blends well with many of the figures in the bronze Rumba syllabus.
The Alternative Basic can be thought of in two halves, each half consisting of a side step, followed by a forward or back rock step. The first half of the Basic begins with a side step on the man's left foot, counted "slow", followed by a back rock step (RF, LF), counted "quick, quick". The second half of the Basic begins with a side step on the man's right foot, counted "slow", followed by a forward rock step (LF, RF), counted "quick, quick". The pattern can be repeated as desired.
The lady's part is nearly identical to the man's, except that her part begins with the second half of the Basic. So when he rocks forward on his left foot, she rocks back on her right, and vice-versa.