What is Salsa Rueda de Casino?
Rueda de Casino, or Salsa Rueda, is a salsa dance circle which combines synchronized steps in a random order. A single leader calls out the moves while the pairs in the circle execute them.
How does it work?
While dancing in pairs (as leads and follows), dancers form a circle, with each pair facing the center of the circle and dancing the basic step in place. They wait for the main leader (or caller, or ‘cantante’ in Spanish) to call out the next step. Once the caller calls out the chosen step, each pair does the step in synchronization with the next 8 count.
Most of the steps require the leads to swap partners and move counter clockwise with respect to the circle. The follows go clockwise. It is up to the caller to call out any step at any given time. This makes it possible to form endless combinations while making it extremely necessary for the leads to stay attentive and listen to the caller.
Because it isn’t always possible for the leads to hear the caller through all the noise and music, the caller may implement hand signals to represent what the next step is.
The following video demonstrates what a common Rueda de Casino looks like:
How is Rueda de Casino different from other styles of salsa?
The primary difference between Rueda De Casino and other styles of salsa is that it is danced in a group, with one lead calling out the steps for all the other couples to follow.
In terms of the turn patterns and steps used in Rueda, the dance shares many similarities with Salsa Cubana, as both come from Cuba and share the same origin. However, Salsa Cubana has more variety and flexibility of moves as there is no need to name and standardize all the steps as in Rueda.
Rueda de Casino History
The early 1950s saw the emergence of Casino in Havana, Cuba. It was derived from various Afro-Cuban dance styles. In 1956, Rueda de Casino, similar to what it is today (with multiple partners forming a circle) was developed. It spread from a dance club known as ‘Club Casino Deportivo’. It became popular very quickly as various dance groups throughout Cuba started dancing Rueda de Casino.
When Cubans started to emigrate to Florida during the Castro regime, they introduced Rueda de Casino to Miami’s salsa community and it picked up a lot of popularity between 1985 and 1995. In 1994, Rene Gueits (founder of ‘Salsa Lovers’) created a more structured version of Rueda de Casino. Some of the original Cuban dance influences were now removed.
Rueda de Casino then spread from Miami to other U.S. cities that had large salsa communities. From there it soon spread to other countries around the world and it has been gaining popularity ever since.
Some of the commonly used steps used in Rueda de Casino include:
- Dile que no
We hope you this helped increase your knowledge about Rueda de Casino! Learn more about the other different styles of salsa dancing.