What is Salsa Rueda?
Salsa rueda (also known as rueda de casino) is a style of salsa dancing which originated in Cuba, where couples form a big circle and execute turn patterns in unison to the calls of a single leader.
Salsa rueda originated in Cuba, and the basic steps are similar to Cuban style salsa. However, instead of each couple dancing individually, couples dancing rueda form a circle (“rueda” means “round” or “wheel” in Spanish) and perform moves together to the calls (and often hand signals) of one person known as the “líder” or “cantante”.
There is a standard set of salsa rueda moves that most rueda dancers know, but different groups and regions have come up with their own set of moves. There is a strong communal aspect to salsa rueda, as all the dancers have to work together to execute the complex patterns and partner switches. There is a performance aspect to salsa rueda as well, with numerous salsa rueda festivals held around the country featuring dance troupes performing complex rueda choreography.
Salsa rueda flash mobs have become a popular activity in recent years as well. Because of the standardized dance moves in salsa rueda, it’s easy to organize a flashmob with synchronized dancing without having to memorize a long choreography beforehand.
Salsa Rueda Moves
Salsa rueda is perhaps the most standardized form of salsa dancing since every move has a name and there are a standard set of moves that all rueda dancers know, all there are regional variations. The following is a list of a few common salsa rueda calls:
- Dile que no – cross body lead
- Enchufla or enchufe – back spot turn
- Enchufla doble – do two enchfluas
- Guapea – salsa rueda basic step
- Camina – walk in a circle
- Suena – everybody stomps
- Una bulla or con bulla – stomp and shout
- Un fly – jump in the air and clap
- Sombrero – drape arms over each other’s head
- Dame – switch partners
- Dame dos – switch to the person after the person next to you
Salsa Rueda World Record
On June 1st 2014, the Guiness world record was set for the largest simultaneous rueda de casino dance ever, with 1,102 dancers participating at the Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki, Greece.