Rueda de Casino
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Rueda de Casino was developed in Havana, Cuba in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the group Guaracheros de Regla and one of its main choreographers and creators was Jorge Alfaro from San Miguel del Padrón, a soloist of a comparsa. As a result of the Castro regime, many Cubans emigrated to the US, many to the Miami area. They took their culture with them, including various dishes, music and dancing. Rueda de Casino began to slowly make its way into the Miami salsa community and in the late 1980s and early 1990s it experienced an enormous explosion of popularity. From Miami, Rueda de Casino spread first to major U.S. metropolitan centers with large Hispanic populations and eventually to other cities, becoming a popular dance around the world. In 2014, the first International Rueda de Casino Multi Flash Mob took place in which people from 67 countries, including 199 cities, danced Rueda de Casino simultaneously.
Pairs of dancers form a circle, with dance moves called out by one person, a caller (or "líder" or "cantante" in Spanish). Many moves have hand signs to complement the calls; these are useful in noisy venues, where spoken calls might not be easily heard. Most moves involve the swapping of partners, where the partners move around the circle to the next partner. The combination of elaborate dance combinations and constant movement of partners create a visually spectacular effect.
The names of the moves are mostly in Spanish, some in English (or Spanglish; e.g., "un fly"). Some names are known in slightly different versions, easily recognizable by Spanish-speaking dancers, but may be confusing to the rest. Although the names of most calls are presently the same across the board, the different towns in Cuba use their own calls. This is because the pioneers of Rueda de Casino wanted to keep others from participating in their Rueda. Many local variations of the calls can now be found. They can change from town-to-town or even from teacher-to-teacher. There are many different variations of moves in Rueda de Casino.
The circle will either start from "al Medio" (normal closed hold with all the couples stepping in and out of the circle) or from Guapea (stepping forward on the inside foot and backward on the outside foot, tangent to the circle). Some of the most common moves in Rueda include: Dame, Enchufle, Vacila, and Sombrero. You can readily find an extensive list of Rueda de Casino moves in various websites. There are different hand motions that the caller can signal in case one's voice cannot be heard over the loud music. For example, the hand signal for Sombrero is the caller tapping the top of his or her head. This move is signaled when everyone in the circle is stepping backward.
Rueda de Casino scenes may be seen in the movie Dance with Me and in the music video clip No me dejes de querer by Gloria Estefan. Rueda de casino dance may also be seen in the documentary film "La Salsa Cubana."
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Rueda_de_Casino|
- (English) "A Rueda Wiki including streaming flash videos, Spanish pronunciation guides, an English translation of the calls and much more."
- (English) Absolute Salsa - an extensive list of steps descriptions in English, Spanish and Italian
- (Russian) "Rueda Calls & Descriptions"
- (Spanish) "Historia de la Rueda de Casino y la Salsa en Cuba"
- (English) "The Norwegian Rueda Standard includes a Reference to more than 100 Rueda Calls, Translations of Spanish Rueda Calls into English (and Norwegian), links to Videos on YouTube and more."