Rueda de casino is a tradtional Cuban dance in constant devellopement.
Like in every culture, also the Rueda de casino has a certain etiquette, or ‘unwritten rules’.
In this page we are addressing various topices related to Rueda de casino.
You need approximately 3 and a half eyes to dance Rueda de casino:
THE REUDA LANGUAGE
Rueda commands and figures are not so much about right and wrong, it’s rather about more or less common, more or less Cuban, fun, original/modern, logical, funtional, and other aspects, that you’ll also recognise in a language. You will find local variations of rueda figures everywhere. For example, the figure “cero” (“zero”) is danced in several different ways in different cities/rueda groups.
This is actually the key motivation to devellop the Rueda standard – to solve language differences, at least for the most common figures and commands, so that it’s possible to dance together across different cities, countries and continents.
LEAD / FOLLOW
The figures in rueda are led by the leader the same way as in salsa (casino). There are a few exceptions in rueda, though. Some commands refer to the women, like “mujeres una bulla” (= women make some noise). Also, some of the formations and a few figures are done with only partly or no leading, like “patin para mujeres” or “mujeres derecha”. Therefore, the followers need to pay attention to the commands, even though most of the figures are lead by the leaders.
Because rueda is a traditional Cuban dance, the terms mujeres (= women) and hombres (= men) are used when referring to followers and leaders.
It is not strictly logical when to change partner and when not to change partner. It is easiest the partner change is called directly, like in “dame una” or “vacílala y dame”. However, quite a few commands include a partner change, like “patin” or “pelota”, and there is no general rule to decide in which ones you change. It has to be learned with each figure, and you get used to it rather quickly. (A tip is to keep an eye on the caller and see if he prepares for a partner change.)
“Enchufla” is one of the most basic rueda figures. Most rueda callers include a partner change in this figure, so it has the same meaning as “enchufla y dame”. But it is the same in rueda as it is in general, there are exeptions also to this.
arriba = forward / up, abajo = backward / down
In closed position: arriba direction is counter clockwise direction in the circle, abajo is the opposite
In open position: arriba is clockwise direction in the circle, abajo is the opposite
Why is arriba not the same direction all the time..?
Note that “dame una” has the same meaning as “dame una abajo”, it is just common to skip calling the default direction for convenience.