The groups change partner only within their own group, and they dance on different beats. Group 1 (primeros) normally dance on beat 1 and group 2 (segundos) dance on beat 5. For example the call “una media” will be one clap for the primeros followd by a clap for the segundos four beats later.
In the illustration of Rueda cruzada, one of the teams follow the regular blue arrows when changing partner, and the others follow the light blue arrows. There is also a video below on this page showing how it works in practise.
Rueda cruzada requires an even number of couples, preferably 6 or 8. It is possible also with a big circle of 10+ couples. But a bit more challenging, especially if it ends up in chaos and you need to recount so that all the coupls know what team they are on, primeros or segundos.
Rueda cruzada can be danced from the start of a song and through the entire song. Or you can start with Regular Rueda de casino and then make a transition to Rueda Cruzado – if there is an even number of couples(!).
The transit command is “cruzado“, always from open position, used:
- to enter Rueda cruzada from the basic position (guapea). This is a simple change of beat for segundos (the couples without the caller)
- to exit Rueda cruzada, going back to regular Rueda de Casino. It is the same figure, so now the segundos change back to normal beat, so everyone is on the same beat, dancing regular Rueda de Casino.
Transitions between Rueda de casino and Rueda cruzada, and back.
Other transitions between Rueda de casino and Rueda cruzada are also in use, but only this relatively simple transition is included in the Norwegian Rueda Standard.
Rueda cruzada is also danced in closed position, but it is not common to do a transition from Rueda de casino in closed position.
Dancing rueda cruzada socially
The video below (from a workshop) shows an example of dancing rueda cruzada using standard rueda commands.
Using rueda cruzada socially requires an even number of couples, and preferably 6, 8 or more. If a couple tries to enter a rueda cruzada on the fly, it kills the rueda, because the number of couples then gets odd. This can be a bit of a challenge if danced socially.
Also, calling cruzado (the transition figure to rueda cruzada) in a regular rueda de casinowithout prior notice, everyone will most likely be taken by surprise, and the right dancers (group B) will not be prepared to do the transition on the fly.
This aside, rueda cruzada works fine socially. If the dancers are prepared for a rueda cruzadaand new couples do not (try to) enter during the song, this is a very nice rueda variation for intermediate to advanced dancers.
- Well suited commands for Rueda cruzada:
- festival de pelota
- enchufla > una arriba
- un tarro
- fly, linea, rolin
- enchufla con .. vuelta / Mambo / Rumba, etc.
- croqueta y aspirina
- Very well suited, but might need a little practice/adjustment:
- patin pa’mujeres
- enchufla y al medio
- cubanito > ni pa’mi, ni pa’ti
- Not well suited, because of high risk of crashing into others:
- hombres derecha y mujeres izuierda
- dame directo
How to get started?
- Form a rueda with 6 or 8 couples.
- Start in open position, and do rueda cruzada from the start of the song, low or mid tempo.
- Start with una media, and add core figures with simple partner change, like enchufla, festival de pelota, la familia.
- Continue by adding regular core figures, like cubanito, enchufla con mambo, etc.
- Try dancing patin and patin > siguelo > se fue.
- When you caught this you can try the other commands listed above as especially well suited.
- And then you try patin pa’mujeres. When you nail this, you have graduated.
Why dance Rueda cruzada?
Rueda cruzada adds a dimension of speed. When every second couple dance on different beats, you get a taste of the illusion of dancers moving and changing partner twices as fast, for example with the command combination enchufla > una arriba.
Aside from that, rueda cruzada is like other rueda structures an interresting challenge where you can test yourself if you are able to do the rueda figures in a new setting.
A fun variation to rueda cruzada is using two callers – each group having it’s own caller. The results is that the two groups dance different figures, and this will definitely test your ability to focus, and the callers’ abilities to improvise. This is also the perfect setting for a rueda battle!