The focus in this article is on the various structures that may be used in rueda de casino. For more general information about rueda de casino, try Wikipedia or other sources.
Rueda de casino is a circle of couples dancing Cuban salsa figures, to the commands of a caller in the circle. Whenever the callers calls a command, all the couples start dancing the named figure at the same time. Most of the commands include come couple dancing and a partner change, but various formations can also be used in the circle.
Rueda de Casino litterally means “casino wheel“ and it is a Cuban dance tradition that origined in Havana in the late 50s/early 60s. Today the dance is danced all over the world.
Rueda de casino may be danced with any number of couples. For social dancing, the size of a rueda will be limited by a number of factors, like the amount of dancers persent, the volume of the music, the available space on the dance floor, at least one caller present, and in some cases equipment (microphpone). In a social setting, a rueda will typically consist of 2-8 couples. If more couples join, it may require a microphone or a more spacious dance floor.
Maximum size? Fun facts: Guinness World Records have been set several times:
- 2010 in Milan, Italy (video) – 708 dancers, by Balla col Sorriso
- 2014 in Thessaloniki, Greece (video) – 1102 dancers, by Danza Fuerte
- 2019 in Candelaria, Tenerife, Spain (video) – 1250 dancers, by Cubaneando por Candelaria
- 2022 in Caracas, Venezuela (video) – 1585 dancers, by Retomando el Son
If a rueda is starting to grow too big, it is common to put 2 or even 3 ruedas inside each other. This happens in popular workshops, or in parties with big enough dance floors when the caller uses a microphone so everyone in the big circle can hear the commands.
If the different circles are using different rueda strucutres or separate callers or other combinations, we call it a rueda combo.
Dos parejas (2 couples)
2 couples can still form a rueda, even though it feels less like a circle.
After only one dame dos you are already back to the same partner.
Rueda con dos parejas (rueda with 2 couples) is used in advanced structures, like rueda llanta.
Certain rueda figures and certain combinations of commands work very
well with two couples, for example these
- toma electrica
- toma electrica complicado
- cubanito > ni’pa mi ni pa’ti
- familia > hombres
- dame dos y una arriba