Originally, the ruedas were born in the casinos of Havana, by taking on a way of dancing in circles which already existed in the streets.
The Salsa Rueda or the casino rueda is thus a circular variant of the Cuban salsa. It consists into round dances (rueda meaning “wheel”) of couples where a leader (the madre) announces the figures to be performed at the same time.
The dancers frequently switch partners and the result is very spectacular if the couples are well-synchronized. Honestly, don’t hesitate to attend rueda competitions, it’s worth it…
But beware, not everyone becomes a rueda dancer! At first, it requires knowing how to dance Cuban salsa, before joining up.
But once you master it under control, it’s fun: it is a question of carrying out the choreography while respecting the rhythm of the dancers switching… As in a collective game, it’s full of surprises: the malicious Madre challenges the dancers, even the “veterans”, by means of impromptu movements and announcements. For example the figure called “cadena” prevents you from releasing the hands or the announcement “mentira” cancels the figure at the last moment.
The ruedas use the classical figures of the Cuban salsa (dile que no, setenta, enchufla…), which allowing anyone to understand the basics in all countries. But if you travel you’ll have to prepare for a few surprises: there are a lot of variations depending on the dancing spot and endless possibilities… Then spice up your salsa, give free rein to your imagination and that of your partner to invent completely delirious figures or shines!