What is Rueda de Casino?

Rueda de Casino  is a particular type of round dancing of Salsa. It was developed in Havana, Cuba in the 1960s by the famous group Guaracheros de Regla and one of its main choreographers and creators was Jorge Alfaro from San Miguel del Padron, a soloist of a comparsa.

Pairs of dancers form a circle, with dance moves called out by one person, a caller. Many moves have hand signs to complement the calls; these are useful in noisy venues, where spoken calls might not be easily heard. Many of the moves involve the swapping of partners.

The names of the moves are mostly in Spanish, some in English. Some names are known in slightly different versions, easily recognisable by Spanish-speaking dancers, but may be confusing to the rest.

While rueda is especially popular in Cuba and a number of places in the U.S., it can also be found in many other countries. In Europe, rueda has active groups in at least Norway, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain and UK. At least in Germany, some of the calls are in German.

Although the names of the calls are presently the same across the board, the different towns in Cuba use their own calls. This was due to the fact that when the pioneers of Rueda de Casino started, they wanted to keep others from participating in their Ruedas. Nowadays many local variations of the calls can be found. They can change from town to town or even from teacher to teacher.

Casino Rueda scenes may be seen in the movie Dance with Me.