Before getting into how Rueda Salsa dancing etiquettes should. I want to write a few short words for those just happen to know about Rueda de Casino Salsa dancing. 😀 This is a sub-style of Cuban Salsa dance. Rueda Salsa dancing involves from a minimum of 2 to many couples dancing together in a circle. There will be a leading couple calling the combinations or patterns (whatever you prefer to call). Then, all other couples in the circle will do the same patterns at the same time. This style of Salsa dance needs the attendants to know and remember the combinations. If you can’t or don’t learn any of Rueda Salsa dancing combination, there is no chance for you to join this circle dance. Sad but true. 🙂
Please watch the video below for a better understanding of Rueda Salsa dancing
Rueda Salsa dancing etiquettes
A very popular scenario of Rueda de Casino Salsa dancing
After many moments of contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that there needs to be a set of Rueda etiquette guidelines for dancers to follow when out social dancing at parties and Salsa clubs. The following scenario has played out many times in my brief history as a Rueda dancer and instructor.
A totally AWESOME song that’s so perfect for Rueda starts to play.
A small group of intermediate/advanced Rueda dancers excitedly enter the dance floor – ready to practice and show off the way cool turn patterns that they learned in their intermediate/advanced class last week.
The circle gets moving and everyone is really starting to get fired up! The caller is giving it their all, great turn combos back-to-back with hardly any basic steps! Everyone is doing great! The leaders all remembering their moves and leading on time with the music! Bystanders stop what they’re doing, and all eyes are on the fantastic Rueda group on the dance floor! Woo hoo! This is what makes it worth all the hours spent learning all these turn patterns!
A “baby” Rueda dancer merges into the circle with his partner.
The dancers in the circle take notice and politely call the easy turn patterns that the new dancer possibly might know and remember. Everyone knows and likes the “baby” Rueda dancer. Everyone has sympathy for the ones just learning. After all, they were once in his shoes. Everyone knows that the moment is over and the most fun has passed. As the song ends the dancers wrap up the Rueda Salsa Dancing with high-fives and walk off the floor together. Most of them hope for another great song that they might get to dance to before the evening is over, without any beginners in it.
If you are a new Rueda dancer, this will be your scenario someday too.
When you dance Rueda in Miami or Cuba, their solution is to call a move that the newcomer does not know. Then, he is obligated to leave the circle when he fails. The female dancer who unfortunately ends up with him on the failed combo has to leave the Rueda Salsa dancing with him.
That’s their rules!
Pretty cruel, but effective.
I’d like to think that we could solve this dilemma more tactfully. Everyone needs a chance to dance in a circle that’s more experienced than they are. That’s how we learn to get better and it’s just FUN to mix with the “pros”! So be sure to occasionally invite some of the new Rueda dancers into your circle.
Brief guidelines for Rueda de Casino (new and experienced ones)
Let’s make everyone feel more comfortable and create opportunities for everyone to be able to dance Rueda at their level. This also must be made even outside the classroom by making a few simple rules to go by.
1. If you want to dance in a multi-level Rueda dancing: ask people to participate BEFORE you get on the dance floor. If you walk onto the dance floor with a multi-level group, expect to dance at the lowest level for whoever is dancing in the group.
2. When you see a Rueda in progress or already on the dance floor: please don’t join in unless it’s a group at your level. The group may want to practice what they’ve been learning in their class which are things that you may not know yet.
3. If you are caller in a Rueda dance in progress or already on the floor: it’s your prerogative to invite lower level dancers into the circle. If you’re not calling, please don’t do the inviting.
4. Never ever bring a person into the Rueda circle who has no Rueda experience: You might think that it would be fun to watch your inexperienced friend get tossed around the circle, but I can pretty much guarantee that it’s only fun for you!
5. Cutting in on a couple dancing Salsa to invite them to join in a Rueda dancing is sometimes viewed as rude: You might want to just start a Rueda Salsa dancing and see if they join in if they dance at your level. For some of us, we are ladies who end up playing the part of the leader most of the time. Getting to dance one-on-one with a male partner is a treat that we’d rather not give up sometimes to dance Rueda.
For better Rueda de Casino dance experience!
My goal is not to offend anyone for Rueda “faux pas”, past or future. But I also want to help make our Rueda Salsa dancing experiences more fun for everyone!
If you are today’s beginner, then you will be tomorrow’s intermediate/advanced Rueda dancer.
There are some good articles about Salsa dancing experience, especially Salsa dance etiquettes in general. You might want to check them out: