Groups of dancers

How to dance to the mesmerizing casino Rueda

Two chinese ladies rehearsing their casino Rueda moves

Casino rueda, otherwise wrongly called Cuban salsa predates salsa. It’s a fascinating social dance that originated from Cuba, where couples gathered together to dance in groups. It came to light in the early 20th century and involved people dancing in a circular motion.

1. What is casino rueda?

Casino Rueda which sprang in Cuba in the 1950’s, was originally a social dance form that involved many couples. These couples would then band together; and; under the guidance of a “caller”, executed fascinating dance moves in a choreographed manner. The dance then evolved to a form that is danced exclusively by one to one couple. However, the original genre is still present today and is present in many countries. Furthermore, one of its key characteristics is that dancers move in a circular motion, similar to the rotations of casino game. Depending on what moves the caller ask for, dancers either move forward backward, walk, turn, bend or step sideways. Today one can see many acrobatic moves incorporated in the dance style. The key is that the structure keeps moving and people form a cohesive group. Of course, all these steps need to be done on beat (LINK TO HOW TO DANCE ON BEAT). 

2. Facts casino rueda

This dance style drew its inspiration from many different cuban dance styles such as Son, chachacha or rumba Guaguanco. It became so popular in Cuba, that at a regional level, many clubs were formed; who would then take part in competitions. As a result of its group structure, it played a vital role in the social cohesion of the cuban society. Later on, it evolved to include single couples into what became known as casino salsa. The latter is in a sense a misnomer as the styles is very different from salsa (LINK TO YOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF SALSA ARTICLE), even if some choreographies are similar. 
 

3. Benefits of casino rueda

Casino rueda is in my opinion one of the best ways to socialise and created networking. Based on my years working for MNCs, I argue that it is more effective than any other team building activities in creating cohesion in employees. Indeed, there are three great reasons for this fact. 

3.1. Break physical barriers

First the physical barrier that prevent an almost intimate conversation between individuals is broken. Indeed, when you dance casino rueda, you are just a few inches away from your partner. However, unlike other settings where the close contact might be inappropriate, in casino rueda this is totally acceptable as individuals are concentrated solely on executing their moves. 

3.2. Increase networking

The second benefit of this dance is that the changes of partner allow for an instantaneous spread of contacts. How many times have you been in a seminar, not far away from that guy working in this part of the office, and whom you do not even know the name. With casino rueda, the only two things you can do is dance and communicate. 

3.3. Enhance Cohesion

A third valid point could even be added to the lists of benefits: cohesion versus a common enemy (all that done in a fun and great spirit). Most people do not know how to dance casino rueda. Therefore colleagues who use Casino Rueda as a team building activity, are likely to help each other and focus on executing the task. This is what happened when, with my team in Shanghai, we had to do a casino rueda choreography in front of judges and spectators we did not know. Our only option was to join forces together, rehearse properly and make sure everyone was ready for the day of the show. Even, up to the last seconds prior to our choreography being presented, we helped and communicated with each other. Therefore, I highly recommend companies and businesses who lack ideas to motivate their team to consider casino rueda.

4. Basic moves of casino rueda

Be the first to check-out all the exciting info I put out on Salsa, Zumba, Bachata and other afro-Cuban dances. I have many thrilling programs that will transform and challenge you. These life-changing and great VIP programs can take you from novice to master in less than 3 months. They are badass and will definitely introduce new muscles to your body.

4.1. Walk forward-backward

One of the key steps that characterise this dance is a walking move on the full count of 8. Generally speaking, in salsa, dancers move forward and backward on a basic step timing (an 8 count). With this move, casino rueda dancers can go 1,2 or more 8 counts in one circular direction. This is generally used to prepare dancers for more complicated steps to come. Note that, dancers can go backward also using these steps.

basic son step for casino rueda dance

4.2. Basic back step

This move is used frequently in casino rueda. It consists of dancers breaking backward on the first beat, then gently pushing their partner on the 5th beat at the centre. It is used to initiate turns, or when a change of partners in about to be requested. 

casino rueda move for men and women


5. Discover new, untapped materials

Be the first to check-out all the exciting info I put out on Salsa, Zumba, Bachata and other afro-Cuban dances. I have many thrilling programs that will transform and challenge you. These life-changing and great VIP programs can take you from novice to master in less than 3 months. They are badass and will definitely introduce new muscles to your body.

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