Salsa Rueda Styles
There are many different styles of Salsa….you’ve got “on 1″, “on 2″, “Mambo”, “East Coast”, “West Coast”, “Salsa Romantica”, “Salsa Suelta”, “Salsa de Casino”…..ya-da…ya-da…ya-da. Some people, when they start out learning Salsa, actually know what style they’re dancing but many don’t.
And there lies the beginning of something unfortunate. Dancing should be all about having fun. And fun knows no boundaries of coasts, numbers or country prefixes or suffixes. People are missing a great way to learn Salsa when they ignore the tremendous syllabus of Salsa that is common knowledge to Casineros.
A Casinero (or Casinera) is somebody who likes Salsa Rueda music and dances a style generally considered to have originated in Cuba and is called “Casino” style. Yes, there are some nuances of differences between Casino style and other styles but that is not the point.
The point is that Casino style Salsa is very similar to other types of Salsa but it has one thing that other styles don’t…..an established syllabus of progressively organized, logically ordered steps which build one upon the other into increasingly more complex, challenging and fun patterns.
Learning Salsa Rueda
The benefit of learning Salsa that way is that the beginner has mental ‘pegs’ to hang the names on and use as a memory tool. For example, the Salsa basic is called ‘Son Montuno’, a basic back-break called ‘Guapea’, then there is something called ‘Enchufe'( to plug-in or change places), then there is “Sombrero” (the hat) which the On-1’ers do and call the same thing, then there is ‘Vacila’ (show-off, literally “check this out”) which also bears some resemblance to something regular Salsa dancers do and in Jazz, it is called a “Chaine” turn or linked step
And the list goes on and on. There’s over 450 super-cool steps and patterns that Casineros have names for (thus making them a lot easier to remember and practice) that regular Salsa dancers don’t. If you ask a regular Salsa dancer to do “Abanico” (a fan turn), they’ll look at you like….”What…?!!”.
If you show one of them, a good one I mean, what it is, they’ll usually say, “Oh yeah…I can do that!” But look how much time was lost. Just like the printing press was one of the things that unified the civilized world of the time, similarly thus could be said using Casino de Rueda to learn Salsa, it can unify salsa communities.
That doesn’t mean individual dancers can’t ‘do their thing’. It isn’t meant to take away anybody’s creativity. It just makes it easier to explain. And if you can make something easier to explain doesn’t that make it easier to do…and give more people access to it?
I think so. By the way…almost 90% percent of Salsa Rueda steps can be done one-on-one not just in a circle giving Rueda dancers one more advantage over other Salsa dancers.
In summary, Salsa Rueda Steps offer a wealth of knowledge in culture, music and history that is well organized in a easy to learn fashion that you could be dancing now.