Rueda de Casino (Rueda, Casino Rueda, Salsa Rueda) is a particular type of round dancing of Salsa. It was developed in Havana, Cuba in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the group Guaracheros de Regla and one of its main choreographers and creators was Jorge Alfaro from San Miguel del Padrón, a soloist of a comparsa.
Pairs of dancers form a circle, with dance moves called out by one person, a caller (or “líder” or “cantante” in Spanish). Many moves have hand signs to complement the calls; these are useful in noisy venues, where spoken calls might not be easily heard. Many moves involve the swapping of partners.
The names of the moves are mostly in Spanish. Some names are known in slightly different versions, easily recognizable by Spanish-speaking dancers, but may be confusing to the rest.
Although the names of most calls are presently the same across the board, the different towns in Cuba use their own calls. This is because the pioneers of Rueda de Casino wanted to keep others from participating in their Rueda. Many local variations of the calls can now 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 and in the music video clip No me dejes de querer by Gloria Estefan.
There are many different variations of moves in Rueda de Casino. The circle will either start from “al Medio” (normal closed hold with all the couples stepping in and out of the circle) or from Guapea (stepping forward on the inside foot and backward on the outside foot, tangent to the circle). Most forms have a caller who signals to the rest of the group what move will be next. Some of the most common moves in Rueda include: Dame, Enchufle, Vacila, and Sombrero. There are different hand motions that the caller can signal in case one’s voice cannot be heard over the loud music