Rueda de casino, the casino wheel, has a basic structure of couples forming a circle.
For many rueda dancers, regular rueda de casino is the “only” way of dancing rueda.
For others this is the beginning. After some years of dancing rueda, some people try out other structures and start experimenting with various combinations.
Most rueda structures are relatively new devellopements. The term standard can hardly be used for rueda structures in the same way as for rueda figures. However, rueda structures are used an taught to such an extent that we find find it very useful to describe and demonstrate them. And we will start by describing the rueda structures that have been taught at the SalsaNor Rueda Congress over the years – since 2002.
First of all, the basic structure:
Then we have the social rueda structures, where it works if one more couple joins the rueda in the middle of a song:
- Rueda por fuera
- Rueda contratiempo
- Rueda con dos mujeres
- Rueda en linea
- Rueda combo
- Rueda torno
- Rueda espejo
- Rueda transvesti | Rueda sopresa
- Rueda switch | Rueda confusion
Some Rueda structures needs a fixed number of couples, and usually an even nuber of couples divided into two teams (primeros and segundos / cantantes and oyentes). They are a bit more difficult to use in a social setting:
- Rueda cruzada
- Rueda contrario – updated videos Oct 2017!
- Rueda llanta
- Rueda treból
- Rueda trio caliente
- Rueda frente a frente
And finally some more recent Rueda structures that are still work-in-progress:
A view from ABOVE
SalsaNor has started recording rueda structures with a new perspective: a view from ABOVE: RUEDA CONTRARIO | RUEDA MIXTA | RUEDA TORNO.
Social rueda structures
The focus of the Rueda Standard is social rueda dancing.
In a social setting dancers commonly enter a rueda in the middle of the song.
This is a killer for the rueda structures that require an even number of couples, like rueda cruzada, rueda llanta and rueda frente a frente.
All rueda dancers should respect an ongoing rueda, and watch the rueda a bit before considering to enter, to see if they are able to keep up. The various rueda strucutres makes this even more cruisial. If you enter a rueda, and then discover that this was not a rueda de casino after all, but a rueda espejo or rueda travesti, then you will probably be killing this rueda.
(Consider a lesson from Elvis Presley: Stop, look and listen, baby ..)
More about structures
For more details of the devellopement of the different Rueda structures see the history page.
In addition to various structures in rueda de casino, related dances may also be danced in a rueda/circle, like son, cha cha cha, bachata, etc.