‘Espejo’ means ‘mirror’. In rueda espejo the figures are performed as a mirror image of the original figures.
Some of the traffic rules of rueda de casino have changed:
– Right and left are switched, abajo and arriba direction are also switched.
– In is still in, out is still out, ans stepping forward is still stepping forward though.
– Steps you normally do with your right foot is now done with your left foot, and vice versa.
A mirror will tell you the truth about questions about figures you might have in espejo.
For example dile que no in rueda espejo:
– the follower startes from the left side of the leader and moves across to his right side
– the leader steps with his right foot on 1 and the follower steps on her left foot on 1
All the rueda figures can be used in this structure. But be aware, it feels quite awkward in the beginning. It almost resembles the feeling of writing with the other hand.
When you understand the logic of it, it can be an interresting challenge to try to dance known figures mirrorwise without practicing in slow motion first. Sort of like a mind game.
From open position in rueda de casino the command espejo (or rueda espejo) is used to switch into rueda espejo and back to rueda de casino.
Transistion command in open position: espejo
- Used to enter rueda espejo from basic position (guapea).
The figure is a simple foot pattern, stepping on 8 and turning to the partner on the other side, into guapea in rueda espejo mode.
- Also used to exit rueda espejo, going back to regular rueda de casino.
The figure is the same as going into rueda espejo, now ending up in guapea in regular rueda de casino.
These two transitions are shown in this video:
Dancing rueda espejo socially
The upper video shows an example of rueda espejo, including closed position and transitions between rueda de casino and rueda espejo in open position.
Using Rueda por fuera in a regular social setting is not very common. It can also be a “trap” for outsiders, because it is not always easy to discover that a rueda is in fact danced mirrorwise (espejo). So a new couple joining a rueda espejo in the middle of a song is quite likely to be up for a surprise.
Using rueda espejo socially within your regular rueda group, or in a rueda combo is more common:
Having two circles in a rueda combo, where the inner circle dances rueda por fuera is a nice opportunity for using rueda espejo. Let one of the circles start in espejo mode. Then use the command espejo to switch the espejo mode to the other circle. Now both circles will all the time be a mirror image of each other.
How to get started with rueda espejo?
- Form a Rueda with four or more couples.
- Start by practicing the transition into espejo and back to regular Rueda de casino.
- Try dile que no in espejo mode. Then go back to Rueda de casino to study what you actually do in dile que no, before returing to espejo for another try.
- Continue with the most basic figures; dame una, enchufla, enchufla doble.
- Go back and forth between Rueda de casino and Rueda espejo to dance the figure, and re-discover the details.
- Add som more complex figures.
- And when you think you have cracked it, try enchufla y arriba to test yourself.
Why dance rueda espejo?
Like the other rueda structures, Rueda espejo is not a replacement for Rueda de casino.
It is mostly an interresting challenge, especially when used dynamically in the middle of a Rueda de casino or in a Rueda combo.
Using espejo in a Rueda combo is also a nice way to even out the levels, by putting the more advanced dancers in a separate inner circle, dancing Rueda espejo por fuera, and the more basic dancers in the outer circle dancing the same figures in a regular Rueda de casino. Calling standard figures as setenta is likely to be an equal challenge for all the dancers.