CasinoRueda Links


Casino/Rueda Levels of Knowledge and Active Practice:
by Maritza Baida

I created this document to help rueda de casino dance students navigate their learning. I am not an expert but it's like a passion of mine as I have danced since a child and in 1998, I fell in love with rueda de casino and started my journey to learn as much as I can about this art. I am not even Cuban so this is very "subjective." I will share what worked for me. My journey is unique. Your journey will be unique and beautiful as you are.  I am a teacher at heart and professionally studied how to teach, train and counsel within a college setting, so my passion is how to teach to all learning styles and develop students. I enjoy developing casino dancers. It's my passion and I am crazy-loca for beginner dancers.  Below is my own approach to teaching and learning casino/rueda de casino. This is my curriculum and learning outcomes:

To move from beginner to intermediate level rueda de casino, you must master some basic movements and turn patterns before entering intermediate level casino/rueda:
  • Leads & Follows walking forward (NO BACK STEP in the first step) 
  • Keeping time with the music (not dancing to patterns but dancing to the music)
  • Leads & Follows need to know the 11 basic steps and know their positioning in casino (one-on-one dancing) and in the rueda with the following moves (breakdown  of the following footwork and moves in 3 parts):
  1. Guapea/Basico Cubano   (Beginner level 1)
  2. Pal-Medio                      (Beginner level 1)
  3. Enchufla                        (Beginner level 1)
  4. Dile que no                    (Beginner level 1)
  5. Adios /Prima                  (Beginner level 2)
  6. Exhibela                        (Beginner level 2)
  7. Vacilela                         (Beginner level 2)
  8. Ronde footwork             (Beginner level 2)
  9. Setenta footwork           (Beginner level 3)
  10. Traslado footwork          (Beginner level 3)
  11. Coca Cola                      (Beginner level 3)
What level are you? 
Level 1: Never danced at all, brand new to the Cuban style dances, 2 left-feet;don't know how to find the beat,  Salsa on-1(LA style, Mambo) dancers wanting to try casino/rueda de casino for the first time or you took one rueda class and forgot it all 

Level 2: You know the how to lead and/or follow these moves: Pal Medio, Guapea/Paso Basino Cubano, Dile Que No, Enchufla, and Adios;
You know how to move in the circle exchanging partners and have decreased your rate of instigating a train wreck in the rueda; still struggling to find the beat; you listen to Cuban music especially but not limited to "timba";  you want to brush up in turn patterns (like vacilala)

Level 3: 
You work consistently to keep the rhythm on your feet (making a choice to listen to timba frequently every day), walking with no bounce or big steps, your center faces your partner's center, so you are actually dancing, not doing a pattern and showing off by yourself. For leads, your dance partners enjoy dancing with you. As follows, you minimize back-leading and let the Lead "lead" you, you automatically know basic casino dance communication and you walk forward.  Follows, when leads ask you to dance, leads complement you for having a soft connection and being light as a feather in turn patterns. Lead/Follows stay close to their partners in turn pattern.  Your leading/following for Dame, Dile Que No, Dame, Enchufla, Vacilela, and Exhibela is in muscle memory mode. You don't have to think too much about it if it's called. 

It is encouraged to take the Beginner Series Levels 1,2 & 3 at least twice because you will pick up more knowledge in the second round that was not readily processed in your memory in the first learning. Advance casineros always go back to basics!

Tips to Improving Your Casino/ Rueda de Casino Skills:
  • Persistence in the learning process. DON'T GIVE UP after one class or a series. We have all, including the instructors, messed up the rueda and caused a train wreck. If you are personally invested, take more classes.
  • Intentionally FIND THE BEAT everywhere you go. Play Cuban music where ever you go, in your car, at the gym, at work on your headphones, while you are the shower!! Scroll down below for Cuban music access. The more you are exposed to it, you will find the beat. It's a personal journey.
  • To help you find the beat in different tempos, use "The Clave" app to help you with timing and footwork practice. This will get your ear trained to hear the clave in every song. You can buy it through Google Play or through iTunes. There are many apps that do the same thing such as the Salsa Rhythms app, Salsa Beats Beta app, Rhythm Trainer app. 
  • Practice! Practice! Practice! Think "Karate Kid The Movie!" Take the movement and repeat over and over again until it becomes muscle memory.  
  • Attend social dance events outside the classroom. Check the Upcoming Events Page to find out when we meet.
  • If you are a "read first, move after" type of learner and love to read and learn about Cuban music and dance, I highly recommend reading the well detailed posts from the blog Son Y Casino by Daybert Linares Diaz. 
  • Use the Ruedawiki or Rueda Moves" video library links below to visually study and practice these moves outside the classroom. 
  • Sign up for a Cuban dance congress for the practice and the social piece of the dance - Scroll down below to learn about the popular Cuban Dance Festivals around the U.S., Mexico, Canada and of course Cuba
Check this amazing Wiki-based rueda library of dance moves! A good place to start for folks who are learning Cuban Salsa/Rueda for the first time and are visual learners!

If you are new to casino or rueda de casino, this link is awesome. Thanks to Shannon Kelly from Rumbanana Dance Group in Corvallis, Oregon, she put a lot of time into this website. So happy to have it accessible for learning moves around the world on casino and rueda de casino:

YouTube Channels/

If you have a YouTube Account, you can subscribe the following for some video instruction of the following subscriptions:
The Cuban Way
There's probably more, but you can do the research and/or Google it. 

These links are not the only links, but will keep building this list for popular places to listen and purchase the latest Cuban music.

Eso Que Anda App
This recently was created for your mobile devises to get the most current Cuban music (timba, Son, Cubaton) spinned by some the the best DJ's, specifically DJ Warapo and DJ Melao.

To listen to some really good timba, son, Cubaton, this link can give you the latest on the new music plus let you know which bands are touring direct from Cuba etc. There is a radio link on this website that will stream in some excellent mixes of timba music.

Timba Para Siempre

This is an awesome internet radio station, spearheaded by the efforts of casineros and DJ's in France. You are sure to hear the latest and the greatest timba music. 


Mp3 Cuban Music  - I buy from here a lot 

AMAZON - I also buy from here when the music is available

Google Play -
for practice start with:
- Juan Formell y Los Van Van (Albums: Chapeando, Llego Van Van or La Fantasia)
- Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor
- Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son
- Pupy "Cesar" Pedrosa Los Que Son Son


Below is a listing of congresses and festivals where you can get 4 to 5 days of the best exposure to Cuban dance instruction and the latest music.

BailAtlanta June 15th-17th 2018

Seattle Cuban Dance Fest - July 12th -15, 2018 - REALLY FUN!

Salsa Casino Mayan Congress Cancun, Mexico - September 19th - 22nd 2018 

3rd Annual San Diego Cuban Dance Congress San Diego - October 25th -28th 2018

Baila en Cuba Havana, Cuba - November 11-16, 2018

San Francisco Salsa Rueda Festival - February 15th-19th 2019 - A link to all different dance congresses around the world; salsa cubana is in there.
Still updating below:

Are you Traveling and Want to Dance Casino/Rueda de Casino? Where to check Databases:

If you plan to travel, try this link first to see if there is casino/rueda de casino nearby your travel location. Sometimes the city liaison may not have their info updated. Below are some links to casino/rueda community and dance instructor guides/directories:

The DC Casineros did a fantastic job on building a list of rueda communities from the US and the world.

This link was a really great find. It not only has a listing of places to dance casino or learn casino, but it will give you history and a lesson about what the "clave" is all about in the music and much more!