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The Cuban Salsa: An Introduction to the Island of Cuba

People decide to travel internationally because they have a desire to experience other cultures and people. One of the places that many people have a dream of visiting is Cuba.

Unfortunately, for many of us, it may not happen, but there are ways to experience the cultures without having to go there. One of the ways to do that is through music and dance.

Music and dancing in Latin countries, such as Cuba, is an important part of their culture and

history. One of the types of music and dance that people can explore in order to get a taste of Cuban culture is through Cuban salsa.

Cuban salsa, also known as casino, was created in the 1950’s by the youth of Cuba.

When many people think of salsa, they think of New York salsa that they have seen danced in nightclubs all over the world. Cuban salsa is incredibly different. The Cuban version is a livelier version (Yes, it is possible) and is much like the Latin version of southern square-dancing in the United States. In this dance, partners circle and twirl one another in constant motion.

Rueda de casino is one of the most famous forms of Cuban salsa and it is danced all over the world. It is beautiful improvised couples dance done in a large group. One person in the groupis a caller who announces moves that are known to the group and the women are passed around the circle of dancers by a given cue (Dame!- meaning give me!).

As time has gone one, this dance has gained fans and dancers all over the world. It has groups and dancers in major cities in every corner of the globe. There are even international

conferences held in cities such as Stockholm, Havana (obviously), Paris, Medellin, and even

Tokyo. The international love doesn’t end there. Other groups in other cities have their way of enjoying a dance they love.

- Washington D.C.- D.C. Casineros danced in the famous Dupont Circle and even on the

steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

- San Francisco- San Francisco holds a yearly Rueda Festival that attracts people from all

over the world.

- New York- New York City Rueda clubs hold outdoor dance festivals in Central Park as

well as an all-day ruedathon.

You may be able to gain exposure to Cuban salsa in your neighborhood, but there is nothing like experiencing the Cuban salsa in the place where it originated. This lively and addictive dance is best experienced in the dance halls of Havana with the people who have grown up with a love for it. This dance is a microcosm for the beauty of the culture of the Cuban people and the island of Cuba itself.

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