Please note that Rueda groups differ in the timing of their calls, the moves they do, and how they name and style those moves. For example, there are even substantially different styles of doing the basic step. In some basics, partners face each other the entire time and in others they face the center of the circle part of the time. In the eyes of some teachers, a tap on beats 4 and 8 is indispensable throughout the basic and all moves. Others do not teach the tap at all, and some just teach it in certain places such as entering moves like balsero, beso, etc.

My perspective is that there are many great ways to do Casino Rueda, and that these differences contribute to the richness of the dance.

The tests below are based on the approach commonly used in the D.C. area, but that is by no means the only correct way to do the dance. As a result, some of the questions below may not be applicable to the way everyone does the dance. But I put this test on the website because I think it's fun and very thought-provoking, especially the test for experts!

Barb's Test For Beginning Dancers:

  1. In Salsa music, how many beats are there in a musical phrase (one complete basic) and which beat gets the most emphasis?

  2. How many steps does the dancer take in one musical phrase?

  3. How is the underlying rhythm of the dance commonly described?

  4. What is the difference for guys and gals in doing the basic step of one-on-one Salsa versus Casino Rueda?

  5. Which shoulder faces into the center of the circle for guys in guapea?

  6. What foot do you step onto after a tap on the right foot? What foot do you step onto after a tap on the left foot?

To see the answers, click here.

Barb's Test For Intermediate Dancers:

  1. Which type of call gives the dancer the greatest time lag between the call and doing the move: those that begin with the tap or those that begin without a tap?

  2. Name 3 calls where the time lag between the call and the step is so short that you are calling on beat one and doing the step on beat 5 of the same 8-beat phrase.

  3. Which way do leaders turn on vacilense los dos? How many turns does the leader do?

  4. How many steps can Rueda dancers gang together? (Ganging steps means that you do one after another with no basic in between.)

  5. Name two sets of moves that are essentially the same except that you hold one hand in one step and both hands in the other step. Why do you think such similar moves are given different names?

  6. Can Casino Rueda be danced on 2?

  7. Name a move that often feels unfinished--like you shouldn't be done with the move even though you are.

  8. What are some nice basic/intermediate Rueda moves that can be done as club moves (one on one) and how do you get into them from the one on one basic Salsa step?

To see the answers, click here.

Barb's Test for Super Experts!!

This is designed to be extremely challenging, even for the most advanced dancers. Some questions also depend on whether you have done specific moves. So please don't expect to know them all regardless of your experience!!

  1. Name another (third) pair of moves in which one move involves holding one hand and the other involves holding both hands.

  2. Like any art form, Casino Rueda is evolving. What is the nature of how it is currently evolving in Cuba?

  3. Name three moves that alter the timing so that if you were dancing on 1 before the call, you are dancing on 5 after doing that move.

  4. There is a large common segment in the moves Sombrero de Regnier and Pasea y Complicate. Name another two moves that shares this same segment.

  5. In La Cuadra, there is a place early in the move where leaders have the option of moving the lady straight to the left in front of themselves, or moving her in an arc that is like an "S" curve. The latter option is a wonderful, "feel good" movement that is a key piece of what other Rueda step?

  6. When you gang together an Exhibe and a Setenta, what alteration in the moves is needed to make that work?

  7. Name an advanced move in which an Exhibe is followed by a Setenta. Also name the move that contains an Exhibe followed by Setenta Complicado.

  8. In the move Enroque, there is an unusual maneuver where the guy switches his hold on the lady. He move his right hand from her shoulder to her wrist before turning her (while he also turns). In what other advanced move can this same cool maneuver be found?

  9. The awkward segment of the move Abanico Complicado can be found in what other moves?  If you have trouble doing this with your partner, what are some alternative manuvers that keep the same timing and end you in the same position?

To see the answers, click here.

    Twenty Questions On  Hispanic Cultural Information

1. National recognition of Hispanic Heritage began with a week-long celebration.  Was that celebration  in  the:
1940s?    1960s?   1970s?    1980s?   (Circle one.)

2.  We now celebrate Hispanic Heritage for a full month from  mid-September to mid-October.  Why?
__That worked best with the schedule for recognizing other heritages as well.
__Officials of some Latin countries requested that time interval.
__That interval includes the independence day of many Latin countries as well as “Dia de la Hispanidad”  (or “Dia de la Raza”), which was when Columbus first landed in the Americas.
__The government wanted the holiday to begin a little after children returned to school.

3.  Which country did not get their independence on 9/15/1821:   (Circle one)
Costa Rica       Honduras       El Salvador      Mexico     Guatemala

4.  The 2010 US Census showed what percent of our population is Hispanic?   (Circle one.)
13%   16%   20%    24%

5.  Which dance is the National Dance of the Dominican Republic?  (Circle one)
Cha Cha       Salsa     Merengue    Bachata  

6.  Which of these dances is a Latin Dance?    (Circle all that apply)
Foxtrot       Waltz     Bachata    Samba       Country-Two-Step      Cumbia

7. When did Salsa music start to evolve?    (Circle one)
1880s      Early 1900s     early 2000s?

8. Who was called the “King of Mambo?”     (Circle one)
Rey Ruiz       Tito Puente      Michael Jackson         Los Van Van  

9. Who was called the queen of Salsa?    (Circle one)
La India       Gloria Estafan       Celia Cruz

10.  In the late 80s, a softer, more romatic style of Salsa began.  Which artist composed this type of Salsa?  (Circle one.)
Tito Nieves             Victor Manuelle           Gilberto Santa Rosa

11. Merengue dancing began in the    (Circle one)
Late 1800s?     Early 1900s?        Late 1900s?

12.  What country shares an island with the Dominican Republic?  (Circle one)
Madagascar     Kuwait     Haiti

13.  The dance rhythm for Salsa is:  (Circle one)  quick slow quick        slow slow quick          quick quick slow        quick quick quick quick

14.  The dance rhythm for Merengue  is:  (Circle one)     quick slow quick       slow slow quick        quick quick slow       quick quick quick quick

15. On which beats of a four beat musical measure do you step in Merengue?  (Circle one)
Beats 1, 2, & 3                   Beats 2, 3, & 4                Beats 1 and 3            Beats 1, 2, 3, & 4 (all four)

16.  Which statement is not true?
___In Merengue, you sometimes slightly drag one foot.   
___ There are different “styles” of Salsa.   
___ Cha cha was originally named because of the swishing sound shoes make against the floor when dancing it. 
___Salsa is only popular in Latin countries  

17.  Which dance is  a Latin Folkloric dance? (Circle one)    Hasapikos    Salsa     Bachata    Cumbia

18.  Which of these is NOT a name for Salsa dancing that is done by a group?          Salsa Rueda         Rueda de Casino   
Cuban Salsa         Son      

19. Which modern day dance most closely resembles Salsa?       Mambo       Cha Cha        Danzon

20.  If you dance Salsa on 2, that generally means that you:
switch which direction you are moving on beat 2       hit the floor  with a heavier emphasis on beat 2       start the dance  pattern on beat 2

Answers below:
1. 1960s

2. Many Latin countries gained independence then, and Dia de la Raza occur in those 4 weeks

3.  Mexico

4.  16%

5.  Merengue

6. Bachata, Samba, Cumbia

7.  early 1900s

8.  Tito Puente

9.  Celia Cruz

10.  Gilberto Santa Rosa

11. early 1900s

12.  Haiti

13.  quick quick slow

14.  quick quick quick quick

15. 1, 2, 3, 4

16.  It is not true that: Salsa is only popular in Latin countries.

17.  Cumbia

18.  Son

19.  Mambo

20.  Switch direction on beat 2.



Copyright Barbara Bernstein of DanceInTime.com, 2005