May 2010: Cuban, Level IV (Fundamentals of Cuban Casino)




Cuban style is circular in nature. Generally the woman moves around the man CW. The man often has a general slower movement CW in place.


Cuban style is feels better than slotted salsa but might not look as good


Dile Que No (Cross Body Lead)
First cut at this is to start in closed, do an XB to L-R, & on 7 lead woman to pivot ¼ L while guy pivots ¼ R.
Fancier version involves W moving in sort of an inverted “V”. Assuming M&W face other along the circle (M facing counter clockwise), on 1, W steps with her back facing radially out from circle, by 3, she has step towards the center of the circle & her back faces radially into the circle, & on7,  she her back is facing radially out from the circle again.

“Son Walk-around”
Move where I pull her clockwise around me & have her land in my arm on 7:
Do Dile Que No, & keep pressure on her L-R clockwise around M & have her start stepping around that circle on 1. Then she continues clockwise around the M, with the M leading with continuous arm tension. She can go around many times  & the guy can also rotate in either direction. M can do hand changes behind his back & go under his own arm. Eventually on some 3, W should be between 9 & 12 o’clock relative to guy & then the guy leads her across his front into his R arm with a sort of J-hook with L-R.


Vacilala (“check her out”)
Starts w/ Dile Que No. Then bring L-R towards the guy’s L to lead her in a R turn. L-R is directly between them on 1, & past them on2 as the guy releases.  W should step in place on 1. W know after doing a R turn to then cross in front of M into his R arm.


Hecho (“do her”)
Similar to Vacilala, but guy holds L-R throughout. W should roughly have her back to M on 3, & then she comes across into his arm on 7.


Exhíbela (“Exhibit Her”)
W steps back on 1 like Dile Que No, then M pulls her forward on 2, raising his L-R for her to step under by 3. Between 3 & 5, M starts ½ WRT, then bring her back to his R arm by 7 like a Vacilala.


Vacilala con Carrusel

      After a Vacilala or other move where W comes to M’s R arm on 7, M steps R foot between W’s feet on 7, picks her up in closed position, & both turn clockwise in closed position. M pulls W’s L side around.


Cuban basic (Para Ti y Para Mi)

Similar to Cumbia Basic, but with totally different timing.
M’s timing:

with left foot initally in front and right foot back and opened up somewhat to right:

·         On1: step in place

·         On2: step to side w/ R foot.

·         On3: step back & to L w/ L foot.

·         On5: step in place

·         On6: step to side w/ L foot

·         On7: step back to & R w/ R foot.


Note that the position on count 7 is similar to that of count 7 of a Dile Que No, so you can lead the same moves. Also, in Rueda, default to this move if caller doesn’t call out a move.


Deshecho and “Pull-In” (most difficult to describe, but very important – similar to Cumbia turn)

For now, just done right after an Hecho.

Starts from M’s R shoulder facing center of W’s chest:

·         On1: M steps back and to side & maybe pushes W back (like a cumbia open break)

·         On2: M steps slightly forward & pulls W toward him & start her rotating L.

·         On3: M steps across to the L, rotating maybe ¼ R, & W steps across to the R, rotating almost ½ L

·         On counts 5-7: pull W in to M’s R arm with a J-hook. This is like counts 5-7 of an Hecho, except that the W should first step back on5, finishing almost ¾ turn to L, and then be pulled into M’s right side as a J-hook. Man does cumbia basic footwork.


Deshecho y Casate (get married)

For now, just done right after an Hecho.

On step 7 of Deschecho, M goes R-R arm-in-arm w/ woman, & they begin to walk around each other clockwise, halfway for each 3 steps.
On the second set of 8 counts, M reaches over to place his R palm on the small of W’s back on 3. M stops turning & he pushes W w/ his R hand so she continues to walk around him. On 7, M reaches to the L to pick up W’s R hand and does another Deshecho.



Rueda de Casino moves we know so far:



1. Dame
Rueda move to swap to W on M’s R. Dile Que No, releasing W about 6, & picking up W on R.


2a. Vacilala

(described above)


2b. Vacilala Para Arriba (“Vacilala Pa’riba”)
Made-up rueda move which is a Vacilala, but after leading the gal in the turn, the guy moves one place to his left to catch the gal on his left.


2c. Vacilala con Carrusel

(described above)


3. Hecho Con Dos Margaritas
Hecho, then two Exhíbelas.


4a. Hecho/Deshecho (was called “El Cubano Basico”)


4b. Hecho/Deschecho y Casate
After the 8 count rotation, M releases W & picks up W to R in a Dile Que No. W needs to do the first 3 steps of the Dile Que No on her own.



Rueda de Casino moves for beginning of dance (before getting into “Guapea” position):


1. Vamos a pasear (para arriba y para atras) (“Front & back walking”)
Just do walking basic either forward or backward.


2. Un Tarrito
Rueda move to swap to W on M’s R. M steps under L-R towards next W.


3. DileQueNo

      (described above) Called out to move everybody from the starting position into the Guapea position.




Class notes created by Charles Bier and revised and edited by Eric Freeman.