Salsadelphia is suffering from the heisenblogging problem: the more interesting your life gets, the more time is required to blog about it, while the actual amount of time available to blog about it decreases. Eventually the blogs of the most interesting people tend to collapse into a single infinitely meaningful letter "i" from which not even comment spam can escape.
But I digress.
Tonight Darlin Garcia subbed in for Mike Andino as rueda caller at Estilo
. For whatever reason— the fact that people are recuperating from this weekend's student showcase comes mightily to mind— the class was small and made up mostly of rueda beginners. Which is to say: perfect for me. For a while there I hit that perfect balance of learning new stuff, not being too confused to enjoy it, and being conscious of just how darn beautiful it all was.
I am now hopelessly addicted to salsa rueda.
Rueda, for those who don't already know, is salsa danced in a circle, with a caller calling out the next move. Most calls involve passing your partner to the next gentleman. The women supposedly don't have to know the calls, since the moves are leadable. But of course women do pay attention to them and that helps keep things on track if one of the gentlemen gets a little confused. Not that this happened tonight. Not at all. Break back and over, Tom! Break back and over!
The calls we learned tonight, as best I remember them:
. The basic step, rueda style. Side-and-together on the left foot on one-two-three. Forward break on the right foot, pushing off her hand with the right hand, on five-six-seven.
(DAH-may). Starts out like the basic. On five-six-seven, push off her hand and let it go, passing her to the next guy as you turn right to face the next girl. Scoop her up and do a regular cross-body lead on the next set of eight.
3. Dame otra
if you just did a dame). As you reach for the next girl, don't keep her, just pass her on to the next guy and reach for yet another girl.
4. Dame dos
. Like dame otra, but once you pass off your current partner, skip two girls ahead. Everyone else is doing this at the same time. Don't rush, don't dawdle... you'll learn to get there without colliding without six other people. Eventually.
. An enchufle— break back and over. On five-six-seven, let go of her right hand and walk past her to the next girl, passing through your left arm and letting go.
6. Enchufle double
. Start with an enchufle, stop her at the shoulder on three and bounce her back the other way on five-six-seven (this is a very common salsa move). Then on the next set of eight, don't stop her— do just as you did for the enchufle call.
. Break back and come forward again 1-2-3, but don't exchange places or bring the arms over. Instead, by three bring your right hand to her left side. On five-six-seven, left turn her and spot-turn yourself... but not a big turn. Just 180 degrees to face the next girl, dropping the previous lady's hand over your right shoulder on seven.
. Dead simple: side-and-together on one-two-three, then stomp your foot to the right on five and drag it out on six-seven. The caller will use this move to get everyone back in sync when things get a little off kilter.
I will definitely be attending rueda class regularly. With any luck we'll have a quorum for a beginner's rueda in which we can get up to speed with what the more advanced class is doing.
You can find a great list of rueda calls
, a salsa rueda site for the Indianapolis area. (Yes, I have definitely noticed I'm not the only geek dancing salsa.)