Syllabus of Moves
Note that all of the moves below can be done in a circle with a group, or social dancing with a partner. A slow song with a steady tempo pops up on this page. It is great for practicing steps, in case that is useful.
The syllabus listing is below. But before that, here are some instructional videos that explain how some of the Cuban moves are done in Rueda circles:
a. youtu.be/0uDm8Tu8kCg Instructional Video on "Basic L. A. Style Salsa." This covers Basic, Side Rocks, Right Turn, She/He Turn, and Cross Body Lead.
a. youtu.be/z6jqT83-IL0 This is Instructional Cuban Salsa Video Part 1. It explains Basic, Dame, Fly, Besitos, and Enchufla.
b. youtu.be/TTibS0sXZ0E This is Instructional Cuban Salsa Video Part 2. It explains Enchufla Doble, Enchufla con Mambo, Festival de Enchufla, Pelota Con Dos, Pelota Con Quatro, Foto, Dame Dos, Adios, and Uno.
c. youtu.be/fCDkrIV0ccw This is Instructional Cuban Salsa Video Part 3. It covers Pa Ti Pa Mi, Adios con Hermana, Kentucky, Adios Arriba, Enchufla Arriba, Pelota Loca, Enchufla con Exhibe, and Candado.
d. https://youtu.be/SWHzOilJzT8 This is Instructional Cuban Salsa Video Part 4. It covers Uno y Dos, Sombrero, Vacila, Beso, Balsero, Balsero y Beso, Dedo, Montana, Dedo Extended, Siete, Siete Moderno, Siete con Coca Cola, Abanico, Setenta, and Sombrero de Manny.
And finally, here are Barb’s tips on executing some of the common, basic Rueda moves.
SYLLABUS LIST WITH SHORT STEP DESCRIPTIONS
Guapea (Basic Step) Rhythm is Quick, Quick, Slow. Leaders go back on left and forward on right; followers go back on right and forward on left.
Dame Una- Guys travel to new partner, moving counter-clockwise on beats 1, 2, and 3, and do Cross Body Lead (CBL) on beats 5, 6, and 7 to resume basic step. (This is often just called "Dame.")
Fly / 2 Flies--Guys turn right and ladies turn left. Clap facing the person behind you on beat 1 (or for “2 Flies” on beats 1 and 2).
Besito---Guys turn right and ladies turn left. Air kiss the person behind you on beat 1.
High 5,10---Guys turn right and ladies turn left. Do a high 5 or 10 on beat 1 with person behind you.
Suena---Stomp on beat 5.
Bulla---Shout on beat 5.
Bulla Doble--Shout on beats 5 and 6.
Suena y Bulla (also called Suena con Bulla)--Stomp and shout on beat 5.
Foto---Hold any pose for 8 beats and resume dancing on beat 1, going "out."
Enchufla---Underarm turn on beats 1, 2, and 3. Then guys travel to next partner on the following beats 1, 2, and 3; and do the CBL on beats 5, 6, 7 to resume basic.
Enchufla Doble--Start like Enchufla but add 8 beats where guy pushes the lady back under his arm. Then do a regular Enchufla.
Pelota Con Dos or Quatro---Do Enchufla and then stomp and clap twice each (or 4 times each) before going to the next partner. These stomps & claps are on successive beats 1, 3, 5, and 7.
Pelota Loca--Do Enchufla then stomp, clap, stomp clap stomp clap clap clap (on successive beats 1 through 8) before moving to the next partner.
Pelota Con Clave--Do Enchufla and clap the “clave rhythm” (5 claps) before going to next partner.
Adios---Starts with "back spot turn" (in a ballroom-type hold). Throw lady’s arm overhead on beat 6. Then guys go to next partner on beats 1, 2, and 3 as usual. Do CBL to resume basic.
Adios con la Hermana--Starts like Adios; ends with two Enchuflas--like Pa Ti Pa Mi. No partner exchange.
Dame Dos—The same as Dame Una but skip one lady and go to the next. You still travel on beats 1, 2, 3 and do the CBL on beats 5, 6, 7. So it is rhythmically identical to Dame Una--you just travel farther!
Dame Dos Con Dos--Same as Dame Dos but also clap on beats 1 and 2 while traveling to next partner.
Dame con los Manos---Group move in which ladies rock back and then do CBLs repeatedly, while guys rock forward & lead the CBL. Continue this until 8 beats after caller calls Dile que no (or "Tranca" for ladies' turns).
Kentucky---Get into “cuddle position” on beats 1, 2, 3. Guys move from lady's left to right behind her on 5, 6, 7. Then guys move left behind the lady, and put their right hand on their own left shoulder. They turn right, ending the turn facing the center. Do CBL to finish.
El Uno--Partners go side to side and ladies are in front; everyone does back rocks. End with arms over- head and then CBL to resume basic.
El Dos--Partners go side to side but guys are in front; everyone does back rocks. Then ladies move to the guy's left side. She turns turns in front of him two times while moving to his right side ("Sombrero turn). Ends with CBL.
Uno y Dos---Starts with El Uno. Before finishing Uno, go into El Dos. Do the El Dos step in full.
Festival de Enchufla--3 Enchuflas in a row each with a different partner and no basic step in between.
Festival de Adios--3 Adios steps in a row each with a different partner and no basic step in between.
Al medio (lean in and lean out) / Abajo (switch to QQS rhythm; guys alternately forward rock and side rock while ladies back rock twice)
Exhibe (Ladies step toward middle of circle; pivot and turn around) / Exhibe Doble (ladies do two Exhibes) Dile que no (CBL) This is often added on to other steps at the end to enrich and lengthen them.
Evelyn--Starts like Adios; guy brakes the lady's movement, turns himself & leads CBL to end step.
Flamenco----Starts like Adios, then guy turns as in Evelyn, then leads an Exhibe. CBL ends the move. This can also be started with a Vacila rather than an Adios.
MORE COMPLEX MOVES:
Siete—Tap, then guy turns the lady out and turns her back to face him.
Siete Doble—Tap and then both leader and follower turn out and then back to face each other.
Siete con Coca Cola--Do Siete and then lead the lady in a Coca Cola turn. The guys turn too.
Siete Moderno---Do Siete; then switch which of the lady’s hands you hold and both partners turn. Guy lifts lady's arm overhead which makes this look different from Siete con Coca Cola.
Vacila—Tap & guy leads lady to turn on beat one and then disconnects from her. She turns twice while moving around to his right side in front of him. Note these are "walking turns" rather than spins in place. He moves to left as she comes around. Ends by reconnecting, and guy leads a CBL.
Vacilense los dos---Like Vacila but the guy also turns (once or twice) while lady turns. He can turn either to his left (preferred) or his right.
Vacila y dame—Like Vacila but at the end, guys “add” a Dame una, by moving to a new partner.
Sombrero---Tap. Hold two hands in a "cross hand hold" which means the guy's right hand is over his left--and his right holds her right; his left holds her left. Lead the same turn as Vacila except hands remain connected. Then the guy’s and lady’s arms come over their heads. End with CBL.
Medio Sombrero—Tap, then do Sombrero w/ cross hand hold, but holding only one hand: the guy’s right to lady's right.
Dedo---Tap; hold one hand in a cross hand-hold. Ladies turn, coming to guy’s right side. Then step in place for 4 beats. Then do a back-rock & Enchufla and guy does a rondee as he moves to her other side. Do another back-rock & Enchufla facing the center. End with CBL.
Montana---Tap; hold two hands in a cross hand-hold. This is the same footwork as Dedo except that since you are holding two hands, arms are in a “sombrero position” overhead at the end.
Dedo Extended---Do Dedo & go right into Montana with no basic in between. Great combination!
Pa' Ti, Pa' Mi—Three Enchuflas in a row with the same partner. First the girl turns, then he turns and backs to the center, then she turns and backs to the center. Then both face the center. Ends with CBL.
Dame Arriba---Dame but move clockwise to the “upstream” or previous partner. To do this, guys need to face that direction on beat 7 before they start traveling on beat 1. Come to lady’s left side as usual, facing the center before doing the CBL. This requires fast movement!
Enchufla Arriba—Enchufla, but do Dame arriba (instead of Dame una) at the end. (See above.)
Sententa Tap step; "straight hand hold" (i.e. guy's right holds her left and guy's left holds her right). Hammerlock the lady's arm behind her as she turns to her right. Guy walks around in a circle. By beat 8 he faces outside the circle and she faces in. They back-rock and then she unwinds. Ends with CBL.
Candado—Do 2 Enchuflas while holding both hands. One arm goes over her head. Then guy does a “Kentucky-like” turn with both arms going over her head. He marches clockwise around the circle with the lady behind him, holding hands at the shoulders. Then guys turn 8 beats after Arriba is called. Guys move to next lady if Taro is called. End with Dile que no (CBL).
Enchufla Con Vuelta or Festival de Enchufla Con Vuelta---Do Enchufla or Festival de Enchufla, but whenever the guy moves to his next partner, he turns to the left while traveling.
Adios Con Vuelta or Festival de Adios Con Vuelta—Do Adios or Festival de Adios, but whenever the guy moves to his next partner, he turns to the left while traveling.
Festival de Enchufla New York—Do Enchufla, then Enchufla doble then Pa ti pa mi but cut the latter step short so you can move to a new partner. Each of these is done w/ a new partner & no basic in between.
Casate—Starts with Enchufla. Bring the lady behind you and then walk arm in arm. You can do a call to switch the direction of the walk. End w/ Dile que no.
Dame Con Las Manos with Turns—Do Dame con Las Manos (see above), but then turn ladies in & out of circle after Tranca is called. Guys also turn after Hombres is called, alternating w/ the ladies. Step ends when Enchufla or Enchufla Doble or Pa ti pa mi. (Or the move can go on with other material.)
Enchufla al medio con dos—Starts with Enchufla; then guys go into circle and around to the right of their partner. Then guys and gals alternate stepping into the circle. You can do La Flor where arms are raised when coming out of circle or 11/22/33 where guys move to right and ladies to left 1(or 2, or 3) times each. You can do cero (0) or ocho (8) where you walk making that figure around others, & end step with Dile que no.
Con Coca-ColaTurns---A nice step in which both partners turn. This is similar to doing two CBLs. This step is often used as an embellishment at the end of other steps. After turning, this ends with a CBL.
MOVING UP IN COMPLEXITY:
Balsero –Tap step w/ two-handed cross hand-hold. Lady goes in front of the guy and to his right; then moves behind him to his left side. She circles around him this way in 8 beats. Then she comes in front of him, turning like Sombrero to end the step. Guys and gals change places several times in this step.
Beso—Tap step & two-handed cross hand-hold. Lady goes around to guy’s right, then behind him to his left. Guy leaves his right arm down as she comes around and "hammerlocks" himself. He faces her and does an alarde over her head with an “air kiss” on beat 3 when she is on his left side. Then he turns to unwind. Ends w/ CBL.
Balsero y Beso-- Tap step w/ two-handed cross hand-hold. Start w/ first 8 beats of Balsero and then do the entire Beso step. This is a very nice combination step.
Abrazala--Tap step w/ one-handed cross hand-hold. Starts like Beso but hold only one hand. Guys do an arm “chop” with the left arm on beat three, symbolizing a hug since it goes behind the lady’s back. This replaces the “air kiss” in Beso. This is basically like Beso but holding only one hand.
Cadeneta—Group move that starts w/ Enchufla but man leads with right hand, then rondees 540 degrees (a turn and a half). He then back-rocks himself and the lady, and then turns her. She passes him as she moves clockwise around the circle. He continues to back-rock and turn successive partners while he moves counter-clockwise around the circle. After the turn he alternately “breaks” his arm and then hers. (Breaking an arm means putting it in a hammerlock position.) The step ends 8 beats after Dile que no is called.
Abanico—Starts like the first 8 beats of Sombrero, but then guy turns the lady to the right in 4 beats. He turns himself to the right in the next 4 beats as he moves in a semicircle, coming to the lady’s right side to end the move. (No CBL to end.)
Sombrero Doble—Starts like Sombrero, then do a CBL to get lady on the guy’s left. They do a “Sombrero on the other side.” Tap and go back to back. Lady comes to the guy's right side. Drape overhead, to her shoulder; end w/ CBL.
Dedo Guarapo y Bota—Starts like Dedo and then guy turns and holds the lady around her waist. They turn around for 8 beats and he moves to the next partner.
Puente—Starts like Enchufla, guys switch so they are leading w/ their right hand. Make a bridge with just the leader next to you (the circle is divided into sets of 2 couples for this move). Ladies swing under the bridge, back and forth. They come through with a turn the second time they go under. Then guys dame to the lady who was the partner of the leader they made a bridge with. This step is done in pairs of couples and caller designates who is paired together. If there are an odd number of couples, the last 3 couples form a bridge together & dame like a small circle. After the partner switch, end with CBL and reform the big circle.
Dedo Puente—Start like Dedo but skip the last 8 beats. From there, go directly into forming a bridge and do the entire Puente step. This make a wonderful “combination step.”
Pasea—You begin with Enchufla and then lady moves from the man’s right side to his left going in front of him. Then she moves from his left side to his right going behind him. End with CBL to resume basic. Arms always stay down at waist level in this step. This is often also added on to the end of other steps (like coca cola turns).
Vacila Entrada—Do Vacila and then guys come in towards the center and move back to their right, around their partner in 4 beats. Ladies also go in towards the center and come back to their right, around the right side of their partner also in 4 beats. Guys “pick up” their original partners. Ends with CBL.
Siete Loco---Starts like Siete. Ladies turn to their right facing outside the circle and tap, then guy takes her left hand over her shoulder and leads her to turn left moving around him. She comes in front of him and does a back to back turn, ending on his right side. Then there are 2 exhibes and a drape over his head. Ends with CBL.
Sombrero de Manny—This starts like Sombrero. On the next beat one, the guy puts his right hand near her waist level on her left side, "asking for her hand." She gives him her right hand and he turns her around bringing her in front of him and to his left. Then he brings her behind him going from his left to his right. Ends w/ CBL.
Sombrero de Regnier---Starts w/ first 8 beats of Sombrero. You do a "reverse" balsero where ladies move around the guys in front of them from the guy's right to his left, and behind him from his left to his right. Ends like Pasea y Complicate.
Dedo por debajo—Start with the first 8 beats of Dedo. Then guy goes under his own arm in 4 beats and turns the lady in 4 beats. Then finish the rest of Dedo.
Dedo con de Rumbe--Dedo except on the second 5, 6, and 7, the guy hops on one foot. Then to get onto the correct foot, he also steps on beat 8. Then he finishes Dedo.
Balsero Nuevo--Just like balsero but after the first 8 beats, you backrock the lady on 1, 2, 3 and then do a fast sombrero turn in just 3 beats: 5, 6, 7.
La Confusion--This is Vacila followed by 3 CBLs. At the end, leads and follows have switched places. The group dances in the gender reversed position until La Confusion is called again to switch back!
The movements at this level of complexity are so long, they will just be listed rather than described.
Setenta Complicado with back to back turn
Setenta con Gancho
Siete Loco Complicado
El Sabor (also called "Ponle Sabor")
Three Way Stop
Exhibe con Gancho
Setenta Complicado Derecha y al Revers
Abanico Complicado Complicado(not a mistake)
La Presa Extended
L.A. de Glen
Below is a syllabus, organized by levels
Pelota Con Dos
High 5/High 10
Suena/Bulla/Suena con Bulla
Pelota con Clave
Festival de Adios/Enchufla
Dame Dos/Arriba/con Vuelta
Pa ti pa mi
Dame con las Manos
El Dos/Uno y Dos
Al Medio/Abajo/Dile que no
7/7 Moderno/7 con Coca Cola
Vacilense Los Dos
Enchufla al Medio con dos/33
Dame con las Manos/Tranca/Hombres
Balsero y Beso
Dedo/Montana "Dedo Extended"
Coca Cola turns
Dedo con de Rumbe
Dame Dos Arriba
Dedo por debajo
Sombrero de Manny/de Regnier
Exhibe con Gancho
Siete Loco Complicado
L.A. de Glen
Guanabacoa (end of Bonita)
Sombrero de Regnier Doble
Abanico Complicado Complicado