By Alicia James
According to Martha and the Vandellas, summer is here and the time is right for dancing in the street. Rumbanana Salsa Group will be hosting a free monthly open dance event—Rueda en la Calle—at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market on Saturday, July 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of 1st and Monroe.
“Rueda” means “wheel” in Spanish and refers to the circle of dancing couples. Corvallis residents may have seen them hot-stepping at the last event on June 21. The dance form originated in Cuba, where people would gather in public spaces for a night of entertainment. “It’s a way for people to be able to dance outside and socialize,” said Jaime Fuller, Rumbanana Salsa Group member since 2011.
Mike Eskeldson, co-director of the group, explains how rueda is different from other kinds of salsa dancing. “Rueda is based around a dance called casino or Cuban salsa, which is similar to many forms of salsa from around the world, but differs from all of them in its music and dynamism,” he said. “Timba music features heavy instrumentation and is rhythmically aggressive.” Partners also change up their moves when the caller or dance leader signals. “Casino is more of a push and pull dynamic,” said Fuller.
Lessons are not provided at Rueda en la Calle, but first-timers and novices are encouraged to jump in. “The steps are kept at a basic level to make it comfortable for anyone to participate,” Fuller noted.
The next Rueda en la Calle will be held on Saturday, July 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market on the corner of 1st and Monroe in front of Cloud and Kelly’s. No admission charge. All skill levels welcome. For more details, visit www.rumbanana.org or https://www.facebook.com/events/1494670534081337/