Dancing in the sun. Dancing in Corvallis. Down at the Farmer’s Market. Rueda en la Calle, literally wheel on the street, is a twice-monthly gathering to celebrate sunshine, music, and dancing organized by Rumbanana—the crazy bunch of people addicted to Cuban music and dance. They teach locally and perform all over.
Everyone meets at 1st and Monroe near the front of Great Harvest starting at around 11:00am. The dancing really gets going closer to noon and lasts until 1:00pm or whenever everyone wanders away. The next Rueda en la Calle is coming up on July 13th.
The people that come out range from novices to veterans and all are welcome to watch or join in. Being an accomplished dancer isn’t as important as having a good time in the sun though.
Some get down dancing in pairs but the main attraction is Rueda de Casino. It’s a wheel of couples dancing Casino in sync. Casino hails from Cuba and is often called Cuban salsa. The dancers follow the calls and hand signals of a caller. Around here the caller is normally also a dancer in the wheel. Look for the person shouting something Spanish-ish while signing with one hand.
Park it in the shade of a nearby tree and enjoy the music too—it’s a complex, unconventional, rhythm laden style from Cuba called Timba.
Rueda en la Calle is happening six more times this year: July 13th and 27th, August 10th and 31st, and September 14th and 28th. Visit www.rumbanana.org to confirm future dates and check out the other dance classes and Timba nights happening around Corvallis, Portland, and Eugene. New beginner classes start every month.
It’s Corvallis in the summer and I feel like dancing.
By Lana Jones