CUBAN SONG & DANCE—A SU-CASA RESIDENCY
About SU-CASA and the Cuban Song & Dance Residency
SU-CASA is a collaboration among the New York City Council, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and is administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council on behalf of the borough of Brooklyn. The program pairs artists with senior centers throughout the borough. In 2018, the Remsen Senior Center was paired with artist, Danielle Brown, to learn about Cuban dance.
Rueda de casino—or simply, rueda—is a style of dance that developed in the casinos (or clubs) in Cuba around the middle of the 20th century. Casino became the name for a style of partnered dance that is also referred to as Cuban salsa. In rueda (Spanish for “wheel”), several pairs of dancers come together forming a circle or “wheel” while simultaneously performing steps based on the instructions of a leader who calls out each move. Dancers rotate amongst each other so everyone has an opportunity to dance with each other. A typical workshop began with a warm-up, which included a review of the basic steps, followed by a review of material from the previous class, and an introduction to new material. Classes focused on getting seniors comfortable working with a partner, learning new moves, and executing those moves simultaneously in time with the music. Participants first learned the most basic moves, before progressing to more complex ones.