The core figures in closed position are presented in the same video.
1. vamos arriba (tiempo España)
= let’s go upward (typically Spanish style)
TNRS used to distigush between vamos arriba and tiempo España. Both commands referred to the same figure (moving straight forward), and while vamos arriba indicated the style being regular Cuban style, tiempo España indicated a bit closer and upright style, like in the Spanish dances from the colonial era.
We have experienced that the style in vamos arriba is less empasised nowadays, and tiempo España is a bit less in use. Therefore these commands now more or less represent the same figure:
- vamos arriba
- vamos arriba tiempo España
- tiempo España arriba
2. abajo (tiempo España)
= downward (the spanish way)
TNRS used to have a command vamos arriba. Due to confusion this command is now is replaced with two other commands:
abajo (tiempo España): going straight backward.
adentro y afuera: going backward from side to side.
The following commands therefore represent the same figure:
- abajo tiempo España
- tiempo España abajo
- abajo (when vamos arriba was the previous command)
For several years there were different views on how a random Cuban rueda dancer would dance to the command vamos abajo, going straight or going from side to side (while dancing backwards). This also created confusion when this command was used, so it was replaced.
3. un tarro
= an affair
There are different meanings of the word tarro. Dictionaries usually focus on tarro meaning a jar.
Cubans translate it with the horns of a bull. The meaning in Rueda however, is to have an affair. Metaphorically you gore one person with the horns when you are with another one. This also resembles the Rueda figure – you simply change partner.
Notice that the figure is danced differently when called when leaders are moving forward “vamos arriba” and when leaders are moving backwards “abajo”. Whoever is walking forward (leader or follower) is the one moving to the next partner, while the one moving backwards are stepping in place until a new partner arrives.
= show her off
5. dile que no
= tell her no
This is probably the most important cuban salsa move. If you don’t get this right, you will always struggle with rueda, and most likely with Cuban salsa. Pretty much every partner change in rueda will include a dile que no, even though it is not called explicitly, for instance enchufla and dame una.
More about closed position.