The groups change partner only within their own group, and they dance on different beats. Group 1 normally dance on beat 1 and group 2 dance on beat 5. For example the call “una media” will be one clap for group 1 followd by a clap for group 2 four beats later.
In the illustration of Rueda cruzada the groups are connected by separate circles (/triangles). It might be easier to see this in practice by scrolling down to the video at the bottom of this page. Note that Rueda cruzada requires an even number of couples, preferably 6 or 8. It is possible but more challenging with a big circle of 10+ couples.
Rueda cruzada can be danced from the start of a song and through the entire song.
Or you can start with Regular Rueda de casino and then make a transition to Rueda Cruzado – if there is an even number of couples(!).
The transit command is “cruzado”, always from open position.
- cruzado: Command to enter Rueda cruzada from the basic position (guapea).
This is a simple change of beat for group B, i.e. the couples without the caller
- cruzado: Same command to exit Rueda cruzada, going back to regular Rueda de casino.This figure is the same, so now group B changes the beat back to normal, so everyone is on the same beat, and it is now a regular Rueda de casino.
Transitions between Rueda de casino and Rueda cruzada, and back.
Other transitions between Rueda de casino and Rueda cruzada are also in use, but only this relatively simple transition is included in the Norwegian Rueda Standard.
Rueda cruzada is also danced in closed position, but it is not common to do a transition from Rueda de casino in closed position.
Dancing Rueda cruzada socially
The lower video to the right shows an example of dancing rueda cruzada using core rueda commands. (The video is from a workshop.)
Using rueda cruzada socially requires an even number of couples, and preferably 6, 8 or more. If a couple tries to enter a rueda cruzada on the fly, it kills the rueda, because the number of couples then gets odd. This can be a bit of a challenge if danced socially.
Also, calling cruzado (the transition figure to rueda cruzada) in a regular rueda de casinowithout prior notice, everyone will most likely be taken by surprise, and the right dancers (group B) will not be prepared to do the transition on the fly.
This aside, rueda cruzada works fine socially. If the dancers are prepared for a rueda cruzadaand new couples do not (try to) enter during the song, this is a very nice rueda variation for intermediate to advanced dancers.
- Well suited commands for Rueda cruzada:
- croqueta y aspirina
- festival de pelota
- enchufla > una arriba
- un tarro
- una media / fly
- enchufla con vuelta / mambo / rumba, etc.
- Very well suited, but might need a little practice:
- patin pa’mujeres
- enchufla y al medio
- cubanito > ni pa’mi, ni pa’ti
- Not suited for Rueda cruzada, because of high risk of crashing into others:
- hombres derecha y mujeres izuierda
- dame directo
How to get started?
- Form a rueda with 6 or 8 couples.
- Start in open position, and do rueda cruzada from the start of the song, low or mid tempo.
- Start with una media, and add core figures with simple partner change, like enchufla, festival de pelota, la familia.
- Continue by adding regular core figures, like cubanito, enchufla con mambo, etc.
- Try dancing patin and patin > siguelo > se fue.
- When you caught this you can try the other commands listed above as especially well suited.
- And then you try patin pa’mujeres. When you nail this, you have graduated.
Why dance Rueda cruzada?
Rueda cruzada adds a dimension of speed. When every second couple dance on different beats, you get a taste of the illusion of dancers moving and changing partner twices as fast, for example with the command combination enchufla > una arriba.
Aside from that, rueda cruzada is like other rueda structures an interresting challenge where you can test yourself if you are able to do the rueda figures in a new setting.
A fun variation to rueda cruzada is using two callers – each group having it’s own caller. The results is that the two groups dance different figures, and this will definitely test your ability to focus, and the callers’ abilities to improvise. This is also the perfect setting for a rueda battle!