Rueda Rules!

Culver City's Cafe Roberto offers lessons in the latest salsa craze

By Dena Burroughs
Published on LatinoLA: March 28, 2003

Rueda Rules!

?Rueda? (wheel, or circle) is a dance style popularized in the U.S. first in Miami, where it is also referred to as ?Salsa Casino?.

The difference between Rueda and the common way of dancing Salsa is that Rueda is a group dance. Several couples form a circle in which one person calls the moves, or uses hand gestures if the music gets too loud, or if the circle gets too big due to a large number of couples.

The couples in the Rueda interact and switch partners while performing the steps called out, which have Spanish names such as ?Enchufla?, ?Exhibela?, or ?Vacila?.

It is a fun dance style that requires coordination and becomes increasingly enjoyable as the dancers become proficient at memorizing the steps.

Currently, only a few places offer Rueda dance lessons in Los Angeles. One of those places is Caf? Roberto in Culver City. Caf? Roberto is a nice, clean Italian restaurant with mirrored walls, a beautiful wooden floor, and smells that will make you hungry just by walking by it.

I went over last Sunday, and got there mid afternoon just as Benjamin and Joseph ?Yossi? taught both their Salsa and Rueda classes to about twelve enthusiastic students.

Cuban Benjamin and Yossi are great dancers, each with their unique flavor and original dance moves. Together with DJ Ivan ?Pitufo? Montero they have created a relaxed environment where they envision friends continuously enjoying fun Sunday afternoons full of good music, dancing, and great food.

Benjamin and Yossi will be teaching Salsa and Rueda classes every Sunday from 3 to 4.30 pm, followed by DJ Pitufo with music out of his huge collection of Salsa, Merengue and Bachata, until 10 p.m.

If you are curious of what Rueda is all about, this is your perfect place to find out; and if you are, like me, a Rueda ?beginner?, this is our perfect place to advance. I had a lovely time with my family at Caf? Roberto last Sunday. I encourage you to give this place a try.

Caf? Roberto is located at 11800 West Jefferson Boulevard in Culver City. For more information call the restaurant at 310/390 5736, Yossi at 323/734 6742, or contact DJ Pitufo at Ivan@MonteroMusic.com

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