When I first moved to Bloomington in the fall of 2007, I was worried that a small Midwest town might not have much to offer for someone who loves salsa dancing. However, I was pleasantly surprised because my very first semester an amazing group called Ritmos Latinos began at Indiana University. I joined this organization and am proud to say that 2.5 years later, the group has grown and developed into one of the best dance clubs on campus. We recently danced at the 2010 SPEA Dean’s dinner and dance event (Is there a formal name for this event?) and frequently perform at other venues around Bloomington and Indianapolis!
This group dances a different form of salsa than the typical partner dance that many of you may have seen. The style is from Cuba and is called Rueda de Casino (or ‘Casino Wheel’). Think ‘Latin Square Dance’. Couples are positioned in a circle and there is one caller (male or female) who shouts out moves (with hand signals) to the rest of the group during the dance. There is a very large library of moves that the caller may choose from, and throughout the course of a song the couples in the circle switch and rotate so that everyone gets a chance to dance with everyone else!
I really enjoy this style of dance because it is truly a community activity and everyone (theoretically!) is dancing in unison. It is so much fun and I really encourage everyone to give it a try – especially if you are new to the area. It is a wonderful way to make friends outside of SPEA too because there is a lot of participation from a wide variety of departments on campus, as well as from community members.
Ritmos Latinos has 4 different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced, and performance) and we also offer a partner salsa class that teaches traditional Latin dances (including partner salsa) for couples!
While we are no longer accepting new members for this semester, we have open dance nights 1 or 2 Thursdays a month that are FREE to non-members so you can come and check us out and practice some moves! We also have a salsa fiesta every semester with a free lesson and a LIVE salsa band and this event is also free to the public! Check our website for more information about both of these events!
Also – check us out on facebook! We have some great videos of our performances that can give you a good idea of our dance style!
I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor! 🙂