A Casino Wheel from Havana

Los Marqueses de la Vibora

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — Dancing “casino” (Cuban salsa) is a delight. In it, an unusual power flows from any pair of dancers in the middle of their performance, with this energy sometimes multiplying as we witness the choreographic movements of a rueda de casino (casino dancing with multiple partners).

For this and other reasons, many young people can be found in different parts of Havana who are passionate about this form of dance.

The casino wheel group named “Los Marqueses de la Vibora” is an important example. For friends who live outside the country and are interested in this cultural phenomena, they’ve uploaded a video on YouTube so that you can see them performing.

Founded about three years ago, this group has the support of the October 10 House of Culture, which is in the Havana municipality where the majority of the members live.

The result of this institutional support has been the various activities through which the talents of those dancers have been presented.

Some of the members are sponsored by famous nightclubs such as Club Cañitas of the Habana Libre Hotel and Restaurant 1830.

Others, however, have participated in only lesser known cultural initiatives such as the “Cabildo Quisicuaba” (located in the Los Sitios section of the Centro Havana neighborhood) and music sessions entitled “Casineando en Playa” (Dancing the Casino on the Beach), which is held two Saturdays a month at the Abreu Fontan Social Circle.

Twice a week, the five pairs of dancers — whose ages range from 18 to 30 — meet to rehearse casino after coming home from work.

Their commitment has earned them recognition that has included taking second place in this year’s casino wheel competition at the provincial level.

The greatest hope of these dancers is to open a facility where casino classes are taught, and in this way share their passion with others who love to dance.


Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.