Sarita Leyva

      Toronto's most authentic Cuban dance lessons!

        Salsa, Son, Casino Rueda, Afro-Cuban, Cuban Cabaret

Afro-Cuban Dance Lesson  with Sarita Leyva  Every Thursday 

This class is dedicated to researching and developing the traditions of Afro-Cuban music and dance as well as promoting authentic Cuban dance and culture in Toronto. Every Thursday  at 7:30 pm . 305 Salem Ave M6H 3C8 . West of Dovercourt, East of Dufferin. South of Dupont.

416 535 9125 [email protected]

Rumba is a secular genre of Cuban music involving dance, percussion, and song. It originated in the northern regions of Cuba, mainly in urban Havana and Matanzas, during the late 19th century. It is based on African music and dance traditions, namely Abakuá and yuka, as well as the Spanish-based coros de clave.   This complex encompasses the three traditional forms of rumba (yambú, guaguancó and columbia)


In one branch of Afro-Cuban dance known as Bailes de Santería the dancers interpret different Orishas. The Orishas are the deities of the religion, specific to Cuba, known as Santería. Santería had its beginnings during the colonization of Cuba when the slaves syncretised their Yoruban gods with Catholic saints in order to continue practicing their faith unbeknownst to their owners. 

The songs and rhythms narrate different events in the lives of the Orishas or are hymns praising their powers. The dances that accompany this music are pantomimic and specific steps correspond to each rhythm. The dancers wear costumes specific to each Orisha and carry some of the items attributed to them. Some dance movements represent the hunt, others war or divine punishment of wrongdoers and others agricultural activity.

Casino Rueda Class beginners & intermediate call for more info:

416 854 2104


Rueda de Casino (Rueda) is a particular type of Salsa round dance, born from Casino. People incorrectly call it "Casino Rueda" or "Cuban Salsa." The origins of the name Casino are the casinos deportivos, the dance halls where a lot of social dancing was done among the affluent, white Cubans 

during the mid-20th century and onward. Casino danced with multiple partners in a circular fashion emerged in 1956 under the name "Rueda del Casino," and has become a popular dance throughout the world. Casino was developed in Havana, Cuba in the early 1950s. Casino traces its origin as a partner dance from Cuban Urban Son and Cuban Cha Cha Cha, fused with partner figures and turns adopted from the Cuban Mambo, Rumba Guaguancó and North American Jive.   Casino danced with multiple partners in a circular fashion emerged in 1956 under the name "Rueda del Casino." This dance was exclusively danced at the Club Casino Deportivo, but quickly spread to other clubs around the beachfronts and later to the capital. While the dance became popular so did the phrases "vamos a hacer la rueda como en el Casino" (let's go dance "rueda" like in the Casino) and "vamos a hacer la rueda del Casino" (let's go dance "rueda" of the Casino). Given the popularity of the music and dance, numerous Rueda de Casino dance groups appeared on the island made up of friends, family members, and professional dancers. At the end of the 1970s, Rueda de Casino groups became well-known through the popular TV show "Para Bailar."[1]