RuedaMatic project

This is a site to coordinate development of RuedaMatic, a program to automatically “call the rueda”.

Rueda: Rueda is a Cuban traditional social dance for a set of couples dancing in a coordinated fashion.  The basic steps consist of steps of a traditional Cuban dance for couples, called “casino” style dancing.  The casino “moves” are given standard names.

To “form the rueda” means a set of couples arrange themselves in a circle.  (Rueda means “wheel” in Spanish).  The music begins, and a leader marks the time that will be used for dancing purposes.   The couples do a standard move, all synchronized.  Then the caller beings calling loudly the standard names of moves, and the couples recognize the moves, and perform them in a synchronized fashion.  Many of the moves are identical to moves performed in couple dancing.  But many more are exchange moves, where the leader or the follower (or both) leaves one partner and moves to the next.  More complex partner exchanges are also possible.

Calling the rueda (the sequence of moves) is an art.  The idea is to call moves such that

  • calls work well with the music
  • calls work well with each other
  • calls challenge the abilities of the dancers
  • there is an interesting variety of calls
  • there are not pauses trying to think of moves
  • sometimes a carefully matched sequence is performed to match a specific song
  • in that case, the moves must be called very precisely for several minutes, not missing any calls and keeping “with” the music
  • sometimes you want to avoid monotony
  • in that case, the caller must mix calls in new ways sometimes: not always the exact same moves

All in all, it can be quite exhausting to do it well.  And it can be enough work that it deprives the caller of some of the enjoyment he or she would otherwise have dancing.

So there is likely a place for an intelligent progam to handle the calling duties.

RuedaMatic consists of two separate programs:

The main program, the one most people will use, is called RuedaMatic Player.  It can play the dance tunes synchronized with rueda calls.  It can also be used for regular music play, so you don’t have to anything special to switch between songs with automatic calls, and ordinary dance tunes.

The secondary program, used by the “creatives”, is called RuedaMatic Editor.  It tells the Player how to recognize a song and match it with timing.  Then, it plays the calls in various modes (random, fixed, other) in a way that is basically identical to a live caller, except it comes out the “speakers” along with the music.

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