Passing on the knowledge entrusted to me by those who fought so hard for this art.
“The energy comes from the earth… Mother Earth, she gives us the energy to move” – Master Pupy Insua. (+)
My late mentor said this to me when explaining the “Muelleo”.
What is the “Muelleo”?
In Afro-Cuban dances, it’s the bending of the knees (demi plié), which allows the dancer to move by pushing into the ground creating and releasing energy between steps/moves/beats. The posture of the torso is slightly tilted forward. It almost looks like “bouncing”, but I rather use the term “hovering”.
In other dance forms they use similar techniques, like “plié and releve”, “grounding”, “foot articulation”, etc. Posture varies accordingly to the style.
The “Muelleo” is the most important element in Afro-Cuban dances. Understanding the concept, and learning how to apply it, can take years of practice, but once you got it… it’s a whole new world.
Something that Pupy also shared with me was that “the best Rumberos study the Orisha’s dances”. AND from my own observations, the best Salsa dancers study Cuban Rumba.
Let’s continue our education of these dances in order to move forward with the evolution/fusion of it. If you want to fuse something, you better know what elements you are using. It’s about traditions, culture, history and artistic integrity.
Let Mother’s Earth feed you with her energy next time you hit the dance floor!