Our History

The MIT Casino Rueda Group was officially recognized in February 2000 by MIT’s Association of Student Activities.

The story began when Brian A. Purville worked in California during the summer of 1999. During this time he learned casino rueda up to an advanced level. At the same time, William J. Melendez also learned rueda while traveling California and from Brian Purville’s teachings. In the meantime, back in Boston, Loreto P. Ansaldo and Aparna M. Das were also learning rueda as part of a local latin dance company. These were the pre-recognition times of the group.

After returning to school in the fall, these three dancers perfected a two couple Rueda to the surprise and delight of many. Soon, the new group began to have informal weekly gatherings at the MacGregor TFL with friends and friends of friends. These gatherings were simply to socialize and practice dancing, including rueda.

During the spring of 1999 the idea to choreograph a salsa-based latin dance piece for the Movements In Time Dance Company had been floating around. The idea finally materialized in January 2000 after the initial choreography was finalized by William J. Melendez. At this point more people were recruited for the piece. They were Nia M. Jetter, Joel D. Ruckert, Zojeila I. Flores, Ian M. Garcia, Jamy M. Drouillard, Ishani R. Das, Stephanie L. Aragon, Oludotun A. Fashoyin and Chris M. Culbertson. This was the beginning of the MIT Casino Rueda Group.


Selected Past Performances:


Latina Cultural Show at Wellesley College – April 23, 2011

MIT Campus Preview Weekend Minority Student Dinner – April 8, 2011

Sabrosura – March 12, 2011

Latin Culture Night – March 11, 2011


Simmons College – October 23, 2010

Campus Preview Weekend Activities Midway – April 10, 2010

Minority Student Dinner – April 8, 2010

Sabrosura – April 3, 2010

Boston Salsa Congress – March 29, 2010

Diversity Dinner – February 12, 2010

Fire and Ice

Chicano Grad


Latino Heritage Celebration Week Kick-Off – October 4, 2009

SLOPE Tuesday Night – September 1, 2009

I-Flava – May 1, 2009

CPW Activities Midway – April 18, 2009

CPW Kick-Off Festival – April 16, 2009

Wellesley Performance – April 15, 2009

Boston College – February 14, 2009

Boston University – February 13, 2009

Boston Salsa Congress



MIT Family Weekend Parents Reception – October 18, 2008

Cena a Las Ceis, MIT Family Weekend Dinner – October 17, 2008

MIT International Fest – September 5, 2008

MIT Campus Preview Weekend Closing Ceremonies – April 12, 2008

Boston Salsa Congress – April 6, 2008

Explosion Latina, Boston University Latin Cultural Show – February 2, 2008


Cena a Las Ceis, MIT Family Weekend Dinner – October 5, 2007

International Flava: MIT Dance Exposition and Party – April 7, 2007


International Flava — MIT Dance Expo and International Party – February 26, 2005

Havana Club Grand Reopening – February 18, 2005

2nd Annual Boston Salsa Congress – April 8-10,2005

5th Annual Salsaboston Congreso – September 16-18,2005


2nd Annual Salsaboston Congreso – November 2002

Tufts Latin Culture Show – November 2002

Parents Weekend – October 2002

Simmons Latin Culture Show – October 2002

Sigma Kappa’s Late Night – October 2002

The first performance of the term, a beatiful salsa solo by Faye and Dairon.

MIT I-Fair – April 2002

For the 3rd consecutive year, the MIT Casino Rueda group performed at the ISA International Fair.

Wellesley Salsa Show – April 2002


Tufts University’s Annual Latino Culture Show – November 2001

Simmons College Hispanic Heritage Month Cultural Show – October 2001

MIT Caribbean Weekend’s Cultural Performance Competition – October 2001

MIT I-Fair – April 2001

Fantastic rueda held during the International Students Association’s annual full-blown International Fair.

Latin Dance Showcase – April, 2001

This April, the MIT Casino Rueda Group will be hosting MIT’s First Latin Dance Showcase. This show will consist of several performances choreographed by the MIT Casino Rueda Group and others choreographed by outside groups.

Latino History Month Convocation 2001 at Brown University – April 2001

Our first out-of-state adventure was a lot of fun. At the Convocation, Ana and Brian did an impromptu performance to Juan Carlos Coronel’s Baracaniguara and then the Group did a four couple Rueda.

Harvard University’s Mega Salsa Party – March 2001

In front of a large crowd of Salsa enthusiasts, and on top of a powdery and slippery floor, our Rueda performance was indeed a fun one.

Boston College’s To’ Mixeao – A Mixture of All Latin Flavors – February 2001

Our first performance of the new semester was indeed an incredible experience. First, performing members Ana Tinajero and Brian Purville dazzled the crowd with their dips, spins and footwork in a solo piece danced to La Sonora Carruseles’ Arranca en Fa. Second, the Group danced a fast-paced rueda, adding a number of new cool moves to the performance repertoire.


Harvard University’s Masquerade Ball – November 2000

Harvard University’s Masquerade Ball at The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston provided the setting for an elegant performance.

Tufts University’s Annual Latino Culture Show – November 2000

In what is arguably our best performance so far, the unsuspecting crowd was dazzled with a solid core of cool moves mixed in with newer flashier steps!

Sigma Kappa’s Late Night – November 2000

In the first performance after adding new, cooler moves to our performing repertoire, we tested them at this unique event, winning Second Place in group dances.

MIT Caribbean Weekend’s Cultural Performance Competition – October 2000

Winning First Place at the competition, the Group’s performance was a first. The plan of introducing the Ruedas with a small Salsa performance finally materialized! After only about three hours of choreographing and practice, performing members Ana Tinajero and William Melendez danced a cool solo piece to Tito Puente’s Mambo Gozon. This was followed by a fun Rueda! The crowd’s reaction could not have been more thrilling for us!!

MIT I-Party – October 2000

In front of what it seemed like a thousand people, the Group rose to the stage, bringing a fast-paced and unique final performance of the night. The I-Party is the Fall term’s version of the ISA’s I-Fair.

Simmons College Hispanic Heritage Month Cultural Show – October 2000

The Group was asked to perform a Rueda at their Cultural Show. Six couples danced beautifully to the beat of Salsa music. The Group came packed with moves, delivering an entertaining and fun, first performance of the term.

MIT I-Fair – April 2000

During the International Students Association’s annual full-blown International Fair, the Casino Rueda Group danced in prime-time to the delight of many.

MIT Latin American & Caribbean Cultural Show – April 2000

The group’s big performance of the term was during the First LACCS show ever! Here we went all out with our Rueda!

New House Talent Show – April 2000

A small competition held at MIT’s New House in which there were many different performances. We won Second Place!


MIT Mini I-Fair – September 1999

The very first performance by the group, before the group was officially recognized as such! It was a simple two couple Rueda but it packed a punch with the crowd!