This thread hits home for me. I am in Florida, where casino-style salsa is popular. Meanwhile, my training in salsa is to dance in the "slot", and when I've encountered cuban salseros I've tended to become puzzled and...bored. I'm always waiting for them to "do something" with me and to send me down the track, but that space never opens up and "nothing much ever happens".
After taking a casino rueda class and then dancing with a couple casino-style salseros who took the time to explain some things, I'm understanding more about the difference. And learned that the one-on-one dancing done casino style is actually comprised of the moves/calls one learns in rueda. So...teaching rueda *is* an effective way to teach salsa, but it's casino-style (Cuban) salsa, danced on a curve, not the "slot" or "track" styles danced on1 ands on2 in NY/NJ/LA.
The casino style one-one-one *does* feel more intimate ands "groovy", less athletic, more into the pleasure of just "a man and a woman dancing".
Two days ago, I did not know this or see it this way.