Dance Around The World – Cartagena, Colombia

I was very sad to leave Guatemala, but I was pretty excited to visit Colombia. My anticipation grew as we boarded the plane, and the travel ads greeted me at my seat. The advertisement showed beautiful images from all over Colombia with quotes that couldn’t help but make you want stay there forever. I caught one of my favorite quotes on camera. Sorry it’s a little blurry, and the translation is a little off, but you can get the idea. It reads, “How can you not stay to live in a place where your feet don’t walk? They dance.” Needless to say I was sold on Colombia before we even left Guatemalan soil. All I could imagine was people dancing from place to place.

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Dance Around The World – Buenos Aires, Argentina

When I think of tango dancing, I think of love and anger; fight and passion; a women dressed in a long sexy dresses with her hair pulled back in a nice slick bun with a man dressed in all black with hair gelled so tight the guys from Jersey Shore would be jealous; and the effortless footwork that moves so quickly you can’t tell who’s leg is who’s. Ahh… so awesome, and I can’t believe I’m in the heart of it all, Buenos Aires!

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Dance Around The World – Mothers of Plaza de Mayo

When my friends and family heard I was going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, they were filled with excitement and immediately mentioned tango. True, it would be perfect for me to experience and write about for this blog, but there was something in Buenos Aires I was more interested in seeing first. “What could possibly be more interesting for this dancer” you ask? The Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo). You see, I had a history with this plaza without ever seeing it.

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Dance Around The World – Cusco, Perú

Next stop on my “Dance Around The World” adventure, Perú! For years I’ve been wanting to visit Perú to see Machu Picchu. I guess it stemmed from my Mom, a history teacher and enthusiast. Seriously, she’s a walking book of world history. Or possibly it came from my desire to see the all wonders of the world. Either way, Machu Picchu was on my list. I wasn’t counting seeing any dance, but little did I know I would experience a true Peruvian cultural dance experience, Carnival!

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Dance Around The World – Crazy Salsa!

After all the Afro-Colombian dancing I saw in the streets of Cartagena, I was inspired to dance. I knew there had to be dance studio in this city, so when I got home from the last performance, I turned to Google. The internet slowly loaded and translated my search. That’s when I found Crazy Salsa. Clicking on the link, my computer screen danced as one letter at a time popped up making their logo. I happily discovered an icon to translate their website to Spanish or English. I learned they not only taught Salsa but, Afro-Colombian and Colombian too!  I figured they must have spoken English because of the icon, and it seemed meant to be; I needed to take class there. In no time, I composed an email about my project, crossed my fingers, and pressed send.

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Dance Around The World – Antigua, Guatemala

I spent three fabulous weeks in Guatemala, most of which were in the city of Antigua. It’s one of the friendlies places I’ve ever been. Literally, everyone young and old will say good morning, afternoon, or nigh to you. Plus it’s beauty is equal to no other city in Central America.

While in Antigua, I came across dance in the streets, at my Spanish school, and even at a wine shop. Yes, there were dance schools, but it seemed silly to pay when the locals were willing to grab your hand and teach you how to dance wherever you were standing.

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Dance Around The World – Campeche, Mexico

Campeche is a beautiful colonial city found in the Yucatan Peninsula. Its history is rich with tales of pirate invasions. Around the city center, the cobblestone streets are lined with sidewalks that rise to the store fronts. In some places the sidewalks are so high above the street that steps have been added. The concrete buildings are seemly connected, creating a winding strip mall effect. Only brightly colored paint distinguishes one store front from the next.

I’m not sure if it’s typical for dancers to be clumsy, but I am! In order to manage my way around this city, I had to look where I was walking, so I wouldn’t trip. Funny enough, that’s how I discovered the Escuela Superior de Danza. Outside of the dance school’s entrance someone had carefully and clearly wrote “BALLET” in the cement. I immediately stopped, looked up, and saw the typical iron- lined window had been molded into the form of a ballerina. Peering through the open door, I saw girls of all ages dressed in their class’s colored leotards, pink tights, and identical hairband that matched their leotard. Excited and nervous, I stepped inside the studio’s lobby.

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Dance Around The World – Mérida, Mexico

After a night’s stay on Isla Mujeres, a small island across from Cancun, my dance and world journey began. In the mid-afternoon, my husband and I boarded a very frigid ADO bus for a four hour ride to the city of Merida. Our plan was to visit the famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and to stay in Merida, since it was recommended for its beauty.

It was Sunday when we arrived in Merida and just in time for dinner. I couldn’t wait to get off the bus, find a hotel, and sleep off my raging migraine. The only thing that stopped me from going to bed was my stomach yearning for food. We quickly dropped off our backpacks and set out to find something to eat.

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The Dance Around The World – Adventure Begins

My travels have just begun, and I can’t tell you how extremely nervous I was that I might not find dance anywhere. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read about how dance is dying; even with televised success of shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing WithThe Stars.” What if dance was dying and all we had as human culture was football and soccer?!

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