Dancers in Mexico
A Dancers Studio Destination
By Mary Beth Beckman
Okay, don't be jealous, but I recently returned from gorgeous Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where it was about eighty degrees and sunny every day. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a full week of new experiences--swimming with dolphins, boogie-boarding, zip-lining in the hills, hand-feeding sweet little monkeys, snorkeling. I also was able to spend some time with a bunch of really wonderful dancers I otherwise don't have much of a chance to interact with.
Over the course of relaxing group classes (Troy Lerum's fitness class and the beautiful and much-missed Maria LaNave-Johnson's stretching class were my favorite), spectator-drawing dance parties (costume night and formal night garnered significant audiences), and long social dinners, I got to know a few of my fellow vacationers.
Here are some memory snapshots I've taken away from the trip:
- The merengue music throwing a breaker while Jim Skonnard and I were dancing, and the circle of people around us filling in with stomping, clapping, and singing
- Roger and Melinda Martin teaching me about the art of enjoying wine over dinner the first night, before the waiter prepared a flaming coffee at our table
- Sitting with Julie Goetsch, Jeff Halverson, and Katie Ressie in full rock star costumes in the buffet with people staring at us
- Chatting with Barbara Ellinger all night while we ate dinner on the beach by candlelight, which sounds a lot more romantic than I mean it to
- Getting my fitness on and being amazed by how strong Margaret Stockton is--proof that yoga is good for you
- Laughing with Susan Hervey at Mariusz Olszewski's amazing impersonations
- Boogie-boarding with Michael Kasinkas, Taylor Wall, Sean Johnson, Nic Westlake, and Troy, and finally figuring out how to catch waves and ride them all the way to the sand
I have countless other memories from my time there--conversations with the staff (finally a chance to use those twelve years of Spanish study), eating a delicious burrito from a street vendor, practicing American rumba with Nels Petersen in preparation for our mixed proficiency event at Dance Fest--but the takeaway point is that I had a wonderful time. If you have the resources, I definitely recommend going on a dance vacation. Even if you don't spend all your time dancing, you'll have great experiences and interact with interesting people. And did I mention it was eighty degrees and sunny?