“1,2,3” “5,6,7” I said with my dance partner Andrew as we taught the Ecuador Cohort basic salsa dance steps. In our first regional cohort meeting, one of the Team Leaders asked Andrew and me to lead a salsa dance workshop. Immediately, I took the stage and began to teach. It was wonderful to be dancing and teaching others how to dance. After we taught the steps, the team leaders played music and everyone got to practice. I went around and people kept calling “Brianna! Is this right? Come, watch us!” I felt like I was back in the theatre choreographing. It was the little bit of home that I needed during Pre-Departure Training.

    Once we arrived in Quito, I didn’t have any expectation that a fun dance night would occur, but sure enough it did. On our second night in Quito, my cohort went to the street called La Ronda and had dinner at a restaurant. As our food was being cleared, the band began to play, so obviously we had to start dancing! People were a little nervous about dancing in public, but soon everyone was on the dance floor! I danced from partner to partner having the time of my life. Soon, it was time to head back to the hostel and I knew that I needed to find another time to dance.

    When I took on this adventure I was worried that I would not have many opportunities to dance. However, within the first week of Quito, my friend Charlotte found a free gym that offers Baile Terapia (Dance Therapy), which is essentially Zumba! As soon as I could I joined her and other friends in a Baile Terapia class.

My thoughts beforehand:

    I’m so excited to dance again! It’s going to pretty easy and fun!

My thoughts during:

     I am so out of shape for this! The altitude is killing me! Ooh! Yay! Salsa steps!

My thoughts after:

     Water! Water! Let’s get a picture! Can we go tomorrow?!


Although, the high altitude made it very difficult to constantly dance for a straight hour, I had a blast!  I could barely breathe in certain sections, but I loved learning the choreography, listening to the music, being in a dance studio with mirrors, and having fun just dancing. I wasn’t worried if I looked like a fool or if I took a wrong step. The atmosphere in the room was uplifting and motivating. That atmosphere is what I always strive to achieve when I’m dancing, and I was thrilled that I could accomplish that here, in Quito, Ecuador.