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DWG Salsa Cruise with Fun & Fitness

By Grace Badillo
Dancing With Grace Productions, Inc.

When we all arrived to the ship it was amazing. Several ships were at the dock. None of us could see which ship was ours but in the distance I saw 3 ships. I remember mentioning to Ed, my dance partner for the week, that I liked the white and teal colored ship. Next thing I knew Ed was yelling, "It's the Jewel of the Seas; it's our ship!" We arrived and climbed up the ramp to get on board and once there were quite amazed at the incredible way the ship was designed. There were so many windows everywhere that the light just bounced off of us like a Jewel sitting in the sun.

My roommate Jean (one of my wonderful students) and I arrived to our room and unpacked quickly to get it all out of the way and by the time we knew it the ship had already set sail. Day after Day and night after night there were many activities to be had. We all agreed there wasn't enough salsa but the cruise entertainment director made certain to give us more time and floors to dance on. Night after night we stayed up till the early hours and enjoyed the hot tub, food, music, and gazed up at the stars above us.

There was one student that made my entire trip worthwhile. For his protection I will call him "Rico Suave". Rico had a brain tumor and surgery to remove it. Due to complications he had a stroke which left him without the use of his arm and leg on the left side. I saw him on the floor one night dancing with a student and I was so impressed. Most people with his disability wouldn't even try to go dancing or take a class but this did not stop him. I had to tell him that he was the "coolest guy on the ship" because he didn't let it get him down! He had a sweet spirit that I admire. When I saw him trying to take my salsa class it made my eyes puddle with emotion. I tried to help him find a way to lead his partner and some how we did it! Although he was struggling to adapt he kept trying even when the boat was rocking back and forth because of a strong easterly trade wind. Its people like "Rico" that make my job so special. Its people like "Rico" who make me want to help everyone around me to understand that dance can help take the pain away and make you feel like you are alive again.

So all in all, the entire trip was a success. Next time I would like to have more of my students come from Baltimore so that they can experience the "jewel" of a time that I had with everyone in the Fun & Fitness Group. This is why I will plan our next trip from Baltimore! So if it's been a long time since you have had a vacation why not spoil yourself and use some of your tax money for our next cruise in October 2007. Maybe the rest will do you some good! And to "Rico", my hero, thank you for blessing me with your presence in my class and making my vacation special. I hope you always remember that no matter what you can or cannot do, you have a blessed life and I am glad you are living it!


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