DAY 1. FRIDAY. We'll have our first meeting at 2pm at the hotel to get to know each other a bit and talk over the coming weekend and week. Information packets will be handed out and we'll spend some time with questions and answers. At 3:30 all who want to dance will meet in the dance room and we'll sort out the two class levels. Level 1 will dive right in and dance from 4-5, and level 2 dancers will dance from 5-6. You will have a chance to get some dinner and wash up before the concerts begin at 8:00 or so. The music will go on until about midnight. From there, should you feel inspired to begin or continue dancing, there are many lively clubs along the beach boulevard to accommodate you (see your info packet) or head to the Zocalo (city square) which will be hopping.

image courtesy Sole

DAYS 2-3. SATURDAY and SUNDAY. Assuming that some folks will be getting home late, we won't be waking you up early for calisthenics. But you will need to be up and at it by noon for our meeting with musicians from the festival. We'll visit, hear some music and maybe dance a little with these folks. You'll have a few hours today to explore Veracruz, check out the aquarium or old Spanish fort or sit in the shade of the town square. Dance classes will be from 4-6 and the music will start up around 8pm. There will also likely be block dances and music on the beach these two nights as part of the festival.

DAY 4. MONDAY. This morning at about 11 we climb aboard our private bus to enjoy the air-conditioning and the coastal views on our 3-hour drive up coast to the beaches of the Costa Esmeralda. Along the way we'll stop at a sea-side town for some lunch, arriving at our hotel mid-afternoon. You'll have to come up with you own activities on the beach, but I recommend swimming, volleyball and perhaps a bit of sunbathing. We've also got some drums and plan to make some noise on the sand once the sun goes down. Also, in the afternoon we'll be getting together for dance lessons.

DAY 5. TUESDAY. We will spend the first part of the day around the beach and with mid-morning dance classes. Then as the sun gets lower in the afternoon we'll make the hour drive to El Tajin ruins. The best time to be there is later afternoon when the sun has cooled and the evening birds begin to come out. We will spend the best part of the afternoon exploring these amazing ruins. Please don't get lost in the jungle. There may be drums on the beach again tonight.

DAY 6. WEDNESDAY. This morning we pack up and bid the beach farewell. We'll head back down the coast a ways, where we'll stop for lunch, and then turn inland and travel up and up to the cool city of Xalapa. En route we'll stop at El Lencero Hacienda to stretch our legs and explore the grounds of this magnificent old mansion, once the home of Generalisimo Santa Ana, hero of the attack on the Alamo. In the late afternoon we'll arrive at our hotel in the center of Xalapa, and before you will be a city ripe for exploring, with cafes and restaurants to satisfy you for weeks.

image courtesy

DAY 7. THURSDAY. Today is for you to take advantage, how you think it best, of the fruits of Xalapa. You shouldn't miss the unbeatable Museum of Anthropology, with its amazing collection of Pre-Columbian sculpture and pottery. It is probably the best in Mexico. But if this isn't your thing there are many other ways to have fun in the area. You can sign up for a one-day white water rafting trip, wander the galleries and shops down town, or catch a bus to the very picturesque nearby towns of Xico and Coatepec, as well as visit the spectacular falls of Texcolo where parts of Romancing the Stone and several other movies have been filmed. Also, Thursday nights in Mexico are great dancing nights. The clubs are open, the music and ambiance is good, but there are less people out, and so more floor room for spinning and twirling. We have also arranged for an optional Zapateada (folkloric tap dancing) class with one of the members of the excellent group, Son de Madera. The time of this class will be announced.

DAY 8 FRIDAY. Around mid-day we'll get on a bus for the 2 hour return to Veracruz and move back into our hotel there. Dancing in the evening and then to the concerts and clubs for an evening of fun.

DAYS 9-10 SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. As with last weekend we'll enjoy the mainstage concerts, beach concerts and night clubs all weekend. On Saturday we'll meet with a musical group from the festival and have dance classes in the PM. On Sunday we won't be meeting with musicians or having dance classes, but we will arrange a pre-concert fiesta for our last night together.

Copyright © 1995-2008 Tony and Eric Mindling