Music and dance have been a part of me since I can remember. They are essential for my daily existence. They have been my salvation during emotionally difficult times. Yet despite my need, I never pursued these arts seriously … until a few years ago. I walked into my first dance class with great trepidation. Even though I have rhythm, I was in uncharted waters. I had never followed specific steps or choreography. I danced freely, straight from my soul, joyously without any boundaries. I chose Brazilian samba dancing, because the African beats spoke to me. The Rio de Janeiro style dancers, passistas, captivated me with their beautiful costumes, bedazzled with jewelry and feathers in a rainbow of colors. Their dance was fast, seductive, and fiery. They had the confidence of a queen with the smoldering sensuality of a courtesan. However, the glitz and glam was not what sold me. What lured me in was one element that distinguished these dancers from the rest: their smile. Passistas dance with their hearts. They smile, they flirt, they enchant, they bewitch, they love.