So, Cancun and Playa Del Carmen are crawling with private resorts. Our first apartment in Playa was right behind a giant all-inclusive resort. Of course, this made us curious about the place. But at over $100USD for a day pass, we weren’t curious enough to drop that kind of money.

We joked around with our Canadian neighbors about sneaking in. Now, before you judge me – I made it clear to everyone that I was willing to sneak in, but I didn’t want to be a thief and try to get free drinks or take a dip in the pools. I just wanted to have a quick look around.

One chill Monday night, late in evening as the four of us were headed to our favorite spot at the beach to watch the stars, we heard a band playing behind the wall in the resort. They were cranking out a cover of Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. We decided to go for it, to sneak in and just listen to the band for a minute.

All beach access in Mexico by law is public, so there are no walls at the beach. Security guards patrol the area on foot. We didn’t see a guard, so we just slipped in. We pretended we belonged there and walked right up. Honestly, we expected to be ushered out since none of us had the little bracelets that everyone else at the resort wore. But nothing happened.

The band was really good and had a lot of energy. The bar was packed but only two couples were dancing on the giant empty dance floor, which I thought was a real shame. So, the four of us got out there and we danced as hard as we could. I noticed a lot of the people in the crowd smiling and looking at us like they wanted to get up and join, but were too shy. I knew then what must be done.

Every few minutes, I made direct eye contact with one of the people who looked they wanted to participate. I smiled at them. Next I pointed toward them. Just like in a classic movie scene, a lot of times they would look behind them to see if I was pointing at someone else. Then they’d look back at me, eyes wide. I’d nod my head, raise my eyebrows and smile at them again. Then I motioned for them, one by one, to the dance floor. All they needed was that little bit of encouragement. Everyone I beckoned joined us.

It started to feel like a game. And now with even more people dancing, the band played even better and rocked even harder. The crowd changed from passive to interested. As they watched us, it was as though they were wondering who would be picked next. And hoping it would be them. We were making people feel special and it was really fun.

Soon, the four of us had pulled at least a dozen people out onto the dance floor. More and more joined in. Some people said, “I can’t dance!” But they got out there anyway. And soon all their body language of reluctance had melted away into joy, booty shaking and laughter. Couples gave each other romantic looks and squeezes. Singles opened up and started talking and flirting with each other. And we danced and we danced, loving our new jobs as the unsolicited directors of entertainment that evening at the private resort. 

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That’s a disco ball shining at a club in Playa Del Carmen.