Q&A With Dance Travel Show Host Brittany Pierce Of Rhythm Abroad
I may not be a good dancer (scratch that: I’m a terrible dancer), but I can at least appreciate the art form, as well as the role it plays in the way cultures express themselves and have identified themselves throughout the years. Of course, those that can actually dance are probably the best people to explore this. Enter Brittany Pierce, host of the new dance-themed travel show Rhythm Abroad whom I recently had the opportunity to speak with (she’s actually both host and Executive Producer) and ask a few questions.
Available on pubic television stations throughout the U.S., each episode features Brittany in such locations as Tahiti, Spain, Alberta and Switzerland, hitting the dance floor (or, you know, outside somewhere) with the locals, and seeking to explore each culture through traditional dance and native customs of people around the world. Brittany also heads off the dance floor in each episode to chat with local musicians and hang with the locals as they savor the food and enjoy the thrills of a unique activity.
“What makes this show so relatable is it encourages people to dive right in and participate in a culture instead of observing from afar,” says Pierce. “I’m not a professional dancer, but I love a great beat and that’s all one needs: to feel the beat.”
Brittany is a veteran in front of the television camera. Besides being a child actor, in college she studied journalism and worked in TV news before following her real passion: travel.
1) Why explore travel through the lens of dance versus something like food or music? What makes dance unique to each culture, or is it all part of a larger package of a destination’s culture?
It all started when I took my first international trip to Nicaragua. Along with a couple of other travel mates, we decided to check out a local club. We were the only Americans in the club. A guy asked me to dance in his broken English and I accepted in my broken Spanish. It was there on the dance floor that I truly felt like I had been invited to share in the Nicaraguan culture.
Even without being able to speak to each other in the same language, we were still able to connect with each other even if just for a few minutes out on the dance floor. Dance and music are the universal languages. They can help us to understand and participate in a culture without the need for a common language.
2) What were you doing before this? Do you have a dance background?
I worked in television news as a producer and reporter. I also took to teaching for awhile, including high school and elementary school. However, travel always tickled my heart the most, so I set out to marry my love of television production and travel together, which led to the birth of Rhythm Abroad with Brittany Pierce. I guess in some ways I am still able to educate or introduce people to new experiences and world cultures with Rhythm Abroad.
3) How can I watch the show and keep updated with new episodes?
You can go to Rhythmabroad.com/stations for a list of PBS and other public television stations that are airing Rhythm Abroad. You can also do a simple title search on your television to see if Rhythm Abroad is carried on any station offered by your cable provider. If it’s not carried by your local PBS station, contact them and let them know that you would like to see it added to their programming schedule!
4) Now that you’ve visited a number of places, was there a particular culture or destination that was your favorite in terms of dance?
I would have to say Spain. There is so much to learn about Flamenco and it is an art that can’t be learned in one visit. I wish I would have had more time to learn more moves. It’s such a powerful and passionate dance. Even just being a spectator of a really good Flamenco performance or show is worth the visit to Sevilla.
5) What’s next for you? Do you plan on pushing the show to new formats or expanding the brand out to new areas?
Next steps include creating a really engaged Rhythm Abroad community and working on bringing viewers a great Season 2.
Matt Stabile is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheExpeditioner.com. You can read his writings, watch his travel videos, purchase the book he co-edited or contact him via email at any time at TheExpeditioner.com.