The University of Louisville women's basketball team played three games on its trip to Cuba recently and also did a lot of sight-seeing during the week-long venture to the foreign country.
But there was also something else - dancing.
The Cardinals also learned how to salsa. The team took lessons from some locals and Louisville women's coach Jeff Walz said it was a "great experience" for his players.
"They had a lot of fun, the staff had a lot of fun," Walz said of the dancing.
Walz said the entire trip was "fantastic" for the Cardinals.
Back from a break
After the trip to Cuba, the U of L women's team took a little break away from campus.
But the entire team arrived back on campus last weekend, moved into their dorms and attended the athletic department orientation and started workouts in the morning with the entire team.
"We go extremely hard in workouts," Myisha Hines-Allen said. "Even in conditioning, this team goes hard all the time. This is a different team and you will be able to tell once the season starts.
"We are totally different than we were last season. We are ready for it."
Loss drives the Cardinals
The Cardinals dropped a tough 73-72 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season to DePaul.
It was an upset the team hasn't forgotten.
"Everyone still thinks about it," Hines-Allen said. "Coach Walz would bring it up to us in practice (before the trip) and it just drives all of us. We just realize how far we could have gotten in the tournament.
"We saw how far Syracuse went and we played with them, so it was tough and we still remember it. But I think it only makes it better for this year because now we have a goal and we have to reach it."
The early leaders
Walz said during the practice and trip to Cuba that he has seen a lot of players step up as leaders, noting senior Cortnee Walton has been a leader on the team for a couple of years and is filling that role well.
But Taylor Johnson is a fifth-year transfer and Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore are also leaders of the team.
"We have a lot of young players," Hines-Allen said. "So we have to be leaders, we have to help show them the way.
"We have to show them what we do here and how to do it."
Hines-Allen said she feels like "everyone has their role on this team. We have talkative ones and we have some they do it in other ways, we have a lot of leaders and that's going to help during the season."