Dancing with butterflies uses the alternating voices of four very different women whose lives interconnect through a common passion for their Mexican heritage and a dance company called Alegría. Yesenia, who founded Alegría with her husband, Eduardo, sabotages her own efforts to remain a vital, vibrant woman when she travels back and forth across the Mexican border for cheap plastic surgery. Elena, grief stricken by the death of her only child and the end of her marriage, finds herself falling dangerously in love with one of her underage students. Elena's sister, Adriana, wears the wounds of abandonment by a dys-functional family and becomes unable to discern love from abuse. Soledad, the sweet-tempered illegal immigrant who designs costumes for Alegría, finds herself stuck back in Mexico, where she returns to see her dying grandmother.