Posted by: Anique | October 25, 2010

When in France…Dance

Have you ever spent two hours alone with some strangers…who speak a language that you aren’t very good at? I doubt many of you readers can honestly say yes…but I can!

On Monday, October 10th, I was invited to dance class by our landlady’s 14 year old niece, Lucie. I accepted the offer only because I wanted to meet some people around my own age. Those of you who know me, know that I am NOT a dancer. I told her that I would come but only watch!

I went with three girls: Lucie and her friends, Margot and Louise. Louise and Margot are both at least 5’4″ but  Lucie is about 2″ shorter than me, so I didn’t feel little! They are perhaps the nicest 14 year olds I have ever met. On the drive there, they were talking and even asking me questions. After some hesitation, I successfully managed (or at least I think I was successful), to explain our Canadian school system to them. The French system is completely different, so they were curious.  They didn’t include me in every conversation, but that is okay because I didn’t know them and there is a bit of a language barrier!

When we got out of the car in front of the dance school in Reichshoffen , Anita, Lucie’s mom, gave me a little bag. The bag contained some of Lucie’s old dance stuff, just in case I wanted to join the class. I took the bag thinking that it wouldn’t even be opened much less used.

They had two classes. The first one was all about stretching and strengthening your muscles to classical music. The second was normal ballet class. I spent half of the first class watching and the other half reading. By the end of the class, I was quite bored, so I got up my courage and asked the teacher, in French, if I could join the class. The ballet teacher was really nice, so she  let me join without hesitation. She talked to me a lot between classes and she seemed to be really interested in our trip. At one point, Lucie said “uum, you know she doesn’t know French perfectly.” And the dance teacher said “Oh, really? Her French seems fine to me!” That was great to hear! Before the class started, I put on some tights and a tutu for the first time in about 5 years! Their tutus are really just a skirt of thin mesh over a body suit but they wear them for all their classes. When Marina put on the music everyone turned to the bars that lined the walls and started slowly dancing to her instructions. I had never used the bars on the walls before, as I was too little to use them when I danced in Perth.

Plié! Arabesque! All those dance terms really roll off Marina’s tongue. They fit perfectly into her sentences and don’t stand out. All those terms are French after all!

We were supposed to dance for an hour and 15 minutes but at break everyone started talking to a girl named Cloé. She was, as I quickly found out, training to become a professional dancer somewhere in Germany. I think she was from Reichshoffen and she used to dance with the girls in that class. Of all the girls, she looked like one of the least serious to me because she wore shorts and a baggy  t-shirt over her tights. She was talking to us while lying comfortably in the froggy stretch (see here for a picture). After a lot of begging on the others girls part, Cloé  agreed to show us how flexible she was. She demonstrated this by holding her feet (with her hands) straight over her head. I was just blown away. I am not very flexible and she was just amazing!!! After that crazy show Marina talked for awhile and asked me a few questions about Canada. I am pretty sure that I answered them correctly, but I am not absolutely positive. We danced some more and I even succeeded in doing an arabesque (this is an  arabesque) with my foot on the bar and my hand near my foot….quite a feat  by my inflexible standards!

On the way home, I agreed to go back to dance class the next week…and to join them on a cross-country run on Wednesday! When they dropped me off, Lucie even said “À bientôt  j’espère” , which means, I hope I will see you soon. I was pretty happy to hear that!

I think my class was a success. I had a great time and I didn’t embarrass myself too much and I got to hang with some girls!!

So, if you ever visit France don’t hesitate just dance!



  1. Hi Anique,
    We are all so proud of you!!! Your french is obviously very good if you are able to explain the Canadian school system !! What a wonderful representative you are of a young Canadian girl. Thank you!!! Our hearts swelled with pride when we read this blog entry! We love you very much!
    Lots of love,
    Heather, Mark, Matthew and Jacob.
    P.S. Matthew will be writing to Owen very soon.

    • Thanks. I am glad you liked it. I miss you guys Tell Matt and Jacob Hi! Anique

  2. WOW!!!!! i would of loved that expirience ( i think i spelled that wrong) :P……. maybe next year you wouldnt mind dropping in at good ol’ Perth School Of Dance and showing my ballet class some things you learned. Great blogs!!!!!!!!! keep posting please 😀

  3. Great post. When I read the title I did not think about ballet. What fun. It sounds like your French really must be improving! See how great it is to be able to make even more friends! I suppose you will want to learn more languages now. Looking forward to seeing pictures of you in ballet dress!!! Of course it would seem that it is not a prerequisite as you mentioned that the most accomplished dancer was in sweats!! I would be interested to hear more about their school system.


    • Glad you liked my blog! ANique

  4. Lovely post…It’s such a great experience to take a dance class while traveling. I did a ballet class in Paris and the studio was in an 18th. c building with exquisitely painted ceiling beams — and the windows looked out over the Pompidou Center.

    And thank you for the link to my site!

  5. You’ll have to look up the local dance school when you arrive at your next destination. It came as no surprise that you decided to join in, you have never been one to sit on the sidelines and watch what is going on! Always looking for new experiences and now you can become a ballerina?

  6. Hi Anique,
    Quelles belles expériences depuis votre départ d’Alsace…profitez bien ensembles
    Bien affectueusement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: