First off, I got dance practice shoes! I did some research online and found the cheapest place to buy shoes in paris: Sansha. When I got on the métro I realized this store was only a few métro stops away from the red light district. I was with my friend Megan and it was 2pm in the afternoon so I wasn’t worried, I was simply surprised by the area. The store was set up so the clothing was on the ground floor and the shoes were one floor down in the basement but you couldn’t go down there without an attendant (which makes sense given the location). So I found a woman to help me. I asked for waltz shoes and she showed me latin shoes. So i asked for ones with the toes covered. She only had three different styles, and all black. I tried them on and I ended up picking the ones with the lowest heel and the most support. They had a little piece of wood to practice on with the shoes. Also, they use bathroom brissle brushes to brush the bottom of the shoes, not metal brushes like we use in the states. The shoes were super cheap! It was 40 euro (about $50).
I went to class on Monday! I arrived early so I could watch the class before me (which was level 1 – Newcommer). The professor was French, but not Russian! So she didn’t have the same russian noise making that I’ve become accustomed to. My class was level 4- Gold Standard. I was the youngest person there, most of the people were 27-37. Also, there were three more guys than girls so I was glad I was helping out the ratio. We started with some walks that worked on control and balance: we had our palms touching the palms of our partners and stopped in positions like two toes to make sure we had equilibrium. Afterwards we did a gold foxtrot long side, I don’t know what the moves are called unfortunately. Dancing was easier than I expected because I could at least see the body movements of the professor and understand the numbers.
I’d also like to mention that in French the word for a male dancer is “danseur” and the word for a female dancer is “danseuse”–unfortunately the two of these sound VERY similar when they’re spoken quickly!!!
I found the class to be right at my level. I was better than about half the men I danced with. I’m not sure about the women, I couldn’t see them because I was dancing every time they were. The was not as much of an emphasis in frame as I am used to, but there was a stronger emphasis on moving the body around the head than I am used to! I plan to keep going to this class every week
I’m super sore! My neck and back muscles haven’t been used like that in the past few months!
I had a stomach ache and didn’t feel too great so I made a list of things that went well today to cheer me up:
- I submitted my ballot today!! I’ve voted in my first presidential election. I was up last night researching all the props so I could vote in an educated manner!
- My host father gave me fresh squeezed juice this morning that he made himself! It was a mix of orange and pamplemousse!
- My host sister said the word “lawl” it made me LOL.
- It was raining pretty hard today, and I just bought a monthly metro pass so I could take the métro, even though I was only going one stop away, without feeling guilt!
- I finally found the espresso vending machine at Charles V (where my class today was). It’s in the basement! And yes, the French have espresso vending machines with tons of different flavors for only 40 centièmes!