Just Dance !

I started dancing when I was 6. I began with modern’ jazz dance classes in Guermantes, a village that can be found in the suburbs of Paris, next to Disneyland, where I met many dear childhood friends. This weekly rendez-vous was awesome. At the end of every year we would also have a “gala”: we would get costumes, have fun with make-up and share our passion with our friends and family. The first year I was dressed as a dove, in a light purple tutu, with feathers and glitters. I loved it. We danced on this song Mangez-moi, at the time we were too young to understand but the song is about drugs and hallucinogenic mushrooms! I guess our teacher Edith had a sense of humor! When the Spice Girls became famous, we were all completely obsessed with it and all picked the same Wannabee song for a small competition…then came Shakira, Britney Spears, Madonna (way too many times)… I believe dance taught me about understanding the limits of my body, about concentration but also about teamwork and belonging to a community. It was not ballet, and we did not have crazy mums pushing us, so I would not say I learned about discipline and hard work there. I have such great memories of our weekly classes; we would always go, no matter what happened at home or at school. It was a safe place, a happy bubble we created together.

I ended up moving to a rival school in another town. It was more challenging, I was out of my comfort zone and I learned news styles like raga hip-hop and belly dance. I enjoyed my new teacher, Lynda Amani, I liked each song she picked for us, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot…At this time of my life, let’s say I was building my self-confidence. I quickly understood I completely lacked competitive spirit and preferred staying in the last row, in my own world, just enjoying myself and pushing my own limits rather than comparing myself to others. I enjoyed performing a lot but I didn’t care about being in the spotlight contrary to many girls who really wanted to be noticed. I realized that what makes a dancer special is not the technique but the ability to share emotions with the audience. I was going through a rough time in my teenage life, and my weekly dance class again was a sweet escape, balancing me out, helping me process all sorts of events and emotions…

Then began my “Indian” phase and entered the crazy world of Bollywood. I am sure a lot of people thought I had gone mad, but I was just discovering another facet of my identity and it rocked! I created a non-profit organization called B’india and my father was organizing cultural events where our small group (from 2 to 5 dancers) would perform along with other groups. It started as a family affair. The idea was to share about different styles of Indian dance – Bhangra, Kollywood, Bharatanatyam, Kathak… We had brought beautiful costumes from a trip to Rajasthan and Mumbai. I enjoyed dancing with my sister, sometimes it was like looking at another version of myself, we just synchronized very easily and laughed each time we would look at each other. I loved working with Denise Achart, my teacher from Guermantes. Even after leaving her class I kept helping at the annual gala, it was fun to manage all the kids. Once she trusted me and we shared a class. I choreographed a Bollywood number. I remember feeling proud and confident. I was not doing this at a professional level, but I had so much fun.

B’india collaborated a lot with Indian Ocean, led by the talented Kajal Ramphul who would give me chills every time she danced, and the ambitious Arvind Kamala with whom I laughed so much. It was less technical and more about energy and stamina. I learned how to have fun, to lose control, to improvise, to just go for it even when things were rushed or uncertain. It was intense. We performed everywhere, private and corporate events but also on stage and on TV. We discovered the backstage of the most prestigious parisian theatres. We spent a lot of time together, rehearsing, going to shows, preparing for shows, again I really felt I belonged and forged great friendships. We ended up on France Got Talent, I remember the adrenaline and the excitement. We earnt a standing ovation from the jury and I was proud to be part of something special:

When I started university, taking the train every day, having a few health issues as well, I had to give up on my sacred weekly class. I tried some classes, at a fitness center based in the Ile Saint Louis, a magical place in Paris where I danced with an amazing, very high-energy, teacher from the US. I also took a few salsa classes in Mexico during a trip. When I travelled to New York I discovered the Broadway Dance Center, one of my happy places on earth. I had so much fun learning Broadway Jazz and dancing next to very talented and ambitious kids. When I moved to Miami, I was actually disappointed not to find anything of that level. I joined the Miami City Ballet and witnessed the way young American dancers are so serious and competitive about their dance. I didn’t witness joy and friendship there but it was certainly a very interesting experience. The class I enjoyed the most was with Diego Salterini, originally from Italian who really knew about emotions at the service of the art. His company creates really beautiful shows. Once his company Dance Now participated in an event at the South Florida Art Center on Lincoln Road and interpreted stories of real people who have left their country and settled in Miami decades ago. It was truly beautiful.

Since I’m in Argentina, I was surprised to find many Bollywood classes…I expected Tango more than Bollywod! I took a Bhangra class, it was a lot of fun and I have to say I was truly impressed by this blond teacher from Patagonia. As there is no end to my story with dance, I can’t wait to see what happens next…

Publicités

Laisser un commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion / Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion / Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion / Changer )

Photo Google+

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Google+. Déconnexion / Changer )

Connexion à %s