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Anyone taken a ballet class while on vacation abroad?


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I am going to be in Vienna, Austria on vacation next week and thought it might be fun to take a drop in adult beginner ballet class while I am there. I googled and found a studio walking distance from my hotel that has basic beginner classes every day--the classes are in German of course, which I don't speak, but the instructors do speak english (I emailed the studio). Has anyone ever done anything like that before, and what was your experience?

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I do this all the time when I travel to the US (which surprisingly, is 'abroad' for the majority of the world!) for work, which I do 3-4 times a year. I've taken class at various studios in New York, Austin, and DC. Not so much on the west coast of the US as my visits there are generally short and packed with meetings & travel, so no time for class. I always pack tights and shoes and contact lenses and a hairnet. And a leotard can double as a bathing suit, in case there's a pool or the sea near by. It's fun.


I've done aerobics in Germany, but not ballet. The language of movement is universal, I find.


Have fun!!

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Haha, Redbookish, I'm the same. Everytime I'm in America, I take classes. I go to the Sacramento Ballet when I'm visiting my brother. Also, my husband complains that whenever we travel, I set the itinerary according to ballet classes I can take. The language of dance is universal, despite language - and if you're experienced enough, it doesn't even matter if you don't speak the language. There are some fun minor blunders you can get into due to language barrier, but like I said - if you're basically familiar with ballet you can look around and follow the class.


The language of ballet is also pretty universal (just with a different accent), if they do turn something into not-french, then you can hang back and go last or in the middle to confirm that you know what you're doing. There's something very comfortable about going into a class anywhere in the world and seeing the same barres, mirrors, people stretching the same way, doing the same exercises - it makes the world feel like a smaller and more accepting place.

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(just with a different accent), if they do turn something into not-french,


Although understanding French terms spoken in a broad Texan accent was a challenge !

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I did classes while on holiday in Paris this February and last February. They were great fun, and although the instructor spoke very little English and my French is by no means fluent, he was a great "demonstrator" of both enchainements and corrections, so I was easily able to follow the class (it obviously helps that all the steps have French names anyway). And besides having the challenge of a new teacher, the classes definitely helped ward off the adverse effects of all that delicious French food (although not completely, unfortunately)!

I have also travelled (from Australia) to the Sunking Dance Camp in Richmond, VA, two years ago and again this August, where we found that there were substantial differences in terminology AND that we also needed to translate the French terms spoken with an American accent back to French spoken with an Australian accent! There were several occasions when my fellow Australian classmates and I found ourselves looking at each other blankly, saying "What???" The oddest thing (to our ears) that we encountered was the use of "B+" for what we probably would have called a degage derriere with bent knee, but once we sorted it out, no problem! And it certainly is a nice succinct name, which we now find ourselves using in some of our classes here.


So it's obviously true that foreign travel (and ballet class) broadens the mind! There should be more of it, I say!

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Thanks for the responses, I really enjoyed hearing about all of your experiences! I like travel to Europe a few times a year (usually London/Paris) so if anyone has specific school recommendations suitable for a drop in beginner on holiday, I would love to jot it down for future reference. This is going to be a quick trip and I am still very new to ballet and its terminology so I may just pack my ballet things (love that they take up no space!) and see how brave I am feeling!

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I went to the Centre de Danse du Marais, in the Rue de Temple, Marais District. You can check out their website at http://www.parisdance.com/


I did the Intermediate/Advanced class with the gorgeous Nicholas Noel, but they also have beginners classes.

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Ah, that place is awesome! They have guest/visiting teachers and workshops all the time. One of my favorite Vaganova teachers does a workshop there annually, Marcello Raciti. He tends to teach there during Summer.

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Go for it and have fun! It's really amazing that you can go anywhere in the world and find people doing the same plies and tendus that you do at home. And it's a great way to get to know people.


I'd recommend talking with someone from the school in advance to confirm that the level is appropriate (one time I asked for "un poquito mas dificil" and ended up with pre-pro teenagers, which is scary anytime but particularly when you don't understand what the teacher is saying). Then the only awkward part is before the class - signing up, explaining to the instructor where you're from and what you're doing there, etc. And if you normally wear just a leotard and tights, you might want to bring shorts or a skirt or something, so you won't feel naked if everyone else is more covered. The only problem I had that's different from taking a new class anywhere, is you should make sure you're somewhere where you can see the teacher demonstrating, in case they explain combinations in a mix of French and German.

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