Talking about associations, when I first moved from Paris to the sea-side 3 years ago, I didn't know anyone, then in that very same big white marquee I discovered the Association Franco-Anglaise (AFA)
a new association that had been set up to help the influx of ex-pat Brits to integrate into their new foreign environment, and to encourage French residents to enjoy a cross-cultural experience.
Last year I decided to start a line dance class as part of the social activities and A*LA*MO (I'm MO!) was born. Almost everyone was complete beginners so I started very gradually using a building block system where every new dance learnt had only one new step or movement to master. The majority of the dancers are, as I am, retired over 60's and although we're active and many do other sports, our joints tend to be a bit stiff, our memories are not what they were, so we go slowly and repeat a lot! The enthusiasm replaces these minor difficulties and we have fun! That's the most important thing.
The classes started up mid-October and I was dismayed to find that only a few people had come back, but over the last couple of weeks the numbers have increased. Last year, most of the dancers were English but now the French seem to be overtaking them. I teach in English, to teach in French would just be an extra difficulty and while most of the French speak and understand English (that's why they're in the association) it's a bigger problem for the English, most of whom haven't really got to grips with the language yet. Of course the men are rare, but we do have a couple of brave souls from time to time.
I'll be giving you more news of the group as the blog develops. In the meantime here's a photo a some of them taken a couple of weeks ago.
Speak to you soon.