notes from the road

Dance…the path to language success!

Four years ago while I was studying in Leeds I joined a Regaeton dance class. I’m normally a sport instead of dance sort of person but a mate of mine was keen on a girl who was doing it  and he wanted some male company. For those of you not up to speed with the latest in latino  booty shaking – just imagine Shikira doing her thing and you are getting pretty close. While practising my body roles and pelvic thrusts with this group of ladies (and Ben) I never thought that the experience would lead to a success in language learning, but indeed it has.

The lass that my pal was keen on was from France, and after he danced his way into her life we all became chums and did some travelling around together. Céline was (and still is) her name and she spoke very good English. Despite four years of little contact I thought it would be a shame if we didn’t catch up considering she is living just a few hundred kilometres away  in Lyon. So last weekend I went Lyon taming – and I didn’t get my head bitten off.

I recognised Céline  at the station she introduced me to her boyfriend Boris and it was established by aquiesence that our language was French. Being able to usefully use the language felt amazing and I couldn’t help smile sometimes as we chatted away using words that upon our last meeting meant nothing to me. Despite the numerous errors that I knew I was making, we were able to discuss all sorts of things from renewable energy to yogurt making while traversing the grand parks, the old town, exploring the upside down elephant church, watching an ice-hockey game, eating the finest Lyonaisse cuisine and having a crêpe party.

Lyon is a very nice town, but my time here wouldn’t have been half as good if I wasn’t with Céline and Boris – for me it’s the people not the places that make travelling worthwhile. And for the first time yet, I have been able to do this using another language.

Thank you Reagaton.


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