Having navigated train and bus with our limited French in roaring heat and the bluest skies I'd seen in ages we arrived at the Mimosa Resort and right from the beginning everyone was helpful and welcoming I was chomping at the bit to get out and dancing in the evening. Obviously post-dinner, beer and wine, did I mention it was very, very hot and we walked what felt like a marathon to both get to the train and from the bus stop in Mandelieu to the beautiful Mimosa Resort.
The Expo Centre was just as you'd imagine a nice big conference centre with huge halls. But what a treat, we had theatre style seating with plush red velvety seats and the best air conditioning of any event I've been to so far. A lovely temperature for dancing and also chilling out in the seats, watching the dancing. From Saturday night I knew we were in for a treat the whole week and WOTP event staff and DJ's in particular did not disappoint. The music was a real mix of styles, tempo, challenging and just plain fun and I had a fabulous week of dancing.
Next year I will definitely be quicker off the mark and get myself some workshop passes booked too!
So with our nights planning we had many a day in the Cote D'Azur footloose and fancy free and Mandelieu is a lovely part of the world. I had my first experience of renting sun loungers, well that is a treat! "Would you like a beer madam....why yes please, that would be lovely thank you" and as if by magic a nice cool beer arrives with a nice French man who also thoughtfully adjusted my brolly so this peely-wally Scots girls didn't become a lobster. We explored some of the beaches around Mandelieu and made it into Cannes for a mini train tour (sorry I really didn't take enough pictures). It was a nice balance of late night dancing, beaches, beer, fabulous French dancers, wicked music, sunshine all in all a lovely week away and I can not wait to do it again next year.
I try and tackle at least one of my "trying to fix" things at every event and there was definitely a portion of the week when I did think I had broken my dancing. But gratefully I made it through to the otherside and am very grateful for all the lovely Leaders who persevered with the trial-error-experiment-frustration through that early part of the week and were nice enough to ask me to dance again towards the end. Sadly I'm not sure that I managed to dance with even half of the dancers through the week, I'm not sure how this is possible but next year I promise to try harder.
What did I learn. Well, 1) where ever you go to dance in the world, people are always happy to see you and share your common passion. 2) French bakeries are the best in the world. 3) Balance the learning with fun and don't beat yourself up if you don't "get" something the first time, it will "click" in its own time.