Over the past few days I have been searching for a dance school where I can take open classes like BDC in NYC and I finally found one. It’s very hard to find places online here because if you’re searching for it in English, it will most likely not come up. All I can say is thanks for facebook for having a group for dancers in Seoul.
This morning I made the 40 minute trek to Hongdae. I gave myself 2 hours, anticipating that I would get lost along the way, which is inevitable, and I am thankful I did so. I am almost a pro at the subway so that was not an issue. Now, getting off the subway, that’s a whole other story. I knew what exit to get off of and the map showed the dance school being between Bobo Hotel and Family Mart. I found Bobo Hotel and Family Mart right off the bat and thought that it was going to be cake. Unfortunately, there are about 5 Family Marts per square mile in Korea. So that started my walk up and down the same street for about an hour. I asked about 10 people and even went to an internet cafe, pointed to the directions and asked the worker how to get there, but with no luck. It seems that Koreans know how to get from their house to work and that’s it. I was almost about to give up and break down and cry when I found two English speaking men with an iphone. They were so nice that they actually walked me down the street a bit, zoomed into the exact address with their iphone and sent me on my way. So after an hour of wandering within the same 500 meters in the pouring rain I turned off the main street and what do I see? Another Family Mart! And what is right above it? PAS Dance Studio! I had never been so happy in my life.
I walked up to the 5th floor and was happy to find that it was just like a BDC except all Asians and a bit smaller. I made it just in time for a ballet and jazz class. I was already exhausted from walking but I sucked it up and pushed through the classes. I have finally found somewhere where I feel comfortable and I can understand everyone. With dance there is no language barrier. As I heard all of the familiar ballet terms: plie, tendu, tombe pas de bourre, etc. I felt at home. It was all adults and a little below my speed but good for the first time. The jazz class was interesting. It was a mix of ballet and pop and we did a routine to some techno mix.
I’m really happy that I didn’t give up and finally found the place. I know that this will become one of my routine spots. They have classes everyday. There is much less of a language barrier in a dance class, but I am also learning Korean because as they perform the movements they are speaking Korean or counting in Korean so it’s a double bonus. Maybe if I go more frequently I can start meeting some people and practice my Korean. Thankful that I had a productive day. Now I need to prepare for my first day of school tomorrow!