Jeux d'enfants

I feel like it is time for me to make a confession. I have a crush on Sabine, and I have for awhile- even before I could truly pinpoint what a crush was exactly. There was always something alluring about her. She has always been a dreamer who liked to think outside of the box. She has always loved her independence, and I remember talking to her about how she wanted to "escape" and see the world. Even when she was out in public with her strict mother, she always had a hint of mischief in her eyes. She did things her way, and she always came up with the craziest ideas.
I don't have a crush on her because of her outward appearance, though I do think she's attractive. I love her personality- it was the first thing I truly noticed about her, and it was made me want to get to know her. She is my best friend who told me everything and to whom I told everything. She's perfect because she's imperfect, as corny as that may sound. I am not infatuated whatsoever, so do not even think that. My admiration for her stems from friendship, and nothing more.

One of the best memories I can recall occurred when my family ate dinner with her family sometime in 2003 when we were 7. Before dinner, I immediately spotted Sabine in the corner playing with her stuffed animals. She looked bored out of her mind; she was never much of a toy person.

I felt it was safe to interrupt, so I greeted her. "Bonjour, Sabine!"
"Bonjour," she said under her breath.

She quickly stood up, even though for a second I was convinced that she wouldn't. "Julien, j'ai vu un film avec mon frère et ses amis hier. Il s'est appellé Jeux d'Enfants, et c'était amusant! Un garçon sur le film s'appelle Julien comme toi! Il y avait une fille qui s'appelle Bouchard! Bouchard...comme moi!"
That was the nice thing about having an older sibling. Sébastien always took Sabine and Sandrine out to do fun things. I can relate to him now, seeing as I do the same thing with my sister. Jeux d'Enfants later became the movie that Sabine and I would make inside jokes about.

She then proceeded to tell me about the game involving dares that the main characters, Julien and Sophie, played. Sabine said that she wanted to play the game with me, so she dared me to kiss her. I didn't know what to think at the time. I had only seen teenagers and adults kiss, and I didn't know what to do! I was completely nervous. I came closer and closer to her cheek, and then something happened...

...she ran away from me and laughed until she couldn't breathe.

Throughout dinner, she flashed me large smiles that indicated what she had done. She was quite pleased with herself, and looking back on it, I can admit that was a good prank for somebody who was 7. The genius behind such a scheme drew me into her world, and I knew I wanted to be her best friend.

As embarrassing as that may have been, I had to get it off my chest.

A Change of Scenery

Bonsoir, mes amis!
As you probably already know, my sister and I now share a room. It was nice having a break from her, having shared a bedroom with her my entire life. It's understandable why we have to share now; our parents didn't like the idea of paying for two separate rooms.
Et voilà! Notre nouvelle chambre!
We decided that it wasn't fair if one of us was forced to sleep on the trundle all the time, so we decided to alternate who sleeps on which bed. D' was my idea. If Sandrine could have it her way, she'd be sleeping on the bed all the time!

Overview- it's not as decorated as my old room, but it's getting there!

Close-up of our bed. Isn't it pretty? Blue is my favorite color, and I love the night sky. The bedding is perfect for me! Sandrine likes it, too, I guess. On the bed are two decorative pillows, the pillow I sleep on, a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal, and a nounours rose- a pink teddy bear I've had since I was a baby. It's name is Noël since Sandrine and I were born so close to Christmas.

Here are some posters of my favorite movies! Each movie is special to me in one way or another; L'Auberge Espagnole (far left) and Jeux d'Enfants (between The Last Song and Hannah Montana: Le Film) are my favorite movies to watch with Julien. We kind-of have inside jokes relating to them. Of course, I HAVE to love Rien à Déclarer and Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis: the Nord-Pas-de-Calais is, after all, the best region in France. I might be biased, though. ;)
Obviously, The Last Song and Hannah Montana: Le Film are amongst my favorites...seeing as I'm such a Miley fan. I'm probably her biggest fan ever. No joke.

Other favorite films of mine: LOL and the American remake. I mean, hello. Miley Cyrus is the star of the American remake! That means I HAVE to love it!!! Sadly, the remake hasn't hit theaters yet, and it was supposed to last year. I'm sad because I wanted to see it so badly. I hope it will be released soon!

Sandrine's boring ballet documentary posters...

I must admit, I love the "Keep Calm and Dance On" poster. I found a similar one that is perfect for me; it says, "Keep Calm and Listen to Miley Cyrus". She also has some fashion-related posters since she loves haute couture.

Where we keep some stuff:

I hope you enjoyed the tour!


Versatile Blogger Award

Bonsoir, tout le monde!
My good friend and fellow blogger Wendy nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! I would like to thank her for that, and I would also like to thank me readers in general once more. You guys are awesome!
Now, I get to share seven things about myself. Before I do so, I have to say that I love how it's seven things because one of my favorite Miley Cyrus songs happens to be called "7 Things". With that aside, here are my random facts:

1. When I grow up, I would love to either be a sociologist or a clinical psychologist. I love the social sciences, and having been through some psychological incidents myself, I would love to use my experiences as well as my future education in psychology to help others. I want to be a sociologist because I love learning about people, society, and cultures; it would be one of the most perfect jobs for me!

2. My life motto is a quote from Miley Cyrus- “You can’t lead a positive life with a negative mind.” Even though life may throw unexpected surprises at me, I try my hardest to be positive. I am confident, and I embrace my natural talents while working hard to improve skills that I may not be the best at. There is always going to be somebody better than me at certain things (like playing the flute), but comparing myself to others would be a waste of time…and it wouldn’t quite match up with my motto.

3. I would love to travel to various places in Spain with Julien, his younger sister, and Lucía, PPBS’s resident Spanish girl. Julien is great at Spanish, and he’s always wanted to see Spain. I have to. I’d love to visit the autonomous community of Andalucía where Lucía is from and take some guesses at reading and speaking Catalan in Cataluña…where Barcelona is.

4. I daydream about my future wedding quite often. I spend a lot of time looking at wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses, and I even have some ideas for my cake!  My wedding colors are going to be baby blue and white- I already know that. I also like to makes lists of potential father-daughter dance songs and songs for my dance with my husband.

5. I love getting new clothes, and I always feel that I don’t have enough. I’m not as trendy and fashionable as Sandrine and my best (female) friend, but I do think I have pretty good taste and know how to pick an outfit. I love shopping, and I love clothes…what more can I say? I’m a girl obsessed.

6. I get along with my brother and my dad more than I do with my mom and my sister. My brother, Sébastien, and my dad are just two of the most easy-going people I know. They simply love life and take time to enjoy the simple things, which isn’t always easy for my dad since he’s a lawyer and deals with many different things on a daily basis. My brother may be four years older than me, but he has never felt he was above hanging out with me. When we were younger, he would always take me for ice cream or take me to a friterie. My mom and sister are just unreasonable most of the time. My mom is so strict and wants everything to be done her way while my sister doesn’t get along with anybody because of her…secret.

7. Although it may not seem that way, I am very introverted, and large groups tend to exhaust me. I prefer one-on-one time with my friends or just hanging out with two or three friends at a time. I’m actually a private person. Like I said, it may not seem that way, but it is that way. I just talk a lot on my blog since I like to write my out my feelings and thoughts.

Sandrine and Julien will write seven things about themselves in upcoming blog posts. I'm sure they'd like to share, too.

I get to nominate four other bloggers for this world. This was a hard decision, and I tried to pick those who weren't yet nominated, so here it goes:
1. The girls who write The Shoreline Student
2. Lucie et Juliette
3. Reese
4. Katia

Here are the rules:
1. In a post on your blog, nominate 4 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each
their blogs.
Merci, Wendy!

Beware the Ides of March!

Just when I thought relations between Malorie and Ophélie couldn't get much worse, they did.
Malorie explained this to me today after ballet class. She told me that she was practicing the dance she choreographed for me once more before she showed it off, and that is when Ophélie approached her.

"Your arms certainly look better," Ophélie squealed. Malorie ignored her. "Come on, Malorie. We might be dancing alongside each other on stage. It's best we start getting along now."
Malorie huffed. "I'm not friends with people whose main intention is to tear others down."
Ophélie replied, "Oh, so I see where this is going now. You take me as competition."
Malorie, of course, denied it because the only person she competes with is herself. She wants to be better than she is, and she always feels she has room to improve. She doesn't worry about what others are doing.

Then, Ophélie said, "If you want to compete, Miss Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, then let's compete."
That, mes lecteurs, is how Malorie agreed to a dance-off (er, ballet-off...?) with Ophélie. Nothing good can come from this, and I'm sure this won't enhance any potential friendships.
And I don't take sides. Poor them.


L'invasion d'Ophélie

My parents were getting tired of paying for two separate dorm rooms, so I'm unfortunately stuck sharing a room with Sabine. *sigh* Having shared a bedroom with her since the day we were born, it was nice to have my own space for once. I wasn't too happy with my parents, but at least Sabine was courteous enough to give me my own wall to decorate. I took some time to arrange my various posters.

As I was hanging up my last poster, I discovered that I had a visitor waiting for me.

"Je ne sais pas quand je vais quitter les États-Unis, et il me faut dormir en sa chambre."
Ophélie didn't even ask politely if she could stay in my room! I don't always have the best manners, but last time I checked, I shared this room with someone. I don't have the space for extra baggage.
"C'est impossible. Je partage cette chambre avec Sabine," I let my friend know that she'd have to find another room to stay in, but she didn't buy it.
"Qui?" She asked at the mention of Sabine's name.
"Sabine. Ma jumelle," I emphasized.

"Ah, tu m'as dit de Sabine. Dis-lui qu'elle devrait jeter un sac de couchage sur le plancher!"

Um, there was no way that I would even consider telling my sister to sleep in a sleeping bag. Ophélie was the one whose rightful place was in a sleeping bag as long as she was staying in my room! Ophélie continued to talk and try to convince me why she deserves to sleep in one of the beds.
I needed to do something because this would certainly cause a fight between Sabine and me. We fight enough as it is; I don't need to add another reason to why we don't get along!

Although Ophélie is my friend, she takes the game she plays too seriously. This game is more dangerous than the game that I have played/play, only I can't help it. She can. Soon enough, she will play her game in full force here, and I need to stop it before it starts.
Forget about her for a moment. At least my posters look good!


La Picarde

Bonjour, tous ceux qui lit ce blog! Hier, j'ai eu la surprise de ma vie. Mon amie de l'atelier intensif de danse en Paris m'a visité.

Malorie, one of my closest American friends, was creating a ballet routine for my audition for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School's summer dance intensive. Malorie, who was a student there, would love for Chrissa and me to join her there this summer. She showed Chrissa and me bits and pieces from the dance; she said she would show us the full thing when she was actually in ballet clothes.

I loved the routine she created for me! She made sure to add plenty of leaps- which I am wonderful at! Chrissa and I were impressed with what we saw. We both knew this routine was perfect for me.

"Bonjour, Sandrine! Me connais-tu?"
Suddenly, we turned to face a girl with a tanned face, freckles, and shiny red hair. I sort-of smiled.

"Bonjour, Ophélie! Je suis heureuse à te voir encore! Comment est-ce que tu es arrivée ici?" I asked my friend, curious about how she ended up in the United States.
"Ah, Sandrine, c'est un secret!" Ophélie laughed. Of course. I should have known. Most things about her were a "secret"- or at least she said they were. She liked to make herself seem interesting and mysterious. That was just who she was.

She then pointed to Malorie. "Qui est cette fille?"
I explained that Malorie was, without a doubt, one of my only American friends. I made an effort to brag that Malorie was a dancer at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and that her mom toured the world and now teaches jazz at the studio Malorie's grandmother- a former ballerina- started. I just wanted to impress Ophélie and show her that I know how to pick my friends!
She then asked about Chrissa, and I just said she danced at the best studio in Des Moines, Iowa...where she's from.

Ophélie asked where Iowa was, and Chrissa promptly explained. Chrissa was extremely ecstatic to meet another French person- and a dancer nonetheless! She asked if Ophélie was from Paris, and Ophélie snorted. "I've attended many intensives there. Actually, that's how I met Sandrine. I'll be dancing there someday; you'll see," she told Chrissa. "But for now, I'm stuck living in Amiens, a large town in the Picardie region."
And Chrissa totally set Ophélie off with the next comments. "Awesome! I plan on dancing for the Opéra National de Paris someday, too! I'd love to be one of their étoiles! Oh, and when I'm done dancing, I'm going to marry an extremely adorable Frenchman and open my own dance studio.My life is going to be fabulous! I really thought you were going to be from Paris. I'd love to meet a nice parisienne. I don't even know where Amiens is!!!"

"How stupid can you possibly get, Chrissa? I just told you that Amiens was in the Picardie region. Actually, it's the capital of the Somme department of that region! What is with you Americans and Paris? Seriously, I want to live in Paris as much as you do, but I do understand that Paris is in France and France isn't Paris."

Chrissa was upset and confused. The next thing came as a large surprise to me because I have never heard Chrissa argue with anyone. Never. She was furious. "Why is it okay if you don't know where Iowa is, but it's considered ignorance if I don't know where the Picardie region is?"
"It's the way you presented it, Chrissa. You present yourself like every other teenage American girl- you have such a romanticized view of everything French. It's like all your French knowledge comes from movies or something," Ophélie sneered.

Promptly, Chrissa walked away. "I DO NOT have a romanticized view of France! I think very normally about it! In fact, I even do research on it!"
Ophélie kept encouraging the argument. "Here's another problem with you Americans- all of you guys are encouraged to dream big...not realistically. So about dancing..."
"It's my dream, and I'll make it come true! Gosh, just leave me alone! I was just trying to make conversation, but you are seriously treating me like dirt!" Chrissa said on her way to her room.

I was going to talk to Chrissa later and explain that was just Ophélie and her personality. She was always like that, and she didn't mean it offensively, even though she was the definition of offensive sometimes. I guess I should also tell Ophélie about Chrissa's personality. Yeah, Chrissa *does* have the most romanticized view about France ever, but there's no reason to attack her. Sabine would have found this whole argument totally amusing. If I could talk to her without fighting, I'd probably be tempted to tell her. 

The next person Ophélie critiqued was Malorie, and Malorie did not take this lightly. She was more enraged than Chrissa was. Ophélie said that Malorie's arms looked bad while she was dancing, and she tried to help Malorie.

Angrily, Malorie explained that she has danced for most of her life and attended a very prestigious school, so she doesn't need Ophélie's insults. Yes, Ophélie's "advice" did end up sounding more like insults, but maybe she had something to say that Malorie could benefit from...? Not that I think Malorie's arms look bad while she's dancing or anything. If they did, I would have noticed a long time ago. For example, Liz can't point her toes to save her life, but she has only taken jazz classes (never a ballet class...the embarrassment!) and therefore lacks basic technique. I notice Liz. Malorie is a completely different story.

After Malorie left (probably to join Chrissa and whine about Ophélie), Ophélie showed me some new things she learned during a summer dance intensive in Paris last year.

I then tried out some of the stuff with her. It would have been much easier if I were wearing my ballet things, but I danced regardless.

I let her know that it was nice to see her again, and she said that she missed having me around. Although we don't live in the same regions, the Picardie region is directly below the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. It is easy for her to take a train to Lille just as it's easy for me to visit her in Amiens. She's definitely only of my better friends. She really does seem to understand me as much as she can given she doesn't know my secret.

So that, readers, was my friend Ophélie Rosaire Ducatel. I don't know how she got here or when she's leaving, but as long as she's here, I'll have to deal with her. I hope I can convince Malorie and Chrissa that she isn't all evil.


Measures behind, but slowly catching up

Salut, tout le monde! Aujourd'hui, j'ai entendu la plus belle son de flûte...

I always knew that Melanie was a talented musician as well as the fact she is academically and musically gifted; however, I have never heard anybody play the flute that well...even the flautists in the many symphony orchestras that I have seen! I wasn't sure what piece she was playing, but I lurked from behind and watched as her fingers rapidly moved up and down.

Startled, she turned around. "Oh, hey, Sa-sa-sabine!" Her voice, perhaps I should say "trilled" just like she trilled some of her notes.
"That was awesome!" I complimented her playing. She stared at me nervously and eyed the ground. I added that I meant it. She would definitely play in the Boston Symphony Orchestra someday. In fact, she could play now she is that great.
"Thanks, Sabine," She shrugged. "It's just...well, you know. I'm uncomfortable with people listening to me play unless I am on stage in front of a large audience. My fears seem to fade away then."
I remembered her telling me that. I cannot help but love Melanie's company since she is almost exactly like one of my best friends back in France. They are so similar in that they play the flute, they're reserved/quiet/shy, and they like to perform. Being with Melanie makes me miss my friend so much. I still have hope that she'll join me in the States someday. I think she'd like Melanie, too.

"Do you want to try this again?" Melanie said, offering me her flute.

I sighed nervously. As most of you may recall, I was trying to learn to play the flute, but I took a long break...uncertain of whether or not I would play again. I struggled to make a sound, and I wasn't overly fast with moving my fingers. It must be that lack of coordination I have. :P
Anyway, I told Melanie oui, that I would love to try again.

I have come to realize one thing: I can't expect myself to be a musical genius overnight. Things like that take practice, and if I give up, I'm never going to reach a goal I want to reach. I hate the "If at first I don't succeed, I give up" attitude. I will not live my life that way. Sure, I will never be a flautist worthy of fame, praise, and status in a renowned symphony orchestra. My flute-playing abilities may always live in the shadows of Melanie Holland and my other friend, but I don't care. It's a waste of a life trying to live up to somebody else, and wanting to be like that other person will make you more miserable in the long run. Do what you love regardless of whether you're the best or not.

I know they've worked hard to get where they are, and I will, too. I hope to at least play my major and chromatic scales at the end of April. I will be trying my best at the flute while embracing my own personal strengths/talents at the same time.


This is the part of me...

Throughout this post, you will see various recent photos of me dancing and warming up. These photos are not from my childhood- they're of me now.
...that you're never gonna ever take away from me... -"Part of Me" by Katy Perry
Ever since I heard that song, it has become my theme song for my life. While I certainly feel that way about most things in my life, I particularly feel that way about dance. To me, dance is more than a hobby or an art form. It is life. I know most dancers say that, but they haven't danced a day in my pointe shoes to even begin to understand why it's my life.

I began taking dance courses at the age of 4. I never asked to, but my mom's friends were enrolling their daughters in ballet classes; my mom felt like Sabine and I had to try out ballet. While it was unlike my mother to give into peer pressure, I am glad she did. She was never a dancer herself, so I'm glad she gave Sabine and me the opportunity to see if we were dancers.
On our way to L'Ecole de Danse Jacquemin, Sabine tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and tore her tights.  Mère, of course, was disgusted because she always liked for us to look our best...ripped tights definitely weren't attractive.
My first dance class went well. I caught on quickly, and I was one of the best in the of the best. There was one other girl who showed potential, and out of respect, we'll call this girl Anouk. Yeah, I clearly do not like her, but I'm not going to use her real name online. She had pretty, curly dark hair done in the perfect ballet bun. Sabine's bun and my bun were sloppy in comparison. Like I said, Mère isn't a dancer, so she wouldn't know how to fix a bun. She tried her best, and I will give her credit and say she improved as the years progressed.

Who cares about my mom now? Back to my story...Anouk was a fabulous ballerina. She received much attention from the instructors, and that angered me as I was just as talented! She may have been beautiful, but she was certainly painfully shy and quiet. I mean painfully as in it bugged the living daylights out of me. I have never met anybody that quiet in my entire life. While I was staring Anouk down, Sabine was telling the dance instructors about her bike and how she just wanted to go home and ride the darn thing. Um, embarrassing much? Aside from that, she didn't pay attention and she wasn't coordinated.
Fortunately, I never had to suffer and have Sabine in my dance class again. She cried as we left the studio, and she almost got hit by a car.

Fast forward ten years later: Sabine claims that she appreciates dance as an art form, but she knows she lacks the coordination to dance herself. She also says that she "adores" watching ballets and my showcases. "Adores" is poor wording; I have seen her in the audience, and she barely pays attention. It's not like Mère is much better; she only pays attention when I dance. Père watches the whole thing, and I'm sure the only reason my brother Sébastien paid attention was so that he could scout out potential girlfriends.
However, Mère and Sabine do pay attention to the ballets we have seen at the Opéra de Lille and the Opéra National de Paris. How offensive. You can pay attention to the pros, but you can't pay attention to your daughter's showcases? Um, I'm going to be an étoile (principal dancer) someday, so they should have paid more attention to my talents.

My lovely twin and mother aside, I have been dancing alongside Anouk forever. I have been competing with her forever. Matters were made worse when Sabine became her best friend at age 8 and she was over at our house all the time. I have heard her talk, though, and her voice is quiet and irritating. It's almost like a whisper. You have to ask her to repeat herself a million times.
Oh, and after I decided to take ballet and character courses at the Chorégraphique National de Roubaix, Mère told Anouk's parents. She switched dance schools (I still took jazz at Jacquemin), too, and I was stuck carpooling with her to Roubaix. I disliked when her parents drove us. They were just as quiet as she was, and to make it worse, they were teachers. Her mom is a math teacher, and her dad teaches German...he was my German teacher back in Lille! Ugh, I knew I disliked them. I can't stand math, and while German is okay, I didn't like that Anouk's father was my teacher. Anouk's father could certainly be loud in class, so why couldn't he talk on the way to the studio?
(Note: I know I over-exaggerated how they didn't talk, but they did talk to me some. Not huge conversations, but they were polite enough.)

Imagine the shock on my face when the instructors asked Anouk to give private lessons to children struggling with ballet! How offensive! I'm just as great! I confronted them about it, and I didn't get a straight answer.
Get this! Anouk plays the flute, too! A quiet flautist...who does that sound like? Melanie. Anouk might as well be Melanie with the addition of dance (Mel can't dance to save her life), though I'm not sure if Anouk is musically and academically gifted like Melanie is. Regardless, A. is a good student. I can tolerate Melanie, though, since when Melanie talks, her voice is loud enough. That is, when Melanie talks. She's better about speaking than Anouk, but she's still not great. They might as well be long-lost twins.

Enough about Anouk. I had problems that were worse than her existence. I was headed on a path of self-destruction, and I hurt my sister and the new girl at school...amongst other things. Life wasn't great. Dance- ballet in particular- helped me feel something. It was the only place that my problems seemed to fade away, and it was the only normalcy I had. Without dance, who knows what my life would have been like?

Although I'm not always very nice to her, my sister did buy me a lovely necklace. I was shocked when she handed it to me today. It has a beautiful ballerina charm:


Doesn't it look great with my leotard? I don't wear jewelery (with the exception of my earrings and lucky bracelet) when I dance, but I had to get a picture of me in my ballet gear with the necklace:
 Bisous toujours,
~Sandrine la ballerine