Last month, from July 8-July 18, I had the time of my life dancing at l'école de danse de l'Opéra National de Paris's first summer ballet intensive.
This is the first time that the school has ever really opened its doors to the general public. The school is typically very private, which is definitely more French in nature. It's so common to hear of elite ballet schools in the US, for example, hosting summer intensives, but that isn't the case in France. I considered it to be a great honor to step into a "private" world.
It was nice to be surrounded by people who were just like me. Everybody who was selected to attend seemed to want to have a professional dance career someday. At first, I was worried that I wasn't going to have anybody to hang out with. Sandrine was definitely not an option. She's deemed me as serious competition since we first started dancing together, and that is one of the reasons that we were never and can never be friends. Sandrine doesn't like to befriend competition, and she saw the other attendees of the intensive as competition, so she mostly kept to herself and pushed herself to be the best. Rooming with Sandrine wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, either. She kept to herself and didn't talk to me. I was fine with that. I really wasn't sure what to say to her, either.
Overall, I had a wonderful experience. It was nice to work with the school's instructors and improve upon technique that would prepare me for a professional career. It was an eye-opening experience inside a world that has intrigued me since I was a little girl, and it confirmed that dancing professionally is what I want to do. Even though I had fun, it was challenging, which kept me on my toes (figuratively AND literally).
Have you ever had a life-changing experience? What was it?