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Paris is one of the most exciting places for a student of dance to study both technique and dance history. The city is filled with a history of collaborations between dance artists and visual artists as well as the influence of American dance artists who lived and thrived in Paris. Here are what some past students said about the program:

“The Dance in Paris program was truly a life changing experience in various ways. I am forever changed as an artist and a person from this four-week experience. I am incredibly thankful for all of the amazing opportunities given to me through this program and it will always be something that I cherish for the rest of my life. From seeing various dance performances and taking dance classes from different teachers, I have been able to further shape my own dance aesthetic and have been able to clearly form an idea what type of dancing I’d like to do in the future. Also, from talking about performances and classes, I have learned to really articulate my thoughts clearly about the dancing I’m seeing and doing, rather than simply saying I liked or didn’t like it. I have also been able to expand my own dance vocabulary and learn new ways to move and think about movement that I can apply to my dancing back at Florida State University. All of this information will help me to continue to grow as a dancer, even outside of the Paris class setting. The Parisian lifestyle has also had a larger influence on me than I thought it would. It amazes me how relaxed and carefree the people in Paris seemed. They would sit in cafés for hours on end, without being in a rush to move on to the next activity of the day. It really made me realize that I need to sit back and relax every once in a while and take in what’s around me. There is no need to constantly be racing through life and that is a statement that I will continue to remind myself from now on. Overall, this program has had nothing but a positive effect on my life. I have made so many great memories with such great people and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Although I am back in America, the many things that Paris has taught me will forever be in my mind. I am so grateful to have had such an amazing experience in my life.”

Nicole Ruggiero, Florida State University
Dance in Paris 2015

“After four weeks of an absolute dream, I reluctantly waved au revoir to the most beautiful city that gave me the experience of a lifetime. I was well aware of the notion that traveling and living abroad profoundly changes the affected individual, but I’ve learned the difference between just “being aware” and “truly understanding.” It is impossible to grasp how big the world is until you fling yourself to its farthest corners, and it is impossible to appreciate everyone and everything around you until you are around them. So it’s true – Pre-Paris Sara is vastly different from Post-Paris Sara: Large airports, train stations, metro stops, and busses do not even phase me, even when all of the signs are in a different language. I have a deeper appreciation for the arts and their roots, and I, unfortunately, now look at modern architecture with my nose turned up. I know that getting lost is a lovely thing, and wandering for the sake of wandering is not wasted time. I now know how and when to shake off my perfectionist shell, live in the moment, and appreciate the magnificence of spontaneity. I have a new set of eyes with which I view this beautiful world, as I’ve experienced new sights, smells, sounds, all of which played part in vanishing the boundaries I thought surrounded my former sheltered world. These vanished boundaries build confidence and optimism, showing me that absolutely anything is possible… even this little blonde in pink from St. Louis is capable of anything, any time, anywhere. So thank you, Paris, for teaching me these precious lessons that only you can.”

Sara Garfinkel, Florida State University
Dance in Paris 2015

“Paris has been nothing but unforgettable. I experienced Parisian culture, history, and dance in ways I never thought possible. I would have never thought I’d see Monet’s water lilies, have a backstage tour of the Moulin Rouge, watch a dress rehearsal of the Paris Opera, perform in a 12th century horse stable, and get to see Pina Bausch, Hofesh Shechter and Chunky Move performances while in Paris. And, I did all that and more. These experiences and many others have already affected me in positive and growth worthy ways. I have learned to be more patient and open to cultural differences, to be vulnerable and available to new adventures, and ultimately to recall my dance experiences and to become inspired once again. Dance in Paris taught me about myself and who I want to be and can become. I think that’s the greatest gift of all, is learning about yourself and growing to be the best you can be. I wouldn’t have been able to develop as much if it wasn’t for this program and for the helpful and amazing advice I heard along the way. I will always remember the fearlessness I had traveling on my own, the importance of appreciating and preserving history and art, and the endless possibilities of creating and performing dance. I have a special place in my heart for Paris and will always come back to it when I need a bit of encouragement and motivation. I found a new self and I can never be more grateful.”

Megan Carvajal, Florida State University
Dance in Paris 2015

“The FSU Dance in Paris Program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I had the privilege of attending twice, once as a student and another as the Program Assistant. My first trip with this program was my first time overseas and a time in my life I will always truly value. Being a part of the culture in this city added to the amazing experience of taking a variety of dance classes as well as attending performances by the Paris Opera Ballet in the stunning Palais Garnier Opera House and getting an exclusive back stage tour. My favorite memory from this program was riding bikes around the beautiful and immense palace of Versailles. Riding through the beautiful countryside with the gorgeous fields and architecture all around was stunning. It was an experience and feeling I will never forget. I would highly recommend this program to any dancer wanting to further their knowledge of dance, culture, art and history. Being able to take classes and see performances in a place where ballet originated in the 16th century was an incredible experience. I have grown so much as a person, as well as, a dancer from this eye-opening and cultural experience. Paris is not only the city of lights, macarons and croissants but a city I fell in love with and a place I will always hold dear in to heart.”

Kaitlyn Christensen, Florida State University
Dance in Paris Program Assistant 2014

“Back at school, I’m frequently asked about my study abroad experience in Florida State University’s Dance in Paris program this past summer. Immediately, the following words fly into my mind: magical, sublime, and even whimsical. This program encompassed everything of which my dream vacation to Paris would consist (dancing; visiting museums, galleries, and historic landmarks; and soaking in the culture by being out and about every day), except better because gates of opportunity were opened to us by the program’s connections.

One standout experience for me revolves around the Paris Opera Ballet. Through connections, we were granted a backstage tour of the exquisite Opera Garnier and learned the history of the building and company. Then, we sat in the audience to see the company (the same one we passed in the halls earlier!) perform flawlessly. A few days later, we took a ballet class from a retired POB ballerina… in the new opera house! To top it off, we got to see another performance from the Paris Opera in the new opera house. These experiences are once-in-a-lifetime, and I cannot think of another way I could’ve been given these opportunities. Everyone walked away appreciative of the historical importance, inspired, and star-struck.

My month in Paris was completely worthwhile, and I’d repeat it in a heartbeat. If you’re looking to continue learning over the summer, are an adventurous soul (that doesn’t mind walking many beautiful streets!), and have a love of the arts, this is a wonderful program for you!”

Lauren Carmen, University of Oklahoma
Dance in Paris Student 2014

“I think the greatest gift I received by studying abroad through the Dance in Paris program was the exposure to all forms of visual art. Through this program I had the opportunity to visit the Musée d’Orsay, full of famous works by Manet, Monet, and Degas, as well as the Musée l’Orangerie where Monet’s famous water lily murals are displayed. Not only did we have the opportunity to see famous paintings, but we were also given the chance to see famous sculptures at the Musée Bourdelle and Musée Rodin. And these are just the museums that we visited as a group! You could stay in Paris for years without seeing every museum. Each museum has its own personality and dynamic, no two are alike. As someone who had little exposure to visual arts, being fully immersed in them changed my view on many art forms– including the one I love most: dance. Having the opportunity to see works that changed the artistic world is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Unless of course you fall in love with the city of lights and are determined to go back, as I am.”

Kathleen Ewing, Florida State University
Dance in Paris Student 2014

“Forever in history as the overly opulent home of Louis XIV, Versailles stands as one of the most magnificent estates in the world. You simply cannot leave Paris without making the trip to see it for yourself. As I walked through the gates that Saturday in May, it was as if I had been transported back in time. I imagined what it would be like as a courtier walking through the grounds acting as if the beauty and affluence around me was nothing but normal. The sheer brilliance of everything astounded me. I wandered through the Hall of Mirrors in amazement and ran around the gardens in awe, just trying to take in all of the history and elegance. My camera simply could not capture the splendor. I left through the same gates I had come in, feeling as if I had just stepped out of a dream.”

SarahGrace Mariani, Florida State University
Dance in Paris Student 2013

“Wanderlust is like a scratch—once you itch it, it just keeps getting itchier. Once I got a taste of the world, all of its beautiful intricacies and far away places, I wanted more. I craved more. Studying abroad in Paris pushed me to try new things, new sensations, and new experiences. In the process I found myself on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery. It was an adventure that completely transformed my perspective on life. Being surrounded by Paris and its culture changed me and has encouraged me to both live and dance abroad one day.”

Katarina Bennicoff Yundt, Florida State University
Dance in Paris Student 2013

“I had a fantastic time abroad through the FSU Dance in Paris program. The program, being an opportunity to bring my studies to a different, historically enriched setting, and I, being one to seize said opportunities, were a beneficial match. Being a part of the program’s inaugural summer session was also a treat. The group was able to flesh out the meat of the curriculum; like children beginning to crawl, we eagerly explored all that this new opportunity had to offer…which was very, very much. There was a nice blend of “classroom” sessions and meetings on-site. The experience lent itself well to excavating Paris both through the structure of the program, and the time allowed for our curious group to spearhead personal adventures. With dance classes around the city, an abundance of performances, museum visits, historical lectures, excursions outside the City of Light, and those afternoons in a park, we were kept very busy, and happily so. I would highly recommend the program as a month of pure energetic experience. It will move the body and the mind, and will leave the heart very satisfied (if not desiring more!).”

Gianna Mercandetti, Florida State University
Dance in Paris Student 2012