20 years ago in a far away land…

05.11.10 | 1 Comment

Today, I live in San Francisco. 20 years ago, I was living in a little French village called Fayence. It’s an adorable hilltop village less than an hour away from the beautiful coastal towns of Frejus, Cannes, Antibes and Nice. It’s the beginning of Provence with its olive trees, lavender fields and cicadas. My grandmother still lives there. I love going back to visit her.


Photo courtesy of www.ville-fayence.fr

20 years ago, I was a little ballerina. And there was an excellent (and very small) ballet school in Fayence. Our teacher, Jacqueline Lavielle, was a fine ballerina herself and was considered one of the finest teachers of the region. She taught us well. Gave us a strong foundation and a passion that most of our little group carried on as an adult (several of us became dance teachers, another danced in a company and others kept dancing for pleasure).

In 1987, I was 8 years old and we were photographed for the local news paper in honor of our success at the ballet exams of Monte-Carlo. Yep, in ballet, you take exams and dance in front of a jury to move up to the next level. Frightening! Jacqueline’s students pretty much always passed and had honorable mentions regularly (I did twice!).

I wish I had more photos of that time period, but I treasure this copy of the article. We were all so proud.


From left to right: Magali Escapin, Vanessa Moltenis, Alexandra Ducamp, Stephanie Soleil, Vanessa Cottone and Sadou Zeeghers.

Update: The photo doesn’t represent all of us in the group. Others not in the photo were Sarah Paiman, Magali Ghiglione, Severine Fromentin and Sandra Tiberi. If anyone out there remembers who else should be mentioned, please comment!

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