Monday, July 7, 2008

First Day in Florida


Ah, Florida. There is something refreshingly exotic about its palm trees, even in the summer season when its temperatures are on par with northern cities.

The Polly B Dance Academy is located in Atlantic Beach, Florida, which one can safely assume is on the Atlantic coast. We didn't see the beach, but I take it on faith that it is there.

Polly B has recently moved studios, and we spent part of our trip navigating from the old studio address to the new one while being given the turn by turn on the cell phone. "You turn away from the beach," was one direction. Being from somewhere else entirely, I didn't know which way was "to" and which "away" from the biggest landmark in the area- the ocean.

We managed to find the place in the end, a colorful studio with doors of orange, green, blue, and yellow set against walls of turquoise and bright yellow. The most notable thing in the studio was a giant cardboard cake, the kind people jump out of at bachelor parties.

"Feel free to intimidate them," said Polly, but intimidation is not really Valery Lantratov's style.

After two classes and two levels at Polly B, we headed to a third class at "A Class Apart" in Deltona. (One of Deltona's claims to fame is that it is the home of Twiggy the Water-Walking Squirrel.)

At first we weren't entirely sure we were at the right place. We found ourselves navigating down a narrow road untilit dead ended at a warehouse.

"We have no more road," Valery observed uneasily, but in fact we were in the right place.

A Class Apart is located in a gymnastic studio in an industrial warehouse. It's not a promising looking place, but inside the gymnastic studio is spacious and growing. They have plans to take over an area upstairs. The students were very quick learners. "Smart," Valery deemed them, which is high praise. And after class they showed off some nifty tricks on the uneven parallel bars. That doesn't happen at every studio.