Educating Alice

I’ve spent part of the morning curled up in bed with a book called “Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman”. It was written by Alice Steinbach, who’s a former journalist with the Baltimore Sun and it recounts a series of ‘learning holidays’ she took. Acting on the advice of the Japanese poet Basho, who wrote “To learn of the pine, go to the pine”, she heads off to try out French cooking in Paris, study traditional arts in Kyoto, take a writing course in Praque, learn more about Cuban music and art in Havana, and partake in several other adventures in various countries. Along the way she meets some pretty interesting folks and gains some perspectives that she just wouldn’t have gotten from reading a book (or a whole library of books).

She is definitely a woman after my own heart. Long on my ‘bucket list’ has been a desire to spend time in a number of different countries taking classes in traditional dance. The differences and similaries in varous dance forms fascinate me, as does putting together the puzzle about how dance in one part of the world has influenced and connects with dance in a completely different part of this planet.

I’ve had a chance to dabble a very tiny bit in this: a flamenco dance class in Seville,  a couple of tango classes in Buenos Aires, and a bit of salsa in Cuba (I’ve been introduced to several other dance forms, but not in their country of origin). But it’s a big world out there. Before my bones get too brittle and my joints too creaky, I hope to experience first hand Baroque and Renaissance dancing in France, step dancing in Ireland and folk dancing in Turkey and Greece. And those are just the first few on my list!

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

3 thoughts on “Educating Alice

  1. Are you part of that group of belly dancers in Whitehorse?
    They must be so much fun,or the can-can girls, before travelling abroad i still have a range of options closer to home, that i haven’t tried out.


  2. Jozien: No, I’m not part of the belly dancing group, although I’d like to be. I’m just so busy with my other dance classes that I had to draw the line somewhere. I have taken a few belly dancing classes though – tonnes of fun!

    Lucca: Maybe there will be. I can see us now, dancing to Santiago de Compostella!


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