Day 1 : This year we set off from Ivrea on a bus, 4 dance institute and 3 other dance schools 

Studio Danza Ieva, La Fenice Ballet A.S.D also a school from Cuneo.

No-one minded getting up early with bags already packed the day before (some bigger than  others ) .

Teachers nervously waiting and ticking off names as they appear and a big sigh of relief when everybody is on the bus chatting wildly about coming week 

About 5 hours later we arrived in Andalo a mountain village located at 1040m above sea level between the peaks of the Dolomites and the pine forests of Mount Paganella. The first time that we came to Andalo as the Summer school was previously held in Fondo (Also a mountain village in Trentino). The last half hour was the climb up the mountain with some unnerving close your eyes and breath type of hairpin bends with the driver trying to warn the cars coming down to slow down !!!!! Good luck with that in Italy. 

Here is the link to previous blog I wrote in the 2015 and 2016

The first thing that I noticed in Andalo was the wonderful curated buildings with beautiful painted details on the exterior walls and how very clean it was every day after it sort of remind me of a mini Disney land activities galore. 

We were warmly greeted by the staff at Hotel Andalo where we were staying  6 students and two teachers dividng 3 rooms there were also 2 families staying in a adjacent hotel and another family camping at Lake Molveno.  I was slightly jealous of the 3 students which had the room next to Erica (teacher) and I as it had a balcony and bigger beds !!

We quickly put our bags in our rooms and walked to the Pala Congressi about 10 mins away to watch the Finals of  the first RAD Italy competition lots of great opportunities for young dancers from day one. 

A lovely Dancer from Fabbrica Danza in Chieri 

“Clelia Prezzavento recieves the PRIMO PREMIO e borsa di studio (scolarship to the value of) valore di 1300 euro”  

Some much needed inspiration for the week. 

But the all important first meal was waiting for us at the hotel and the daily dinner entertainment provided by our effervescent sunny student Estelle, 

Hotel Andalo

Day 2 : 

Breakfast was enjoyed even though we were all wondering who was making a bit too much noise in the corridors last night !! ? 

I met a lovely family that have the table next to us all the way from Puglia with a daughter also participating in the summer school the son taking full advantage of not having to eat what his mum made and ordered pasta with tomato every day !!!!! Like EVERYDAY he was living his dream.

We had the full tour this morning of Andalo Studios Etc with Sonia and Filomena having had the experience of last year, it was like one of those quick tours – to your left is studio 9 then go down here to the pool, ice rink , here we have the ……. Dance shop yes here is where the pause comes as the students eyes opened up as well as the parents wallets. Maybe we will just look today.  

Back for lunch, Andalo is great for your step count (13,000 completed in the first day ) much better of course than having to wait for the Navetta (small buses ) like in Fondo. 

There were some highlights and low lights with the food in the hotel and our gourmet taste tester, Clarissa would give her honest opinion all all the dishes. More of that later 

Everybody in our group had lessons in the afternoon here are some of the most popular comments by the students 

“Oh no I have no afternoon tea !!”

“I don’t understand” 

“I did like the Contemporary” 

“Live piano music is great”  …….. (Actually that was me)

“My pirouettes were good today “ 

“Love it here ……..what’s for dinner ?”

Of course the best one was when Estelle came running over to me saying she did not have her character shoes which she needed for the whole week !!! and very lucky to have Beatrice who actually brought her shoes all the way to Andalo even though she didn’t need them they were a bit small but she would just have to suffer for her passion this week, it turned out not to be entirely her fault that she did not have shoes but someone else had taken her shoes by mistake when we did a performance in the square just before leaving.

It was bed early today especially the smaller ones where even the teacher Christina Zatti said they were a bit sleepy and need to go to bed at 9:30pm

The jury is still out on favourite teachers etc as its only the first day.  

The lasagne at dinner was definitely a hit though.