“Before I left for my Performing Arts Abroad experience in Italy, I was dared to film myself dancing in 100 different places over the course of my travels. A challenge? Most definitely!”
Sophie Marshall is a dancer from Armadale Australia and she is currently an Arts Administration (Dance) Intern in Florence, Italy. This is the third in a series of updates on her Dancing in 100 Places project. See the rest of the series here. You can also follow her on Instagram @lipbalmiscool
My favourite thing about doing these videos is watching them back and seeing people’s reactions as they notice me randomly dancing in the middle of a crowd. Some people don’t even notice, but others do a full on double take as they walk past. I still can’t work out if it’s easier or harder to film myself while my housemates are standing near me – I feel less on display having friendly faces around, but they also spend the entire time laughing shamelessly at me. The only upside is that their laughing makes me laugh as well, so I actually look happy in those videos, rather than just incredibly awkward. It is definitely getting easier though, but I think that’s more to do with the circumstances in which I’m filming rather than a growth in my own level of self-confidence. My GoPro decided this week that it no longer wants to connect to my phone, so I can’t preview what I’m getting in the shot, meaning that I have less things to procrastinate with now. It’s more of a ‘set up the tripod, aim it in the general direction of the cool thing I want to be in the shot, then hope for the best’, which kind of forces me to just get on with it.
This week has been pretty full on for everyone, with classes now being in full swing, but we still managed to get out and explore. On Monday night we hiked up to the Piazza de Michelangelo to watch the sunset (so many stairs!). The view of Florence was breathtakingly beautiful – I will definitely be going up there again. After classes on Thursday we climbed the bell tower of the Duomo (once again, so may stairs! I’m sorry legs!!!), and saw yet another spectacular view of the city. I even managed to sneak in a video!
After work on Friday we took the hour long train ride to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower – prepare yourselves for stereotypical tourist photos. It was pretty amazing watching hundreds of random people all doing the exact same pose at the exact same time – imagine how weird it would be seeing that in your local city, yet here the locals are so used to it they hardly bat an eyelid!
On Saturday I decided to take a day trip by myself to the nearby town of Lucca. It’s pretty small and there’s not a great deal to do, but after such a busy week it was a nice relaxing change. After a few hours of exploring I set up my camera in front of the Basilica di San Frediano. I got up and performed half a count of moves, only to be video-bombed by some street performers who set up right next to me. Too lazy to move the camera or wait for them to move, I just went with it, laughing to myself at how badly my dancing went with their music.
Sunday was the most relaxing day of the week – we had a Chianti wine tour booked for 2pm so got to sleep in, go for a hike up the mountain and take the morning at our own pace. Typically, at 1:55pm it started bucketing down with rain, meaning that we were rather wet by the time we got on the bus. Our first stop was a small winery in the town of Monteriggioni (about an hour drive from Florence). Once again, we got absolutely soaked walking up the hill, but they had an AMAZING dessert wine which made up for it. Next stop was a winery in San Gimignano for the sit down tasting. Nine glasses of wine later and everyone was feeling pretty content (maybe even a little more than content to be honest). It was a great way to finish the week.
Two weeks in, 26 down, 74 to go. Bring it on.