Dans! - The Road to Heavies: September 30, 2011. The night before try-out class
The e-mail, sent in English but replied in Dutch, made it very clear: I was welcome to join class at 11 o'clock saturdaymorning on the 1st of Octobre 2011.
About one and a half week in advance, slight nerves sometimes took over. I don't know exactly why. That there was a great possibility I would be the only male was already taken for granted and that I would not be able to do anything good, was also noted down.
It was probably how everything just suddenly developed that got me pins and needles all over.
So, on a saturday morning, I took the 8:30 bus-service to Amsterdam, changed to a train to The Hague HS (Hollands Spoor) and change there for a tram to the Waldeck Pyrmontkade in the Hague.
An attempt to get shoes
I did try to arrange shoes of some sort. Those weren't official soft-shoes, because I found them to expensive for something I had no idea of whether I would like it or not and besides that, the time-window was small: you can't buy them in the Netherlands.
I got some information from the KSID-website that 'soft jazz/gym shoes' were a good alternative and that you could get those at shops like Scapino en Bristol.
Late night shopping is always on a friday in my town, so I visited 7 stores more or less specialised in sporting goods, but none of them featured the jazz-shoes I was looking for. The question from every clerk, how those shoes looked like, had to go unanswered. I didn't know it as well, but it did start nice little gatherings of personnel, who all took a deep thought about the appearance and whether or not shoes like that could be found in their store or not.
In hindsight, not having any shoes proved to be a good thing. To keep an eye on the right technique, a shoe is not only difficult, but considering balance (at most: keeping it!) starting on shoes would probably have been a distaster. Without shoes I was already having a very hard time staying upright!