As part of the EFCO Youth 2016 project theme ‘Family’, members form our various groups have been sharing their stories and what the theme means to them. In this article, Raphael who is a member of EFCO Youth France tells us about how he got involved in youth exchanges and what is has meant to him and his family.
Raphaël is 15, lives in France and has been part of EFCO Youth France for the last 3 years
‘My 5 members family (parents, older brother Robin and little sister Roxane and I) had already hosted many times before when Claire Gattet (EFCO France) invited us -in 2013- to have German visitors for a week. We agreed, knowing they were dancers and musicians. Furthermore, I learn German at school, so it would give me an opportunity to practice.
When they came over, in July, we were on school holidays. Therefore, I was able to get along, assist in all the shows and share in every moment of the evening parties. There I discovered the pleasures of dance : learning the moves, swapping partners, following the music. But it was not only dancing, it was also the laughs and joy you share during the musical evenings without knowing each other. Much more than just knowledge (and recipes) have been exchanged at those times.
It was a wonderful week. So when Claire asked me to join her dancing company (and EFCO), I immediately answered yes, especially when she explained there would be more gatherings.
Since then, I’ve been to Olpe, we hosted Slovakians, I went to Denmark to join two dancing festivals, and Roxane, my sister, finally joined us, so we practice our dancing together.
Picture : Olpe festival, Germany 2013 – Raphael sits behind Claire (blue costume)
Dance and music lie in each event, of course, but mainly there are people from many different horizons, from close to far, and all extraordinary.
What I most like is that, despite the parting, knowing we’ll meet again
one time or another, for a festival, an exchange or an event set up by
EFCO… and the magic will be there again.
Picture: Crea’Danse cie 2015 (Denmark, Nordlek Festival – Raphaël is at the top)
Raphaël Gioria, FRANCE.