Have you checked our previous article?
Now let's get straight to the point!
- The City
Paris is known as the City of Love, and it's true, it is so charming. In summer it's even better (I will tell you why a bit later). It is a beautiful place; there is so much to see, the Eiffel Tower, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Montmartre, The Champs-Elysées or Opéra, so beautiful! I lived in Paris for a few years, and I loved it. The Paris Opera Ballet is incredible; watching this prestigious company on stage is a real-life experience. You can also see some of the most distinguished dance companies in the world.
It's pretty animated, with many free museums, excellent pubs, bars, restaurants, and great shops. You will love shopping in Paris; you can buy very nice clothes at an affordable price. Paris has two faces; when the party's over, it is not over! There are amazing clubs in town! Night buses and the métro are running quite late, and certain lines are even open 24/7. Paris is very popular. It is a vibrant and surprising city.
The famous French food! French food is truly unique and one of the best in the world. So delicious, healthy, and creative. You will eat the best bread, cheese, and dishes. The simplest yogurt in your supermarket is good! It is the truth! When I say healthy, I'm talking about the quality of their food. Grocery shopping is not that expensive either, there is a shop for everyone, for any budget, and even organic food is quite affordable. You'll find the best deals at the outdoor/producers market on a Saturday morning or even in your local shop.
Paris is also well known for its famous Michelin Star restaurants such as Le Meurice or La Tour d'Argent. You can also dine in more simple places, and the food is so delicious and relatively inexpensive: The 50 Best Cheap Eats in Paris. From breakfast to dinner, the list is so long; you got a wide range of choices! Bon Appétit!
Dance is fantastic in Paris; there are many dance schools where you can train every week: Studio Harmonic, AID - Espace Lauriston, Centre de Danse Rick Odums, Centre de Danse du Marais, or Lax Studio. There are great teachers even in open classes. Classes are available all day long at different times of the day, and you can train as a professional or as a beginner anytime you want, Monday to Sunday.
There are many dance shows and musicals, it is quite exciting and diverse. You will find many high-profile cabarets in Paris, such as the famous Lido de Paris or the Moulin Rouge; Disneyland Paris also offers some great opportunities for a wide range of performers. There are many plays, many shows from small theatres to big stadiums!
- Dance Companies based in Paris and Ile-de-France (Paris Region)
Cie Corinne Lanselle and much more...
- Cost of living in Paris
As I said, the food is not expensive; however, renting is. Finding a nice place to stay can be quite a struggle because the demand is so high. Unfortunately, you can't save on these costs, and this is quite pricey. Living in the city center is not cheap, but you can find friendly alternatives nearby in the suburbs, but you would live a bit further indeed. Paris is not that big, though; you would be fine. Rent a room in Paris and its Region: from 400 to 981 euros per month.
You will need a travel card called Navigo, pretty budget-friendly. Taxis in Paris are costly; it is not convenient anyway, the city is always so busy, driving in Paris is a nightmare during the day, you will be better off on the Métro. However, it's way better in the evening; taxis and uber are operating all night long.
|Rent per month||900 (Studio)||2000 (2 bedroom flat)|
|Transport||from 1.90 (1 ticket/journey)||up to 75.20 (1 month)|
|Food for 1 person / month||from 150||to 400|
|Restaurant & Entertainment||12 / meal / person||162 / day / person|
Prices in Euro
YOU MUST SEE:
You will adore the Opéra Garnier, Le Marais, Châtelet-Les-Halles, The Louvre Museum and many great clubs like the famous VIP Room, Les Bains Douches or Le Jangal...
- The pros
As I said, Paris is a beautiful and charming city, with so much to do and discover. It is not that big compared to New York and London; nevertheless, I lived in Paris for a few years, and there are many things I haven't seen. The Eiffel Tower is a must and many more gorgeous places like the Sacré-Coeur or the Champs Elysées. Also, transport is cheap compared to London for instance; you can use your travel card Navigo for a whole month with unlimited travel and cherry on the cake: you can even be reimbursed by your employer, up to 50 %! That's amazing! The city center is stunning; the architecture, the restaurants, and those places are just a dream!
Renting is not that expensive in comparison to London and New York City. Paris is just a train journey away from London, Brussels and Lyon (between 1h29 and 2hrs 37 mins only), it is a real bonus for your weekends. It's lovely in summer! The weather is charming, and there are some nice pools in town and the famous Paris Plages, feel like you're at the beach right in the middle of the city center!
The Dance training is brilliant, and the dance community is welcoming and quite open-minded; I felt well in Paris. It is multicultural therefore you can discover many cultures and meet fascinating people. The Paris Opera ballet offers many shows during the year; it is a real privilege to live in such a city, just for that. The tickets are affordable, and they also collaborate with many prestigious dance companies regularly; therefore, you can see so much more at The Opéra Garnier. I remember the first time I came to Paris, it was magical, and I genuinely recommend it, at least once in your life!
- The cons
Paris is charming, but a lot of Parisians aren't!... They are stressed and always rushing, even rude sometimes and not helpful, to be honest. Do you know what we are saying in France? "You will love Paris in summer because the Parisians have gone on holiday!" That says it all! So if you ever encounter one of them, please remember that those Parisians are not the typical representation of French people. That being said, I met lots of lovely people in Paris!
Also, if you decide to live in France, make sure you speak basic French as you will rarely be employed if you don't. However, in the dance community, it should not be mandatory. It's getting better today, but French people usually speak only French, and you might not meet that many people able to use English nor any other language.
It is also not very easy to find a job. There are few auditions (and shared by a small group of people), so it is not easy to know. It's great for dance teachers, but there are not many opportunities for dancers, to be honest. There are a few lovely musicals; sadly, they rarely run for more than a year. It is common to work in a musical just for a few months! It is not their culture; musicals attract a broader audience in New York and London.
Also, the city is not very safe, and you must be aware of that, especially if you are a girl. Please make sure you are always hanging out with friends or get a taxi if you have to go home alone at night.
NEW YORK CITY
- The City
There is one word to describe this incredible town: WOW! I will never forget the very first day I arrived in the US. I was so lucky to pursue my professional Modern Dance training at the prestigious The Ailey School.
I won a full scholarship from Fulbright. It covered all my expenses in NYC (airline tickets, visa application, rent, food, and tuition). I am so grateful for them! Fulbright operates in many countries worldwide; if you are interested, you can start applying for the following academic year. Fingers crossed!
Back to New York. The first thing I noticed was the massive buildings; everything is big in Manhattan! The buildings, the streets, the cars, and even the food on your plate! It's not a joke! This city is incredible; there is so much to see! So many shops, bars, and restaurants! That surprised me a lot! You can eat everywhere in Manhattan! Anywhere you go you can eat, drink and keep going on with your shopping. They know how to keep you in a shop! I also loved Halloween and Saint Patrick's day, unforgettable!
People are amiable, always happy to help or to inform you, they are friendly to tourists. The subway is open all night long, which is quite advantageous.
You can imagine how delicious the food is in New York, badly delicious! You perfectly know it is bad for you as it is so high in sugar and added fat, but it is good! I had a completely different diet (a terrible diet, to be honest), so I tried all that. The food is very cheap and so addictive, there are lots of different flavors, they know how to sell their food. At every corner, there is something to grab or to drink. You will be pretty surprised by the size of your plate, huge portions, always! It is pretty standard there.
I remember this charming typical American restaurant where all the waiters are excellent singers and performers! It is incredible; it is a fantastic place. You must eat at Ellen's Stardust Diner! Fine dining? Discover also the gorgeous Rainbow Room for a lovely brunch on a sunny Sunday. Vegetarian? Usha Foods is a fantastic Indian restaurant in Queens. I love Mexican food, and Los Tacos No.1 in Chelsea Market is a must!
They got everything you want in NYC! That is the US; more and more, the better it is!
Dancers are GREAT in New York City, so talented! The level is extremely high. The way they teach dance, how they work with dancers, it's so inspiring and positive! I've learned a lot from them! There is no time to overthink or moan because you are not good enough. NOPE. They will encourage you and push you more and more by showing you everything YOU CAN DO first. They know you came to learn, and they will show you how to do it their way. Therefore, dancers are so focused and dedicated in every studio, vocational school, or open class! They're fighting to be on the front row, they are so hardworking, and I loved that! There is this incredible energy in the air; it's contagious!
You can get some training in studios open all year long, such as Broadway Dance Center, Steps or Peridance. For the Horton and Graham techniques lovers, you must go to the famous Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and Ailey Extension; both studios offer open classes every week!
Also, every company or musical such as The Phantom of the Opera or Chicago (both magical!) holds open calls quite often. With all the commercials and events happening, you can audition nearly every day! Auditions are always packed, and it's quite impressive. I auditioned for big companies with hundreds of dancers; at first, it seemed overwhelming, in reality, it is so inspiring. Dancers in New York City will constantly push you forward!
- Dance Companies based in New York City
Trisha Brown Dance Company and so much more.
- Cost of living in New York City
New York is more expensive than Paris. Renting is quite costly. I lived in Brooklyn, which was cheaper than Manhattan, and I was just 20 minutes away from The Ailey School. Flat-Share in NYC costs from 600 to 1500 dollars per month. The culture is quite different; Americans love eating outside, they don't cook at home; therefore, you can eat in various places for a reasonable price. Vegetables and fruit are a bit more expensive. You can visit museums and do many other activities completely free. Studying dance in New York is not cheap, though from 12.000 to 49.260$ an academic year. Clothes are not expensive, and you can find a nice outfit at a very affordable price. There are so many taxis available, it's trendy, but you don't need it with the MetroCard; I don't remember using a cab once as the subway runs 24/7!
|Rent per month||1450 (Studio)||2499 (2 bedroom flat)|
|Transport||2.75 (1 ticket/journey)||127 (1 month)|
|Food for 1 person / month||from 324.20||to 471.34|
|Restaurant & Entertainment||16 / meal / person||144 / day / person|
Prices in Dollar
YOU MUST SEE:
The Statue of Liberty
Empire State Building
I also loved the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, China Town, Little Italy, Soho, and Harlem. You must get a drink at Paul's Cocktail Lounge and then party at 10ak!
- The pros
This city is incredible, and it is like being in a film, just for this reason you must see NYC! I will never forget the first time I walked in Times Square. How small I felt, how impressed I was.
There are thousands of opportunities in Manhattan, so many shows; the entertainment industry is a big thing in the US, and you can genuinely make it. Success is right in front of you. Dance is Amazing, and you will see some of the best shows in the US!
The training is excellent; they give you so much more, you benefit a lot from it. It is so demanding and challenging; thus, you are improving three times faster! There are some of the best dance schools and companies in the world. You must visit Manhattan, especially if you love Horton and Graham. It's the place to be.
Suppose you plan to study in New York City. In that case, you could also enroll in a new school for one academic year and then do your OPT (Optional Practical Training), which is a great way to enhance your application for the Green Card (permanent resident card) if you wish. As I said earlier, you can genuinely audition every single day if you want to! Endless opportunities! American life is tremendous, and you will love it.
- The cons
American food is a big con to me as a professional dancer, and this is why I wasn't keen to live permanently in the US. I honestly struggled with food when I arrived. They add vitamins, refined sugar, and added fat in scary quantities. More than 60 percent of the American diet consists of highly processed foods — foods that have been taken apart and put back together again with various combinations of sugar, salt, oil, and additives. Therefore to eat quality food as we have in Europe is quite expensive. You must buy organic ingredients only; I used to spend a fortune on groceries.
Although there are many opportunities, it is not that easy to book a job. The competition is high, but it is not the real challenge. The Green Card is! The famous card that can change your life and make your American dream come true! I have auditioned many times, despite being successful, my application got denied as soon as they knew I wasn't a Green Cardholder. Applying for the Magic Card is a long and uncertain procedure. Since September 2011, immigration law has become relatively rigid; allegedly, it was a lot easier before the dramatic incident.
And lastly, the weather! Summer is hot but highly humid, and insects are enormous! Winter is coming and is pretty tough in NYC! Oh my!... The most brutal winter of my life! I remember going to The Ailey School, the weather being so cold and windy, the city is like Frozen for weeks! So much snow, the school was even closed for a few days. So be prepared for that.
- The City
London is 15 times larger than Paris and surprisingly a bit bigger than New York City! I've been living in this city for many years, and initially, the plan was to stay for one year! I wanted to learn about British culture, and a year seemed enough to me, and here I am more than ten years later. I settled in London because I didn't expect this place to be so rich and alive. The economy is strong, in constant growth. It is a big city, with so many things to see and discover. Even after ten years, I'm still amazed by the beauty and the charm of this fantastic place. London is very popular as a tourist destination; people come from all over the world to discover London and its surprises. For me, it's like "The New York City of Europe "; it truly is; it is different though, but not as much as I thought.
Londoners love partying; they love life. They celebrate it every day of the week and whatever their age or background! You'll be surprised to witness it, so many people in their 50's partying over the weekend, in clubs or pubs; I love British people for that! People are happy and welcoming. It is so cosmopolitan!
People think London is rainy, but it is not as rainy as Paris and New York; for instance, it is often cloudy, but it doesn't rain as much as tourists think. It's just another legend as it can be boiling in summer. You would love it. However, the weather is quite unpredictable, and this is the truth. You can also enjoy a fantastic day at the beach, the lovely town of Brighton is just 1 hour away. The perfect spot for a good Dance HIIT workout!
I love British food; I love an excellent English breakfast! I am a big Fan! Delicious!
You must go to one of the best seafood restaurants in town: Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill, trust me, you'll eat the best Fish and Chips in London or try their amazing Crispy Squid! Also, as London is so multicultural, you can discover so many flavors in one place and from all around the world, Chinese, Indian, Caribbean, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Colombian, or French. I love Turtle Bay, Tandoor Chop House, and Sushi Samba, so chic! You can eat anything you want in London, all year long and at an affordable price.
It is the perfect balance between New York and Paris. You can find natural ingredients in the supermarket as you would in any European city or eat some delicious burgers or fried chicken if you like!
My biggest surprise in London was to discover how dynamic the entertainment industry is! There are many opportunities, musicals, and live shows; indeed, important dance companies are based in London and from very different universes. This diversity is just incredible.
The cinema industry is also very active. The biggest companies in Hollywood shoot in London; therefore, there are endless opportunities for actors and dancers.
You can audition daily for musicals or dance companies. If you are a dancer, actor or singer, you will always be busy in London!
You can also take dance classes all year long. Many dance schools in London offer open classes from beginners to professionals; everybody can train at their own pace from Monday to Friday and until December 24! That is a big plus; it never stops! Pineapple, Danceworks, The Place, Studio 68, Base or Dance Attic Studios, and many more.
The city never sleeps; consequently, you can achieve so much more! London is also an international platform; you can work worldwide without moving. You can go to The Maldives in a day, shoot a commercial in Rio in 2 weeks, and perform on a film in Germany. All in the same month!
- Dance Companies based in London:
Ballet Boyz and so much more...
- Cost of living in London
I'm not going to lie, living in London is quite expensive. The rent and transport are both costly. Finding a flatshare is cheaper than NYC, and it will cost you between 350 to 950 pounds per month. This is a very popular city; people love London, ultimately, you must react very quickly if you find the perfect place. For your commute, you can save money by using an Oyster Card or simply by using your debit card; both are pretty helpful, and you get the best deals.
The food cost is alright, quite reasonable, at least we have that! Minicabs are not expensive either; it is common in London like it is in New York so that you can travel by cab or uber for relatively cheap.
London is a fantastic city; however, many came and left utterly broke! If you are interested in living in London, you must be very proactive and create your luck and opportunities daily. It is down to you. London has so much to offer, and there is a cost.
|Rent per month||1200 (Studio)||2700 (2 bedroom flat)|
|Transport||4.90* (1 ticket/journey)||162.90 (1 month Zones 1-3)|
|Food for 1 person / month||from 235||to 420|
|Restaurant & Entertainment:||18 / meal / person||145 / day / person|
Prices in Pound
*2.40 with Oyster or Contactless Payment Card.
YOU MUST SEE:
You will love Camden Town, Soho, Wicked (One of the best musicals in town!), The Book Of Mormon or The Lion King. Visit Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, have a drink at Shoreditch, and eat at Shaka Zulu. You must party at Xoyo, Cargo, Floripa or The Cafe De Paris between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
- The pros
I decided to settle in London for a good reason. It's a great alternative between Paris and New York City in terms of lifestyle and culture. But most importantly, this city is healthy economically, and that was important to me. I met many like-minded people in the entertainment industry, so motivating! I came for my career, and there is a before and after London. London opened the world to me. Dance is excellent, and the entertainment industry is solid and vibrant.
The city is beautiful, exciting, and so dynamic! If you want a nice night out, some of the best clubs and pubs in Europe are in London! It is green and calm, and sometimes I forget that I live in one of the biggest cities in the world!
People are so lovely and so polite, you will appreciate it. I always felt welcomed and from the very first day. Also, it is tolerant; they'll appreciate you for what you can bring to the table and not for your background, religion, or skin colour. They are not afraid to give you a chance to prove your value. That is why so many managers are in their 20's for instance, and from different countries, it is not unusual as long as your English is good.
- The cons
The Cost of living in London is a big con. I'm used to it now, so for me, it's just the normality, but from your point of view, it could be frustrating and discouraging if it's your first time. Living in London is expensive; this is the truth, especially renting and transport. Unfortunately, you can't avoid these costs. London is more expensive than Paris and New York City. If you want to live in London, you must be very proactive as this city could eat you alive! You and your savings! There is money, you can make a great living, but you must work for it.
Work on your English; it's a great skill to have to progress faster in your career. Sadly some people are not very comprehensive and patient with foreigners who can't speak their language. They won't hide it from you! It is a con but also a great source of motivation!
As a professional Dancer, Singer or Actor, you might sometimes miss out on essential opportunities if you don't have an agent. You will not even be aware of auditions if you are not part of "the group." Having an agent makes a big difference in London, and it's not always fair, especially if you are new in town. Not everyone has an agent. That's what I loved in New York City; you could audition with or without an agent, even for huge shows. London can still improve on that.
What is the best city For you?
I can't answer that question. These are fantastic cities. Think about your well-being and your goals. If you have a few notions of French and want to learn a completely different culture, perhaps Paris is the best option for you. London is what you need if you are adventurous, have some savings, and are not afraid of challenges. If you love the American culture, Modern Dance, New York is the one! We can't compare, these cities are all great, and they can truly change your life.
In my opinion, It's all about mindset: If you believe in abundance* you will be a success wherever you live.
Thank you for reading; please share with your friends and family!
*the situation in which there is more than enough of something.
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