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Comic Book / Dance Class

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Dance Class (French Title: Studio Danse) is a French graphic novel series written by an author duo under the pen name Béka (Bertrand Escaich & Caroline Rogue) and drawn by an artist simply known as Crip. The book is published by Bamboo Edition in its home country and translated and published in the Western market by Papercutz.

The series is, well, about a dance class and all the different forms of dance studied and practiced by the students—the dance school seems to offer everything from ballet to hip-hop to Tecktonic to African folk dancing (and etc.). Following the main trio (three BFFs named Julie, Alia and Lucie) as they go through lessons, participate in plays/recitals and sometime inadvertently apply their skills to daily life with usually hilarious results. Essentially, it's a slice of life series but with quite the interesting look into the world of dance.


Started in 2007, the series has twelve volumes as of 2021.


  • Acrofatic: Lucie's a downplayed example—calling her "fat" is kind of a stretch, but she does have a noticeably chubbier build compared to the rest of the students in the titular class. She's still a very skilled dancer and is clearly very passionate about what she does, being especially gifted at choreographynote .
  • All Part of the Show: During certain plays/recitals, something sometimes goes wrong but the audience just rolls with it and think it's a change up to the story or a new addition.
  • Agony of the Feet:
    • In one comic, Alia and Lucie go to a dance but end up having their feet stepped on since the boys at said dance didn't know how to slow dance properly.
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    • Another showed Bruno trying various sports before settling on dance, partly because he thought it would be safer...least until Carla accidentally steps on his foot during a practice routine.
    • Another strip had the class do an outdoor African tribal dance performance. However they were barefoot and the day they did it on was very hot and had warmed the street. So when the performance was over, the class couldn't stop hopping because the ground was so hot.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Julie's little sister, Capucine, can be like this sometimes.
  • Ballet: While the students in the titular class study and practice all different forms of dance, ballet is typically the main focus (with modern/jazz being the next most-focused dance).note 
  • Big Eater: Lucie's definitely this—if there's food around, or if there's a role that involves food in some way, she will be seen munching on something.
  • Bowdlerize: Played With—it's obvious that the series takes place in France (presumably somewhere in the Paris-area), but the Papercutz-version tries keeping the setting vague by going out of its way to not allude to it.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The girls usually run into this problem when not practicing, sometimes doing their exercises while in classes or while bored.
  • Heritage Disconnect: Nathalia, the head seamstress/costume designer for the dance school where the series takes place, is revealed to be of Russian-descent in the fifth volume ("To Russia with Love"). However, when Miss Anne says that Nathalia will act as an interpreter/translator, it later turns out that Nathalia (who, aside from being of Russian-descent, is actually originally from Russia) has been living outside of Russia for so long that she herself needs to brush up on her Russian before going on the trip.
  • Hidden Depths: Combined with Strange Minds Think Alike—in the fourth volume, it turns out that Sam (the djembe-player for the African folk dancing classes) knows how to play the piano while Miss Anne (the director for the dance school and the school's ballet instructor) knows how to play the djembe. When Julie and Alia see the two playing those particular instruments, Sam and Miss Anne are both thinking, "I've always loved [the piano/the djembe]! It's too bad I have so few chances to play it!"
  • Hot for Teacher: In the first issue, a few of the girls, namely Julie and Alia, fall for the street dancing teacher K.T.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Some comics involve the Ballet teacher, Miss Anne, telling the girls to practice routinely to keep themselves limber only once the class is done and everyone gone to reveal she doesn't exactly practices what she preaches herself.
  • Language Barrier: Alia runs into this problem when the class goes to Russia for a recital when trying to ask a boy out on a date. Ironically, said boy had the same idea as her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Carla usually ends up suffering this—for example, in the first two issues, there's a Running Gag where she tries snatching the roses meant for Julie only to suffer the consequences.
    • In the first issue, she pricks her finger on the thorns and faints at the sight of her own blood.
    • The second time when she tries grabbing the flowers, she gets hit with a pollen allergy.
  • Metaphorically True: One strip had the three main characters telling their parents that their dance class was going to run a little later than usual because of a rehearsal. But then it turns out that it was a lie to go a party, but they justify it as a "half-truth" because it still technically involves dancing.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The girls sometimes use their dance skills to their benefit outside of dance class, such as managing to tip toe around their teachers without notice or using it to reach a light bulb.
  • Playing Against Type: An In-Universe example—to go into greater detail:
    • When the titular class is set to do a performance of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," Julie (who's widely considered to be the best dancer in the class) was naturally cast as Snow White while Carla (who's the closest that the series has to a main villain) was cast as the Evil Queen—but they both protested this, much to the surprise of the class. Julie claimed that she was tired of always being cast as the "sweet heroine" while Carla was tired of Julie always getting the lead roles in their plays and recitals.
    • After hearing their protests, their teacher then gave the role of the Evil Queen to Julie and the role of the Snow White to Carla—however, Carla was ultimately forced to give up the lead role because she just couldn't get along with the child-dancers playing the seven dwarves (one of whom was Julie's younger sister, Capucine), who refused to dance in the recital unless the role of Snow White was given to someone else.
    • While talking things over, the teachers considered giving the role of Snow White to Julie, since she was their original choice for it—but at that point, Julie was too invested in her role as the Evil Queen to give it up. So in the end, they have Carla swap roles with Julie's friend, Lucie (i.e., Lucie ends up as Snow White while Carla plays Lucie's original of the Evil Queen's Magic Mirror).
  • Potty Emergency: A comic has one of the students asking this when the class come to Russia to participant in a recital.
    • In Volume-3, Mary (the instructor for modern dance) gets annoyed with the students taking so many breaks to drink water (since all that dancing makes the students really thirsty), so she comes up with a routine that makes the students dance with their bottles of water, so that way they can drink while they dance without having to take so many breaks. It works, but when the students are done dancing, they now all have to go to the bathroom because of drinking so much water.
  • Roadside Wave: In one comic, Alia tries to recreate the "Singing in the Rain" number in actual rain while waiting at a bus stop with Julie, only to have a passing car splash water on her.
  • Shout-Out: Book 10 involves the class putting up a performance based on The Snow Queen. While the story that the performance is following is reasonably faithful to Andersen's tale, the costumes that the characters are wearing are almost identical to those from another well-known adaptation of the fairy tale (including a certain iconic ice dress for the dancer playing the Snow Queen, and upon which the story hinges). Additionally, the English title of the book is "Letting It Go."
  • Shown Their Work: The writers and artists clearly have been studying the various forms of dance as most of the techniques seen in the book are quite accurate.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Carla's definitely this—she's the closest that the series has to a main antagonist and sees herself as this prima ballerina who deserves all the lead roles in their plays and recitals. Though Carla's not bad at dancing by any means, because of her arrogant/self-centered nature, she usually doesn't get along that well with the other students in her dance classes. Carla often goes out of her way to sabotage other students, which has often led to her being cast as the main villain (or at least in a villainous role).
    • Also, because of Carla's general demeanor, when something bad happens, she's usually the prime suspect—for example, in "Letting It Go," when the dress for the role of the Snow Queen goes missing, Carla was the prime suspect the first two times it went missingnote  before being proven innocent. The third time it went missing, it turned out that Carla really had taken the dress (although she claims it was to protect it and that she was planning on returning it before the recital).
  • Teens Love Shopping: One humorous strip saw the three girl seemingly on a shopping strip but it turns out that they had initially went in to ask the manager if it was okay for them to put up an advertisement for the dance class, having gotten distracted while doing so to the point that they has spent 45 minutes in each store they visited so far and still had more to go.
  • Typecasting:
    • An In-Universe example—Julie's the one usually cast as the female lead in plays and recitals while Carla's the one usually cast as the main villain (or at least in villainous role).
    • The only two times where Julie played a villain were the times that her dance school did productions of "Snow White & the Seven Dwarves" (where she played Snow White's stepmother, the Evil Queen) and "The Snow Queen" (where she played the villain of the same name).
    • Carla was the one usually cast as the main villain (or at least in a villainous role). For the times that she wasn't in some kind of villainous role, she played in a minor background role—like in the fifth volume of the series (the one where the class goes to Russia to perform in a production of The Nutcracker), Carla played the Mouse King in the first act but during the second act, one of the Russian students had to drop out of the recital, so Carla took her place (which ended up being playing one of the backgrounders in the Land of Sweets).
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Played for Laughs—one day, while Bruno's on the way to his dance class, his dad is complaining to him about how all of [his dad's] coworkers make fun of him for [Bruno] taking ballet instead of doing something more "masculine," like soccer, rugby or "at worst" (as Bruno's dad describes it) basketball. But when Bruno walks into the studio, all of the other students (all of whom are girls) rush up to Bruno to greet him, with two of them kissing him on both cheeks and some of them asking Bruno to dance with them in class later. Later on, during the next time he's at work, Bruno's dad is now bragging to his coworkers about how his son has "got it figured out" and is "already surrounded by girls."