Your interactive family guide to France as recommended by local mums | Last updated 7 months ago

Interviews

Lolita Derbyshire - Paris

Lolita was born in Papua New Guinea but grew up in Brisbane, Australia. After university, she moved to London to work then relocated to Paris where she discovered Zumba. "After the birth of Ilan, I returned to the gym and tried Zumba for the first time.  I knew immediately that it would be my method of shedding baby weight.  Having being a sportswoman for most of my life, I was impatient to return to my former shape. I couldnt stop talking about Zumba - the music, the moves, the energy. It was all me!" (LD, Jan 2014)

  • Zumba Instructor Lolita Derbyshire

    Centro Yoga Om, Vilanova i la Geltru Image

    How long have you lived in Paris? 
    7 years.

    Whereabouts do you live and what is the area like? 
    15 arrondissement

    Where and when was your son Ilan Tau born? 
    May 2010 

    What was your experience of giving birth in Paris? 
    I gave birth at a private clinic where the facilities and staff were professional, kind and helpful.

    How did you discover Zumba? 
    A friend from home (Australia) recommended it. After the birth of Ilan I returned to the gym and tried Zumba for the first time. I knew immediately that it would be my method of shedding baby weight. Having been a sportswoman for most of my life iI was impatient to return to my former shape. I couldnt stop talking about Zumba - the music, the moves, the energy. It was all me!

    Can you explain what type of dance it is exactly? 
    International moves with a mix of fire, passion and high aerobic fitness. A super body potion to let loose! 

    What made you want to become a Zumba teacher? 
    I had done Tahitian dance for most of life + being a gym junkie, it all made sense. 

    In the past couple of years Zumba has become incredibly popular in Europe. Why do you think that is? 
    Because it’s designed for everybody. 

    As a dance fitness instructor what do you offer your clients? 
    Enjoyment, fun, motivation and belief in their ability to move. 

    How easy has it been to set up your business? 
    Not easy. Paris is a tough city and as a foreigner, you’re not trusted easily.  Also, finding committed clients wasn’t easy as Paris isn’t the most sports orientated capital. That feels like a lifetime ago... 

    How well integrated would you say you and your son are? 
    We have the essentials of life - work, school, health insurance, a happy home and wonderful friends and family. 

    How welcoming have the locals been towards you and your family? 
    Unhelpful, but generally very polite.  

    Are there any services, activities for kids, day-trips for kids, family-friendly restaurants or kids’ shops you’d like to recommend?  
    Depending on the season? In summer time, Jardin du Luxembourg is fabulous for playdates, a dipping pool and picnics.
    Day trips to Musee de Louvre is a must.
    Sports and other fun acitivities are available by the abundance at Magicaboo.fr and where I teach Zumba Kids (4-11 years).
    Restaurants? Hmmm still a tough one as Ilan Tau is still quite young. Meaning, having him sit still for more than 20 mins is a challenge.

    What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a parent from the International Community living in Paris?
    Advantages: The biggest advantage is learning from different cultures about methods in which to cope with your child’s behavior, ailments and development needs. Another bonus is with Ilan attending a private international school, I am able to meet other parents whom I can discuss parenting issues etc.

    Disadvantages: There is no car pooling or after school assistance from other parents. This can be quite isolating as there isn’t that sense of warmth of extra help. 

    What advice would you give for anyone thinking of relocating to Paris with children?
    Prepare for the crowds, small apartment spaces, the stairs at almost every metro stop (not easy when pushing a baby in pram), general administration delays e.g.  attaining health insurance for your children. The latter can be arranged via your employer.  TAXES.

    What couldn’t you live without in Paris?
    I couldn’t live without the hustle and bustle of Paris - the cultural abundance of  multiple languages, galleries, theatre, dance, museums, the melting pot of people from all around the globe. 

    What could you live without in Paris?
    The litter and dog pooh everywhere.