Footloose reaches finals of European dance tournament

Students of dance association Footloose distinguished themselves at the European Tournament for Dancing Students (ETDS) last weekend. They won prizes in the ballroom and Latin categories.

photo Levi Baruch

The tournament featured dancing in the ballroom (English waltz, quickstep) and Latin (rumba, cha-cha-cha) categories. “Three of our association’s pairs reached the finals in the ballroom segment and two pairs in the Latin segment.” They won a medal and a certificate. “But everyone is very happy with their place in the ranking,” says team captain Naomi van Hierden.

The tournament saw 700 students facing off against each other in pairs. A total of forty student teams from the Netherlands and Germany took part. 35 students representing Footloose competed at different levels (beginner to advanced) from Friday to Sunday. Hierden: “That’s twice as many as a few years ago.”

Dungeons and Dragons

Until the very last moment it was uncertain whether everyone would be able to take part. Competing is only possible in pairs, but not everyone had found a dance partner at the start of the tournament. The students were then given the opportunity to go on speed dates with each other on Friday evening. And it worked out. It was quite a challenge, according to Hierden, but in the end everyone found a partner.

After an entire day of competitive dancing, other activities also took place, such as a dance night. “We didn’t get a lot of sleep. Some of us were at it all night.” They did so entirely in keeping with the theme of the competition, which was Dungeons and Dragons this year. “There we were, seven hundred people in a room. The capes and dragon onesies stayed on the first hour, but were then quickly taken off. It was way too hot.”

Der Tanzmaus

At last year’s national tournament for dancing students, Footloose won the prize for best team, which consisted of a lion plush toy. It had made the trip as well, together with mascot Tamsom. The association missed out on the prize for best team at this European tournament. “There were a lot more teams of course, so the chance of winning is automatically smaller.” The prize in question is Der Tanzmaus, a mouse plush toy introduced at the first tournament in 1990 and promptly crowned mascot.

Dance association Footloose

Footloose was founded in 1991. Various dance styles are practiced at the association, including ballroom, salsa, hip-hop, modern and ballet. Students train in groups based on their level, at least once a week (but often more frequently). The association also organizes dance-related events, such as dance nights and weekends. Such occasions also involve dancing to club song Footloose, made famous by the movie of the same name. This is done to a choreography that one of the founding members came up with in his student room of twelve square meters almost 35 years ago, and that has roughly stayed the same ever since. The association will soon give a showcase at Theater de Schalm, with all of the association’s dance groups participating.

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