Tamara Fikke (23, MSc in Biotechnology) is getting ready for her first ballroom dancing competition. ‘With those lovely long dresses and the graceful dancing, I feel just like a princess at the ball.’
Tamara has been doing Ballroom and Latin dancing for six years, but only started dancing with the Wageningen Ballroom Dancing Association (WuBDA) this year. ‘In March we are going to Rotterdam for a weekend, to a competition for all the student ballroom dancing associations in the country.’ This will be Tamara’s first time: ‘I don’t have high expectations, except that it will be fun.’
Tamara explains that you usually have to do three dances per competition category. There are several rounds of one to two minutes. ‘Then the music starts playing and you decide for yourself when you start.’ She and her dancing partner are working on extra technique practice. ‘How do you come on to the dance floor, how do you go off? That sort of thing. And you have to make sure the jury notices you. Present yourself. So, dance near the jury and get noticed by starting in an empty space and of course, making a nice bow at the end.’
Tamara has never fallen while dancing. ‘Luckily my partners always catch me in time. But if the floor is slippery, it can happen that suddenly someone is lying on the floor. Tamara bursts out laughing. ‘It is quite a dangerous sport, actually, now I come to think about it.’ And she cheerfully recounts stories of not just falls but also numerous ankle injuries, heels landing on your toes, and even shoes flying across the dance floor.
Dancing helps Tamara deal with stress. She is working on her thesis and can now take a short break in Radix. ‘I am doing two specializations, because I couldn’t choose.’ That means taking an extra year over her Master’s, but that is not a problem for her. ‘The only think I don’t like so much is that I’ll have to do a second thesis once this one is finished.’ But even that will be perfectly alright, says cheerful Tamara. ‘Luckily, there is a holiday in between.