What is it like to be secretary of Arabesque in these times?
Boro: "Strange. Between September and December we were able to dance physically, but since the government intervened again at the end of 2020 we only dance online. What that looks like? Quite extraordinary actually. Everyone is at home in front of their computer screen and listening to the teacher. It is far from ideal. I also notice that not all members feel comfortable dancing in front of a laptop in their dorm.'
Boro is a master's student in Geo-Information Science. He and the board conducted a survey of members of Arabesque, where modern dance is practiced, in the fall of 2020 to gauge what they thought about online classes.
And what came out of that?
'The majority are not happy with online classes. This is mainly because the conditions in many student rooms are not good. I also hardly have room to move around in my room. Before the corona crisis, the teacher taught on three levels, but even that is no longer possible. The goal is for everyone to feel comfortable during class, but that is difficult. In many sports it is possible to still train outside, but that is not possible for us either. We always dance in front of big mirrors and you can't take them outside.'
Boro even fears for the future of the association, if the corona crisis doesn't stop sometime. 'At the moment we have 22 members. Because of the winter kick-in, some new students have signed up, but we haven't seen them during the online classes. In the last few weeks, some people have also dropped out,' says the student.
How do you still try to keep your spirits up?
All sorts of things are possible online. The atmosphere is not like normal, but with a movie night, for example, we keep in touch with each other. Before, we often had dinner together or had a game night. It's especially a shame because we have a cozy group. Students from all over the world are members. The ratio of men to women is not quite straight, but it doesn't have to be. We all hope that we can get together again soon. Also because then we can dance as a group again, instead of individually.'