Martijn Heutinck, chairman of Apollo and member of 4 happy feet
I am Martijn Heutinck and I am the chairman of Apollo. This year I am not studying, but I came to Enschede to study Advanced Mathematics. Last year I also did ECB (Educatie en Communicatie in de Bètawetenschappen), so I am a teacher now as well. Next to Apollo, I am part of 4 happy feet and Bellettrie. I have been an active member of the study association Abacus. I was the chairman of the symposium committee and I have been the treasurer of the study trip for two years.
What can you tell me about your cultural background?
I really like this story. Before I came to the university I really hated dancing. At high school, we always had some gym classes where we had to dance. It was the most terrible class I had. In the first year of my study of Advanced Mathematics, I told some people that I would never dance again unless a girl asked me to be her partner at ballroom dancing. Well, as you already can guess, this happened in the second year of my study. From that moment I loved it so much that I also joined competitions. At a certain moment, I danced for four to five hours per week.
To come back to your question, I don’t really have a cultural background. I taught myself to play the piano. I am not particularly good at it, but I can play “Nuvole Bianche” by Einaudi. I don’t really play a lot nowadays. At high school I was a sporty guy. I did judo at a high level, but I quitted that. At home, we sometimes visited museums, but that was all I think. My sister was a ballet dancer and every family member plays an instrument.
What moment would you never forget about a cultural event?
Hard question… I guess I have two particular moments. The first one is the Apollo dance show 2019. It was so crowded that people even didn’t have a seat anymore. I danced along at the show. I was not really nervous, but we couldn’t see the public. At first I didn’t know that many people came. When I walked into the room to start my dance, I saw so many people. That was just fantastic.
The second moment is the ETDS (European Tournament for Dancing Students) 2019 in Brno, Czech Republic. I won the first prize in the Profis with my dancing partner Maaike. I only danced for two to three years then, so it was a really high level. The prices we won were for ballroom dancing. We also joined Latin dancing at that competition.
What did you learn from culture?
I don’t think you would believe me if I said nothing after my hate for dance. I have to think of something I would say about the feeling of music and rhythm. It did cost me a year, but after that I could count on music and I could dance on the rhythm. I didn’t imagine that before starting dancing.
I also visited more performances of other associations. I really opened my eyes. I became more open towards culture. This doesn’t mean that I always want to join, but just watching really satisfies me.
Why did you become a board member of Apollo and what is your experience so far?
I always doubted doing a board year. I didn’t think about Apollo then, but I wanted to do a board year at my study association. However, I thought my education was more important than a board year so I never took the chance to join the board. When corona started I didn’t like studying anymore and I also failed one class that I had to do again this study year. I already got an offer for a graduation topic, but I really wanted to do a board year. So this was the time to do it before I graduated. I felt I was a bit too old to join the board of my study association and I wasn’t that active anymore. Then I came in touch with the board of Apollo. I think it is nice that I see a lot of different things about culture. It is quite a strange year, because mostly we cancel performances. I am in good touch with all the associations, but most of it is corona related. I hope more will be possible in the second half year. However, I am really proud of what we have achieved. I am really happy, for example, that the winterfair went so well.
What would you tell first years about Apollo/culture?
I would say: just try it out! The open classes/rehearsals are there with reasons. Get a feeling of the atmosphere, try new things to see if you like it. I can tell everyone that it is really fun, but I can’t give someone the feeling. I think you can give your opinion about culture after you have tried it by yourself.
What do you think of the culture at the University of Twente?
I think culture is really great here at the university. However, there is always room for improvements. I don’t really miss something, but maybe an association for chess would be fun.
Personally I would like to have piano lessons. I taught it myself, but the technique of playing the piano is quite hard. If the university would offer individual lessons for music instruments I would definitely be a member.
Do you still dream of something else to achieve?
In the future I would like a job as a teacher, but I would also like to work in a company. I hope I can combine this. Personally I hope I can keep doing ballroom dancing together with Emma, but not on a competitive level. I still want to join the NTDS, but then just for fun.