Emma Donkers, member of 4 Happy Feet, MSO and Bellettrie
I am Emma Donkers and currently, I am busy with teaching math at high school for my minor. I study Advanced Mathematics. Last year I was the treasurer of Apollo. Now I am still member of three culture associations, namely 4 Happy Feet, MSO and Bellettrie. Next to these culture associations, I am also a member of BuitenWesten. As I have been the treasurer of Apollo I am now active in a lot of KasCo’s (Acquisition committee). I also have been quite active within my study association.
What can you tell me about your cultural background?
I grew up with music. My dad plays guitar, sings and plays in a band. I learned to play the recorded and after two year I was allowed to choose my own instrument. I first wanted to play the harp, but at the end that was a bit too expensive. I teacher of oboe didn’t have that much students at that time, so I started to learn the oboe instead.
I also danced ballet for a really long time, until I was 18 years old. When I came to the university there wasn’t an association for ballet yet, so I started ballroom dancing. Sometimes I join competitions. I also did salsa dancing for a year, but I didn’t like that as much as ballroom dancing. That has also to do with my partner; we are more a ballroom couple than a salsa couple.
Why did you join a cultural association?
I also wanted to do ballroom dancing, so when I came to the university I thought it was a nice opportunity to join 4 Happy Feet. In my first year I had a different partner, but he moved to another city to study something else. The first half year after that I really had trouble searching for the right partner, but then I met Martijn.
In my first year I also joined SHOT. I was a bit shy in my first year and SHOT was really about having drinks together. I didn’t have any experiences with orchestras and there were no other oboes in the orchestra, so I immediately became the first oboe. That wasn’t my place, so then I stopped playing the oboe for a year. I really missed it and that is why I joined an open rehearsal of MSO. I first thought I wouldn’t like a symphony orchestra, but it turns out I really like it.
What is your personal experience with dance/theatre/music/arts/games?
I really like the dance shows. When I did ballet we had a show every other year. Here at the university I think it is nice that you can bring people to your performance and to let them experience how fun culture is.
What moment would you never forget about a cultural event?
Last year I organized the dance show of Apollo. This was really intense to do, but at the end a lot of people came to watch the show. This show also was one of the last events that could go through because of the pandemic. I had never imagined that many people would come to see the show!
I will also never forget the shows I performed for ballet. When I was young the day of the show took really long, because I had to wait for a long period of time. When I became older the day of the show flew by; I danced a lot and it was really nice to chat with other people between the acts. And also for these shows quite a lot of people came to see me dancing.
Why did you become a board member of Apollo?
Being a board member was partially practical, because I still had to do one subject of my study. I didn’t want to waste a whole year for just one subject, so I decided to do a board year. It seemed like a lot of fun. I wasn’t really attracted by the study association, so I decided to become a board member of Apollo. I already knew a lot about culture, but I didn’t know you could do so much individually and that there were so many courses. I also learned that some cultural associations are bigger than I thought they would be.
What did you learn from culture/the cultural association?
Culture did teach me a lot of things. I think I would be a totally different person if I didn’t have culture around me.
One of the things I learned is that culture brings people together. We are all connected to each other, no matter political views and what you think of the world. This is something I noticed more and more when I was on the board of Apollo.
What would you tell first years about Apollo/culture?
Just try different things! Most of the time you don’t know if you will like it before you try. Now is the chance to do so. I think it will never be so cheap in the rest of your life than here at the university.
What do you think of culture at the University of Twente?
I think a lot of people have a big heart for culture, but I have the feeling that most of them are graduating or leaving the university. The newer people don’t take over their tasks immediately, so activism within cultural association is changing. I hope new people will for example join Apollo, but I don’t have the solution yet how to reach these students.
I am satisfied with the offers of the university of Twente. You can do a lot of things individually as well as in a group. And if you miss something, you can start a new association quite easily.
Do you still dream of something to achieve with culture?
I would like to do everything! I want to join Musilon, InSpe, Foton etc. But I don’t have that many time unfortunately.
I would also like to set up ensembles within MSO and to perform with these ensembles. I have always liked a band as well, but oboe is not really an instrument made to join a band.