Interview: Miranda van den Broek

Every few weeks we interview someone from EDS. This time we have our Ballroom and Latin teacher Miranda van den Broek. Miranda has been a part of EDS since the first year and she never left. As a third child out of a family with four kids she grew up in Maaskantje, which now is known for the tv show New Kids. She studied both Japankunde (at the EUR) and Communication-science (at the UvA) and she also was a fanatic rower at Skadi for 5 years.

Because Miranda has been at EDS for such a long time – in the 2nd and 3rd year she was also a board member – the interview started with the question how it was in the early days!

EDS started with a try-out lesson Mambo (the predecessor of Salsa) and around 200 people showed up! When the lessons themselves started Miranda immediately joined the Advanced Ballroom & Latin group which consisted of three couples. This also became the EDS-formationteam. In the second year of EDS she organized the first student competition of the Netherlands as a board member: the open Rotterdam championships. In the third year she took over the lessons and she has been our very experienced teacher ever since!

EDS started with Ballroom & Latin, Rock & Roll and HipHop. In the second year there was also a new course called New Dances which had the Lambada among others. After a few years all styles except for Ballroom & Latin disappeared (because of the restrictions of the room) and 4 years ago salsa was introduced.

How do you still endure students?

To be honest I come for the dancing, because I love being busy with dancing and to transfer my passion onto others. And also to see that a lot of students are excited about dancing. I was a student myself of course when I joined and I just stayed, because teaching dance lessons ánd EDS are both things I hold close to my heart.

The continuous coming and going of boards is the thing I find difficult nowadays, because every year they have to invent the wheel all over again. There is always some information that has not been passed on from one board to the next. That is not typical a student thing; more a thing of the present time.

What is your favourite dance?

I don’t actually have a favourite dance! When I hear music, and there is a certain dance that belongs to it, then that particular dance is my favourite dance at that moment be it Salsa, Lindy Hop or Argentinian Tango. If I really would have to choose it would be the Slow Waltz for Ballroom and the Rumba for Latin. You can put more of your own feeling in it because you have enough time. At the Slow Waltz you’re floating and the Rumba is really cosy.

What is the best and worst thing about teaching for you?

To see people grow, being enthusiastic, catching on to it. That is really nice for me. In the lessons I try to carry out that if you understand the locomotion and you understand the certain logic you can learn anything. It´s not about steps and figures. In my opinion you can also learn Salsa more easily after my lessons.

What I find difficult is the difference in ambition within classes. Some members are there for competitions and others just want to learn the steps for themselves. The balance is sometimes hard to find.

What is the biggest difference between EDS in the first year and EDS now?

EDS still exists of course, but there have been moments where people considered to end the association and I made sure EDS could continue.

A positive similarity is that there are still people excited for dancing and that they keep coming, just the fact that we still exist; 26 years, that is amazing right!?

One of the differences is that the majority of our classes now belong to Salsa. I like that of course (I also love Salsa), but it’s too bad that Ballroom & Latin (with 10 different styles) is more difficult to promote.

A difference that I don’t like so much is the closeness of our current room. You really have to look for us specifically in the building. There is no way to just watch quietly without disrupting the lesson, you don’t see each others lessons anymore.

For Ballroom & Latin in particular I notice that the competition dancing has changed the social aspect of dancing. In the higher levels it is all about training right now. During dance evenings you can see that there is less integration between the higher and lower levels.

Where do you see EDS in 10 years?

That is a difficult question in my opinion when I just think of Ballroom & Latin. Salsa almost promotes itself but for our style this is much more difficult. Certainly because there are less and less social occasions where you can dance socially. Our rooms aren’t ideal, so I would like to change that. I hope EDS stays a healthy association and that the dance evenings/activities are nice and well attended with all levels and all styles ánd with some drinks/food!

Who do you nominate for the next interview?

Sebastiaan Kamphuis. He is one of the ‘older’ members of EDS; he attended classes for 6(?) years and he has been my assistant for 4 years now. He had already danced somewhere else before in Almelo I think. Maybe this is his 10 year anniversary at EDS?