Name: Olivier Flinterman

Age: 24

Study: bachelor Business Economics and Fiscal

Economics, fifth year

President of: Erasmus Dance Society (EDS),

The student dance association in Rotterdam.

Chair since: August 2015

Motto: ‘Spreading the sense of family in EDS’


How did you find the EDS?

“After returning from an exchange programme in Uruguay, over two years ago. I immediately registered for a salsa course.”

Had you danced before?

“Yes, I’ve always loved dancing. At secondary school, I’d be the one on the dance floor at parties. But I’d never done a course.”

And now you already chair the group. Why?

“The treasurer and I applied last year because we wanted to spread the association’s sense of family and because we wanted to do it better than the last committee.”

In what way? Didn’t they do a good job?

Yes they did, but mainly behind the scenes. We wanted to be more prominent, raise the profile of the association by creating a good website, strengthen the bonds with Erasmus Sport and flashmobs on campus, although that was something the last committee did too.”

And does everyone know about EDS now?

Familiarity is still growing.”

What’s it like to chair EDS?

“Every association has its easy and difficult parts. The great thing about EDS is that everyone is a member because they enjoy it. People come to us with a good feeling. The difficult part is connecting all the different styles. And that’s the task of the committee.”

So what do you do?

“We organize competitions, dance evenings, barbecues, activities for everyone whether they do salsa, kizomba or ballroom dancing.”

What kind of president are you?

“I’m very accessible. You can approach me at any time. That’s something I’ve had to get used to, mind you. The fact that you can be called at 10.00 p.m. on a Saturday evening to organise something. I don’t like being in the foreground; I prefer a supporting role. But I think something can be done better, I’ll say so.”

Do you have any less favourable characteristics?

Sometimes I’m too direct. Not everyone likes that. And I still find it difficult to compliment someone who’s put less effort into something than I have.”

Do you enjoy being a leader?

“Yes I do, because I don’t like indecision.”

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned as president?

“That good communication is essential and that it’s impossible to give a hundred percent on ten fronts.”