In September 1993, a few students of the University of Twente felt disappointed that they couldn’t continue their dancing education from home on campus. Their legs simply ached for some dancing. They decided to host a dance night in classroom BB-3. They found out there were a lot of dance enthusiasts on campus, and a second dance night followed that October. After a few more social dance nights, hosting 20 people on average, a committee was brought to life with the purpose of forming a students dancing association.
28 maart 1994
On march 20th 1994, “Drienerlo(ooo)se Stijldansvereniging 4 happy feet” was acknowledged by the university of Twente. The six-headed board (Anke Kolkman, Bunna Koster, Marc Schrijver, Carlita van den Berg, Jan Hugo Prins en Roalt Zijlstra) would lead the association onwards. As an official cuture association, 4 happy feet now had access to the auditorium in the Vrijhof building for classes. Other Dutch student dancing associations were sought out to exchange ideas and cooperate.
During the orientation period of 1994, 4 happy feet presented itself as a campus association and attracted 50 new members. The focus shifted from social to competitive dancing. A licensed teacher is found in Marion Tuininga, who enthousiastically taught the two hours of group lesson each week.
Social dancing still happened on a biweekly basis at cafe Gerritsen. The first 4 happy feet tradition comes in the form of a christmass ball, hosted by 4 happy feets party committee.
1995 / 1996
In the second year since the associations birth, it grew to 100 members. This nearly doubled to groups size! Teaching would now be in 3 separate levels. Beginner classes would now be given by the more experienced dancers of the instruction committee. 4 happy feets first gala also takes place in this period.
Even though ballroom dancing is a couple sport, the whole dancing group grew close. With the motto “4 times 4 happy feet, 1 not so happy trainer and 10 teddy bears” 4 happy feet started its own showteam with the name TEDDY. All the post-training nights result in a sign on the wall of the Vestingbar.
4 happy feets member number levels out, yet the amount of activities grows. 4 happy feet grows closer and closer. The dancing season is closed with a teammatch competition, in which 5 teams of dancers compete for the titles of best and most original team. There are now 4 levels within 4 happy feet.
1997 / 1998
During the orientation week, 4 happy feets size grows to record size; 124 members. In four short years, 4 happy feet has grown to be the largest culture association on campus. Sadly, instructor Marion Tuininga moved to England this year and a replacement teacher would have to be found. An enthusiastic replacement was found in Yvonne Schrijver from Almelo.
This year, 4 happy feet participates in the Batavierenrace for the first time. The second 4 happy feet gala and the first Open National Students-ballroomcompetition also take place this year.
1998 / 1999: the first Lustrum
By the first lustrum, there are 7 groups receiving dancing classes. To celebrate the lustrum, a week of partying takes place, which starts with a rock n’ roll workshop and ends with a competition and gala. Members can earn a 4 happy feet dance diploma at the end of the year and the summer holidays start of with a camping trip.
1999 - 2004
Even though the first generation of dancers are leaving 4 happy feet, the association remains the largest culture association on campus. Competitions are regular occurrences on the 4 happy feet calendar, and lessons get breaks built in. During the breaks, members get the chance to recover and socialize. 4 happy feet gets a laptop instead of using CDs during this period.
2004 / 2005: Het tweede lustrum!
The 10th anniversary of 4 happy feet is celebrated with an Argentine Tango workshop and a Mafia themed gala. The TeamMatch competition is reintroduced and all members get a lustrum gift.
Sadly, Yvonne Schrijver is moved away during this year, spelling the end to 6 years of enthusiastic teaching. Luckily, Gert Rickhoff is introduced as the new teacher on January 18th 2005. Gert is still the main teacher of 4 happy feet today.
To make the year even better, 4 happy feet got the European Tournament for Dancing Students to take place in Enschede this year. Over 300 dancers from The Netherlands, Germany and England had a great time from may 13th – 16th. Sadly, 4 happy feet was unable to win and keep der Tanzmaus in Twente this year.