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Fake it till you make it

Fake it till you make it

Photographer:Fotograaf: Joey Roberts

The seven sins of Latin dancer Zef Orbons
  • Greed. To be quite clear: Latin dance is not ballroom dancing [just so that we know what we are talking about, Zef Orbons laughs. He dances the rumba, samba, jive, cha-cha and paso doble]. I have always wanted to look beautiful and I love stylishness. So, if you were to explain greed in terms of clothing, as more beautiful than beautiful, then I would say yes. Fortunately, I have a sponsor, Rumoer, who also does the styling for the television programme Dance Dance Dance. A shirt and trousers easily costs 200 euro a piece. The shoes are 150 euro; I have to pay for them myself. Add to that the private lessons and train tickets, because I regularly train with my dancing partner in The Hague. Yes, dancing costs a fortune. My parents have always helped me. In that respect I am spoiled. If you were to ask me what I would really like to have, I would say: an Aston Martin. I will never be able to earn that with dancing, I'm not a professional football player. There is a reason why I chose to study as well.
  • Gluttony. I don't eat a lot of fast food, but I do love a Big Mac every once in a while. You should see the closest McDonalds after a competition; it will be filled with dancers. Everyone in make-up, nobody would dare to show themselves in a fancy restaurant. I used to be much bigger, now I weigh seventy kilos and I'm fine with that. I'm a healthy eater, eat a lot of carbohydrates. Anyone who thinks that dancing is not a top-class sport, I would like to invite onto the dance floor. You use all your muscles. I drink a beer every now and then, but not on the day before a competition. I have never used uppers. Where doping is concerned, the dancing scene is very strict, they always test for doping at larger competitions. I was on the reserve list for a test during the last DC; I wasn't called up in the end.
  • Lust. Latin dancers are close with their dancing partners, so it regularly happens that something beautiful comes from that partnership. It happened to me too. Eventually, the girl left the dancing world and we broke up. I have been with Larissa for two years now, she is also a professional dancer, but not my dancing partner. She is very beautiful and studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam. I have no fears that she will start something with her partner. He is into men, lucky me [smiling]. Dancers are often not prudish. There is only one dressing room for men and women together. I used to play the field a bit. I didn't take the time for a real relationship; I was too busy with school and training.
  • Envy. I can be a little envious, but I don't always show it. I trust Larissa, but if she starts getting too close to someone, then I get the jitters. My great example is the Italian Nino Langella. He has won three world championship titles. I envy his flexibility and technique. When he dances, it seems like it takes him no effort at all. Whether dancers are generally envious? Certainly, although that becomes less in the higher classes. There is more respect for each other. Not that someone would trip up another person on purpose, but some just take over the dance floor, while it is also possible to go around others.
  • Sloth. I am not always in the mood to study or do chores. But when I train, I give it the full 100 per cent, whatever the genre. I am not so keen on improvisation, I am an economist, right, and I like numbers and certainty.
  • Wrath. I can't stand lying and underhandedness. An ex-dancing partner often had excuses why she couldn't train – headache, her feet hurt – to then go meet up with her boyfriend. That doesn’t go down well with me. Be honest, don't keep me hanging. I am never furious, but if I don't like the results of a jury, then you need to leave me in peace for a while. I am mainly angry with myself, because I wanted to achieve something and I didn't succeed.
  • Pride. I am very competitive, I dance to win. I try to sell myself as well as possible. Fake it till you make it is the motto in the dancing world and I go along with that: layers of make-up on my face, a black line under my eyes. I don't really like doing that, but you can't get away with a pale face in the spotlights.

Zef Orbons, 22, third-year student of Econometrics & Operations Research, born in Maastricht, lives in Maastricht

Trains about 12 hours each week and dances at Clara Lamar's school of dancing in Sittard, and in The Hague, where he is trained by the coach of his dancing partner, Claudia van der Helm. He iss training for the Dutch Championship in 2018

Best performances to date: 3 times winner DC (debutants 4, C and A) and 5th place at the DC in the highest class.

This is a series about students who sport at the highest level



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