Words by Marielle Balmores
Photos by Joshua Go
“Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.” Erol Ozan
In the Philippines, one art form has consistently brought people together and it has grown so much stronger these past years: dance. The dance community in the country remains to be very active by having different dance crews in and outside of schools, holding competitions and concerts to showcase their skills, and opening up dance workshops especially for the summer where the youth can be productive and train.
Last June 10, Groove Central Dance Studio held “Groove Nation 13: GC 13oulevard,” its first summer recital at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. It consisted of various classes mostly showcasing different styles of street dance, though there were also classical classes such as baby ballet and contemporary.
Every year, it is always amazing to see how the different coaches get creative and what they come up with through their song choices and dance combinations that make you go “ayeeee!” As for the dancers, they always have their flavor to make them memorable, whether they show their “angas,” flirty, or laid-back side. Recently, I always had this urge in me to know their stories. Like why they do what they love? So I, and a few friends managed to get a few performers to tell us their journeys in dancing. Already, one similarity they already share is that the majority of them started in their adolescent years.
How is dance special to you?
Dancing is special to me as it is an escape from the harsh realities of the world. I am able to freely express any feeling that I have, and use it to create something new and beautiful — an art piece. – Caitlin, 16
Dancing is a passion of mine which gives me something to look forward to after a long stressful day of school or a week filled with tests and projects. It provided me with values and helped build my character in ways I did not see coming. – Martin, 16
Dancing is special to me because it’s really my passion and it gives me something to look forward to and showcase my talents. – JK, 15
It’s a passion and I enjoy it as a sport, as a hobby and as art! – Dominic, 15
Dance is special to me as it is a temporary escape from reality. Other than that, it gives me a special feeling especially when I’m able to perform certain dances at ease after much learning. Even the learning progress excites me & I enjoy dance even more from there. – Male, early 20’s
What challenges do you face?
I get worried that I am not doing the move as precise as my teammate, or I am not hitting the beats as hard as the person beside me, or that my pickup is slower than the more experienced dancer in front of me. – Caitlin, 16
I face many challenges such as very hassle schedules, trying to get rest and balancing dance with school. – Martin, 16
Some challenges I face is balancing my time between trainings or anything dance related and my studies and family time. – JK, 15
It’s a challenge to commit as much as I have to and it’s also a challenge to balance it with my academics and other hobbies. – Dominic, 15
Time, money, commitment, & the feeling of not being enough. These are somewhat self-explanatory. The older I get, the harder it is to commit as I face more challenges that suddenly happen in my life but I find ways to overcome those. As a mentor of mine told me, “lahat ng mga bagay ay pwede magawan ng paraan. – Male, early 20’s
How do you contribute to the Philippine dance community?
I contribute to the Philippine dance community by speaking out against injustices that arise. I will keep fighting for dance alongside my fellow dancers and how it should not be constrained by anyone. – Caitlin, 16
I contribute by continuing to motivate others to dance whether it be through word of mouth or by showcasing my talents to inspire others. – Martin, 16
I contribute by giving my all and going the extra mile for the people I dance with. – Dominic, 15
Just by simply being a part of a group whether it is a crew or class and consistently attending trainings are already main contributions. What we learn by being in groups and trainings can be applied outside and can even serve as impacts to others in many ways. – Male, early 20s
What mantra do you follow as a dancer?
My mantra/constant thought would be to keep learning and never settle with what I already know, because learning is the only way to grow. – Caitlin, 16
Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work. – Martin, 16
My mantra is to never stop working hard and always go beyond your limits. – JK, 15
Laban lang. – Dominic, 15
Dance is a community, not a competition. We must support and empower one another in order for our culture to flourish much further. – Male, early 20s
I always loved the good and motivational vibes that our dance community here gives off. For one, when I am a part of the audience, it gives me joy to see my friends hitting those moves perfectly and channeling the needed characters for their pieces. Then as a dancer myself, performing to the people who matter the most, showing your improvements is always rewarding.
Thank you to the respondents who took part here! Keep working hard on your passions.
Are you a dancer, or usually part of the audience? Share your thoughts with us!