We are where we are because of the people that inspired us, the places that moved us and the experiences that challenged us. Which is why I wanted to look back on how I started dancing. I want to remember how I slowly fell in love with this craft.
It was the last day of our high school freshmen year and my friends wanted to go out and watch a movie. My classmates decided to watch Step Up 2: The Streets. I didn’t know anything about that movie but after seeing the film, I wanted nothing but to be able to do what the dancers in the movie just did. I was so inspired to be like them.
So, my best friend and I took summer hip hop classes at ACTS.
FORCE: ACTS Summer Dance Recital 4. My first hip hop dance recital. It was amazing. I probably had the worst time coordinating my body with all the foreign movements I was taught but I enjoyed every single class. I enjoyed being with people who were so eager to learn as I was. After that, I never wanted to stop learning.
I enrolled again in the next summer and the summer after that. Got the chance to be part of REVIVE: ACTS Summer Dance Recital 5 and GRAVITY: ACTS Summer Dance Recital 6.
After that, I decided to audition in our high school dance club. I was unsure if I could do it. The club’s forte was jazz and I am no where in shape to do jazz nor did I have the flexibility for it.
For whatever it is that Mama Del (club’s moderator and my second mother) saw in me, I am eternally grateful. Because of her, my dance vocabulary broadened. I came to appreciate contemporary, jazz and ballet. My love for this field grew to an extent I can’t even explain. I was so hungry to learn more and do more. I really owe much of my training to her and this club.
As I entered college, I found a family worth my whole stay in the university. Auditioning for CASA Footworks was one of the best decisions I made. My team for four years took me to the most unforgettable ride of my dancing career. We grew together as dancers and as individuals. Our coach and dedicated mentor, Coach Rocky Bagalacsa took us to greater heights we never imagined we’d reach. We had 3 consecutive championships for CASA, female stunner awards, 2014 People’s Choice Award , 2015 Best Theme to brag during my time with the crew. Sacrifices were made before these dreams became a reality. I’m hella proud of this fam.
Leaving the team was the hardest part about graduating. But before signing-off, we had one last hurrah as seniors. CASA collaborated with Team Elite, forming Rockafellaz for Brewing Point’s Summer Dance Workshop. It was an emotional last megacrew routine for me but I’m happy I got to spend it with them.
Then, my parents were all about working right after college. Since I’m not so decided on a career path, I had this part-time job that my mom insisted I take. I was in the brink of losing my mind because I wasn’t training.
Luckily, I got an offer to teach San Beda’s Legal Managment team for San Beda’s annual Integration Dance Competition. It was my first time to coach and I was so excited.
Not all of the kids I handled were dancers which was a huge challenge on our part (I had two other coaches with me) but they were all so willing to learn. They were fighters. Because of their enthusiasm and commitment, the team won 1st Runner-Up! The feeling was so unreal! Watching them scream for joy and jump in excitement was such a heartwarming view. The best part was seeing them improve from day 1 ’till compet day.
After my first coaching stint, I had my first full-time job. I had to adjust to the conditions of my work. But after getting the hang of it, I knew I had to dance again.
Recently, I was part of ACTS Summer Dance Recital 12. After 6 years, I was back to where I started dancing and it feels so good. Seeing my first ever coaches still doing what they love to do inspired me that there’s no end to this passion.
Right now, I’m trying to balance dance and work. I am taking classes at ACTS again whenever my schedule permits. I know I don’t have the same conditioning back when I used to train with CASA but I’m willing to work harder.
To the people who keep on questioning why I bother to dance when I should be focusing on working full-time, please know that I’m not going to stop anytime soon. In fact, I am motivated more than ever to keep on fighting.
Those events served as my reminder that great things are possible if we want them to happen. Those people are my constant drivers to keep on moving forward.
It’s not about what you got, it’s what you make of what you got.