For months, I’ve been dying to post this vid but I can’t find a good reason to turn it into a blog entry. Finally, I managed to find an opportunity. That’s because this entry is going to be all about dancing. 🙂
If you didn’t know it yet, I dance. It is a passion I have since I was a kid. I danced while I was struggling with my strenuous high school curriculum in Pisay. I danced while completing my baccalaureate degree in Los Baños. And even now while I’m learning the ropes in the corporate world, I still dance. Heck, a handful of my friends ONLY know me as “that guy who dances”. They don’t even know I have a day job.
So anyway, the vid above was my then group’s (Excess Baggage) performance at SM Marikina. It was a kick-off event of the Dance Avenue Studio and we were invited to perform as guests. The vid was my #1 favorite performance vid. Until last weekend. *sniggers*
Here’s the story of how that top favorite performance vid of mine became a second:
Me and ten of my friends (who are also working, but in different companies/industries) joined Slimmers World STEP UP Philippines 2011 as COURT 8. And it was the first time we entered a hiphop competition after we graduated. Being from the working class, we had difficulties in completing the routine because (a) we have different work schedules, thus, it was hard to find a common time to train; and (b) sometimes office emergencies mess up our training schedule, but being our means of living it should be the top priority.
The 2011 typhoon extravaganza was no help either, esp. as some of us were stranded by the floods and some got ill because of the weather.
Anyway, with our persistence, and with the help of our choreographer friends, we were able to sew together a “compete set” and we actually finished everything (including blockings, transitions, etc.) on the [READ] eve of the competition. We were all glad because we managed to complete the set. I was also confident and happy with the routine because everyone in the team was so into it. I was sure that we will deliver the performance with raging passion.
HOWEVER, in the morning of the competition day, I learned a couple of horrifying facts about the event, so horrifying that I lost my drive to compete that day. I just wanted to go home, I was upset like that. Anyway, the horrifying facts are these:
1. UP Manila Indayog (one of our co-competitors, and one of the mainstream competing teams in the Philippine hiphop realm) just became a big threat. Honestly, we initially thought of them as a lesser competitor since they will be sending Team B (normally in dance crews, Team B’s are skill-wise only second to Team A, the cream of the crops). However, I confirmed with my UPM Indayog friend that only the Team A girls will be excluded as they will be competing in the Lactacyd ConfiDance Hiphop Challenge on that same day.
2. During the tech run, I saw that most of the competitors are the ones that I fondly call “Ben Tambling” crews. Okay, it sounds bitter but what I meant to say is that these crews’ strengths involve death-defying stunts and gymnastic showdowns, something my crew is not really so much into. Heck, I can’t even do a handstand to save my life. But with all honesty, I find these Ben Tambling crews really good, BUT IMHO (modesty aside), we are really good as well. It’s just that we have different genres, different styles & technique, different markets. Unfortunate for us, an average Pinoy is more likely to get exhilarated by a series of backflips than a visually-inducing tut. And that’s what kept bugging me that day.
3. One of my co-dancers in Excess Baggage is competing. This is a little alarming because she’s an amazing dancer. I remember not wanting to be blocked beside her in our past performances because once she starts moving I would look like a log. So anyway, her presence is just the tip of the iceberg because I learned from her via SMS that she’s dancing with the Arda siblings, Claret boys, Vicente brothers, blah blah blah. These are prominent names in mainstream hiphop, forerunners at the least. Actually, I was had when I read “Arda siblings”. Arda siblings! I mean, come on! Are you freaking kidding me? Little Arda can just bend a wrist and then win the competition. And Big Arda? Say oy to World Hiphop 2011 6th placer.
Yeah, my insecurity skyrocketed to the high heavens at an amazing rate. If you saw me that day you’d think I had just lost a pet. While my team mates were fixing their costumes and make-up, I just laid on the floor mulling over what movie I should watch next weekend. I had zero energy and I sensed that my teammates’ morale were also sinking. I cared less.
I could’ve been in that state for the rest of the day, but one of my teammates nudged me and said, “Hey, keep yourself together, we need you NOW.” And another one said, “Stop thinking about the competition, and start thinking about how we could nail our performance onstage.”
That’s exactly when I realized, hey, what am I doing? These guys may win, yes. But I won’t let them win easily, alright. And besides, our college coach and friends are watching and supporting us. I can’t let them down. We have to make them proud. We have to give everyone a good show.
And that’s what we exactly did.
Right after the hosts opened the show, I gathered my teammates in the parking lot. We fixed our blockings, had a couple of runs, and then we prayed. I also asked for forgiveness from them for acting the way I did earlier. I mean, I am just human right? I didn’t realize that the competition will be this big. And besides, I never expected I’ll be competing against the dancers that I idolize. Any person will feel insecure when pitted vis-a-vis against the exact people he looks up to, correct?
I also thanked my teammates for giving me strength and for being my inspiration to get out of that “last-minute darkness”. We were so pumped up, we were very eager to set our foot on that stage and just perform. And when our crew was called to perform, man, we burned the dancefloor! 🙂
Commercial break: While we were praying, something, uhm, funny happened. I cried. Geez. It was when one of my teammates said, “Lord, I thank you for giving us the opportunity to dance together. I never thought I’d be able to dance with these guys AGAIN.” Background: Some of my teammates are part of a college rival crew. We used to be part of one big crew (a one happy family at that) but we had a massive fight in the campus, thus the fork on the road. Years later, the wounds have healed and we’re okay, that’s why I invited them to compete with us, just like the good ole days. So yeap, God is really good for letting us dance together again. Oh no, not dance Together Again. (nyoork)
So anyways, here’s the vid of my now TOP Favorite Performance. Hope you’ll watch it and enjoy. 🙂
And to my teammates:
Jude Eco, Charm Cayetano, Edcel Cabilan, Shalu Morales, Xan Yee, Ging Baybay, Tope Peregrino, Ida Rempis, Emil Almodovar, Joie Gabriel
Thank you for sharing the dance floor with me. Thanks for all the efforts, hardwork, all the jokes, and all the fun. And most of all, THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME A BETTER DANCER and PERFORMER. Hope to dance with you again. (Verve 3!)
Congratulations to FMD Extreme, A Team (the Ardas’ crew), and Illusion Puppets for winning the top 3 spots. Please continue to inspire. Till next battle. Cheers!
EDIT (10/12/11) – I realized I just crossed out two entries in my laundry list. Noice!