In case you’re new to this blog, here’s a fun little fact about me: I’m a dancer. Well, I used to be! I spent more than 10 years of my life performing on stage, and loving every minute of it. In fact, even just choosing photos for this post already made my heart thump faster and miss it so much! So I’m warning you ahead, expect a lot of photos in this post, and run away now if you can’t bear dancer-talk! But in case you’d like to join me in my trip down memory lane, you’ll not only see part of the life I had before this blog, but also learn a few tips about how I stay fit and keep healthy (something a lot have been requesting for!) Hope you like this post!
The first legitimate dance training I had was when I was 12 years old. I danced ballet under Fe Sala Villarica, in the best ballet school in Cebu at that time. Being a dancer is no joke because it requires a whole lot of discipline, so I was lucky to be given that training at such a young age. You not only have to discipline your body, but you have to learn how to manage your time between school, dance and play, watch the food you take (although I never learned this part!), come to dance class on time and ready, learn a million dance steps in minutes and perform it with accuracy and precision- etc! I can’t possibly enumerate everything so you’ll just have to trust me!
When I was in college, I ventured more into contemporary dancing, which I realized I enjoyed even more. Dance became more than just a hobby, it became a lifestyle (including the very embarrassing fashion faux pas moment of my life when I considered wearing leg warmers and high socks with everything! *cringe*). I started as a member of the Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADs) and eventually became the Jazz Head on my senior year. My team and I would train every MWF for two hours on regular seasons, and everyday for 5 hours on competition and concert seasons. The thing was, every season was competition/concert season for me, so that meant I spent every 4:30PM-9:30PM and some mornings in the studio rehearsing and training. It’s a wonder I did well in school with a schedule like that! #PerksOfBeingANerd
Dance is such a powerful medium of communication. It’s not just movement, but a message and an expression. It’s saying so much without saying anything at all, and being able to move a theater filled with people and bring them to laughter, tears and wonder. #cheesy #truth On a less cheesy note, notice the leotard I’m wearing in the photo above? Its the same one I’m wearing as a fashionable top here!
One of my favorite concerts was called “Denoument” back in 2009, directed by my good friend Gio Gahol (the guy carrying me in one of the photos above), who I dance with again in the music video Gabi ng Sayawan, to be released in a few hours! I performed a total of seven dances during that concert, and after our last set, everyone was so overwhelmed with emotion that the audience was speechless (in tears, in wonder and in i have no clue what else)! I was so happy that night (although my messy hair and make up dont show it!) That’s my amazing boyfriend, Mike, ever present and ever supportive of all my endeavors, and my talented sister, Jack, who took some of the awesome photos in this post and most of the photos in this entire blog!
I also learned how to put on make up because I had to as a performer. The first few times I really sucked, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t get it right the first time. Just keep experimenting until you find a technique that suits you, then play with it from there. I used to hate wearing make-up because I thought it only made me look bad and clown-ish. I only learned to love it late in 2008, thats 8 years after I started learning how to put it on!
With CADs, I was able to explore various dance styles, come up with dances of my own and most importantly, discover myself and others around me beyond words and beyond paper, with nothing but music and movement. CADs became my second home. The members were like family to me, especially since I was living alone in Manila at that time.
P.S. The photo right above this was used by Ateneo in their college manual for incoming students! I feel sorry for my friend Kat who was not only caught mid-speech, but also caught mid-make up! Good thing she’s still gorgeous no matter what! The photo was taken by Aaron Vicencio, who also took a lot of the nice photos in this post!
Before every performance, we all gather our hands together just to feel everyone’s energy and get the mood going. It’s such a great tradition. You can see all the game on faces in the photo! Can you spot me in there? I’m in every single one of the pictures in this post, so if you know who I am in each photo, I applaud you! lol
Above are photos of a dance that I choreographed. We performed to Incubus’ the Warmth, a song I knew I had to perform from the onset. It was 2006 when I told Mike I wasn’t going to leave college without making that dream into a reality, and in 2010, I finally did it!
It was really easy for me to stay healthy and fit during these years because I had an insane training regimen, and I was always on the go. This time though, I’m not dancing anymore so I try to find time to squeeze in work out sessions between work. I usually do Pilates in the mornings 3x a week, run when I feel like it, and do strength conditioning (which is a total pain) 2x a week (and planning to join a contemporary class once a week, just because I miss dancing so much). I’m usually too busy to follow this schedule, but it’s working so far in keeping me fit. Normal people would need much less to go through, but I assume that because I’ve always been active, my body kind of looks for the intensity, and if I don’t get enough of it, I feel like I’m slacking off! My system won’t work for everyone, so it’s best to find a good mix of cardio and conditioning that you are comfortable with!
The reason why I’m blabbing on and on about my “past life” is because… the Gabi ng Sayawan music video that I starred in is supposed to be out by today, and I am soooo excited to see it! (Also known as: Hoping I’m not a total flop and trying to redeem myself in highlights of my dancing years!) Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did! Can’t wait to share the music video with you! Wait for it!