How dancesport fared in its Palarong Pambansa 2017 debut

CONFIDENT. Representatives from Region VI, Heather Angelique Parangan and Mark Leo Layson, compete in the Junior Latin American Category. Photo by Andrea Pefianco/Rappler

CONFIDENT. Representatives from Region VI, Heather Angelique Parangan and Mark Leo Layson, compete in the Junior Latin American Category.

Photo by Andrea Pefianco/Rappler

ANTIQUE, Philippines – Ana Dulce Yango of the Dancesport Council of the Philippines has been trying to get dancesport to the Palarong Pambansa for three years now. In October 2016, she finally got the nod from the secretary general to include it as a demo sport in the 2017 games.

“I told myself I will not stop no matter how long it will take. I’m (not) going to refuse to be done,” Yango shared.

She added: "Gustong gusto ko po ito hindi lang po para sa akin kundi po para sa mga kabataang Pilipino. God is truly good to make things happen.”she added. (I want this not only for myself but also for Filipino youth.)

Along with dancesport, pencak silat and aerobic gymnastics were added as demo sports in Palarong Pambansa 2017. This, as former demo sports billiards, futsal, wrestling and wushu, were elevated as regular sports.

Dance as sport

Dancesport couples from 18 regions performed in the Latin American and Modern Standard disciplines divided into juvenile, junior and open categories at the Evelio B. Javier Stadium on Wednesday, April 26.

The dance floor heated with their footworks, facial expressions, routines and highlights as couples battled it out for the top spot.

Latin American-Juvenile competitors danced to Cha-Cha, Samba and Jive while the junior category included Rumba, Cha-cha and Jive.

Meanwhile, both modern standard juvenile and junior categories competed for Waltz, Tango and Quickstep.

In a tribute to the host province, an open category, exclusive only to Antique dancers was added in this year’s competition.

The couples had to contend in Category E individual dances and Category C which is composed of three dances collectively.

The elimination was comprised of the first round, a recall for the semi-finals and final round. Overall, all the couples had to dance about 12 throughout the entire competition.

NCR representatives Michael Jane and Mark Joseph Sanchez dominated the Latin Juvenile category winning gold in Samba, Cha-Cha, Jive and the three dances divisions while Central Visayas bets Jake Emmanuel Corro and Kim Jocson championed the Latin Junior.

In modern standard juvenile, Davao Region’s pride Kalel Clark Delute and Krashel Balanza dominated Standard Waltz, Tango, Quickstep and the three dances categories. While Region VII representatives Gyle Nino Diluvio and Yeddah Marie Castaneras dominated all the divisions under the Junior category.

Dancing for their dreams

Heather Parangran, 17, Western Visayas’ representative for Latin American-junior category has been joining local dancesport competitions since she was in grade school. Representing Region VI for dancesport in Palarog Pambansa is a dream come true for her.

“I’ve been dancing since I was 8 years old but I had to take a break for a while because dancesport competitions were pulled-out from our regional meet. I’m glad to be able to compete again and this time in the national arena,” Heather said.

SIBLINGS RULE. Mark Joseph Sanchez (L) and Michaela Jane Sanchez (R) dominate the dance floor as they perform their samba routine. Photo by Jonn Aaron Metierre/Rappler

SIBLINGS RULE. Mark Joseph Sanchez (L) and Michaela Jane Sanchez (R) dominate the dance floor as they perform their samba routine.

Photo by Jonn Aaron Metierre/Rappler

NCR siblings Michael Jane and Mark Joseph Sanchez, only started dancesport 2 years ago, but training at home day in, day out helped them prepare for this year’s Palaro Dancesport competition.

Mas maganda yung pair up kapag magkapatid kasi kahit sa bahay pwede ka magpractice at itama yung mga mali nyo sa routines,” Mark Joseph said. (It’s better if you pair up with your sibling because you can still rehearse at home and check out your routines.)

Dance forward

As the DepEd curriculum transitioned to add senior high school, Palarong Pambansa is mulling on adding a youth division to allow senior high school students to compete in a separate category. 

Heather and her partner Marc Layson landed on 5th place but are hopeful for comeback next year.

“Hopefully we could still compete and perform next year, ” Marc shared.

As DCPI Chairman for Sports Development and Training, Yango is positive that this year’s inclusion of dancesport in the Palarong Pambansa is just the beginning of institutionalizing dancesport as a main stay in the country’s biggest sports gathering.

“Let us not stop dreaming. Let’s not stop here because we always need to dare to dream a great dream. Everything starts with a dream and in chasing it we become a better version of ourselves. Being a champion should not end in the dance floor. It should continue in life,” she said. – Rappler.com