Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Funky

The good news: I got to dance again, after a hiatus of over a year!

The bad news: I think I hyperextended my back again!

This, after I joined a jazz funk class at Acts Dance and Arts Academy. But , hey, I got to dance again! Yipee!

The name "jazz funk" is kind of misleading; it's actually a form of hip-hop. And because I don't know my hip-hop history, I had to resort to Wikipedia to get a definition: Jazz funk was supposedly "developed by technically trained dancers who wanted to create choreography for hip-hop music from the hip-hop dances they saw being performed on the street." My first introduction to jazz funk was courtesy of this dance god(dess?)...

OMFG. I have adored Bobby Newberry (he's the guy wearing a cap) for about three years now, ever since my friends and I discovered him on YouTube. We would watch his videos over and over, and would get excited whenever a new one was uploaded. Then we took to getting friends of mine from the Company of Ateneo Dancers (or CADs, my college org, and the reason I spent more time in the dance studio than in the classroom back then) to teach a bunch of us from the office every couple of weeks or so. When we couldn't find a teacher, I would teach them myself. We had girls (and sometimes guys!) from different magazines, and I always looked forward to seeing what the fashion eds were wearing! (I distinctly recall seeing a pair of gold leggings during one session.)

After a while, some people resigned, others got busy, and we didn't get to have our dance classes anymore. The last time I danced was in March of last year, when I performed at a CADs concert--made memorable by the fact that I was utterly shocked to find my friends D and Gali in the audience. (I knew they were there because I heard D's familiar voice yell, "Go, tanda!" right before the music started. Tanda is Filipino for old.) And craziness, and moving-in-together craziness, and promotion craziness, and life craziness. I just didn't have opportunities to dance anymore. Every time I would see a dance show or a trailer for a dance movie, Hamil would look over at me because he knew that my eyes would be getting misty. I just missed it so much. I missed it so much that it hurt. It felt like part of me wasn't there.

And then I stumbled upon Acts Dance and Arts Academy's classes. I had been searching for accessible classes that weren't part of a summer workshop when I found them. (The thing about summer workshops is that classes are in the middle of the day, and the students are literally students--like grade school to college-age students!) When I found this place, I was beyond excited to learn that the studio was a 10-minute walk away! I got even more excited when I called to inquire about their usual participants, and the girl on the other line mentioned "yuppies." Yuppies? I ain't that young anymore, but I'm at least an Uppie! So, I'm so there!

I was thinking about the class the WHOLE DAY (I kid you not), and right before I left for the studio, I even texted Hamil that I was kind of nervous! I was rusty after all, and I didn't want to make a fool of myself in front of experienced dancers. But more than the anxiety was the giddiness. It was the sort of anticipation you'd get before being reunited with someone special after a long separation. In my case, I was being reunited with what is perhaps my first real love.

When I got there, I was happy to find that the teacher was a friend of mine! It was Meg Mariano, who was CADs president two years after I was, and whom I remember chiefly for her incredible strength as a ballerina. She told me that she quit her day job to open this studio and pursue dancing full time. Wow.

So I sweat buckets during that class, fumbled through some steps, and had trouble with my pickup, not to mention my turns. But I loved every minute of it! My heart was dancing along with my feet, overflowing with joy. The prodigal dancer hath returned. And I'm here to stay!


  1. Dancing is my first love, too! But I'm more of a hip-hop girlie, can't do jazzy stuff coz I look...awkward. Haha! I go to All Stars Dance School in Greenhills, but it's been months since I last worked it. Hmmm, maybe I should pay them a visit soon. You got me inspired! :)

  2. Kabbie! Is that the one along Wilson? I'm actually a hip-hop girl too, at least my strengths are hip-hop-y. But I LOVE jazz funk so pinagpipilitan ko sarili ko. Haha. A bunch of us are trying out the "diva dance" class soon. Join us!

  3. yes, it is! where's acts, by the way? diva dance sounds interesting! haha, game!

    oh btw, have you seen this awesome routine?


  4. Acts is at GA Tower along EDSA, near Boni.:)

    Watched the video. At first I was trying to figure out the guy's "look" then I realized he was probably part of those tandem cheerdance routines--yung puro lifts. Hehe


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)