Saturday, May 26, 2012


I remember this picture of myself, taken back in early 2008 during the Pasinaya festival in CCP. I was sitting inside the LT lobby ladies' room after attending a back-to-back session of ballroom dancing lessons at the MKP. Someone from the group that led the lessons even came up to me and we had a short chat. He had noticed me while I was dancing, and asked me if I had any formal dance training. While I never had a dance lesson in my life, I had only applied the pointers I had picked up from a brief movement class during the previous summer's theater workshop. The man then asked if I wanted to dance competitively. I was in rush to meet with my friends, yet thrilled by the offer, so I said that I wasn't sure, plus the timing wasn't right to go for it, as I was going back to school the following term. So he gave me his card and told me to contact him if ever I was interested. I took the card without looking at it, stuffed it in my bag, thanked the man, and ran off.

When the photo I had mentioned was taken, I was in such a high because of the thrill of actually doing ballroom dancing, even for just an hour. I didn't realize until later, when I had looked at the man's business card, that I had been talking with the president of the Philippine Dance Teachers Association. Oh my gosh. And I brushed him off just like that. I thought I would never get a chance like that again.

Fast forward to last night. I was in CCP, helping out at Tanghalang PIlipino's Walang Sugat callback auditions. And check it out, the venue was also at the MKP. I had mentioned to Badjo and Enzo before the auditions began that that was the place where I first learned real ballroom dancing. Anyway, it was nearing midnight, it was getting really hot as the air conditioners had already been turned off, and I was ready to crash after a long day (early morning shift, dance class, production meeting, then the auditions). I was just sitting inside while the panel was watching one of the last auditionees. Suddenly my phone lights up because of an incoming call. When I looked at the caller, it was Ian, my dance teacher. Assuming it was related to an upcoming session or whatever, I rushed outside the MKP and answered the call.

Ian first said that he called just to tell me "na natutuwa raw siya sakin," for my eagerness to learn, and for all my improvements. He said that he still wants us to keep in touch. Then he shifts into a different topic regarding Tita Lucy and her granddaughter, who has been joining our class everyday for about a week now, as the 6-year-old girl could easily pick up whatever Ian teaches, and Tita Lucy as well. Then he starts off again about how much I had learned beginning day 1, that even Marky, his cousin, had also noticed. He keeps segueing from one topic to another, like how much he got praised by his exhibition with Abby a couple of nights ago, that Iya Villania had even told him that she also wants to enroll in his class. And then he segues back to me, that he wants me to keep taking lessons under his wing (one time during class, he even told me that he's going to try and ask if I can have a discount when I re-enroll if I keep going), and try to vouch for me as a scholar, and maybe attend his Sunday lessons. I was superbly touched by this, but he still kept talking, saying that he's planning to find a partner for me so I can compete someday.

Oh my gosh, Ian's encouraging words deeply touched me. Heck yeah, of course I still want to keep dancing! It's one of the best things that had happened to me all year. I don't really want to jinx it by blogging about this, but I sure hope these things really will happen. I was so giddy about the opportunities that my teacher had opened up for me that I was ready to laugh and cry at the same time right then and there.

Oh Lord, I sure hope this really will happen.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hello stranger. I owe you an update.

My everyday routine had been altered ever since I started taking dance classes. I don't really mind. Heck, I don't even mind commuting to A Venue at noon to make it to a one o'clock class.

As I'm Ian's only student who attends the class everyday (yes, I never missed one day of his class), he appreciates the commitment and instead of giving me just the basics, he focuses on my technique little by little. And with that, he moves me into the same lessons with his advanced students, Abby and his dance partner, Ate Helen. Bernard, the jazz teacher, also attends our class twice a week. And to add to the pressure, Ian wants me to dance in the recital, and yes, also with the advanced students. Yayks, pressure.

I guess I lucked out being the only regular student in the afternoon class, so sometimes it's just Ian and me, then a teacher from another class would sit-in (like Bernard, and sometimes Copper, Clang, and Joie). And because they could easily pick up what was taught, I had to make the extra effort to catch on as quickly as they do. I was a little overwhelmed when it first happened, but I started enjoying the fast pace.

It's also flattering how Ian would say that Ate Helen keeps telling him about my improvement every time she comes to class. I can't really tell how much I've improved, but it's actually encouraging, hahaha.

We've been mostly tackling the Latin dances, then yesterday, we suddenly covered the basic waltz and tango. I could still remember a bit of the waltz when I attended that one-hour ballroom session in Pasinaya (but it was 5 years ago!), so when Ian had asked if I already knew how to dance the waltz, I had mentioned that, plus the old basics back when I was in 7th grade. He could tell that I had prior knowledge based on my form when he danced with me.

I've used up all of my units from my first enrollment, and I've just renewed my class "passport." I guess I really want to keep doing this and join the recital, but I sure hope I can still get to dance even after the summer is over. Unfortunately, with 2 projects already lined up for me this season, I won't be able to have that much free time on my hands. But of course, I'm still hoping there would still be an available schedule for me.

I'm really grateful that I found ballroom dancing again. I did learn from Ate Helen that it's pretty expensive to learn, especially when you're in competitive dancing like she is, but I guess for now, I just want to learn because I really do want to. Maybe the competitive dancing part will come in later. Maybe not. Plus dancing at least an hour a day really does give me such a happy disposition. I'm less moody, less emo (hahaha), and I'm hardly bothered by the bad vibes that would usually upset me before.

And this is where my update segues, haha.

I went to a production meeting with Sir Chris and the PM and SM staff of Stage Show last Thursday afternoon at the TP office's little conference room. I knew my former flame's current girlfriend would be there in the office because she was an intern, and I had expected there would be some sort of awkwardness in the air for me. I realized that it didn't really bother me as much, but I had noticed in a way that my presence had somewhat bothered her. The fact that I was there, that I was still working with the company, that I was pretty good friends already with the friends that she had made, that I was still in possible contact with her new guy, and even the fact that our hair was almost exactly in the same short cut. She had left the office the same time I did with a couple of our common friends from the office, and she just ran off in the opposite direction without a nod to them.

Anyway, the fact that it didn't bother me at all that there was a new girl in one of my best friends' life actually surprised me. I was actually happy for him. It made me appreciate him more as a friend, and as an ex-boyfriend, because I knew all that effort, all those shoutouts, were really his style, even when we were still in our early courtship stages. It was actually pretty sweet of him. Now I'm just hoping he'd get his act together, considering this girl is still pretty young. Plus I did hear from a couple of people that he still had photos of the 2 of us together in his iPod. Not a good assurance to the current girlfriend, tsk.

Anyway, that's enough for an update. Time to get rid of a blister that resulted in breaking in my new dancing shoes yesterday.

How is everyone, anyway? Please do leave a comment if you still read this blog. I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

This could just be a phase. But then again, maybe not. Shall we dance?

I'm nearing the end of the second week of my ballroom dancing classes, and I'm loving it even more. I've been attending every off-peak afternoon class since they began, and even though I'm still struggling with some of the technique (the curacha is a basic movement, but still a challenge for my hips, plus I still have a lousy turnout), I always look forward to every session. I don't think I'll ever get sick of learning the rumba no matter how challenging it can be.

After having so much fun during this afternoon's class, I had quite a realization. True, I've always been fascinated with ballroom dancing since the seventh grade, and always enjoyed it when there comes an opportunity to dance it. One of the things I recently love about this dance class is that it makes me forget about all the bad vibes that's happening to me outside the dance studio. Looking at myself in the mirror while dancing, I may have a little look of concentration, but once I get the hang of it, I notice how I instantly light up and relax.

It somehow feels so different from the acting workshops I used to take. I remember that there were some days when I feel so anxious before coming to workshop class, anticipating every step, already afraid of doing the wrong thing even though nothing had happened yet. Not that I didn't enjoy taking the workshops. I do love it, as theater is still one of my passions. But I guess my interest in performing took a different turn this year. Thank goodness an opportunity to dance ballroom finally opened up for me.

There's also this funny thing about my name. Everywhere I go, I'm usually called by my nickname. At the dance school, where there is literally no one who knew me anywhere else prior to the beginning of the classes, I'm known as Christine. Heck, Ian even calls me Tin. And I have to admit, it feels nice to be called only by my given name again.

I remember telling Lara through text about blessings in disguise. I had wanted to re-enroll in a rehearsal and performance techniques class in TP, but it wasn't offered this summer. Plus I had been offered to work backstage for a play that I've always wanted, and rehearsals begin this month. It was immediately plucked away when I was about to reach for it, because I didn't reply right away. Those doors were closed, but then came the window of opportunity when I saw the ad for this new dance school that was offering summer workshops. One free sampling class later, and I had signed up. And here I am, dancing the rumba almost every day alongside the occasional professional dancer.

Shall we dance?