By Abner Galino
THE members of a Filipino dance group called “Power Impact Dancers” may not be coming home to the Philippines as big title winners but they are proud nonetheless for performing well and bagging the 11th place in the recently concluded World of Dance in Pasadena, California, USA.
Another Filipino dance team though, the Nitrous Image Crew, bagged the second place in the competition’s team division. Unfortunately, reporters were not able to locate the group when they were still in Los Angeles.
The members of the Power Impact Dancers may have not won in the judges’ scorecards but the audience loved them and gave them a standing ovation.
“Yung moment na tumuntong kami sa LA to represent the Philippines, and to step on the stage in the World of Dance stage, para sa akin winning moment na ‘yun,” said one of the group’s leaders Airon Jazz R. Gamit.
Gamit said the Power Impact Dancers garnered 90.17 percent in the judges’ scorecard.
“We were able to please the crowd, sinasalubong po nila kami to congratulate us when we stepped down from the stage,” Gamit recalled.
The dance group is mostly composed of alumni from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), particularly from the university’s computer science department. But as the group evolved, it began accepting members from other schools and entities.
The group won third place in the World of Dance qualifier held in the Philippines last March where a total of 21 dance groups competed.
While of most of the members of the group are college graduates and are already working, the group still can’t afford they own place and is still practice regularly at the Pinaglabanan Park in San Juan.
“Even though kahit na walang mirror, kahit hindi ganun ka-furnish ‘yung place for a dance rehearsal, ‘yung effort po ng bawat isa at ‘yung desire na gumaling or magpakita ng magandang sayaw, hindi po nagiging hindrance ‘yung place na pinagre-rehearsal,” added Gamit.
Generally, the members of Power Impact Dancers raised their own funds to be able to finance the costs of traveling to the US.
“But as a team, we also conducted fund-raising projects like holding seminars and selling t-shirts,” recalled another dancer Carl Francis Mabasa.
Upon arrival in Los Angeles, the family of one of the group’s members, Riva Quenery, took all of them in an air-board-and-breakfast place in Koreatown.
But not everyone from the Power Impact Dancers were able to get to Los Angeles. Some of them were denied entry visa by the US embassy in Manila.
“So we had to re-block (dance steps and positions) dahil nabawasan kami ng pitong member,” recalled Gamit.
At the moment, the members of the dance group are busy performing for Filipino American organizations that are holding events in the Los Angeles area and suburbs.