By Abner Galino
THE run of the high heel shoe-wearing Junior New System in the 13th season of the popular America’s Got Talent has ended but their legacy as the only Filipino dance crew that has gone so far in the said competition will surely live on.
The all-male Pinoy dance crew was eliminated last September 5, during an hour-long semi-final show at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California but only after shining in the dance floor. The group’s elimination shattered the dreams of their members and fans to compete in the show’s customary Las Vegas finals.
“We really cried hard,” the dancers admitted shortly after their elimination was announced.
But despite the heavy hearts, the Filipino dancers still met and hang out with supporters when the show was over.
“We all thank you, all of the Filipino communities here in the United States na sumuporta po sa amin at walang sawang bumoto po sa aming lahat. Even if, hindi po kami nakapasok ng finals, we feel great po and honored po na mai-represent po namin ang Philippines,” said the dance group’s leader Christian Ian Santos.
Nonie Belarmino, owner of the iDance Studio in Carson City, where the JNS members prepared their dance routine before joining the competition, congratulated the JNS members for the impressive run.
“It is the first time that a Filipino dance crew was able to get this far in this competition,” Belarmino added.
The JNS is the 2016 World Championships of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) senior grand champion. Members of the team came from a poor neighborhood in Sampaloc, Manila.
Before they were famous, some of the boys collected and sold recyclable materials on the streets while some of them sold kakanin the Filipino native merienda (snack) to earn a living.
Visda trained and organized the boys into an impressive dance group.
The JNS crew has been in the US for more than a year now. They returned to the US in 2017 to avail of an arts scholarship award they won from joining the WCOPA after being granted performers’ visas.
Since then they have become regular features in Filipino American shows and concerts.
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