Dancesport aces give back in pandemic
The women who helped harvest 10 of 13 gold medals for the Philippines in the last Southeast Asian (SEA) Games are making sure they share their skills.
Mary Joy Renigen, Anna Nualla and Pearl Marie Caneda bared their advocacies to ensure the future of dancesport in the country during a recent web series by the Philippine Sports Commission.
They are all busy preparing for the SEA Games slated in November in Vietnam, hoping to follow up on the country’s smashing success two years ago. “I teach social dance, ball room and zumba,” Renigen told the Inquirer in a separate interview. “Before the pandemic struck, we also have classes for groups of senior citizens.”
She and partner Mark Jayson Gayon, champs in fox trot and waltz (standard dance), put up their own club, Team 116 in Makati.
Love for dancing
But because most activities are restricted since last year, Renigen gets by doing online selling of bags. “That helps as a sideline while we’re out of work and teaching classes.”
Caneda and Wilbert Aunzo—who ruled the Latin American cha-cha, rumba and samba—teach the basics of the sport in their hometown Cebu City. “We want these kids to experience and develop love for dancing,” said Caneda who like Aunzo were products of the city’s grassroots dancesport program several years ago.
Nualla and Sean Aranar, who won golds in standard tango, Viennese waltz and five dance, didn’t have regular teaching chores.
Instead, they opened a food business named Healthy Appetite which, as the name implies, primarily promotes good living and serves “diabetic-friendly” dishes. The country dominated the sport two years ago in New Clark City. Their performance helped put the sport in the public eyes but the momentum was halted by the global health crisis. INQ