Years ago, after my eldest daughter’s (i.e. Winshayna aka Shayna or Shane) group, the UP Street Dance Team (“UP Street”), ventured into the international arena of hiphop dance competition at the 2006 World Hiphop International Contest (“WHHI”) in Los Angeles, their coach thought of putting up a dance studio. A friend of the UP Street coach was tapped and swayed to plunge into it. At that time, ANTEVA, my father-in-law had just finished the construction of the K-Zone Building situated along EDSA, the main and most significant road artery in Metro-Manila. Shane talked to his Grandpa Anteva and persuaded Anteva [Shane’s Grandpa loves to be called ANTEVA (which is an acronym for Antonio Evangelista)] even by his grandkids, to approve/accommodate this entrepreneur-friend of their UP Street coach. Eventually, K-Zone became the venue to where the Groove Central Dance Studio (“GC”) was housed. Thus, the GC was born and it was allowed to rent a space at a nominal rental fee at K-Zone. Indeed, it started out as just a small, one (1) room dance studio then.
However, the entrepreneur who was then looking into migrating in New Zealand and finding the business not doing much during the lean season, at that time contemplated of selling his rights to the business. The UP Street egged Shane to buy the rights. Eventually, the good and amiable entrepreneur, perhaps getting wind that his ward and friend Shane turned excited into becoming GC’s proprietress-owner, finally inked the deed and ceded the rights to Shane. When Shane took over, she approached Anteva. Anteva said that as the adjoining bays at the 2nd floor were unoccupied yet then, Anteva suggested the extension. Shane actually said that an extension of another bay would be enough; but Anteva thought it best and made the extension to comprehend TWO (2) bays of the K-Zone’s second floor. And the GC operated on, still unable to muster good income during the lean months. Further, as the location is some kind of a prime commercial spot, and that as it was felt that it should earn more to conform with present real estate values, a relocation venue was then contemplated.
Further, as Anteva thought of putting up a satellite office for his construction company, the New Kanlaon Construction Inc., in Quezon City; the thought of relocating the dance studio to a larger venue within a densely populated residential area became all the more compelling. Still at GC, revenues would only peak during summer when students are off from school with ample time for “extracurricular activities”. And, nominal income in other months of the year would trickle in. So, Shane took it upon herself to come up with a program and Shane had to resign from Philippine Airlines to focus on the GC particularly on how to make it earn more revenue on low seasons.
On January 29, 2016, the GC’s new dance studio opened at No. 104 13th Avenue, Barangay Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro-Manila. It has more commodious dance halls and a parking area where a number of vehicles could be accommodated. More than that, with its location within a densely populated residential district, it augurs well for putting up zumba and extreme fitness programs to cater to the throngs of fitness-conscious yuppies nowadays. It was felt that promoting the studio would be better served as it could attract more enrollees into its non-hiphop dance courses.
Looking back, when Shane got hooked into hiphop after matriculating at UP Diliman, in the early 2000s, it has always been the cause of me and my wife Dang’s almost daily spats. I insisted then and that I vigorously wanted Shane to quit, because every night, she would come home from dance training and rehearsals at past midnight. But Dang would always calm me down and would say…”that is our daughter’s passion, pagbigyan mo na [English translation: “please give in to her passion.”] But, I would always be continuously against it, though I refrained from overtly showing my repulsive dislike for hiphop.
But that mindset of mine changed in 2006 when Shane’s group, the UP Street, first joined the World Hip-Hop International (“WHHI”) contest. And as it can barely be expected that the parents of college students of U.P. to do fund-raising, it was the students themselves who did the thing. They. the members of the UP Street compete team would find ways and means to raise funds to finance their trip and the incidental expenses.
I excitedly helped them and gave it all in that first try of the UP Street in the international arena. I was able to get for free, a big house in the Los Angeles area (courtesy of my good friend and compadre Willy Tee Ten, President of Ford Motors-Global City and Autohub Group of Companies) as at that time the WHHI competition was being held in LA. I was able too, to involve my fraternity brothers of the UP Pi Omicron Fraternity based in the West Coast led by UP Diliman brods, particularly Brod Monching Ramos and his wife Alice and Brod Lestie Lampiño. A UP Baguio brod in the person of Brod Butch Garcia also provided aid and comfort to Shane’s team. I am really very much indebted to my fraternity brods and their families who indefatigably helped in the logistics (i.e. transport and food) and even paid at times for their hotel room expense as Willy Tee Ten’s big house proved too far from the contest venue. Again, I wish to commend my fraternity brothers who really took turns then in shuttling Shane’s team to and from the contest venue using transport vans provided even by kith and kin of my fraternity brods. The team entered by the UP Street was actually an adult team composed of 12 members. On their first try, they never got so lucky as they never in fact entered the finals. In 2012 however, the UP Street was crowned as World Champion at the WHHI which was then held at Las Vegas. Also, in 2013, UP Street with my other daughter Cheska aka Che as member of the compete team, placed 1st Runner Up.
In 2014, I got consummately involved in WHHI which was held in Las Vegas, as Alee, my youngest daughter, was made as a last-minute replacement to one of the Alliance Hiphop Team member whose US visa application got denied.
With Alee, the youngest among my THREE (3) dancing dames, as a hiphop competitor in the international stage, the whole family, my wife and all of my 3 other kids went to Las Vegas to root for Alee. Alee’s group only reached the semi-finals though.
Last year, 2015 was actually a banner year for hiphop in our family…Alee, my youngest daughter and her Miriam High School-Sayawatha team competed for the first time as a high school team in an international competition in Orlando, Florida in April 2015. They placed 3rd in the International Cheerdance Union (“ICU”) Contest but was declared Champion in the sequel DanceWorlds contest, both held in Orlando, Florida. What was remarkable was that the Sayawatha team which Alee skippered as its team captain, bested the teams that placed 1st and 2nd in the earlier ICU Contest, in the DanceWorlds contest, both of which, as earlier said, were held in Orlando, Florida in April 2015.
It was a case of stage fright attack at the ICU, as some spectators advanced, for it was the very first international contest (i.e. ICU contest) into which the Sayawatha team competed in its nineteen (19) years of existence, having been organized in 1996.
Most opportunely in August 2015, my THREE (3) dancing dames: Shane, Che and Alee were all chosen as compete team members of Legit Status-Megacrew Team. Thus, with Legit Status as their team, that was the first time that my THREE (3) dancing dames, the THREE (3) sisters competed as co-team members. And I together with my Daddy Max rooted for their team, as we fervently aspired that the LEGIT STATUS Team would bring home the bacon. Happily, the Legit Status team passed the elimination round, entered the semi-finals and ultimately the championship round.
Though it was the South Korean hiphop dance team which was adjudged as 2015 WHHI Champion, Daddy Max had a peculiar but not too-serious take on the result of the competition. As Daddy Max, a die-hard Korean War veteran, is not perhaps wont to accept that his granddaughters’ team (i.e. Legit Status) is lacking in championship quality, Daddy Max came up with a tongue-in-cheek remark. Daddy Max jestingly opined without the least intent of deprecation, that perhaps the American organizers worked out a sympathy move. Daddy Max intimated that the organizers may have sympathized too much with South Korea for the incessant bullying tactics that North Korea has then unleashed against its South Korean compatriots. Eventually, Daddy Max opined that it must have caused the WHHI organizers to be too benevolent in its benignity. Thus, to the mind of a paternally fond and empathetic grandpa, Daddy Max felt that swayed by such spirit and anti-North Korean bigotry, the American organizers’ silver platter of a championship award unto South Korea seemed to be much in order. Though such perception on the part of Daddy Max is neither here nor there, the fact was that the South Korean hiphop dance team despite its somewhat unpromising team name: LOCK N LOL, was picked by the panel of judges as overall winner, and the 2015 World Hiphop Champion.