June 7, 2023

Homegrown dancer Karen Navarrete-Anton impressed international judges through her performances that made her champion in one of the categories of the All Dance World competition held Sept. 23 to 29.

Through a live virtual competition, Anton shone in her breathtaking performances especially in the Ori Tahiti dance that represented the Polynesian culture, which led to her winning performance.

She garnered a score of 94.1 with one of the judges praising her effort in coming up with a traditional attire and her choreography that “respected the traditional essence of the dance.”   

Christian Vasquez of Peru trailed her with a score of 90.23 while Karen Cataldo of Chile placed third with a score of 89.35 points.

“I never expected to win because I was probably the oldest competitor and the other professional dancers were clearly in the peak of their careers. I was the sole representative of the Philippines so I just really wanted to represent our country and especially     Baguio City the best that I can. Winning is such a bonus and I want to dedicate my win to the people of Baguio and my family who showed so much support since my preparation last year,” the 45-year-old Anton said.

Anton also placed fifth in the musical theater category solo adult professionals and ranked ninth in the show dance category.

She was also nominated as one of the best dancers in the competition for being one of the top 10 performers in all three dance modalities she joined.

The international dance competition was supposed to be held in Italy last April but was converted to a live online competition.

Fifty nations participated in the historic event and an outstanding 2,450 solo choreographies in different dance modalities were presented to a panel of international dance experts and judges.

Anton is the founder of renowned Baguio Metamorphosis dance group and is the owner of the Aloha Philippines Dance Academy where she has been teaching dance for 25 years.

The All Dance World Championship is organized by All Dance International, the biggest dance organization worldwide with presence in more than 100 countries. – Ofelia C. Empian