Dancesports teams from Baguio and Benguet ruled their respective categories during the 24th Philippine Dance-Sport Federation National Championship on Oct. 29 to 30.
Elementary pupils Seth Matthew Bambalan and Maezyl Jesa Fernando of the TJS Baguio Dancesport team championed the juvenile 2C Latin American discipline at the Philippine Sports Arena (ULTRA), Pasig City.
Despite the team’s first appearance in the national competition, the couple also placed second in the juvenile A Latin American discipline and sixth place in the juvenile 2C standard.
Meanwhile, Benguet Dancesports team’s formidable duo Mico Dumalos and Mary Luz It-itan were hailed as first champions in the debut of the under-21 Latin category in PDSF, besting 14 other couples in the category.
The duo also bagged bronze medals in the amateur Grade C among 29 competing couples in event, which was also the 2024 Southeast Asian Games selection.
Benguet Dancesports Team Coach Charibelle Pingawan said Dumalos and It-itan are being prepared to join the SEA Games selection category next year.
“Next year will be our pre-SEA Games selection preparation for the 2024 SEA Games. Hoping we could make it. We have a long way to prepare and work,” Pingawan said.
Part of their preparation were the online competitions, workshops, private competitions, and lower grade competitions. The athletes are in year three of their five-year timeline for the duo to be able to finally enter the selection process for the biennial sporting event.
Pingawan said the team is aspiring to field local athletes for the SEA Games, just like bemedaled Baguio-raised national dancesports team member Stephanie Sabalo.
During the national tilt, Sabalo and her partner Michael Angelo Marquez also bagged two gold medals in the Grade A category and entered the 32nd SEA Games selection. – Ofelia C. Empian