May 25, 2024

After two years, the Benguet Dan-cesports Team is preparing for the Manila Open Dancesport Championship to be held in San Juan City, Metro Manila on April 12.
Coach Charibelle Pingawan said her wards are training full swing since most of them are college students, who are on semestral break.
“We need to condition their mental and physical health because this is the team’s first in-person competition after two years,” Pingawan said.
Since the pandemic hit, the team has been joining and winning in online dancesports competitions such as the 1st Nusantara Dancesport Competition hosted by Indonesia in November 2021.
The team led by Mico Dumalos and Mark Gonzalo Benter bagged three gold, three silver and two bronze medals during the event.
Pingawan said the online competitions were more on solo dancing, hence, the pressure is on for the team with the in-person competition, which now allows couple dancing.  
The 11-person team is composed of Dumalos, Benter, Mary Luz It-itan, Jhosan Galvez, Roschan Escalera, Eiji Justine Balao, Ashley Abance, Betty Mae Agad, Jayson Abenoja, Xyraine Gail Bayanes, and Erick Cabloy.
Dumalos and It-itan will compete in the grades C and B Latin; Benter and Galvez in the grades C and D Latin; Benter and Escalera in the grade D Latin; Abenoja and Agad – grade C standard; Abance and Balao – junior C Latin; Abance and Cabloy – junior Latin duo; Balao and Bayanes – junior Latin duo; and Bayanes in junior 1 Latin solo.    
“We are more than thankful for the support you have given us since last year during our online competitions. Once again, we are asking for your financial support to defray our expenses in registration fees, accommodation, travel, food, costumes, and other expenses,” Pingawan said.
Those who want to support the athletes may send assistance via GCash account 0912-884-8084 or message Pingawan in her Facebook account. – Ofelia C. Empian