May 28, 2024

The Benguet dancesports team clinched two podium finishes in a face-to-face Manila Open Dancesport Championship in San Juan City, Manila on April 2.
Leading the team was the duo of Ashley Abance and Erick Cabloy, who topped the junior duo event while Jayson Ace Abenoja and Betty Mae Agad garnered bronze medal in the grade C standard in the adult category.
The 11-man team went through a whole day of eliminations from quarterfinals to semifinals up to final rankings in the event.
In the junior category, Abance paired with Eiji Justine Balao and placed fourth in the junior C while Balao paired with Xyraine Gail Bayanes and ended as semifinalists in the junior duo.
Bayanes placed as finalists in the chachacha, rhumba, and jive in the junior C solo event.
In the adult category, Mark Gonzalo Benter, and Roschan Nena Escalera placed fourth in the grade D Latin for chachacha and jive while the pair of Benter and Jhosan Galvez placed fifth in the grade D Latin of chachacha and rhumba.
Meanwhile, Mico Dumalos and Mary Luz It-itan placed fifth in the grade C Latin and seventh in the grade B Latin.
Coach Charibelle Pingawan said the event proved to be overwhelming for them, as her athletes were anxious to get back on the dance floor to an in-person competition.
“Our athletes are technically equipped but we need to work on smart playing such as how to position on the dance floor to outshine the 12 couples or more on the dance floor, which is something different from the online competitions,” Pingawan said.
Also, the team encountered a challenge a night before the competition when their rented housing unit turned out to be a scam.
Pingawan said she booked one unit for the team at the Manhattan Parkview Apartment and Condo rentals but upon their arrival, the management cannot find the said unit and owners. The contact number provided also suddenly cannot be reached.
“I paid P15,000 but because of what happened I needed to find another place and had to use my own money to pay for the new accommodation,” she said.
She said they would work out on leveling up the couples’ competitiveness and togetherness and improving the maturity of their dances and partnership.
She thanked the continuous support of their donors and sponsors in the locality enabling them to join various competitions. – Ofelia C. Empian