Last minute-changes and challenges ended in triumph for the Miriam College High School Sayawatha Dance Troupe when they bagged the second top spot at the World of Dance Finals 2018 held in Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, California, USA last July 28.
"One of our team members was rushed to the ER right after our set blocking. We thought everything was fine but then one hour before the competition, the doctors did not allow her to dance anymore. We scrambled to adjust the routine to make sure all spots were covered, and in spite of the situation, the team managed to lift each other's spirits up and dance their hearts out,” says Sayawatha coach of five years, Randel San Gregorio.
The group placed 2nd after competing against 21 teams at the event. Prior to participating at the finals, the group was declared Champion at the World of Dance Philippines last March, automatically qualifying them to represent the country in the Juniors Division in California. Judges at the finals include internationally renowned and esteemed professional dancers.
The group, currently coached by San Gregorio and Andrei Arboleda, was formed in 1996. Sayawatha has been a consistent top winner in both local and international dance competitions, among them the Smart Dance competition, Crissa Dance Synergy, Hip Hop International, and World of Dance.
“What made Sayawatha stand out in this competition was the dance style that was used. Usually, dance teams would use new-school hip hop choreography but for Sayawatha, we explored old-school dances, specifically’ waacking’,”says San Gregorio.
He added that the preparation for this competition was very challenging and overwhelming with practices being held almost every day. “Each practice was very intense and exhausting but ultimately it helped the team become stronger and better.”
Currently, the team is back to regular practice as they prep up for another round of competitions, which include Crissa Dance Synergy 13, MYX Moves, World of Dance Philippines, and Hip Hop International Philippines.