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Benguet dancesport squad with 1-3-1 gold-silver-bronze haul

JUBILATION. Mary Luz It-itan of Benguet (left) and Jessica Ogbinar of Baguio (right) take a pose before the competitions then went on to top the Open Latin Female for duo category of the 8th Geraldine’s Online Dancesport Competition over the weekend at the Quad Fitness gym here. Photo from Benguet Dancesport Team

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Benguet and Baguio tandem of Mary Luz It-itan and Jessica Ogbinar topped the Open Latin Female for duo category of the 8th Geraldine’s Online Dancesport Competition over the weekend at the Quad Fitness gym here.

The win of the duo of It-itan, from Benguet, and Ogbinar of Baguio saw Benguet Dancesport Team jubilating as threats of not joining any online competitions during the pandemic hang like a sword of Damocles on coach Charibelle Pingawan’s head the past month.

Team Benguet finished with a 1-3-1 gold-silver-bronze performance during the two day competitions that saw competitors from all over the country and other countries.

The dancesport online showdown saw the duos of Erick Cabloy and Ashley Aniwas placing second in the Junior Latin Male and Mico Dumalos and Mark Benter also coming out with a silver in the Open Latin Male, while Jayson Abenoja also taking the same medal in the Open Standard Male solo.

Betty Mae Agad completed the medal standing when she placed third in the Open Standard Female solo.

“We trained hard (for this competition) because we know it will not be easy for us,” Pingawan in a private message told RNG Luzon in mixed English and Tagalog.

“We know that we will pass through the needle’s eye,” added Pingawan, who was so frustrated when her team failed to join the last month because of financial and venue problems.

These challenges and frustrations, drove her team to train harder, as they competed against dancers not only from the Philippines but also from other countries like Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.

“I can’t actually explain the feeling, It (ha)s been hard for us because the past months and weeks that at one point we were thinking of letting this competition go,” she added.

Last month, the team failed to join the Central Ball with the deadline of submission set at January 14.

“Unfortunately, haan kami matuloy idiay (we will not push throught with the) Central ball since were not allowed to register since (the deadline) to register was January 14,” said Pingawan after they forfeited joining said event, another online competition.

“But we were endorsed for an upcoming national private competition to be held on February 20,” added then Pingawan referring to the 8th Dance Challenge.

Pingawan was at the point of giving up earlier this month due to the difficulty of raising funds for registration and costume.

Then they actually needed a venue where they can video their routine which was a challenge as Quads refuse to make them use the gym on Sundays since there are religious groups using some of the rooms of the buildings where the gym is located on said day, a worship day.

She later tried looking for a Sunday venue, the post elimination portion of the competition and even asked the La Trinidad local government for the use of Lednicky Hall, which earlier was denied to them since Sunday is sanitation and disinfection day.

Other finishers of the team are: Mico Dumalos, Grade C Latin Male solo, fifth place over 13 competitors; Mark Gonzalo Benter, Grade C Latin Male, solo sixth place over 13 competitors;

Jhosan Galvez Grade C Latin Female, solo, sixth place over 17 competitors; Roschan Escalera and Eiji Justine Balao, Youth Latin Female duo, sixth place over 12 competitors; Eiji Justine Balao Junior Latin Female solo, Top 18, over 60 competitors; Roschan Escalera, Youth Latin Female solo, Top 18 over 45 competitors; Erick Cabloy, Junior Latin Male solo, Top 24 over 45 competitors.

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