DANCE… This word has been synonymous to me ever since I can remember. Even before I was born, dance was already a part of my family’s life. My grandmother, Fe Sala Villarica, started the first ballet school in Cebu city as far back as 1951 called Studio of Ballet Arts. Now known more popularly as Balletcenter

This ballet school is where a few esteemed dancers who have made their marks locally and internationally started their pliés and grand jetés. Noordin Jumalon, the first Filipino ballet scholar in Russia, is now the director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Dance School (CCPDS) -the training arm of one of the country’s premiere ballet companies, Ballet Philippines. There is also Nicholas Pacaña who after years of training with Balletcenter, received a scholarship to San Francisco’s Ballet Celeste. After that, he became a principal dancer of Boston Ballet and then later on of Atlanta Ballet. Balletcenter has also produced lovely ballerinas such as Rhea Dumdum Bautista who after a few years’ hiatus moved to Ballet Philippines where she is now the principal of the CCPDS.

Balletcenter is where I first set foot into the world of dance. All throughout grade school and high school, I dedicated hours and hours of my free time into my ballet classes. I fell in love with not just ballet but the whole idea of dance. College came and I saw it as an opportunity to break away from ballet. I started exploring new forms of dance like jazz and contemporary, even a little bit of hiphop and krump. Unfortunately I haven’t been at it as much as I would have wanted, but despite the lack of dance, my love for it is stronger than ever.  I feel a knot in my chest every time I watch dance shows on TV and my whole body starts itching to dance again. I guess the old saying, “distance makes the heart grow fonder” makes sense.

Soon enough, my peers and I will be done with college and most won’t know which path to lead in life. I know my path leads to dance. This is all thanks to Balletcenter and my grandmother who’ve helped me realize that I belong in the world of dance.

Contact number: (032) 232-2958
Location: 3rd Level Ayala Center Cebu



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