you already know this is going to be long, super cheesy, and soft. so proceed with caution. haha
I never thought I’d be where I am today dance wise without these few certain people. So thank you first and foremost to:
GOD: you’ve blessed me with this talent and you let me continue to showcase/teach it. we lift every performance to you. thank you for being the best support in the world.
Adrian Causing - you saw the potential in me, put me on a team where i got to grow and learn and fall in love with dance, over and over again.
Katrina Badiola - besties. i seriously do miss you by my side, but thank you for being one of my biggest inspirations in dance. working with you and dancing alongside you these past few years have been great. you’ve taught me so much just by being a co-director.
Kim Tam and Amy Boyle- you guys are like my older sisters. you guys have so much faith in me and in us as a team, and you give us so much support. you’ve allowed me to teach your students my craft and don’t hold me back from being extremely creative. unless its way too sexy and you tell me where to cut the line lol.
FR3SH Family - each one of you on company, juniors, freestyle crew, beginner/intermediate intensives, have made such an impact in my life. This is where i grew up. Never forget your roots. And I will never forget this team and these people.
Parents: without you guys, i probably wouldnt be dancing. Thanks for the support all the time. I know you guys had your doubts about it when i first started, but you’ve grown to accept it, and everything about it.
I always tell myself how happy and how lucky i am to have such a good group of people i can call my family as well as my team. After every performance I feel that even more so, and it just continues to grow more and more each time. This whole season has been a roller-coaster of emotions. At times I felt lost and stressed, but in the end, i had a sigh of relief and happiness just took over me.
At the beginning of this season, I never would’ve guessed where this team would go. I had my doubts about a lot of things, but I had my fellow directors to keep me up. I mentioned the “Wedding Set” to them almost a year ago, and they all were weary about it. I also of course was scared to try and do this set, if they had doubts, so I didn’t push for it anymore and we proceeded to do our 90’s inspired set. That set is what marked the beginning of a new season, a new team, a new vision. Chemistry really became apparent after those first few performances. Half season came and we added more familiar faces to the family and faces to X. Our chemistry was still in tact and X’s chemistry bloomed. We finished our next set in one month. A whole new set, and a whole new vibe. That marked another stepping stone for us as a team. Then after that set, I knew then and there I wanted to fully push the “Wedding Set.” I had part of the team on board, but knew I had to get everyone on board in order to make this work. People had doubts coming in and during, and I kept trying to assure them that everything will work out in the end. We had our presentation for pieces, and we knew this set was going to be it. We got the time limit for Defining Rhythm and it put us back since we had to cut a piece, after already staging it. It bummed a lot of us out, because we thought it would put the icing on the cake.(but it’s not even my birthday). So we had to restage a certain things. Throughout making this set, stress just kept building. Trying to finish one set, while doing another was hard work, especially when having to restage for performances and the unexpected breaks people had to take. I planned this set being done and ready by the second week of April. We were completely behind schedule. The set wasnt where it needed to be. I doubted myself as a director and doubted this team. Practices got stressful and I yelled more than usual. I didn’t like where this was going. Maybe this was a mistake to try and be bold and put such a complex set together.
It came down to the last three rehearsals before Defining Rhythm. I slowly started feeling the set come together and seeing people push for it. The last practice - the night before Defining Rhythm - i think is what set it. We didnt care that rehearsal started early and that we were ending way past our intended time. The energy in that studio was amazing. I looked around and all i could do was smile. Smiling just to see where this team has come. Where they came from. Although this team is younger than me, and I watched all of them grow, they are no longer kids to me. I always wanted a younger sibling while growing up and I couldnt be happier, more thankful and blessed to receive 35 of them. This is not including the 18 on X. That night when we did our last hands in - I knew for sure, this is what I’m meant to do. Kim even said to us. This is different and it’s the best set you guys have done. That got to me.
The day of the show was filled with nerves, but I didn’t care about placing. I didn’t care about first, second, or third. I just wanted to show people what we worked hard for and that on that stage our chemistry as a family reads. Watching techs, and even performances just made me smile. Just to the growth in this community - to see the love we all have for each other - this camaraderie we have, even at times of competition was just so heart warming. Seeing old friends still dance, seeing new ones pushing their hardest, teams growing and getting better and new teams emerging is just so awe inspiring.
Before heading to the back to go on deck, we got to see PD perform. But I’ll talk about them later on in this post.
After seeing PD perform we all headed back to wait and pray. I was already feeling it and once our prayers started i started to tear. We get like this everytime, and I thought to myself - why are we all so soft before a performance. And it’s cause each and every single on of us on the team means something to us. Regardless of all the shit we say or stuff we do outside of dance we know that then and there we wouldnt trade any of us for the world. I broke down trying to talk and express my feelings for this team, and I couldnt’ get all of it out last night, because I was just too emotional. I’m already getting emotional while writing this. But I just want to thank you LORD for giving these people to me. They keep me grounded, moving, motivated, and they continue to inspire me day to day. I’ve known most of this team for almost 4 years now and some only just 1 or 2, but regardless of the time - it doesnt change how i feel about everyone. Thank you for allowing me to teach them and for allowing me to learn from each individual, Lord. You have blessed me truly with something that I’ll never take for granted and i’ll forever cherish. Thank you again company for making this set come to life. For believing in me as one of your directors and for pushing yourselves beyond your limits. For showing me that in time you can do things if you set your mind to it. For proving me wrong when I had my doubts. For laughing with me, letting me yell at you, and getting drunk and having. For crying and being soft because of how much we love each other. Thank you directors for having faith in me and in this team to putting this together and allowing me to share my vision with everyone. You four have made this season one I’ll never ever forget and you’ve made it so easy for me to do certain things. Without you guys this team wouldn’t be where it is. I love you all. I’m glad we got to share this with everyone, and that it touched people’s hearts and tugged on their feelings. After performing I knew that regardless of what happened with results, we did it. We showed them, that we can do anything. “If you try your best, you will do your best” wise words of Lloyd Gerald Ortuoste. right little love?
I also cant forget about X. Without you guys, I wouldn’t as inspired as I am. Seeing this team from the beginning in the fall emerge into greatness is crazy. Some of you have never even danced before, and to see the growth in all of you is rewarding. The drive you guys have as individuals and the chemistry you guys have gets people jealous. Company always complains to me and asks me why we dont do things like make music videos or bake and have sleep overs. Keep this up. Keep up the bond you guys have and the hard work you guys put in and out of the studio. You guys are the future of this community, and you aren’t too far away from reaching your goals. You’re all crazy and I love it. Thanks for embarrassing me every moment you guys have.. As much as say i hate you all.. I really do. lol. half jk =P
On to PD.. You guys are amazing. I love this bond we have with our teams and watching you guys up there started getting me riled up already. I literally was on the edge of my seat during this whole performance - screaming at the top of my lungs at every piece. To see your growth just from your last set and to see all of your faces gleaming with smiles just made me happy. I already felt myself tearing up, cause i felt your energy. Running backstage to give all of you hugs and say congrats felt so good. You guys are like the cousins to the UFP Family. Congrats on placing you guys deserved it hands down.
And of course The Mooks. Half of you are on the team so theres no need to go in super detail about how much i love you guys. because i do. congrats on your 3rd place win!
this season is almost over and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up for us in the near future. Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful life. I complain about things, but why do I need to when I have this? You’re amazing!
sorry this is so long and if you read it, kudos to you my friend.
Mustache it up! Jersey All Day!
“My friends are the best dancers I know” - Shaun Evaristo
photocreds to: Will Barrientos.