Joel and Clara Marasigan

March Madness II – Discover Dance


Discover Dance! is a popular noon hour series offering informative and inspiring shows by BC-based dance companies. Taking place at the Scotiabank Dance Centre downtown, they feature a different dance company every month, combining performance, question-and-answer sessions with the artists, and even audience participation. JC Dance Co. was featured on March 12th, giving the audience a 1 hour snapshot of what ballroom dancing is all about.

Leading up to the event, JC Dance Co. was featured on the Dance Centre blog:  Five Minutes with…  Joel & Clara Marasigan of JC Dance Co., as well as in The Ubyssey.  (As we have learnt over the years, telephone interviews, as done for the Ubyssey, are not always accurate.  However, we are still very grateful for getting ballroom out there in the public eye!  :) )

Because it was a one hour production, we had to come up with 45 minutes of show material, allowing the remaining 15 minutes for what they call ‘artist talkback’. This was a challenging feat, because as most dancers know, a ballroom show is typically only 3-4 minutes long. Therefore, we had to get a variety of dancers in various formats to participate. We organized the production to include a simple display of social dancing (with partner changes); some team performances by our JC Adult Team, as well as our Ladies Only Team; 2 Pro-Am shows by Dimitri Mikulich (one of our colleagues at the Broadway Ballroom) & his student Diane Feige, as well as 2 Professional showcases by Joel and myself. It all worked out well, with of course, a great narrative by my hubby Joel (which is his expertise, as you can see in the picture below, as he soaks up the spotlight during rehearsal).

As with all stage productions, we had to seriously ‘mark’ the floor to make sure our routines fit.  As ballroom dancers, we are not used to such a confined space, as we usually have tonnes of room on the floor for our shows.  So for the 2 hours leading up to the show, everyone was busy doing some serious rehearsal… and of course (typical JC style), some not so serious rehearsal!  😀

The only little worry of the day… or should I say two little worries… was what to do with the kids? The kids had to come. Their two parents were busy directing, rehearsing and performing for the show; one of their grandmas was also in the show; the other grandma was out of town; one grandpa was at work and the other grandpa had a medical appointment! I figured that we would just keep them backstage the whole time, as we had plenty of dance crew members to look out for them.

The only hiccup was: “But Mommy, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY” want to watch the show!!! How could I deny them the opportunity to watch what we had tirelessly been preparing for for the past few weeks, and that our lives revolve around day in and day out? Needless to say, the kids watched the show. They stood in the wings on the stage and mimicked the Bollywood arms, and clapped and cheered along with the audience. There was only one time that I saw Michaela try to pull the curtain aside and look out into the audience, but after getting a talking to by me, she didn’t do it again! :)

At the end of the show during the talkback, when all participating dancers stepped out onto the stage to answer audience questions, the two of them ended up running out to the stage to join us. Samantha was a bit shy, but Michaela (not surprisingly) was jumping up and down like a rabbit, as if she was outside at the playground! It’s always funny to see how the 2 girls have such very different personalities.

It was a fun show. It took a lot of time to organize and create such a production, but it was well worth it. JC Dance Co. received a nice little review from Ed Farolan, founding editor of Review Vancouver.

Watch out for the Discover Dance! upcoming shows… Arts Umbrella on April 23 and Aché Brasil on May 14, Thursdays at noon.


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