An Easter open house: celebrating with friends and family

Our open house last Easter Sunday, April 5, was graced by friends and family, students old and new, and was the perfect chance to celebrate the formal opening of The Studio. The second floor, which houses the dance studio, was opened for the first time for public viewing, with the walls painted, mirrors and glass windows installed and polished, and the special wood floors finally in place. Two weeks back we had family over for dinner, and they caught the construction in its last stages of finishing–


Banzon preview, March 25, after Dad’s birthday dinner

It’s funny how in all the photos, Tito Baby, in the barong with his arms crossed over his chest, looks like he’s at a site inspection of some big development project, which he probably does a lot of for work. Peace, Tito Baby 🙂

And here is the studio now–

Photo from Erica Jacinto's Instagram @emjacinto

From Erica Jacinto’s Instagram @emjacinto

The Instagram post caption reads:

Congratulations @thejacquis!!! Sneak peak at studio #4 🙂 #havenforthearts #thestudio #teamdancestudio #riversideacademy #hamptoncourtballet

The well-wishes for that day were tremendous. But more so were the presence of the people behind this realised venture.

First to arrive were the TEAM seniors, our students who have been with us since they were in Baby Ballet. Now Attorney-at-Law Frances brought donuts as a “housewarming” gift which spruced up the already hearty snack table of homemade cookies and cupcakes.


Details, again c/o Erica

Pre-icing! Fresh baked cupcakes

Pre-icing! Fresh baked cupcakes

The TEAM seniors watched videos of our past recitals and shows, and saw themselves dancing as young giddy ballerinas, doing their first solo variations en pointe, discovering other dance forms such as jazz, modern and contemporary.

Currently watching: Teacher Joelle and Teacher Lucas' Corsaire pas de deux, at TEAM's 25th anniversary show

Currently watching: Teacher Joelle and Teacher Lucas’ Le Corsaire pas de deux, at TEAM’s 25th anniversary show

The girls could have spent the whole day going through the TEAM video archive but had their respective Easter family affairs to go to. But of course before leaving, a photoshoot at the brand new studio was in order (click on photos to view slideshow)–

This time with Ace, Frances and Irene’s younger brother who served as the day’s designated chaperone, driver and photographer–



With teacher Jacqui!

Also at the open house was the Berry family – Lucas, Erica and Berry. Here they are at the front gate, testing our new doorbell–

DIY signage with doorbell

Berry was a most gracious host, entertaining our new students who came by to see the finished studio. As a baby ballet veteran (Berry started ballet with her mom Erica as early as age 2, and is now 6!), she was very encouraging of our shy and young starters, showing them how to use the expanse of the studio space, and introducing them to the mirrors and barres. She also showed off our friendly dog Hugo, petting and hugging him, and assuring our little guests that they had no reason to be scared or wary. Berry has always felt at home here, in the studio, and in any studio for that matter, and it was apparent that she wanted others to feel the same.

Practing her balance pas de bourrees

Practicing her balance pas de bourrees

It was a full day of answering inquiries, touring the grounds, fitting ballet uniforms and chattering away about ballet and dance education. Just when things were winding down, we were happy to have another wave of guests come over – family! Bearing food, heart-warming gifts, and critical eyes. Every nook and cranny of the studio was inspected, perhaps even more thoroughly than our earlier guests. But the suggestions for improvement were very much welcome and the overwhelming support invaluable.


Tito Rene and kids test our new barres while Tito Greg documents


Shopping at our Tutu Girls Easter popup



Buttressed by well-wishes, trust and a positive response from our family, friends, and the community, we look forward and are excited to open for our first day of ballet classes this Saturday April 11. A big thank you to everyone, and see you at the studio! -JJ

Registration is still ongoing. For information on how to reach us– 

For a list of classes and upcoming workshops– 

Artist Challenge: Dig up your first dancing photos

The goal of the recently trending 5-day Artist Challenge on Facebook is to “fill our news feeds with images” of Artists’ works, and it has done exactly that, and more. The last two weeks for the local dance community was met with a barrage of dance photos, on stage, in the studio, during off days, some old photos and some new, some carefully put together and others just oddly random. Some posts may have been blase, but the unearthed pictures that were either breathtakingly beautiful, or historically note-worthy, or both, completely made up for it.

My brother, Lucas, former premier danseur now full-time corporate executive, dad, and occasional dancer for TEAM’s performing arm, CODA <>, is entering relatively late in the Artist Challenge game. He finally found some time over the weekend to look through our family archive of photos and came up with this, his first post–


TEAM Nutcracker photoshoot, in front of the Philam studio, circa 1980s

That’s him and me, as the Nutcracker Prince and Clara/Sugar Plum Fairy. The flood of likes on this post seems to suggest that this gimmickry is serving its purpose. As of writing, at least 108 people have seen this photo of scrawny little ballet boy Lucas, with his first ever partner (not by choice), scrawny little me. And how’s about that scrawny little Nutcracker at the center, which was handcrafted -carved and painted- by our dad and first ever ballet teacher, Eli Jacinto.

Lucas was actually looking to post a different photo, but when he got hold of the one which he originally had in mind, he had already given up and posted this instead. So as not to let that photo go to waste, I am sharing it here as well–


A young Jacqui and Lucas, at the barre

And while I’m at it, let me just throw in a few more sibling photos.


In the Sisterhood, Basilio Villaruz tribute 2014

In a recent repeat of In the Sisterhood, a dance made for me and Joelle by our dad, inspired by the love-hate relationship we have as sisters, I used as backdrop an old photo of us singing “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile” from the movie Annie. I used that same photo from our musical childhood as a first post to my own Artist Challenge.


TEAM in concert circa 1990s

And here is Joelle with her first ever dance partner, our other brother Quincy. Dancing their first ever grand pas de deux, from Le Corsaire.

Yes we are a dancing family. And we have a lot of pictures. Let’s see what Lucas posts next, if he even follows through in the 4 days left of the challenge. -JJ