Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Halili-Cruz School of Ballet Meets the Bloggers

Last Monday, July 18th, I was invited to attend a bloggers' conference to meet the people behind the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet (HCSB) and to know more about it. I didn't know where the school was located so my husband took a half-day leave from his office so he could accompany me and our daughter. I know right? He's the sweetest! Well, I also thought it would be a nice bonding moment for us. Our daughter has been showing interest in ballet since she's one year old. How delightful it would be if both of us, her parents, would be around to witness her first ballet experience.

The event was to start at 2:30 in the afternoon but our little (and excited) family came a bit early. One of the perks of being an early worm is you get to take photos of the place while it is still "empty". Others are you choose to get your preferred seat and  you are able to converse with some of the prep staff.

My daughter with her new friend, Rylee
While we were waiting for other bloggers to come, the Associate Artistic Directors of HCSB, Ms. Grace Garalde-Perez and Ms. Anna Kathrina Halili-Cruz Bueno were interviewed by some media people. We were fortunate to witness this too. 

Ms. Grace Geralde-Perez

Ms. Anna Kathrina Halili-Cruz Bueno

After the interview, more bloggers arrived so the program had finally started. It was hosted by Ms. Grace Bondad Nicolas of TAG Media who gave us all a warm welcome. Then she introduced Ms. Grace and Ms. Ana to us. 

Ms. Grace of TAG Media
Ms. Ana Kathrina Halili-Cruz Bueno
HCSB was established by Shirley Halili-Cruz in 1985 to share her love and passion for dance. The HCSB Main Studio is housed in an imposing 2-storey edifice located at 1227 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. It has 5 spacious studios (4 of which are fully air-conditioned) equipped with ideal barres, resilient wooden floors, full length mirrors, audio systems, dressing rooms, rest and shower rooms, waiting areas, ample parking space, dance shop, costume room and canteen.

In order to provide an appropriate and comprehensive program, Shirley Halili-Cruz, the school's director and founder, authored a 2-level Tiny Tots Ballet Syllabus, a 5-level Baby Ballet Syllabus and a 12-level Classical Ballet Syllabus based on the Filipino physique, innate artistic ability and culture.

The syllabi covers the different levels of ballet which HCSB offers all year round. The school enhances its program by using the following: Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing, American Academy of Ballet and the Philippine National Ballet syllabi. HCSB has developed a systematic promotion procedure that checks the progress of the students through semi-annual oral and written examination coupled with actual evaluation in both theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. Students of HCSB also participate in a yearly International Examination with the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dance from Australia.

The school is staffed by competent teachers who are all one with the director in the vision to equip its students with the tools and rudiments of the art to uphold excellence in dance training.

The Artistic Team
Aside from the information that was shared by both Ms. Grace and Ms. Ana, they also introduced to us Ms. Shirley Halili-Cruz, the founder, through a video presentation. They also prepared a number of stunning ballet dance performances that captivated the hearts of the adult guests and charmed the little ones'.

My future ballerina and her new friends; Ms. Shirley on the video
Group Performances

Solo Performances

Tiny Tots Performance

While the tiny tots of HCSB were preparing for their performance, the guests' cygnets were invited to join. My future ballerina however was not able to do so. 

The guests' little girls surely had fun! What added to the enjoyment was, the moms were also taught some simple ballet steps and somehow relived our childhood dream (of becoming a ballerina. And yes, I did join the fun)! 

After the impressive performances of HCSB ballet dancers (and our impromptu "dance number"), the floor was opened for questions and answers. Ms. Ana was so gracious enough to answer all the queries we had in our mind about ballet. When everything was said and done, we were treated to a sumptuous snacks catered by La Milagrosa.

It was an afternoon of ballet and delight. I'm so glad I was invited and able to come to this event together with my husband and daughter. And as if that weren't enough, we were also given a gift voucher that entitles my daughter (or me) to a free 1 month of ballet classes. Now, isn't that something? 

Guests, bloggers, bloggers' kids together with Ms. Grace of TAG Media, Ms. Grace Geralde-Perez and Ms. Ana Kathrina Halili-Cruz Bueno Artistic Directors of Halili-Cruz School of Ballet

To know more about the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet, you may contact:
Instagram: @halilicruzballet
Facebook: halilicruzballet

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Halili-Cruz School of Ballet: 30 Years of Artistic Excellence

As a little girl, I dreamt of becoming a ballerina one day. At that time, I thought ballerinas are like princesses- prim, proper and dainty. And though they walk and dance with their chins upped, they also do it with grace and modesty. However, because my parents who were striving to raise 4 children that were born one after the other, could not support an extra-curricular activity in those days, this dream never came true. So, imagine my delight when my love bug shows signs of interest and fondness for this influential art. For two years, since she's two years old she's been consistently and constantly telling me to take her to a ballet school/class.

Ballet originated in the 15th Century Italian Renaissance Courts and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia.  It has been globally influential and has been the foundation of other dance genres. 

The Halili-Cruz School of Ballet (HCSB) has been considered as one of the best ballet schools in the Philippines. It has been awarded as the “Most Outstanding Ballet School in Asia” from 2000 to the present. The school has successfully represented the Philippines in different international festivals and competitions in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Brunei, South Korea, Russia, England and the USA. 

The main studio is located at 1227 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines that houses 5 studios with a total dance floor of 550 square meters and a vast quadrangle where kids and parents can hang out. HCSB has branches at Saint Pedro Poveda College, Miriam College, Saint Mary's College and Alabang Country Club. 

The achievements of the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet is under the leadership of its founder, multi-awarded Artistic Director, Shirley Halili-Cruz, together  with the strong support of its equally outstanding Associate Artistic Directors, Grace Garalde-Perez, Anna Kathrina Halili Cruz-Bueno. 

To date the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet has garnered more than 300 national and international awards and prizes, among them are: 

· Hall of Fame,  Aliw Award  as Best Classical Dance Company in the Philippines

· 8- time Ani ng Dangal Awardee for its international achievements

· People’s Choice as the Most Outstanding Performing Group

· Grand Prize Winner in the Asia Pacific Dance Competition in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines

· Grand Prize Winner in the 21st Century International Dance and Arts Festival and Competition in Genting Highlands, Malaysia

· First Prize in the Dance Excellence in Los Angeles, California, USA

· Global Excellence Award in Bangkok, Thailand

· Best Performance in classical and contemporary dance in the Bauhinia Cup International Dance Competition in Hongkong

· Global Pinoy Award  

Becoming a ballet dancer requires years of proper training.  What better way to have this education but through Halili-Cruz School of Ballet.

For more information, you may contact; 0917888010237246074130804
Instagram: halilicruzballet 
Facebook: halilicruzballet