GRACE was in every movement at the Davao City National High School Multi-Purpose and Alumni Hall last February 28, 2018 as the students of the Special Program for the Arts for Dance had their recitals as part of the school's National Art Month Celebration.

A total of 74 students from Grades 7 to 10 performed various dances with their trainers Arturo Ensalada, Lelynil Socorro Villareiz, and Melchien Garcia.

The SPA is a special program for children who have shown interest and talent in the different forms of art and where students spend their whole junior high school years honing these talents.

But, as SPA coordinator Jamillah Rosslynne Natividad had said in an earlier interview, children in the special program do not necessarily pursue their chosen art form as their course in college or track in senior high, as some of the students interviewed revealed as well.

Pio Angelo Valdez, 16, who is moving up to senior high next year does not see himself dancing after this school year ends.

"I only dance because of my co-dancers whom I have worked with for the last four years. I wish to become a civil engineer and I plan to focus my attention on it. But of course, my heart will still continue to love dancing," he said.

Grade 8 Cristine Isabelle Yu, 14, is not quite sure yet which career path to take, although she is sure that dance will always be part of her life.

"I’ll probably stay a dance advocate forever. But the world has so many options to offer for me. I could not decide yet," she said.

She sees herself putting up a dance club and sharing what she learned under the SPA. But she is also looking at taking up Humanities and Social Sciences (Humss), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (Stem), or Arts and Design strand in senior high and also sees herself taking up political science because she also wants to become a lawyer.

"I got interested in it because my Dad is a police officer in Manila and my older brother passed the PNP Test. Mom would bring me to court hearings sometimes. I find the lawyer’s job interesting and challenging. So, perhaps, if given the chance, I might put aside dancing for a while then," she said.

Ray Matthew Bilad, 16, Grade 10, intends to continue dancing.

"I will be a professional dancer and most in-demand choreographer in the city someday! I’ll teach a lot of kids who have potentials in dancing like me. I wish to enhance their skills and continue to share the talent that God has given me," he said.

The same sentiment is shared by Natalie Rae Torredes, 12, Grade 7, "In the future, I see myself as a choreographer who will share my talent to others so they too may inherit the skill that I have. I’ll have kids of my own twenty or thirty years from now perhaps, and I’ll teach them how to dance too!"

"I see myself as a better dancer or maybe a choreographer someday. I wish to put up a dance club. I really wish to teach kids in school and share what I’ve experienced. I can’t wait to help them enhance their ability to dance," eight-grader Eunice Moreen Clerigo said.

While tenth-grader Ariannne Gutierrez sees the discipline of dance that SPA has inculcated in her to be the foundation of her being independent and a successful person.

"As a dancer, I was trained by my SPA Trainers to be self-disciplined, humble and hard working. I’ll use this training as a tool to help the children who have the potentials in dance. I’m dreaming of my own organization in my community where I can train children to dance and make it their passion," she said.

The SPA along with the Special Program for Sports (SPS) is implemented in selected public secondary schools nationwide by the Department of Education in line with its thrust to improve the quality of teaching and performance of talented secondary school students. It was conceived in 2000 and implemented in pilot schools in 2002. DCNHS was among the chosen pilot schools.

Just last Friday, the Theater Arts had their recital, while still to be held as part of the National Arts Month Celebration are the DCNHS SPA Vocal Arts Recital on March 3, the Division Ani ng Sining, Culture and Arts Celebration on March 8, to be held at the San Roque Elementary School, the Sining Pambansa 2018 on March 13 to 17 in Legazpi City, Albay, and the Gawad Parangan sa Sining on March 22 to 23 in Surigao.

For incoming Grade 7 students who have potentials in dance, theatre, music, creative writing, photography, film, and visual arts and are interested to be part of the SPA, the DCNHS SPA screening and audition will be on May 7, 2018, starting 7 a.m. at the DCNHS.

Applicants must bring their NSO Birth Certificate, Good Moral Certificate, Report Card, and 2X2 ID picture. Call Miss Jam at 09202737071 for more inquiries.

The Dance students who performed are:

Grade 7: Stephanie Angela Aporto, Myka Shannon Arda, Veronica Princess Cañeda, Jannie Corinne Chua, Iris Jane Dimaandal, Issyl May Docor, Felicity Ross Edayan, Ashley Nicole Geollegue, Hazel Ann Jotoy, Yuki Mamugay, Leanne Veronica Oñez, Janzean Kaye Rasonabe, Frenchie Requiz, Natalie Rae Torredes, Dave Joshua Abubakar, Jeoss Vielo Bahala, Ian Nicholas Balodo, Christian Donaire, Nigel Vinz Keon Penales, Ryan Andre Policarpio, Isaac Salvador Rimando, and Alexander James Turingan.

Grade 8: Kyla Angela Amoy, Nicolle Bongkayaw, Angel Camporedondo, Cyril Jean Canales, Kaelord Canuday, Eunice Moreen Clerigo, Christine Grace Cobarubbias, Marcus Johann Garcia, Timothy Gerard Guibone, Noreleen Duhaylungsod, Grea Larra Iroy, Genen Libres, Reyveign Orillosa, Franz Alexine Paraiso, Ella Faye Isabel Tomas, Jaynie Zyrel Torredes, and Cristina Isabelle Yu.

Grade 9: Alexa Watin, Danica Christiane Enriquez, Claraine Mariel Lara, Beronica Silmaro, Rhuzenith Salmorin, Daniella Del Rosario, Cathrissha Mae Juntilla, Nicole Kyle Balug, Katherine Bolanio, Desiree Kelly Domingo, Glenda Marriam Pangilan, Ellen Joyce Austria, Angel Abarquez, Gabrielle Marie Capul, Aj Galasinao, Sean Berries Senon, and Florencio Lodripas.

Grade 10: Ray Matthew Bilad, Joshua Fediles, Jarvy Jayme, Carlos Miguel Piezas, Christian Dave Palo, Julius Christopher Serentas, Victor Jay Suazo, Pio Angelo Valdez, Arianne Abarquez, Blescel Antong, Anjelou Mae Camposano, Kj Carcasona, Leiah Carmella Hoylar, Elaine Joy Lagumbay, Rachel Ann Piloto, Jahziel Joy Quial, Georgia Micah Seno, and Jemila Tomanggong.