This is the seventh and final article celebrating 25 years of DDD alumni and their accomplishments in dance and beyond. Alumni are sharing what they have been doing since graduation and how DDD has impacted their lives. The DDD family, past and present, appreciate all of the time, energy and efforts MISS JILLIAN and MR. ROB have given and continue to give to their students.
For those alumni who wish to share their story, please comment below. It is never too late to add to the Alumni Spotlight.
Thank you to all who contribute to Dancing and Beyond. Alumni are listed alphabetically as the only rule.
Cristina Guytingco, Class of 2017
Cristina is attending the University of Michigan beginning this fall, where she plans to become a part of a dance group on campus.
Cristina began dancing at the age of 4, but did not start dancing at DuHadway until she was 10 years old. “Choosing to go to DuHadway Dance Dimensions has been one of the best decisions I made because it has played a vital role in shaping who I am today in many different aspects of my life. For one, it has taught me to remain courteous and respectful to my fellow dance mates and teachers, as well as challenging me through learning how to pick up choreography, and knowing how to work hard to achieve personal and team goals.
Dance not only has given me the physical ability to express myself creatively, but has allowed me to become spiritually and mentally content when I feel like I need a boost. It is something that I can always turn to if I’m feeling down. Miss Jillian and Rob have been such role models in my life, leading by example by showing how to be determined and work hard, and most importantly, being kind and respecting every single person I encounter. They, as well as many of the teachers at DDD have taught me so much over the years dancing there and I truly cherish all the experience I have had dancing at DDD and becoming a part of their family. I know that I will take dance with me throughout the rest of my life, wherever I go.”
Kathleen Guytingco, Class of 2013
Kathleen graduated from the University of Michigan Class of 2017 as a double major in International Studies: Global Health and the Environment and Asian Studies: Concentration in Southeast Asia, in addition to a minor in Complex Systems.
Kathleen ought out various ways to pursue dance during her time at UMich. She performed and choreographed both hip hop and Filipino folk dance for the Filipino American Student Association, joined Dance2XS Michigan, a chapter of the parent international hip hop dance company Dance2XS International, learned both ancient and modern practices of Hawaiian Hula, and also enrolled in classes through the UMich Dance Department and took ballet classes alongside dance majors.
Through these groups, Kathleen had the chance to perform at various cultural variety shows and dance showcases on campus as well as in the Midwest, such as the Battle of the Bamboo, a Filipino folk dancing competition in Chicago, and at URBANITE, a biannual hip hop dance showcase held in Urbana and Chicago, Illinois that features pre-professional and professional dance companies from around the Midwest and the world. After graduating from the University of Michigan this past April, Kathleen moved to the Philippines in June to pursue work in global and public health development and to develop her career as a freelance photographer.
Kathleen began taking ballet classes at DDD during her 7th grade, and even though Kathleen only performed the ballet piece in the recitals, she loved watching the recitals from beginning to end because she was so stunned and inspired by the talent of DDD dancers. Inspired by their talent, Kathleen joined the Elite Team her sophomore year of high school and continued to dance at DDD until graduation.
Kathleen said, “Though my time at DDD was short, Rob and Jillian and the rest of the DDD family was incredibly instrumental in shaping me as a dancer. I was motivated by the incredible work ethic, artistry, technique, and talent of my fellow elite team members. The lessons learned in leadership, being team player, and time management also proved to be valuable assets in my leadership positions in my various dance groups at UMich. Most of all, Rob and Jillian taught me so much about integrity – both the integrity of being a dancer and as a person. I am beyond grateful for the kindness and genuine compassion Rob and Jillian extended to me during my time at DDD and beyond. DDD instilled my drive to love and live life through dance in any shape or form, and to never stop learning and exploring ways to express myself through dance. This drive fueled me throughout my various dance experiences in college and continues to push me to explore dance opportunities in the Philippines. Thank you Rob and Jillian and the rest of the DDD family for being so pivotal in the dancer, leader, and person I am today.”
To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 1), click here.
To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 2), click here.
To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 3), click here.
To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 4), click here.
To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 5), click here.
To read Dancing and Beyond (Part 6), click here.