In a remarkable showcase of talent, artistry, and unwavering commitment, the Far Eastern University (FEU) Dance Company (FDC) became the Champions at the “Dance Supremacy Kings & Queens” competition last January 20, at The Theatre Solaire in Manila, besting more than 50 teams across various divisions.

The venue welcomed a full house of 1,740 attendees to witness the event, which also featured dynamic performances by Saikou, the reigning champion of Dance Supremacy’s Big Crew Division 2023, and Rockwell PH who achieved remarkable success in international stages such as the “DanceStar World Finals” and earned the title of Urban Chapter Division World Champion. The competition’s esteemed panel of judges, composed of Gella Gonzales, Adam Alonzo, Xernan Alfonso, MJ Arda, and Ko-Ya (Reg Style), brought their expertise to the forefront, ensuring a fair evaluation of the competing dance crews.

The triumphant narratives of each winning team showcased the diversity of concepts, skills, and creativity that defined this year’s competition. In the Dance Supremacy 2024 Queens College Division, the FEU Dance Company secured 1st place with a staggering score of 94.33, unveiling a captivating concept that boldly addressed the hypocrisy prevalent in the women’s empowerment movement. The UST Prime claimed the 2nd spot with a score of 87.00, showcasing a fusion of Gothic aesthetics and the enigmatic allure of a widow. The CIIT Spades won 3rd place, earning a score of 81.00, as they expertly embodied the essence of OPM rap music, particularly drawing inspiration from the dynamic and rhythmic flows of “Flow G.” 

In the Dance Supremacy 2024 Kings College Division, the FEU Dance Company claimed the throne with a score of 92.33, as they emphasized the desire to break free from  personal struggles as a prisoner of one’s own thoughts. The Artist Connection Exude Dancers from the FEU Institute of Technology won 2nd place with a score of 85.33, and skillfully conveyed the concept of being malayo na pero malayo pa—a poignant expression in the journey toward a distant goal. The PLM Iskolars Dance Incorporated and the PLV Dance Company tied for 3rd place, both earning scores of 82.33.

Vision, Conceptualization, and Process

In crafting the FEU Dance Company’s two pieces for the contest, head coach Matrix Katindig of IAS ‘25, alongside co-choreographers Christian Sinsay of IAS ‘24, Joseph Torres of IE ‘25, Ronieth Dayao of IE ‘25, and Therese Isip of IAS ‘24 –– the core members of the competing team, elevated storytelling through movement with their choreographies. For the Kings Division, the piece delved into the struggles that confine men in particular, depicting the liberation from self-imposed limitations to reach a state of true happiness and peace, which resonated with the judges and the audience.

 “The concept of the piece is about being a prisoner of our own struggles; something that holds us back from reaching ‘Nirvana.’ Eventually, the prisoners are able to break free and finally be in a state of perfect happiness and peace. The audience grasped and understood the message — that there is more to life if we learn how to live and let go of our worries,” said Katinding

Meanwhile, the piece for the Queens Division explored the paradoxes within the women’s empowerment movement, shedding light on the unfortunate reality where progress for one woman is hindered by another.

 “The Queens’ piece is all about the distortion of women’s empowerment. There’s a movement that encourages women to support and build up one another but in reality, they also have the tendency to bring each other down. This is a call for all women to reevaluate what empowerment really means—not bringing each other down just to get the spotlight, but being the light for one another,” said Dayao.

As the training process became rigorous and the bond between the members flourished, their restless preparation and daily rehearsals allowed for their relationship to grow further transcending the boundaries of a dance company and evolving into a familial connection.

Angela Munoz of IAS ‘25, and a part of the FEU Dance Company Queens Division, said the connection and relationship among her fellow dancers have remained sincere and strong. United by laughter and distress, she expressed that this experience stapled their deepened connection with each other.

Despite what seemed to be an easy competition sweep, the team also faced struggles in adjusting their choreography and overcoming doubts. Johanna Halili of IAS ‘27, and a part of the FEU Dance Company Queens Division, expressed her worries of doubting herself in the face of struggles and challenges as a new member of the team, but remained determined and proud to be representing the school as well as performing alongside her co-members.

Reflections from the MC and Judges

            Master of Ceremonies Jesse Gotangco, otherwise known as Reflex, lauded the FEU Queens for their uniqueness and solid performance, highlighting the importance of competitions like Dance Supremacy in promoting camaraderie and recognizing the talent, hard work, and passion of dancers.

             “After both teams performed, I was pretty sure that they would secure a Top 3 spot … The other teams did well pa rin but I think the FDC Queens were actually my favorite performance for the night. Yung FDC Kings malakas din. So, congratulations to both teams,” said Gotangco.

The judges of the competition also expressed their sentiments on deeming both the FDC Kings and Queens as champions of the esteemed competition.

 “Their standout factor is definitely the maturity in their movements. Cohesiveness as a group and also strength[s] are highlighted well. Concept is very clear as well,” said Gonzales..

For his part, Alonzo acknowledged the skillful execution, emotion, and versatility displayed by the FEU Dance Company.

“Both pieces were great, from the theme to the use of props. Not just using props for the sake of having them, but assigning a purpose that adds more value to the piece, making it stand out,” said Alonzo.

The intersection of intensity and artistry defines the FEU Dance Company Kings’ presence. Photo by FDC.

Exhibiting poised and graceful strides, the FEU Dance Company Queens are fierce from the moment they are on the competition stage. Photo by FDC.

The FEU Dance Company’s Kings and Queens celebrate their “dual reign.” Photo by FDC.