18 March, 2009

Dance Is a Part of This Teen's Heritage

Contra Costa Times 03/18/2009 -- Some of LIKHA's members joined us as children. Through our youth programs, LIKHA Too and LIKHA Coco, LIKHA has been able to reach new generations who want to learn more about Philippine arts and culture.

One of those extraordinary children is Rhani Bigay. In the Contra Costa Times she told the story of how Filipino folk dance inspired her:

I began dancing Filipino Folk dance when I was 7. From the beginning I was hooked. There's something about ethnic dance that simply amazes me. Not just Filipino, but all cultures.
But when it came to go to my first day of practice, I threw a fit. I was scared that my parents were going to leave me all by myself with people I didn't know. Typical for an only child. I sat on the couch and cried. I thought to myself "What good will this do? Why do I have to?" 
After those moments of inward thinking, suddenly, I felt different. I felt a calling to dance. It was like my whole life flashed before my little brown eyes. I walked up to my parents who were talking in the kitchen. "OK, I'll go," I said. Once we arrived at practice, I knew that this is where I belonged. I have been an active performing member of LIKHA Pilipino Folk Ensemble for eight years, which is half of my life. And it was time well-spent.