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2011 HK Ballet study tour and performance at HK Disney parade
By: Justine Virina, MTD faculty and scholar
Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2011
Photos By: Janelle Gutierrez, Allison San Pedro, Jien Omori and Ruth Callo

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
~ Walt Disney

With this inspirational quote from Walt Disney, young dreamers showed spirit and pride to showcase their passion for the arts.  With pride and joy, St. Scholastica’s College – Manila Ballet Program, More Than Dance (MTD) School headed by their Ballet Director, Mrs. Abigail Alvia and Coach Evan Alvia  had been cordially invited by Hong Kong Disneyland to perform in their Flights of Fantasy Parade last November 5, 2011. This was truly a blessing that MTD had shared with the students from the following ballet schools: Marie Perez-Ramos School of Classical Ballet,  RGRV School of Ballet & Performing Arts, and Vella C. Damian School of Ballet, Inc., QC. This one magical event truly built a family who has always believed in sharing Disney’s magic.

It is the tradition of SSC-Manila Ballet Program, More Than Dance School to organize a Hong Kong Ballet Study Tour. This year’s study tour was truly an extravaganza and an enchanting event because it was a magical experience for the group.

The entire delegation stayed at the Disney Hollywood Hotel for the whole duration of the Study Tour. On the first and second day of the tour, the delegation headed to two of the world's best known attractions in Hongkong – Disneyland and Ocean Park, respectively.  During the stay at Disneyland on the first day, the students were divided into two groups according to age and were accompanied by teachers – Teacher Eva Hayden, Teacher Tracy Arevalo-Castillo, Teacher Ruth Callo, and Teacher Allison San Pedro for the YES (Youth Education Series) Program – Science and Synergy and Global Perspectives. The YES Program was so informative yet interesting because the students got to experience hands-on activities about the park and fun while learning about science and social studies. To call it a day, the whole delegation was able to watched the Glow in the Dark Halloween Special Parade and the spectacular fireworks, Disney in the Stars.

Ocean Park Day was also a fun-filled day because the whole delegation, with the parents and family members, was able to tour the whole park, to ride the cable car, to experience unusual rides, and to watch the unforgettable dolphin show and the musical fountain show.  To end the 2nd day, the whole delegation took a cruise at Victoria Harbor and to look around attractions at the Kowloon Side.

The next two days, 3rd and 4th were two of the memorable days during the tour because these were the days that the students  met, visited and greeted most of the outstanding teachers and students from two of the most reputable ballet schools and companies  in Hong Kong, namely the HK Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA) and Hong Kong Ballet. On the 3rd day, the students and some teachers attended jazz classes with Ms. Mandy Petty, one of the versatile directors of HKAPA and a good-friend of MTD’s Ballet Director, Teacher Abby.  Also, it was a privilege for the students to showcase their passion through their ballet performance of "Minamahal Kita" and their Disney Parade Performance of "Can You Feel Magic" to Ms. Mandy and some of her students. They were generously applauded for their performance and were later asked to pose for souvenir pictures with the whole company.  Likewise, the students were fortunate because they have a chance to tour inside HKAPA campus and studios and to observe some ballet repertoire works.  On the following day, the 4th day, the students were able to watch the company classes of Hong Kong Ballet at Hong Kong Cultural Center. The students were lucky because they were also given a chance to have a sneak peak of about 30-minutes of the technical dress rehearsal of the Hong Kong Ballet special show: "Luminous: One Moment In Time". To end the day, the whole delegation visited the Hong Kong Space Museum by groups. Also, the delegation spent the night swimming at the hotel's pool.

Top and Right: At Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts
Left: At City Contemporary Dance Company

On the 5th day, the delegation was again given an opportunity to take classes at the City Contemporary Dance Company. The group was divided into primary and intermediate levels. Both levels took the Chinese class and the Modern class with two of the greatest performers of CCDC namely Alice Ma and Vivien Chan. Also, the group had a chance to perform their ballet number – "Minamahal Kita" for the company members and some instructors of CCDC. Once again, the group was given a warm applause.  To end the day, the delegation was given a chance to go shopping at Tung Chung but they were asked to come back to the hotel by 7pm to prepare for a special international dinner buffet. It was served at the Enchanted Garden in Disneyland Hotel.  Pluto, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy were present during this special dinner.  Also, some special awards were given to the students .

Left-Top: Parents of the delegates; Left-Bottom: MTD Teachers
Right-Top: Team Tiana                   
Right-Middle: Team Rapunzel

Right- Bottom: Team Mulan

Surely, the delegation did not miss out on the bountiful daily breakfast buffet at Chef Mickey’s. Also, they did not miss out on the bonding sessions with their lovely group mates from different ballet schools since the students were divided into three groups, Team Rapunzel, Team Tiana, and Team Mulan.  Also, they would not forget about Disney’s Golden Mickey Show, Philarmagic Show and of course, the Flights of Fantasy Parade.

On the last day, the group was filled with excitement and magical emotions for that was the day of their parade performance, November 5, 2011. It was the day that marked the most magical and impossible dream that they would had ever experienced. With Disney’s favorite credo in life: “If you DREAM it, you can DO it!”, the group of dreamers from different schools was able to show what they can do to the extent of what they are expected and what they can give all throughout the performance. The event was a spectacular parade because everyone enjoyed seeing these young dreamers dance, smile, wave, and blow kisses and happiness in the air to the crowd just like what their music expressed:

 It's a part of me, a part of you
Disney magic making dreams come true
Feel the magic with Disney's magical dreams
Feel the magic can you feel it in the air
Disney magic feel it ev'rywhere…

Indeed, this wonderful event culminated all the hard work, cooperation and camaraderie of the delegation of students from the different towns and schools. It was a truly amazing experience jam-packed with learning and enthusiasm for these dream dancers. This was a one of a kind experience of receiving small blessings that wounded up into one BIG RARE TRAVEL PACKAGE. These young dancers had embraced Walt Disney’s magical belief that --- “It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” It was truly destiny for the whole delegation to come together and share the magic.


“The magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as emotion.   So strong, it can lift the spirit. So gentle, it can touch the heart.  It is the magic that begins the happily ever after." 



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