2 young Filipino ballerinas make it to the finals of prestigious int’l ballet competition

Published September 29, 2020, 3:09 PM

by Robert Requintina

Two young ballerinas have made it to the finals of the prestigious Stars of Canaan Dance online international ballet competition 2020.

They are Sophia Marie Lily Aspacio Lucito, 10; and Herbie Amber Arbo Bobier, 9, both of Makati City.

Sophia is one of the multi-awarded ballet dancers in the country. Her recent achievements include: Rising Star Award and Scholarship Award in Australia – 2nd place, solo classical – Medora; 2nd place, solo jazz – Steam Heat; grand champion & 1st place, Duo Jazz – That Jazz; and Grand Champion & 1st Place, Group Classical – Valse; and Grand Champion & 1st Place, Group Classical – Angry Birds.

“I dance ballet because it helps me to be a better person in so many ways. Six years ago when I was a tip toeing toddler, it was just all for fun like a playground and I remember my first ballet costume in yellow tutu that got me so many rewards and perks but above all, I am always overjoy every time I see my mom happy and proud of all my performances,” Sophia said.

Sophia Marie Lily Aspacio Lucito

Just like Sophia, Herbie has received awards in ballet.

“I started studying ballet at the age of 6, after a year I was active in various local and international ballet competitions up to the present. I have been to Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia, where I fortunately bring home several awards, medals and trophies. I’m so happy to bring honor to my family, school and country. I learned that my early introduction to ballet teaches strength and discipline,” Herbie said.

Herbie’s recognition include: Bandung International Dance Competition (BIDC) 2019, Grand Champion and 1st Place Duo All Style Jazz 7-9YO; Grand Champion and 1st Place Group Ballet Pre-Competitive 7-9YO; Grand Champion and 1st Place Group Ballet Junior 10-12YO; 5th Place in Solo Jazz 7-9YO; and Honorable Mention in Solo Classical Repertoire 7-9YO.

Herbie Amber Arbo Bobier

MJ Aspacio, mother of Sophia, said that the young ballerinas were supposed to represent the Philippines onstage at the prestigious The Stars of Canaan Dance Ballet Competition. “Due to the pandemic, the onstage ballet competition has been cancelled. The organizers instead came up with an online ballet competition,” said Aspacio during an interview.

Then the organizers decided to stage the contest online. They asked participants all over the world to submit video of their dance entries in a studio. Only raw video files were allowed to submit, no editing or effects, she said. The finals will be broadcast to the official Facebook page of SCDBC on Oct. 10.

MJ said that in the ages 9-10 years old, there were almost 100 participants. “Luckily Sophia and Herbie were included in the finalists.”

Asked about the prizes for the contest, MJ said: “There are no cash prizes. It’s just the prestige and honor of representing the Philippines in an international stage.”