Anne Charlaine Santos and six other dancers took the spotlight in the first Freestyle & Showdance Online Competition for differently-abled athletes.
Clad in a red sleeveless gown on her wheelchair, the 21-year-old Santos won the women’s singles freestyle new category ahead of Mexicans Antya Guadalupe Estrada Muñoz and Itzia Sarahi Escamilla Hernandez.
Other winners were Cleyton dos Santos Bentes of Brazil (men’s single freestyle class 1), Mexico’s Diego Armando Sanchez Garcia (men’s single freestyle new), Finland’s Prijo Pappila (women’s single freestyle power wheelchair), and Russia’s Maksim Sedakov (men’s single freestyle class 2), Iuliia Davydova (women’s single freestyle class 1), and Galina Ryzhkova (women’s single freestyle class 2).
The World Para Dance Sport announced the top 3 winners of each category in social media recently accompanied by a compilation video of performances from the top category winners.
In a Facebook post, Santos thanked people who supported her campaign.
“Thank you Lord! It was my first time joining competitions like this then panalo agad. Super worth it lahat ng pagod, daming time na napu-frustrate ako dahil di ko talaga makuha yung steps, super thank you sa patience nyo and for believing in me,” wrote Santos, who was diagnosed with lumbar meningocele.
“Athletes reinvented what we knew as a stage, taking advantage of the digital platforms to showcase their best skills,” said World Para Dance Sport Manager Camila Rodrigues in an article for Paralympic.org.
The online competition drew nearly 100 dances from 19 countries that were held to give opportunities for athletes to stay active and motivated during the pandemic.
Athletes had until the end of March to submit their video performances that were judged by international adjudicators.