Georcelle Dapat-Sy: Dancer, Mentor, Mother
Georcelle Dapat-Sy is first and foremost a dancer – mention “dance” and her name is bound to crop up in the entertainment circle of the local industry. Her dedication and commitment to her craft has earned her a niche in a saturated industry that will make room for someone who has worked hard to distinguish her talent. However, Georcelle’s talent in grace in motion is not confined to the stage or the studio alone; it spills over into her personal life, in her mothering, and ultimately in her mentoring of the next generation at large.
Once again, Georcelle gets involved in Promil’s Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp, which aims to tap the inert talents of the very young and to help them wield the potency that they hold inside.
“The Promil Pre-school program is about recognizing talent. When the potential is seen in a young person, it is categorized,” Georcelle says. Whether innate intelligence or a natural inclination for arts, the mother of three is keen on picking out kids who are naturals in dancing. And this is when the fun starts.
Georcelle knows the benefits of early intervention or starting the mentoring while they’re soft and pliant. She herself started out that way.
A strong sense of determination despite limitations
Contrary to popular notion, being well off is not necessarily a prerequisite to the proper developing of talent. Though many families are blessed to be able to send their children to the most expensive dance schools and hire top of the line instructors, Georcelle didn’t have that kind of privilege to start with. However, she was blessed with parents who were musically inclined.
Her parents quickly recognized her abilities and brought her to the dance program at the Metropolitan Theatre. She took up different styles like tap, jazz, ballet, folk, contemporary and Hawaiian. And because she didn’t come from a wealthy family, her mother was always looking to get her a scholarship while bringing her to auditions at the same time.
In the midst of diligent quests, divine intervention took place. Once, on a trip to UP Diliman to get into the dance program of Tony Fabella and Eddie Elejar, Georcelle and her mom made a mistake and ended up in Felicita Radaic’s class instead. “When we met her, akala niya (she thought) I was an aspiring ballerina, because I had the build. She then wrote a letter to Metropolitan Dance Theatre’s director to put me in the dance scholarship.” This was a heady lesson for the young dancer: Georcelle learned that where funds were lacking, a strong sense of determination would more than make up for it. And fate did the rest.
But the whole process was tedious, testing the young Georcelle’s patience. Nevertheless, Georcelle looks back now and realizes that not everyone gets a chance to study with the best. “My teachers were the best in the country (Agnes Locsin, Noordin Jumalon). They guided me. And true enough, once I started dancing, tuloy tuloy na from there.”
Georcelle was all of 10 years old when she began. At the age of 14, she had become a professional.
Nurturing her children through her passion for dance
Georcelle feels that dancing as a passion promotes closeness and love. As dancing is likewise a part of her, she used it to nurture her children, and not exclude them from an area that dominates her life.
Eventually she exposed her children to the best. “I show them performances, either in concert or ‘You Think You Can Dance’ or ‘America’s Best Dance Crew.’ Then I tell them that the performers trained hard before they reached the level of their performance. My point is that you have to train if you want to be the best. It’s achievable as long as you know the ABC’s and basics. And from there you take it to the next level.”
For Georcelle, the foundation of mentoring kids is love. “We do a lot of hugging, especially when the dancing mood strikes them. Outside of dance, it’s 24/7 parenting. I take my kids to school in the mornings. When I get home from a busy day, I hug them and kiss them even when they’re asleep.”
Does she see herself in them? “Teachers say my kids show qualities in leadership. They have a sense of command. That’s what they got from me.”
The top dance choreographer pays it forward
Not content with just being the top dance choreographer in the land, Georcelle has also had a hand in building G-Force as the leading dance company in the showbusiness today. This has been instrumental in her mentoring the next generation of dancers. Dance classes called ‘Me and My Little Force,’ are designed for the parent and child.
“I started dancing na wala akong pambili ng sapatos (when I had no money to buy shoes). I had a dream to give a chance to those who didn’t have the means.” For Georcelle, it was all about expressing her gratitude for having all those great teachers when she was young. “So now this is my way of paying it forward.”
Today, the G-Force Project is becoming more and more of a family event. It started out as morning classes for kids, until she eventually decided to put in the moms who were requesting for zumba classes with the kids.
“Me and my 4-year old son dance together, so that’s where I got the inspiration. In class the little ones would mimic their mommies and that’s a great way to develop motor skills and photographic memory. When they grow up they’ll remember the fun, the exercise and the bonding.”
It’s clear that being a mother has made Georcelle not just a better person, but a better mentor as well.