Ballet Plus More at the Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila

For those with artistic inclinations, enrolling in ballet classes makes perfect sense. Institutions like The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila offer a perfect environment for nurturing the love for the craft. There’s a supportive community for learning, a safe venue for training, and the guidance of the best in the region; CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Co-Artistic Director Osias Barroso, and other world-class trainers.

But there’s more to ballet than just strength and grace. Beyond the Vaganova technique, students also learn about passion, hard work, determination—the list just grows longer at every stage in life.

Contributing to Childhood

Studies have shown that cultivating a child’s creativity improves their mental ability later on in life. Most children develop an interest in music and dance from an early age, so parents nurture it by enrolling them in special ballet classes that are lighter, more playful, and fit for their attention span. Interaction with other children at this stage also means that their social skills receive a big boost.

Ballet is best learned while a child’s mind and body are at their most limber. Age-appropriate classes for older kids maximize these by teaching not only all the basic movements and concepts, but also discipline and focus early on. An increase in concentration reaps benefits outside the studio—don’t be surprised if their grades in school get better.

Aiding Adolescence

Teenage life can be tricky, but with ballet, they’ll be able to train discipline and determination along with the arts. More advanced combinations are taught in ballet lessons for this age segment, where they build strength not only in their pointe work, but also in their mind. They get a chance to perform in front of an audience, which develops confidence and self-esteem during this very crucial part of life.

Most students already have the hang of ballet at this point, with some even considering a career in the arts. At the very least, they’ve already developed an appreciation for a healthier lifestyle, as is the case with exposure to any physical recreation.

Forever a Fit

If you think ballet is only for those who started as children, think again because it’s never too late to pursue the arts. Places like Ballet Manila offer classes for all ages and skill levels, whether it’s for fun, for fitness, or a mix of both. Even complete beginners can feel right at home, as Ballet Manila fosters a friendly and supportive environment that accommodates every learning pace.

Whatever your creative or fitness goals may be, it’s a good idea to pursue them at The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila—the only ballet school in the Philippines with direct links to the Russian Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia.

For more information regarding rates, program details, and schedules in both Pasay and Quezon City branches, just visit



Dance Your Way to Fitness and Health With Dance Diva Regine

You see her every morning at GMA Network’s Unang Hirit morning show as the ever sexy and pretty dance fitness diva. She helps jumpstart and energize your day thru different fitness workouts and non-stop zumba moves that can be very infectious it will make you join her to the beat.

Actress, host, fashion designer, dancer, fitness diva, certified Zin (zumba) instructor and hot momma Miss Regine Tolentino and her energetic RT dance crew entertained and at the same time encouraged us media and bloggers to stay fit and healthy thru dancing which she has been known for many years in a recent event hosted by FLANAX,  manufactured by Taisho Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc. And speaking of years, did you know that Flanax, a reliable pain reliever for join and body pains has been in the market for the past 35 years? And what better way to celebrate this medical milestone is thru dance to be led none other than the dance fitness diva herself, Ms. Regine! Her name would also be at the top of my personal choice list. 
So this April 8 which is a perfect Saturday, Flanax brings to us, “Subok Ko na Yan” a 2-hour high-energy dance fitness party. Ms. Reg will kick-start the program along with Madelle Paltu-ob, a world-class performer and Zumba Education Specialist (ZES) plus dozens of instructors from all over the country. Other guests to expect is UPeepz, the winners and finalist of Bilbiling Mandaluyong. Not to mention, the highlight of the event is the launching of Regine Tolentino’s dance fitness album with instructional easy to follow video produced also by Flanax. Fellow ambassador and endorser, Richard “Ser Chief” Yap is also expected to be with Regine. Will he dance as well?

“Yes he has to!” Blurted out Ms. Regine during our brief sit down interview with her during the launch. “There will be a specially-made dance outfit for him which I designed. So he better not dance,” she laughs. And when that happens that we see Richard Yap dance, will be something to look forward to and I have a hunch that could go viral online! 
                         Photo Credit: Running Atom
Regine makes fitness dancing and zumba look all too easy despite all the sweat it can get. Hardly any trace of tiredness underneath that bright cheery smile and words of encouragement that everybody can indeed dance. “There is no such thing “I cannot dance” as an excuse,” according to Regine. “Anyboidy can react to a beat when one hears dance music.”

Dancers are also prone to injuries and physical pain which she is not spared of. “I take Flanax for my lower back pain and headache even on an empty stomach.” she shares.

Flanax is well known as a relief of mild to moderately severe pain with or without accompanying inflammation. Relief of pain associated with post-partum cramping anddysmenorrhea. Treatment of acute migraineattack.

How to gain access to the event? Simply purchase a Flanax 9+1 promo pack worth Php100 at all leading drugstores near you. (Mercury Drug, Watsons, South Star Drug and Rose Pharmacy).

What you will be getting is a cool event T-shirt, Regine Tolentino Dance Video CD, plus gift pack from participating brands. Do save the date, dress up as colorful as can be and do not miss the chance to dance your way to fitness and health with Regine and Richard!

See you all at the PICC Forum 1 and 2 starting 4pm on April 8. Don’t forget to bring extra clothes and lots of hydration because dancing will be non-stop!

Happy 35th Birthday FLANAX! Have a great dance party concert! ☺☺☺
I have always admired Ms. Regine’s skill and talent in dancing and the amount of passion she also puts in designing her creative costumes no wonder she is a go-to source by her fellow celebrity friends when it comes to their wardrobe needs. You can see more of her works by dropping by her boutique located along Valencia near corner N. Domingo Sts. in San Juan. 
Even the mighty men in uniform can’t resist having their photo taken with Ms Regine. 
                         Photo Credit:  Running Atom (Super cooool!)
Super huddle time with dance fitness diva Ms. Regine Tolentino with fellow sports blogger-friends. 
Taking advantage of a nice group shot moment with dance fitness diva Regine Tolentino which does not happen everyday with fellow sports and fitness blogger friends. Thank you dear Rochelle for having us! 
Most of Ms Regine’s RT dance crew are certified Zin instructors and awesome choregraphers and all of them are like a big happy dance family!

Lisa Macuja’s Take on the Well-Loved Classic Cinderella

Here are excerpts of my coverage of Ballet Manila’s latest classic take on CINDERELLA as choreographed by world class artist Ms. Lisa Macija-Elizalde ♥♥ with additional choreo from Osias Barroso.
Aliw Theater on November 26 2016.

Barroso’s Pinocchio: Endearing Season-Ender for Ballet Manila

Pinocchio8The Yuletide Season is once again in the air and where else can we enjoy well-loved classic tales come to life but in the theatre. Such a tale that never fails to entertain and bring out the child in all of us is this production.

The captivating story of a puppet, wishing upon a star to become a real boy, marks Ballet Manila’s holiday treat.

Osias Barroso’s “Pinocchio” is the third offering in “From Page to Stage,” Ballet Manila’s 20th performance season. Based on the Italian children’s novel by Carlo Collodi, it was the second animated film produced by Disney in 1940, following the success of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.

Ballet Manila’s “Pinocchio” is choreographed by Co-Artistic Director Osias Barroso. Initially a one-act piece, it was always included in the company’s line-up of shows. With its timeless appeal, this year the audience will enjoy “Pinocchio’ as a full length production, signifying Ballet Manila’s Christmas treat to its loyal patrons.
Dance companies stage ‘Pinocchio’ not only because it’s a children’s ballet show, it also reminds us of the value of family and friendship,” explained choreographer Osias Barroso. “This is very evident with the relationship of Gepetto and Pinocchio and the friendship between Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio. What I like most about the material is the lesson on truthfulness. Pinocchio’s nose grows longer whenever he tells a lie; I think everyone grew up with that fantasy.”

“Pinocchio” was one of Ballet Manila’s most successful productions. Pinocchio11It stood the test of time. It had an impressive track record in terms of sales and audience feedback. Our biggest challenge was finding suitable music for the ballet but I am glad that were able to come up with a beautiful score. The music of ‘Pinocchio’ has a lot of heart,” he said.

Pinocchio will be played by danseur Alvin Santos, one of Ballet Manila’s most senior company members. Alvin started out as a company scholar and is a product of the School of Ballet Manila. Alvin has played the lead since the very first staging of “‘Pinocchio” in 2002. He returns this season, to once again dance the part of ‘Pinocchio”, a role he will never get tired of doing.
Alvin was the first male Filipino danseur to receive a FINALIST Certificate in the Asia Pacific international Ballet competition held in Tokyo, Japan in 2003,” Osias proudly said.

The role is quite unusual because most of the time, the male dancer needs height and strong partnering skills. ‘Pinocchio’ is a wonderful opportunity for a not-so-tall but technically strong male ballet dancer to shine, “ remarked Ballet Manila artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

To further enhance the magical journey, Fil-Am singer Tippy dos Santos will be the show’s storyteller. This season’s performance will be a delightful mix of heart warming music in playful narrative movements.
With the air filled with holiday cheer, the whole family can head straight to the carnival fun rides after enjoying the show. All ‘Pinocchio’ ticket holders are entitled to free tickets to Star City.

Osias Barroso’s “Pinocchio” has special rates for group bookings. Schools, companies and organizations can get specially priced tickets for fund-raising events and other holiday activities. For inquiries, call (02 552 7502 or email

Osias Barroso’s “Pinocchio” is co-presented by Manila Broadcasting Company, Aliw Theater and Star City. Other sponsors are ACS Manufacturing, First United Travel, Papa John’s Pizza, Manang’s Chicken, Empire Salon, Slimmer’s World, Island Rose, Oasis Paco Park Hotel, Ramada Manila Hotel, Armada Hotel, Microtel Wyndham Hotels, Hot Star Chicken, and

Pinocchio5Celebrate the holidays with Pinocchio, Geppeto and Jimminy Cricket in Osias Barroso’s “Pinocchio.

Catch the final show on December 6 at 3:00 p.m, at Aliw Theater in Pasay City. Tickets are available at all Ticketworld outlets, online at, or call 891 9999.

May the merriest of Christmas magic onstage be with you all!

Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja and Nonoy Froilan Reunite in Romeo & Juliet Classic

R & J -Katherine Barkman as Juliet and Rudy de Dios as   Romeo

Ballet Manila CEO and Artistic Director, Lisa Macuja Elizalde reunites with the country’s premier danseur Nonoy Froilan  in Paul Vasterling’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

Playing Lord and Lady Capulet,  the parents of female lead character Juliet the reunion marks decades of onstage romance that gave life to  glittery list of dance productions.

“Nony Froilan was my first Albercht when I arrived from Russia in 1986. He was my first Basilio, Prince Sigfried, Nutracker Prince, Colas – together we danced Normal Walker’s ‘Summer’s End”, Basilio’s “Oriental fantasy’ and many more adagios and pas de deux. We competed in Jackson together, we toured the Philippines together and for our Ballet Manila production of “Romeo and Juliet’ in 2001,  he was Lord Capulet to my Juliet in the Sergey Vikulov’s full length version.  I can’t wait to dance with him again in the Asian premier of Paul Vasterling’s version, ” Lisa said.

R&J- From the second cast, Abigail Oliviero as Juliet and   Brian Williamson as Romeo

Although she has announced her retirement Lisa continues to  support Ballet Manila’s performances. “My life is all about ballet and I will continue to dance roles that I feel I’m comfortable with,” she said.

Fresh from their victory at the Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong, Ms. Lisa proudly shared that the top winners in the international  competition will be playing the role of Juliet.

Katherine Barkman the 2015 Asian Grand Prix winner will play Juliet with Silver medalist Abigail Oliveiro and Bronze medalist Joan Sia as her alternates. Playing Romeo are Rudy de Dedios (opposite Katherine Barkman) Brian Williamson (opposite Abigail Oliveiro) and Elpido Magait (opposte Joan Sia}.

Vasterling’s  “Romeo and Juliet” is a contemporary approach to the universal love story. The Artistic Director and CEO of Nashville Ballet USA, Paul Vasterling is  known for his electrifying execution of Shakespeare’s works.  The international choreographer will be in Manila to personally oversee the local staging, which also happens to be its Asian premiere

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde  & Nonoy Froilan as Lord and Lady   Capulet

Leaving no stone unturned the audience  will witness the endless brawls between feuding families as defined by the expansive set, authentic period costumes and passionate renditions of  love, power and death. Aside from the tribute to immortal love, the audience will also have their share of suspense with the action packed fight scenes, a  thrilling match of graceful gestures and leaps, along with a symphony of flying swords.

This staging is also a lot steamier than the traditional versions.  “This ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will have a lot more kissing than the other versions we did,” remarked Lisa.

“Romeo and Juliet” goes onstage on Oct. 2 and 3. 8pm and Oct. 4 at 3pm at Aliw theater tickets are available at

CCP restages beloved classic tale Cinderella by National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes

A pre-Christmas treat by Ballet Philippines
Alice Reyes” version of a classic fairy tale
November 28-30
December 5-7
at the Cultural Center of the Philippines CCP cinderellacinderella2

Bready Gardenia Rocked at the Zumba All-Stars

Have you had your Gardenia bread today? 
Yours truly had the cool chance meeting “Bready” mascot of Gardenia Philippines who was one of the sponsors of the recently held ZUMBA Philippines All-Stars showdown spearheaded by one of the zumba queens, Ms.Regine Tolentino at Market, Market mall. In fact, Bready was the opening act of the show! And gave a really happy number ☺
The attendance turn out was impressive with people of different ages including men dancing to the many upbeat and infectious zumba beats! They didn’t mind sweating it all out! If both my paternal and maternal grandparents were still alive today, they would certainly loved dancing to the zumba as well…in heaven, they are ☺ 
IMG_20140809_125655IMG_20140809_141542Gardenia Philippines has always been a proud sponsor of Ms.Regine’s projects. Two years ago, when I came and watched a dance recital of her summer workshop graduates, Gardenia was also there. There were lots of bread slices and cream rolls they shared. And this year again, thank you for your utmost support.
I personally like the wheat bread and raisin wheat bread variants as well as the black forest version. The choco cream rolls and muffins are great for quick bites! It’s not only yummy to taste but equally-healthy too! Gardenia makes sure to have only the best ingredients and quality to us bread lovers out there.

IMG_20140809_144812IMG_20140809_151837The zumba craze is really in so let’s dance our way to better health, proper diet by eating nutritious food and healthy snacks like that of the long list of Gardenia bread selections. We can never go wrong!

Always stay FIT, YOUNG and HEALTHY!  Very true that Health is really wealth!

June 2018
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