What is it that you love when watching the movie Step-Up? Is it about the synchronized movement of the dancers? Are you waiting for their next surprise routine together with their flashing outfits? Or is it about the camaraderie of the crew members and how they support each other as a family? Do you envy their dance moves and wish you could do the same? Good thing then that dancing isn’t only for the movies. Dancing can be for anybody who has the desire to love it.
One group that showed their passion for dancing was LMN. LMN, which stands for “Alam na” is a dance crew in the Philippines formed in the year 2013 by coaches Jazz Zamora and Phil Pamintuan. “Alam na” which means “You already know”, pertains to the reason why the group was formed and what its ultimate goal was – to compete in Vegas.
In creating the group, the coaches were very careful in selecting the members that would make up the first LMN Dance Crew. “Initially the team had only ten members,” Gaby Zamora, the current Finance Officer for LMN, shares. The first 10 members were Gaby Zamora, Shayn Ting, Chloe Adarme, Donna Shi, Jaime Lim, Elijah Go Tian, Den Reyes, Lex Tanganco, Jef Juan, and Sam Tangco, all coming from Xavier High School and Immaculate Conception Academy. “At that time, all the members of the group had a common dream of flying to Las Vegas to represent the Philippines in Hip Hop International,” Gaby says.
In that same year that the group was formed, LMN Dance Crew was given the opportunity to represent the Philippines in the Hip Hop International Competition (HHI) in Las Vegas. It was a dream come true for the group. However, to prepare for the competition, the group needed to adjust in making new routines and to learn how to handle the pressures of competing against other international dance crews. At the same time, being high school students, the group must also learn how to balance their time between studying and dancing.
Creating new routines proved to be a fun experience for everyone due to the unique approach of their coaches. “It was definitely a crazy experience, starting out the team.” Gaby says. “There was a struggle in sourcing out energy for training and staying awake. Being high school students, [we were overloaded with] schoolwork. LMN motivated us to manage our time and pushed us to the best of our academic and physical abilities.”
Finally in Las Vegas on the eve of their competition, an unfortunate event happened – one of their female members got injured. Though hoping that it was nothing severe, to their great disappointment she couldn’t even walk on the day of the competition. Even though all were a bit shaken due to the turn of events, they gathered up their courage and still performed on stage despite lacking one member. Seeing their injured member not being able to live out her dream of dancing on the HHI stage gave them the push they needed to stand up and live that dream for her. “We dance for each other,” Gaby shared.
“For LMN, losing simply means moving on to the next one and working even harder.” “Our goals include flying out the team to take part in various international competitions.” Gaby continued. This coming August 09, the LMN Dance Crew composed of Kiara Dario, Zion Wu Xin Yi, Kyle Chua, Dani Zamora, Myka Domingo, Dani Ibanez, Kat Koh and coached by founders Jazz Zamora and Phil Pamintuan, would again represent the Philippines in the Hip Hop International Competition under the varsity division which will happen in San Diego California. In preparation for the upcoming HHI they will also host a fundraising concert called “Served/Only for the Strong” on July 17 at the Irwin Theatre, Ateneo.
Aside from this, the team is eyeing the World Supremacy Battle Grounds and at the DC League this coming year. “The chemistry within the members is much stronger than before… We’re hopeful about this year and counting on the team’s strong bond to push us to greater heights.” Gaby added.
On the social aspect, LMN aims to partner up with beneficiary groups that involve children with motor skill deficiencies. “We want to use our dance to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.” Gaby said.
LMN uses dancing as a form of art and expression. LMN also uses it as a springboard for creativity, for learning, and for applying improvisation, choreography, and composition.
“Being an LMN dancer means being different. We love to dance because we get to be ourselves”. Gaby explains. “It’s the feeling of being limitless – of expressing our true selves to share to each other and to an audience. There’s no shame in being yourself. Knowing that people see you for who you truly are is such a rewarding trophy in itself. Although we all want the gold, we shouldn’t forget that dancing in its purest form is having fun. That’s what LMN holds true to our hearts.”