Gela Atayde makes own niche, ready to rock World Dance tilt before resuming acting career
Up-and-coming actress Maria Angela Campo “Gela” Atayde will be rocking the 2023 World Hip Hop Dance Championship on July 30 to August 6 at the ballroom of Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix.
After she qualified together with her group Legit Status into the world’s grandest dance competition, Gela will be focusing on bringing home honor and pride for the country by winning the Arizona championship hip hop street dance tilt.
But after competing in the biggest hip hop dance competition or also known as the Olympics of dance, the 21-year-old De La Salle University third year AB Communication Arts student will resume her acting career under Star Magic although dancing will still remain a part of her career.
Gela, the youngest sister of actor and Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde and actress Ria Atayde, added that practice and everyday training are getting intense as competition gets near.
“As of now we practice five times a week but as the competition gets closer and as our fundraising concert gets closer, we are transitioning to everyday training,” Gela said, noting that it’s really an honor to be one of the dancers that will represent the country in the world competition.
“It is an honor to be able to represent the country in this competition. This has been a dream of mine since the start of my dance career. This competition is a big deal to a lot of dancers around the world and it’s something we really look forward to every year both as a competitor and audience.”
The daughter of veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez-Atayde and husband Art and her group Legit Status will be dancing competitively against 100 plus foreign teams in the Megacrew division, which is composed of minimum 15 to maximum 40 members.
Although no official line-up of teams have been revealed yet as of the moment, Legit Status could face more than 4,000 dancers coming from the United States, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Mexico, among other nations.
She explained that their director and coach are Vimi Rivera and his wife coach Shayna Young Rivera while the senior choreographers are Judd de los Reyes, Erik Cruz, Tank Bautista, Jigoro Grasasin, Dune Mondejar, Jesse Rafael, Francis Del Mundo, Emerson Marte, Keith De Guzman, Sebastian Mangrobang, and Paul Pavlos.
“In total, we are more than a hundred already but the competing members are 40,” Gela added. “The senior choreographers help in putting the whole piece together through collaborating with the different styles they specialize in.”
Legit Status, she said, made it to the world’s grandest dancing stage on earth after settling for the first runner-up honor against eight other competitors at the megacrew division of the 2023 Hip Hop International Nationals last May 26 to 28 at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila.
Gela, who has been also in a young modeling and acting career, said that she was inspired by elder brother Arjo to dance when she was 12. Asked if she’s been in other types of dancing like ballroom and others, she replied only hip hop and street dance so far.
“Watching Kuya Arjo dance back when he was a competitive dancer sparked my love for dancing. but today, it is also other talented dancers around the country that inspires me to continuously grow in dance,” Atayde said. “This is the path I have always wanted to take.
She has been motivated by many people like her first former coaches coach Von and Chinky Asilo in her former dance team — Poveda Enciende — for raising her to be the dancer she is today.
“All the values they have taught me from when I was 13 years old up until I was 18 have brought me here. They are definitely the two people that keep me going. Aside from them, my family and friends who continuously support me. They are my motivations.”
Atayde isn’t a newbie in the international hip hop street dance competition scene. She’s a champion in the 2017 Dance Worlds and a bronze medalist in the International Cheer Union both in Orlando, Florida.
She was also a champion locally in Beacon Dance Competition and at the Chosen Ground 15 in 2019.
“I’m thankful to coach Vimi Rivera who I can say believes in me more than I actually believe in myself. His trust, patience, and understanding with me and my work keeps me grounded especially because two of the things I’m doing require utmost commitment,” Atayde said.
“The confidence coming from my coach motivates me to always push harder because I get to do the two things I love the most at the same time despite how hectic and tiring it all is.”
The Legit Status is expected to fly to the United States this late July. EDV