Tuesday, April 9, 2013


One of the strong forces behind the highly acclaimed Lu Chin Bon Performing Arts Center (well, besides Mr. Lu himself) is a young lady who has groomed herself well as a dance teacher. Karen Diane Lu-Alcaraz, better known as Yam-Yam, is the only daughter of the talent center’s forefather and his wife, Cely Lu.
While much of the success of this dance school is rightfully credited to its director and main choreographer, Bing Locsin, it is without a doubt that Yam-Yam has also earned her place in their own world of dance, music, and dramatic art.

Yam hails from a family of artists. She grew up to the music of classical ballet, new wave, pop-rock, and rhythmic R&B. Her creative environment played a significant role in leading the way to the beat of her heart --- her calling. Her enthusiasm for the performing arts came second to her connection to dance. Childhood for her was similar to the rest among her generation, yet modern additions to leisure and lifestyle never swayed Yam from keeping her toes pointed to the path she wanted to take. Together with her brothers, she danced her way to life through different genres and gave all that she had to her life-long passion for movement. Years after college, she found herself taking the barre, filling in her first position as teacher in her father’s dance school. Since then, she has authored memorable and highly energetic dance pieces for their school productions and summer workshops.
I remember watching Yam-Yam as she played the role of teacher to bubbly and animated little students, my own high-spirited tot being one of them. Patient, ever cheerful, and yet meticulous in getting the right execution from her pupils, Yam-Yam struck me as a woman with an enormous passion for growing her craft through those who are willing to learn. She encourages and creates the right attitude and learning discipline among her students, which is one of the qualities that make a dancer effective for this kind of profession. She also makes an effort to communicate and establish eye contact and good rapport with each one in her class. She even gives special attention to every student. She takes time to check on their moves and correct them individually, helping them to gradually build their own technique.
The school’s well-loved teacher recently stepped into her bridal shoes and gracefully sashayed her way to the altar. Now, as expectant mom, Yam takes a step back from her practice, and, instead, extends her arm to support the school’s preparations for summer class. The encouraging way she talks to parents in offering a venue for children to develop confidence makes Yam a fervent supporter for growing local talents within the community.  She is now inviting parents to enroll their children in the school’s summer workshop, which will run until May 19. The dance courses will be intertwined to make one musical montage which both kids and parents are sure to enjoy.
While Yam-Yam’s performance will be greatly missed in the summer presentation, she is sure to make a momentous come back in the dance scene after the birth of her son in July.

LCB Performing Arts Center is located at #48 Villamor St., Obrero, Davao City. For more information on dance courses and student packages, please call 222 5205 or 305 3619.
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1 and A4, INdulge section, Edge Davao, Vol. 6 Issue 18, 10 April 2013.


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