HEALTHY LYF: “Dance for Life” – Retropop Flashmob

The Department of Health in collaboration with Fitness First Philippines and supported by UNO Magazine and Hubo Productions launches various health awareness programs in support of the Department of Health’s campaign on fitness and exercise. To kick off this partnership, DOH Asst. Secretary Dr. Enrique Tayag together with Fitness First Retropop instructors and approximately 250 members of Fitness First – Retropop group held a surprise flashmob entitled “Dance for Life” on June 2, 2012 at the Greenbelt Activity Area, Makati City. 

“We decided to call it “Dance for Life” since each of us who attend Retropop have a story to tell. I think dancing in Retropop class does not only make our bodies healthy, but that of our minds and spirits. It gives you something to look forward to at the end of a very stressful day,” narrates Maan Ilustre, UNO Magazine Managing Director and co-organizer of the flashmob.

The group danced to popular tracks from the 70s, 80s and the present.

“The exercise program is called Retropop. We have chosen the most popular music of that particular decade. So we decided on September which everybody dances to until today. For the 80s era, we chose 
Head over Heels. The song Louder, sung by Filipino artist Charice Pempengco was also considered to give it a Pinoy flavor. And lastly Domino by Jessie J. and Dance Again by Jennifer Lopez, which are the current hits in the airwaves,” says Jojo Cruz, head of Retropop.

The concept of the flashmob started with Ida Tiongson, managing director of Opal Investments and co-organizer of the flashmob posted a video of the Dubail Airport flashmob in the Retropop facebook page.

Among the many group exercise programs in Fitness First, Retropop is the biggest crowd drawer with over 800 attendees during the last “Xplosion.” It is a dance exercise that is conceptualized by Filipinos for the Philippine market. Retro, as in was called during its introduction in 2006, was conceptualized by professional ballroom dancer Gifford Gavines together with former Vicor dancer Dinggoy Dizon. Back then, Retro focused mainly on dance music coming from the 70s, 80s and 90s. On the same year, former Danz Focus choreographer and assistant choreographer for Sex Bomb Dancers Jojo Cruz entered the scene. 

“I love the current hits. Even back during the day when I was dancing professionally, I loved popular dance music. We then decided to introduce current hits to our classes. However, some reacted that these weren’t Retro anymore. So we changed the name to Retropop, to cater to both Retro music and the popular danceable music of today,” explains Jojo. The change in name and program has opened the doors of Retropop to a wider age group.

Besides having the most number of attendees per class, Retropop is regarded as the toughest dance workout in Fitness First, even tougher than Hip Hop. “Way back when we were starting, Retro was the easiest dance workout class, but when I came in, I wanted to elevate Retropop to a new level. I wanted to challenge our attendees. We’re done with step one. Let’s do steps 2 and 3,” explains Jojo.

Still, Retropop remains to be the top choice among the dance fanatic members of Fitness First. “Let’s face it, we are Filipinos and we love to dance. Retropop is the total package. If you want a workout where you enjoy what you are doing like dancing in class and sometimes singing to familiar tunes, then Retropop is for you. If you like pushing yourself of challenging your dance skills, then this is for you,” says Jojo.

This project is also supported by Condura, Flawless, Buddy’s Pancit, Izod, Summit Mineral Water, Nestle Cereals, Hurom Juicer and Gardenia.

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