Filipinos are known for their talent in singing. They are also known for dancing—Pilipinas All-Star champion breakdance crew comes to mind. Now, another one is set on reminding Australia just how talented Filipinos, or in this case—Filipinas, can be on the dance floor.
Meet Jessica Stokes, the Filipino-Australian dancer who is now the only remaining Filipino in the current “So You Think You Can Dance” contest.
Born to Filipina Elena Argueza Stokes and Australian Peter Stokes, Jessica is holding on to her spot as one of the top 10 dancers in the show which currently airs on Channel 10 every Wednesday and Thursday evenings. With her natural grace, undeniable artistry and formal training in dance, she has already outlasted thousands of hopefuls who auditioned to become part of the show.
Audience of “So You Think You Can Dance” has already been treated to Jessica’s delightful performances, which show the extensive training that she received from the Conroy Dance Centre in Brisbane and the Brent Street Dance Centre in Sydney, as well as from the month-long training in Hollywood courtesy of a scholarship she won.
Her numbers in the show also benefited from her numerous performances during Filipino social functions when she was younger, as well as from her performance tours in America with the Starz Production Team, as a freelance dancer in the commercial and artistic fields—doing work on stage, and television, teaching dance and modelling.
According to her father, Jessica has also recently completed performances on Hamilton Island, Macau and has been in numerous back up performances in Australia with artists such as Pink, Jessica Mauboy and others, including the last final of the Australian Idol at the Opera House, dancing behind Ricki Lee.
Despite her talent, Jessica is facing tough competition in the “So You Think You Can Dance” contest, especially as the outcome of the competition will not be controlled by dance specialists acting as judges, but by the public voting for their favourite contestant.
Jessica’s chances of becoming the winner in the competition will not rely solely on her talent but on her popularity and the public’s support.
To this end, Peter—who together with Helen and another Filipino by the name of Rudi Lecera started the first Filipino-Australian Association in Townsville—is now soliciting the support of the Filipino-Australian community.
“[T]o win it is essential to either have a lot of public support and or a lot of money to buy votes and or both. We do not have a lot of money in terms of the amount required but to help Jessica reach her lifetime dream, we appeal to you to spread the word as Jessica is the last Filipino in the contest and we understand that other groups are supporting their own,” he said.
Her talent and with the Filipino and Filipino-Australian community’s support will, hopefully, bring Jessica from her humble Proserpine roots to the entertainment stage’s front-and-centre limelight.[ From old file: http://philippinetimes.com.au/clients/philippinetimes/filaussie-in-you-think-you-can-dance-contest-p3732.htm ]/Angeli Alba