Article by Jovy Rose Mariano
My Name 🙂
Hiya! My name is Jovy Rose Mariano, a 16 year old Filipino American, and my second language is DANCE. This is a story I always love telling people when they say my name is pretty unique, or curious why my parents named me Jovy LOL. My dad’s name is Joven Mariano, who is married to my mommy Ivy Mariano, so with the magical powers of combining you take the first part of Joven and the last part of Ivy and boom, Jovy! Although my parents gave me a part of them, theoretically I’m still my one me hehe.
What is Dance to Me?
Dance has become such a big part of my life ever since I was 8. Since then, dance has been an outlet for me to express myself better than words can. I think that when I dance, it’s like healing for the soul, especially with any pent-up emotions that I can’t seem to describe. I just turn on a song of my choice and move in a way that feels good. Not only that, but I extremely enjoy the performance aspect of dance as well. What gives me life is when I’m up there performing and the audience is moved by the way I dance, whether I’m telling a story or just up their shooting out all of my energy and making the audience want to get up and dance. It’s the best feeling ever.
Additionally, the creation process of making dances and creating stories is something I truly love, it’s like giving a painter a paint brush and canvas. I feel like dance has shaped me into a person who is not afraid in my own skin. Being a dancer, you have to show who you are through your movement and can’t hold back! Through dance, I can definitely see a difference in the way I act when I was younger to now. I’ve been able to grow more confident within my own body and own ideas. I feel like that idea has carried me through the way I live daily. It’s helped me stay head-strong with my goals and pushes me to work harder towards them.
Through the years I’ve been dancing. it’s been an honor to experience each memory I’ve made. I’ve started intensive training at Ms. Hugette’s at 8 and it started to go on from there. I’ve been able to perform at benefit concerts and shows of all kinds, such as my annual recital and high School dance performances. I was able to dance with my peers for Cristina Fontanelli, a famous opera singer, and took parts in several ballets such a The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Elf on a Shelf with the parts of The Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara, Canary Fairy, Snow Fairy, and a Doll. Additionally, I was able to take summer intensives from many different teachers that I’m more than grateful for such as the Joffrey Ballet School, The Rock Ballet School, and Alvin Ailey and receiving a scholarship to attend the summer intensive. Before attending The Ailey School, I’ve attended dance competitions where I’ve met a variety of dancers who blow you away with their talent and passion. NYCDA and DEA have continued to inspire so many dancers to break down that barrier of insecurity and just let it out when you dance. What I hold most dear to my heart is teaching the younger generation the form of dance. I perform with the hopes of encouraging yet another dancer to either continue with this path, or just be able to find pure joy and discovery in the art form. I especially love the act of being able to help and seeing some of my past students grow is truly something remarkable. Till this day the learning never stops, I continue to dive into more styles of dances such as hip hop, tap, Jazz, lyrical and improv, instead of sticking to just ballet, pointe, modern and contemporary:)
How I spread positivity, love, and happiness even online
I have my own Instagram account (@jvy.rose) where I can post the randomness of my daily life. I always showcase the other side of Jovy who isn’t the dancer all of the time and share my goofy side haha! I’ve used my account to promote works, dances, and messages from my friends because it’s art that deserves to be shared. I’ve used it to genuinely communicate to others and give them lots of words of encouragement. I’ve hoped that as I do post these certain things and show the real Jovy, I would hope to connect with anyone in need of a smile and telling everyone to just be yourself. I’ve always thought of my feed as a scrapbook which is why I’ve kept a lot of my photos from back then till this day.
Life as an Asian-American teen in this Generation
Living life as an Asian-American teen, specifically a Filipina, has definitely been a ride. With my parents coming straight from the motherland, my brother and I have been blessed to have been exposed to more of our roots. We’ve been a very reserved household and following traditions my family has been living with ever since. Ever since I was younger, I’ve always been shy and timid of who I was and didn’t know how else to explore myself as a person.
As a teen nowadays, I’ve been more accepting of myself and of my ethnicity, although discrimination against Asians have come to be normal nowadays. Certain stereotypes of me include being the smartest, nerdiest, and ‘chinky eyed’ girl; when at the end of the day I am not all of those stereotypical attributes. I feel like breaking down those stereotypes by just being able to be myself without worry is something I strive for. So breaking out into the arts has been a go-to for many teens to send out messages and tell stories of all kinds.
Exploring other Forms of Expression
I’ve been exploring other forms of art such as fashion and music. Ever since high school started I’ve wanted to rev things up a bit and try to start fresh at High Tech High School. I’ve been starting little by little to find new and funky outfits, and many of my peers do inspire me like Mars Quiboloy, Racquel Palao and Sophia Delrosario. I’ve been trying to find more ways to wear colors, textures and layering of all kinds.
As for music, I’ve been picking up the guitar and ukulele the most. I’ve started to get curious about music as well so that I start deep diving into more artists hoping to find something new. I’ve started to pay more attention to how they’ve structured each of their songs and listen to each beat, bass, strum, and of course lyric, which goes hand and hand with dance. I feel like now we have the free will to start learning anything, especially with the encouragement of other young and aspiring people. The power of collaborating and sharing ideas have only made the artistic community grow stronger than ever and the students at High Tech have encouraged that. Not only does a dancer have to dance, a singer stick to just singing, and so on and so forth; but we all can explore and it can inspire us in many ways.
Communities that Have Helped Me Grow
The communities I have luckily become a part of have been my old studio at Ms. Hugette’s, The Alvin Ailey School, High Tech High School, and CFC-Youth. For the first 15 years of dance training, I went to Ms. Hugette’s in my hometown, and the intimacy of the studio made me meet both very talented dancers and people that I can proudly call my second family. Both my peers and teacher have always strived to do better and push my limits. They’ve given me the necessities to go out into the dance world ready to go. I have recently been accepted into the Junior Division of The Alvin Ailey School which has completely switched up in my life. I’ve met the challenges of being the new girl. and of course. traveling to the city alone, but it’s made me grow more independent along the way and become self-reliant. What made that process easier were my peers, we all encouraged each other and pushed ourselves to the next level, most especially since I’m surrounded by seniors who have had a lot of experience. They’ve become my biggest role models. As for my high school, it’s for sure has made me grow in my individuality.
As of right now I’ve been playing around into finding myself as a person by not shying away to social interaction, trying out more fashion ideas, joining clubs and just having fun overall. Although our major has faced a lot of trouble, I still continue to look on the brighter side of things and up lift any spirits. As for my CFC-Youth community, they’ve kept me in touch with my faith and always remind me that I can do anything through Him. They’ve also contributed to a big part of my life, by staying in touch with where we all started and how we all grow through Him as well.
Dancing in the city consists of constant traveling to and from New York which half of my day consists of. It’s honestly been an easy route to remember and very convenient since the train station is near my school. I’ve been able to get my tickets through an app and just scan them as soon as I get on the train since everything is accessible at the tip of your fingers at ease. As for my Metrocard I always have it on hand and swipe it as is. As for subway systems you can get anywhere on any subway just make sure you pay attention. Especially if a certain subway is delayed, taking another one is no problem. Everything is just a walk away when I get to dance and it does give you a mini workout hehe. In addition, when trains aren’t available, the ferry to the city has been a go to, and when you get dropped off near the subway station already after a mini walk.
Nowadays, public transportation has become a norm, especially for Gen Z. On the other hand, traveling alone allows me to move at my own pace and find new routes from time to time. This has helped me become more independent as well as being self aware of my surroundings. Additionally, since I go to dance straight after school going alone is like giving myself a breather before going to class, it’s like going sightseeing on my own. Going home at night, I’m very lucky since other of my peers also walk home by themselves and we all walk in mini groups to the subway and we all go our separate ways from there. It then the cycle just repeats from Tuesday to Saturday!
The Dance Community
A little splugure of the dance community is something you would call a ‘small world’. Back then, and especially now, there has been a connection within each and every dancer. We’re one big happy family where we encourage and inspire each other. “Dance is a nonverbal way of communication” as stated by an iconic dancer, Judith Jamison; and that’s where everything comes from the heart. You can teach someone the technique of dance, but it’s a matter of how you dance it. I feel like the generation now has been encouraging that raw feeling you get when you dance and explore your body. I’ve been lucky enough to have met dancers from many parts of the world and even though we can’t speak their language, we all share the same love for the art. I feel like that’s where we can be most vulnerable and show our lows and highs at best. I’m forever thankful for the dance community, and even though it is a very competitive atmosphere it doesn’t stop us from getting better and finding who we are.