Chezka Siño

Joined 2021 / @chezkalearnstodance

The One Piece is real.

I started my ballet training in the Philippines at Dance Theater Manille (formerly Satin Slippers School of Arts) under Chippy Lontok-Dioko. I trained for only a short period during my childhood and I’ve performed in recitals at my hometown, Carmona, Cavite and at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

I moved to the United States in 2013 and I mainly focused on my undergraduate studies in a STEM field and getting acclimated to a new place. I took a semester of ballet at the University of San Francisco which let me restart my ballet journey but it wasn’t until a couple years when I discovered Kathy’s Mata’s classes at LINES Dance Center.

I started taking Kathy Mata’s ballet classes in 2019 and I fell in love with the craft again. It was such a welcoming environment and I remember Kathy was making sure she got my name right. It was such a challenge since it was during a time when I was just starting to be active — ballet is not easy! I put on my first pair of pointe shoes later that year and that was such a proud moment for me.

A few months after the studio reopened in 2021, I got invited to perform with Kathy Mata Ballet in their Winter Holiday Showcase. It was such an honor to have this opportunity to perform and not a lot of adult ballet dancers get this chance. Joining the company has greatly motivated me to be a better dancer — I even added strength training to my routine. This has helped immensely with my health and fitness. I’ve been enjoying performing classical works to the best of my ability and also exploring music I can dance to.

I never would have though that restarting ballet in my late 20s would put me in the level I’m currently at. It’s also such a humbling experience being able to perform for the local senior community and give spread joy by doing what I love.