Florida Fil-Ams fuse hip-hop and folk dance to create unity

TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Philfest’s Revolution 2015 is not your usual hip-hop competition.

It’s a mash-up of Filipino traditional dances with today’s latest hip-hop moves

The result is a unique Filipino dance movement that draws thousands of youths in Tampa who otherwise have lost touch with their Filipino roots.

“Revolution is all about giving a space for Filipinos and Filipino Americans to come together and celebrate their heritage,” Fil-Am youth organizer Melissa Barrido said. “A lot of people don’t know about their Filipino heritage especially us who were born here so this give us a chance to show our passion for dance and unity.”

Kevin Deligero, a dancer from Pembroke Pines said, “Revolution is really cool because it incorporates dance culture and also incorporating a culture set in it. So it lets us know different styles of modern hip-hop dance along with cultural traditional dances.”

Now in its 10th year, organizers say Revolution has grown to include even non-Filipino dancers who get to learn Pinoy dances in the most unusual way.

Kevin Deligero said, “We don’t normally do Philippine dances around the UCF area. So this is our first performance where it’s like Filipino culture based and we’re just really excited to dance and fuse our hip-hop culture with Filipino dancing.”

Barrido says, for the most part, Revolution is just a fun way to connect with other Fil-Am youths in Florida and get them involved in Filipino community events such as the annual Phil Fest.

“I think it’s very important for our young adults because it gives us a way to connect back to our roots. While growing up, the kids watching this, they wanna be involved later on. So I think its a great tradition to keep going,” she said.

Organizers say it’s just a matter of time before current Filipino community leaders in Tampa retire and Revolution is helping in its own way to make sure that there will be future Filipino community leaders to take their place.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for information.

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  • Rho Hughart
    8 September 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Don. I work here in South Port Square, Port Charlotte, FL. a retirement & healthcare community. I just want to inquire if you have a group of Filipino dancers performing Filipino dances. I have been looking for one to perform in our community this coming September 24 in the morning to showcase Filipino culture. I hope you can help me on this matter.