Jay-R and Exodus Collective-A A +A
By Skipo Jack
Skip The Beat
Monday, July 29, 2013
DANCER. Choreographer. A graduate of Nabunturan National Comprehensive High School and a student of the University of Mindanao Tagum.
Born 22nd of July, this 23-year-old young man who hails from Tagum City (he also claims being a resident of Nabunturan where he spent most of his teenage years) started dancing when he was in Grade 2.
He remembered dancing to the tunes of Hanson's Mmmbop and JLO's Let's Get Loud. He was a consistent honor pupil until the 6th grade. Thus, the Best Performer award in elementary. His parents must have been very proud.
Jay-r Valle or John Lloyd was raised by his mother who ran a business in Nabunturan. Ilong, as he is fondly called by very close friends, shared: "I remember my Mama selling whatever she can peddle in our sari sari store while I get myself busy with dancing in school and barangay competitions. I would win cash which I'd all spend for myself. My mother understood that. Sadly, Mama passed away in 2009 when I was 17."
Growing up practically an orphan, Jay-R managed to live life alone, earning a living through dancing for a fee, joining contests for cash and connecting with friends for jobs. He is a person of great determination and superb dancing talent.
People around him changed including himself, but his passion for dancing remained in his heart.
"I was born to dance. I love to do funk, jazz, hip hop and ballroom. Dance theatre is what I like to do best. Cultural or folk dance, too. See, I like almost everything about dancing," he said.
Will he ever do the Rhyzza cha-cha-cha? "I can do that, too," he said with a laugh.
In the summer of 2006, Jay-R met would-be pioneering Exodus members namely, Jackie Diez, Joy Sabala, Kenneth Rallos, Cris Bandalan, Werner Gallofen, Reyniel Campitan, Mart Fuentes and Enric Salibay.
Exodus Performing Arts Collective was formed months after and has since been getting accolades for their performances. The years that followed had them earning commendations and cash awards being finalist in the ABS-CBN Powerdance Competition 2008, Champion of Simbalay Festival in Nabunturan and in Diwanag Festival in Montevista; 2nd Runner up in the Inter-Mindanao Dance Contest 2012 in Tagum City and Araw ng Dabaw dance competition 2nd runner up held at the Rizal park.
The group's greatest achievement to date is their participation in GMA's Party Pilipinas Jump In Dance contest being one of the seven finalists there.
Here, came new members: Chaz Khen Retisa, Jed Postrero, Jessie Pontillo, Ninz Marquez, Nick Mancha, Jamela Viola, Jessarame Pontillo, Jackilyn Lauder, Natasha Kichon, Cindy Ador, Cyril Villamores, Johanne Ellocanao and Grace Lagura.
The group always believes that being together means practicing new routines with different music genre and at the same time, having fun. Like any group, there is also misunderstanding among the members.
For instance, attitude towards other members, breach in time and schedule but they handle their differences with ease for until now they are still very much together. Together, without the other two.
Reynel Campitan, who baptized and gave the group's name, figured in a freak accident along with Grace Lagura, in Nabunturan.
Jay-R has this to say about them, "Both were very good friends to us, they were more like brother and sister to the group. One night, we joined a barangay dance contest and won 2nd.. We were all very happy. I remember Rey and Grace sharing our happiness that night celebrating, eating and enjoying the moment. Then that incident hurt people, our group and took the lives of Rey and Grace. They will always be missed."
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 29, 2013.