A talented dancer who was bullied growing up because he has a cleft palate moved one of the judges to tears in the pilot episode of “World of Dance Philippines” on Saturday.
Ryan was teased by his schoolmates when he was young for his appearance, which left him lacking in confidence during in his teens.
He said he was forced to learn how to dance, so he could communicate without the need to speak.
Nowadays, Ryan is considered as his university’s best choreographer, leading a crew named The Exporters.
He came up with the steps for their turn on the “World of Dance Philippines” stage, a performance inspired by his story of standing tall despite being bullied growing up.
It was set to a song that preaches about turning one’s weakness into strengths, and it had judge Gary Valenciano in tears.
“It’s short of being a masterpiece,” the song and dance icon gushed, adding that members of The Exporters were in perfect sync and were able to tell Ryan’s story with conviction.
In the end, The Exporters got a score of 92.3 from the judges, a panel that also included Maja Salvador and Billy Crawford.
Acts will only need at least an 80 score to move to the second round. They will be judged based on performance, technique, choreography, creativity, and presentation. A max score is 100.
“World of Dance Philippines” airs Saturdays after “Home Sweetie Home” and Sundays after “Wansapanataym.”