Delight on the dance floor
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2019 - 12:00am

ANGELES, Pampanga, Philippines — Sean Mischa Aranar and Ana Leonila Nualla had an instant rapport when they first met in 2013. Little did they know that the partnership would, six years later, produce three gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games.

The Aranar-Nualla pair came through with a performance to remember as they snared three gold medals in single dance tango, single Viennese Waltz and All Five Dances at the Royce Hotel here to emerge as the first Filipino triple-gold medalists in the 30th SEA Games.

Aranar and Nualla sparkled most in the group dance that combined all dances and garnered an impressive score of 151.350, besting Vu Hoang Anh Minh and Nguyen Truong Xuan of Vietnam and Anucha Wijitkoon and Pasraporn Phandech of Thailand, who ended up with the silver and bronze with 142.100 and 138.250, respectively.

“We met at a time when we didn’t have (dancing) partners six years ago and we’re glad we kept the partnership,” said the 27-year-old Nualla.

They bagged three of the 10 gold medals won by the Filipino dancers on top of three silvers, making dancesport the biggest source of gold for the country thus far.

Mark Jayson Gayon and Mary Joy Renigen also went for a three-gold sweep of their events and ended up with two golds in Qaltz and Foxtrot and a silver in Quickstep behind eventual winner Nguyen Duc Hoa and Nguyen Thi Hai Yen of Vietnam.

It helped that Gayon and Renigen have been in a relationship for four years now.

“Us being in a relationship makes it easier because we can produce the feelings easily although the conflict when we fight is harder,” said the 25-year-old Renigen, a University of Makati graduate.

“But it’s all worth it, thanks to these golds,” she added.

Wilbert Aunzo and Pearl Marie Caneda likewise harvested three golds with triumphs in Samba, Chacha and Rumba.

Michael Angelo Marquez and Stephanie Sabalo accounted for the Filipinos’ ninth and 10th gold by ruling Paso Doble and Latin five.

Marquez and Sabalo wound up with a silver in Solo Jive.

Debbie Mahinay settled for a silver in the women’s Break Dance.

ANA LEONILA NUALLA SEAN MISCHA ARANAR
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