As part of our DRRM awareness raising activities we were expected to run a youth camp. Straight-forward right? Except the kids of Cabiao are quite trendy. To put it bluntly: life jacket-making isn't cool and as a result, the team have hosted a few not-so-successful events, purely because they have failed to engage the youth.

Back at the drawing board and bashing our heads together, we asked ourselves what the youth actually like: dancing, music and parties. Jack pot.

And that was how the Disaster Dance-off Disco Party was born.

My work cluster took the lead on running the event, but we had no idea how it was going to go! Was it going to sink or swim? (Excuse the flood-related pun!) After a week of panicked planning, gaining sponsorship, making decorations and calling dance troops- the big day arrived...

...at least if it failed, we could just enjoy the party ourselves. After all, we couldn't let the sound system and smoke machine go to waste!

Ofcourse, Filipino time came into play and the acts and the audience were late to arrive. But eventually- two hours later than scheduled- the party was ready to start, complete with a ram packed hall and 7 dance acts in competition. Kim and I got the fun job of hosting and had to keep the 400+ crowd entertained for the evening! Feeling like Fearne Cotton, I did my best to hype up the crowd with "HELLO CABIAO" 's and "CAN YOU MAKE SOME NOISE!!" My interviews were a little less successful, but I did my best to smile and nod at the Tagalog responses I was getting! Thankfully "wow" is a universal expression of amazement and was what I repeatedly shouted throughout the show. Each and every dance troop was fantastic- I am not exaggerating when I say that they were 'Diversity' good (a dance act from the UK X-factor!) We saw back flips through fire hoops, gymnastics that made my heart jump and dancers that were so in-sync they looked like one body! But what was particularly amazing was the way the youth engaged with the theme: 'disaster.' The troops made a real effort to reflect 'disaster' in their costumes, props, music and choreography- making the judges' final decision really difficult! To be cheesy but true, everyone was a winner in my eyes and helped towards the terrific success of the event. Who would of thought that the Municipal gym could've been turned into a pretty decent night club?!?

The evening ended with a disco, where I found myself roped into a dance-off! Luckily, the Macarena is always a winner, even if it's in response to a triple back flip!

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#2014blog #disaster #disco #flood #awareness #raising #event #community #youthengagement #cabiao #philippines #teenagers #dancers #gymnasts #disco #TRAVEL

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