Interview with Sergio and Lina Machon

Interview with Sergio and Lina Machon

Posted on venerdì, 07 feb 2020, 22:45 by admin
Read: 8.403

We talked to the winners of Senior Latin at Blackpool 2019, Sergio and Lina Machon, who represent Philippines.

Congratulations. You must be so happy now. It is impressive you came here for the first time ever, and won.

[Lina]: Oh, yes, very happy

Tell us how you started dancing.

[Lina]: I started with folk dancing actually. I was about fourteen. During college We both took degree in Physical Education and Ballroom dancing was part of the curriculum. And with that we started participating in various regional competitions.

When you say "we", who do you mean?

[Lina]: Me and Sergio. We were class mates.

So you started dancing together then?

[Sergio]: Yes, and no. I was an athlete, I did long jump, high jump, running... When I started the university, the curriculum included music, sport and dancing. So that's how I got introduced into that area.

So you dance together from the very beginning?

[Lina]: Yes.

Are you married?

[Sergio]: Yes, we are since 2013.

[Lina]: When we graduated we started competitions.

[Sergio]: First in our own town, and then regional, and then we went to Manila, capital of Philippines. That was a start of our proper training. Before, there was no formal training. We tried to copy from YouTube...


[Sergio]: Yes (laughing). And sometimes the music and dancing is not synced, the timing is wrong (laughing). That's why we decided to go to Manila where we met our coach Belinda Adora.

[Lina]: That's where we learned the proper technique. Specially we worked on musicality, the timing.

Did you have Filipino trainers, or from Europe?

[Lina]: We had Filipino coach, and sometimes European or American trainers were available so we would book lessons.

Why did you continue dancing past your graduation? Whey did you like it?

[Sergio]: I like that I can express myself through dancing. I am very serious person, and sometimes I can only express my emotions or my feelings through dancing. I enjoy interpreting the music.

[Lina]: I guess, it was always my passion. When I was little, my aunt could sing, and whenever I heard singing I moved to it. Maybe it is in our family. I love moving to music. In Philippines we don't really have proper training in ballet, it wasn't available.

[Sergio]: Filipinos are happy people. Whenever there is a party and music we dance to it. Everybody is enjoying.

Do you find dancers in other countries less so?

[Lina]: Maybe, yes, very focused. And very technical.

But technique is important

[Sergio]: Yes, it is

[Lina]: Yes, it is important. But sometimes when you focus on technique, steps, there is less fun in your dancing.

[Sergio]: It should be fun

[Lina]: But if you are able to express your feelings more, then there is the natural movement of flow.

So the technique is only a tool to use to achieve that seemingly natural movement?

[Sergio]: Yes, I think so

Can you describe each dance and how you feel it?

[Sergio]: It is difficult to say because it depends on mood, on music. I try to express various things in every round.

[Lina]: Cha Cha is cheeky, inviting your partner to flirt. Our coach always encouraged us to be flirty with each other. Samba...

[Sergio]: I enjoy that dance more. It reminds me of party, carnival. It is a progressive dance so you have to be aware of audience, other couples, of your partner. It is very enjoyable.

What about Rumba?

[Lina]: Very romantic for me

[Sergio]: The music dictates the mood. Sometimes the music is more aggressive, and then you change your movements. Sometimes it will make me change the way I lead.

Is it romantic or erotic?

[Lina]: Combination

[Sergio]: It depends on music for me (laughing).

[Lina]: If you really like the music, there is more passion in you.

[Sergio]: It can differ from round to round. Soft or aggressive, slower or faster. Music dictates the mood. Delivery of the step changes. It is exciting as well, because Lina is able to respond to it

[Lina]: It is this connection

And what about the Paso Doble?

[Lina]: It is the most difficult dance for me. I hate Paso (laughing).

[Sergio]: I actually enjoy

[Lina]: OK, we have a new routine and it doesn't help. I can enjoy it, it depends on the first few bars of music. It is our first time in Blackpool. And the music is so different.

[Sergio]: We practised to the Spanish music.

[Lina]: Here, the orchestra is playing and there is a different rhythm to it. It confused me. Music is different.

So it is your first time in Blackpool? I noticed we do not have many results of you.

[Sergio]: We only compete in Asia really.

[Lina]: It is difficult for us to compete more because dancing is so expensive. We are lucky this time that we have a sponsor who paid for this trip.

What do you do for your day job?

[Sergio]: We both graduated with a degree in Physical Education. We teach. We are freelancer dance teachers in schools or studios. We teach kids.

So your entire life revolves around dancing?

[Lina]: Yes!

Can I ask if you have any children of your own?

[Sergio]: This is another project (laughing)

What do you like to do in your spare time?

[Sergio]: No free time

[Lina]: The problem is that sometimes we have no free time together. Somebody may call him and ask him to teach, or ask us to dance a show next day....

[Sergio]: When we can we like to go out to movies, or away to the beach or lake.

[Lina]: Just to unwind.

[Sergio]: It is cooler, because it is higher in the mountains

[Lina]: Philippines is a hot country

What kind of movies do you like?

[Sergio]: The latest action or adventure movies

[Lina]: Or romantic comedies.

[Sergio]: Sometimes we watch separate films (laughing)

Anybody dancing in your families?

[Sergio]: No, just me (laughing). I have 3 older siblings, but only I am dancing.

[Lina]: I have 5 younger siblings (laughing)

Are they interested in your dancing?

[Sergio]: They have their own lives. We have different interests. But obviously they were happy when we won. Actually, one radio station called us this morning (laughing) to do interview

[Lina]: So we did interview already today.

What is your first language? Tagalog?

[Sergio]: We have thousand dialects. There are over seven thousand islands in Philippines. And at least one thousand languages. We have one Filipino language, Tagalog, which is universal. All the Filipinos can speak English as well (laughing).

So England is the furthest place you competed in?

[Lina]: Yes. And we can here on the 25th of May, only one day before our competition.

[Sergio]: We arrived at 1am in the morning. Our flight was late.

You were late for this interview as well (laughing)

[Lina]: I know, we are sorry! We were stuck in the restaurant waiting for food over an hour!

How is dancing scene in Philippines?

[Sergio]: We actually stopped competing. We do show dance there. We hope to start a family so do not want to exhaust ourselves with too much competition.

And doing shows is less exhausting?

[Sergio]: Doctor did not have any reservations! (laughing)

[Lina]: Because my body is used to that already. It doesn't put any more stress on me. And I want to dance, I don't want to be stuck at home waiting for it (laughing)

What kind of dance music do you like?

[Sergio]: I prefer classic

[Lina]: I prefer modern (laughing). Sometimes we like totally opposite things.

[Sergio]: When we are asked to perform a show, I ask what kind of audience we are going to have. If we know we have teenagers, we use modern music.

[Lina]: When the audience are more our age, and we are both 37, we play more classic dance music.

[Sergio]: We like to communicate with them through music.

[Lina]: But when we practice he likes to put old style!

Is this your first time in England?

[Lina]: Yes, it is.

How do you find England?

[Lina]: It is amazing for us. The weather is so nice for him. Sergio really likes cold, when we arrived at the hotel he wanted to stay outside to feel the cold (laughing).

What about the food?

[Sergio]: We tried fish and chips.

[Lina]: Friends told us this is something we had to try. Also to go to the beach, visit some other places. We might do it if we have time. We will take a picture and send it to you to prove we were there (laughing)

Do you like the Wintergardens?

[Lina]: It is amazing. The biggest ballroom we ever danced in!

[Sergio]: And the audience was simply amazing last night.

They were really supportive last night, you got a lot of cheers and applause!

[Lina]: Even the people we don't know!

[Sergio]: The energy was amazing.

[Lina]: When we saw how connected they were, it was just so energising for us. That's the time when we feel we want to give more and more! To make them happy.

What do you like about each other?

[Sergio]: You go first (laughing)

[Lina]: He is very patient...

[Sergio]: Be careful (laughing)

[Lina]: No, I mean it! Even when he is teaching he is very dedicated and patient. He can really communicate and he has a good knowledge. I started Latin and Ballroom first, but he had more lessons from foreign teachers because he also competes in Teacher-Student. So he feeds me that knowledge as well now. And I like that about him. Sometimes we quarrel...

Oh, what a surprise, in married couple...

[Lina]: No, no, only about dancing! (laughing). In studio. We never bring it home. Actually when we are on our way back home, in a car, he realises he was wrong, he says he is sorry (laughing). When it is my fault, I always apologise.

What don't you like about him?

[Lina]: When he is stressed he sometimes raises his voice. If you have a problem talk to me, don't raise your voice! I don't like that.

What about you, Sergio?

[Sergio]: I like that she always can find a way to communicate with me. She is open minded. She has good ideas, she is creative. She likes to try new things.

[Lina]: What else (laughing)?

[Sergio]: She complained about me raising my voice, but maybe it is because I expect much more from her than from others. She is always able to neutralise me (laughing). I like that about her. We don't argue about anything else that dancing. You know, sometimes during show, she has a different interpretation of music and I have different, my own. I am sure she will follow though, with her own twist.

So she adds her own extra bit?

[Sergio]: Yes, and it makes it prettier.

[Lina]: Sometimes when he starts, I know exactly what to do. So he complains that I don't listen to the lead. But I know what to do.

[Sergio]: This is what we can improve (laughing).

There are always things to improve!

[Sergio]: Yes, and we want to learn.

I guess if you had more money, you'd be travelling and competing around the world more?

[Lina]: Yes!

Do you have sponsors?

[Lina]: Yes, Myrna Tan. She also competed in Pro-Am here. Our other sponsors are Marinette Alarilla, Joann De Larrazabal, Jennifer Aranzamendez.

What would you like to do in the future?

[Lina]: I want to keep improving. Competitions really challenge you to improve.

When you go to competitions what do you enjoy more, winning or show?

[Sergio]: Both!

[Lina]: Of course we go to competition to win. But sometimes it is not possible. So we want to do our best, like in the show.

[Sergio]: Dance our best and enjoy the night

What is more important, to win in the eyes of judges or the audience?

[Sergio]: The judges for me

[Lina]: For me it is the audience (laughing)

So together it is a double win (laughing)!

[Lina]: You know, yesterday, we never expected the public to cheer for us. So maybe when the judges hear the audience call our number, they will pay closer attention to us or like us more (laughing)

Did you have any lessons in here in England?

[Sergio]: No, we only arrived a day before.

[Lina]: We are lucky I guess. What everybody kept saying was you have to go there and have lessons with the English teachers to familiarise yourselves with them.

[Sergio]: But our financial situation did not permit, so...

[Lina]: So we had to dance our best!

Was it the first Filipino win in Blackpool?

[Lina]: The second. The first one was 14 years ago! Also in Seniors, John Derrick Co and Edna Ledesma.

Really impressive that you won

[Lina]: It is very hard competition. The final is very strong. And there are many rounds. We had the last number actually. Every round the last number called was us. We were so happy, every time. And during the final, it was like a Miss Universe moment (laughing) for me.

It was so great talking to you. Good luck for the future, and to see you soon.