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The 2017 World of Dance Finals will be held in Pasadena on July 22, 2017, and we can’t wait. This annual event features the winners of World of Dance competitions around the world—the best of the best—facing off to win the title, plus performances by industry starts, vendors, DJs, artists, and a lot more. In anticipation of this must-see event, we’re getting to know the many competitors from around the world.

Today, we’re meeting Sayawatha Dance Troupe, Youth Division Winners for World of Dance Philippines 2017. We caught up with the crew to find out how they met, what it was like to compete in WOD, what they’re looking forward to, and more.

Crew name: Sayawatha Dance Troupe

Title: Youth Division Winners for World of Dance Philippines 2017

From: Philippines

Members: Kiane Abrugena, Eloisa Apostol, Patricia Arroyo, Christina Bellosillo, Sean Benzon, Elle Blanch, Angel Calilung, Rica Cirujales, Francine De Marcaida, Lila Decena, Niña Dolfo, Phoemela Esluzar, Marina Fagela, Kayla Flores, André Frencillo, Francine Gatchalian, Nina Ishikawa, Jiliana Linco, Kyra Mallari, Mica Mendiola, Peps Mercado, Annika Miguel, Riana Osano, Corazon Pavia, Maxine Perez, Mariana Puzon, Rachelle Romero, Elkanah Saavedra, Nathasia Santos, Mika Tafalla, Jillian Tan, Leanne Tan, Michelle Tanieca, Frances Uy, Gabriellle Yambao

WOD: Can you give us a little background about the crew? 

SDT: Established in 1996, Miriam College High School’s Sayawatha is an-all girl dance troupe comprised of young, passionate individuals who share one common love for the art/craft of dancing. Despite only being together for a year, the team/crew competing this year has indubitably grown into a family through every hardship and triumph faced along the way.

Sayawatha Dance Troup

WOD: Other than winning first place, what was your favorite part of competing at the World of Dance qualifier?

SDT: It was the team’s first time in the World of Dance Philippines Qualifiers. With that said, the new experience of competing in itself was truly unforgettable for everyone. During the qualifiers, the team was given the chance to get to know people who share the same interest and appreciation for dance as we do. We were also given the chance to watch the Filipino dance community come together to showcase all their talent and hard work in one competition.

WOD: What do you think made your performance stand out enough to win?

SDT: We performed and worked together as one team. Our coaches came up with a great routine. Each member did their part and gave 110%. And lastly, we performed our hearts out and enjoyed every moment on that stage.

WOD: What’s your crew’s dance philosophy?

The team uses their God-given talent to empower young women to express themselves through the art of dance. We always work hard to show the best of our abilities and to truly show how passionate each individual is about the craft.

WOD: What are you most excited about for the WOD Finals in Pasadena?

SDT: The team is extremely excited to learn from and meet the best dance teams from all around the world, coming together to enjoy and celebrate our love of dance with the community. We are also excited to showcase what this team is capable of to the world in hopes that we get to inspire others in the process. Last but not least, what we are most excited about is being able to represent the Philippines and hopefully bring pride and joy to our people.

Catch Sayawatha Dance Troupe competing at the 2017 World of Dance Finals in Pasadena on July 22. For tickets and more event info, visit World of Dance.

Love dance as much as us? Tune into NBC’s World of Dance Tuesdays at 10/9 central to see the world’s best dancers battle it out for a whopping $1 million prize. (Here’s everything you need to know about the show, from the competitors to the rules, in case you’re out of the loop). Don’t miss exclusive interviews, performances, and more from the definitive source for all things NBC World of Dance.