American FILIPINO mother and daughter duo Nicole and Emelyn Yniguez want to tell their story through dance as they join CBS’ new family dance competition series, ‘Come Dance with Me’, which premiered earlier in April .
Nicole, 41, who works as a social media consultant, said showing her true self in her dance routines will give her an edge over other teams in the competition.
“The most valuable thing I said to Emelyn and myself was to just be ourselves and have fun,” Nicole, the mother of 4, told the Asian newspaper when asked what people can expect from their performances in the 11-week dance competition series.
“Yes, it’s a competition and we want to do our best, but we just have to be ourselves and that’s what’s going to happen to people watching on TV as long as we can stay true to who we are and not trying to be anything other than Emelyn and Nicole, I think people can relate to us because we’re just being authentic ourselves,” Nicole added.
“Come Dance with Me” features exceptionally talented young dancers from across the country who invite an untrained family member who supported their dance dreams to be their partner, for the chance to strut their stuff for a grand prize. .
Never in her wildest dreams had Nicole imagined that she would be joining a dance competition as big as this one.
“I honestly didn’t expect to be on the show with her. We just applied and it was 2020 and she was only 12 and it was in the middle of the pandemic, we were home and the kids weren’t in school. It was all remote, so we did it on a whim, not really expecting to go far,” Nicole said.
“When we had an interview, I was actually trying to suggest my husband do the show with her, but they inquired about me and I guess they liked the idea that I was a mother who sacrificed his job so that his children could dance.” she added.
Nicole quit her day job to film the dance show’s first two-hour episode in Australia in the middle of last year.
Although she never had the chance to shake a leg when she was younger, Nicole wanted to learn, but her hardworking parents didn’t have the luxury of taking her to dance schools.
“I always wanted to dance when I was younger but my parents, who were both working at the time, didn’t allow me because of time commitment issues. I never got the chance to dance. opportunity, so when it came up and when Emelyn asked me to do it with her, the rest is history,” said Nicole, who also held an administrative position at a dance studio in New Jersey. before the family moved to Las Vegas.
With a supportive family, 14-year-old Emelyn, on the other hand, has been lacing her dancing shoes since the age of three. She is now a pre-professional dancer and has been dancing competitively for over seven years.
Emelyn drew inspiration and love for dance from watching students in the dance studio where her mother worked. She started dancing at the age of 3.
“When I was 7 years old, my mother started working in a dance school. One day my mother took us to see a dance competition. The dancers were on stage and I watched them and I was just impressed and so inspired and I said to my mom, ‘I want to do this and I want to dance on stage as well.’ I want to dress up and get a trophy and get an award for dancing,” Emelyn said.
Through years of experience and immense training, Emelyn could bring together all dance styles and genres, such as hip hop, tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, ballroom and tumbling/ gymnastic.
Preparing for complex and complicated dance routines, Nicole admitted, was a major challenge for her.
“Before I went to Australia to film the show, I never trained. I had never danced before. It was a very physically demanding experience because you know at the time I was 40, my body doesn’t move like my daughter’s. So learning these intricate steps was very difficult and it took a lot of practice and a lot of corrections from my daughter so that I could at least do my best to match her energy and everything she does,” Nicole said.
Emelyn, for her part, has continually honed her dancing prowess through intense and vigorous training. “I’m actually competing with my current studio Dance Connection. I also train at Dance Connection about five to six days a week, four to five hours a day and train in all styles,” the teenager said.
With all these sacrifices and challenges, Nicole and Emelyn are just proud to represent the Fil-Am community in the United States.
“We are so proud to be a Fil-Am mother-daughter duo representing the Filipino community. We hope our story and our dances can inspire other young Fil-Am dancers,” Nicole said.
“We know that Filipinos are known to be great at everything when it comes to entertainment. It’s so amazing that we have this opportunity to represent not only the Filipino community but also the Asian community and the most beautiful thing I would say about the cast is that we are very diverse. There are actually three families of Asian descent. We are so proud to be one of them representing all Asian and Filipino families and we really hope we will make all Pinoys proud,” she said.
This mother-daughter dance tandem from Las Vegas is one of 12 teams from across the country that will compete for the competition’s grand prize of $100,000.
Emelyn, Nicole’s eldest child, said if they won they would want to use the prize money to buy a house.
“At the moment, we live in a condominium. A family of six in a three bedroom condo is very small compared to what we want to live in. We would really like to buy a house,” said the dance-loving teenager.
According to the 8th grader, they would also save some of the prize money for a college fund and other family expenses.
“Come Dance with Me” is from creators and executive producers Chris O’Donnell, LL COOL J (stars of CBS’s “NCIS: Los Angeles”) and 3 Ball Productions. The show, which premiered on April 15, will air every Friday thereafter for 11 weeks, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific and 7 p.m. Central.
GRAMMY® award-winning songwriter Philip Lawrence hosts the series which features music from popular artists across all genres.
The competition judges include one of Hollywood’s most prolific dancers and actresses, Jenna Dewan; renowned professional dancer Dexter Mayfield; and famed hip hop choreographer Tricia Miranda.
Throughout the season, each duo will learn and perform different dance styles, from hip hop and ballroom to contemporary and theater, among others.