Deniel brings passion for dance to AGT semis

By Jerry Donato

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Contemporary dancer Deniel Sarmiento is among the Filipino acts who have made it to Asia’s Got Talent Season Two semi-finals round. Photo courtesy of AXN’s AGTS2

MANILA, Philippines — “I didn’t expect anything even during the judges audition. But to make it this far is already an honor… I want to fight for my dream and push myself harder.” That was Deniel Sarmiento sharing his thoughts on his entry to semi-finals round of Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) Season Two in an e-mail interview with this writer. Beatboxer Neil Rey Garcia Llanes, musical artist Fitri Cerado and dance group DMX are the other Pinoy acts who have made it to the circle of semi-finalists. Like every dreamer out there, they wish to secure a grand finals slot and win the competition.

“I’m a self-taught dancer,” said Deniel of his love affair with dancing. “My first formal training was at Ballet Philippines for one month. Now I’m a scholar of G-Force. My mentors are my sister and Teacher Georcelle.”

The kind of dance Deniel has shown on AGTS2 stage is categorized as contemporary.

“(It’s) more than just a dance,” he said, “because, for me, contemporary dance has helped me find who I am, and how I can express myself and I just let go of the negative things in life. And just being free is the best part of it.” This is the happiness the young dancer gets from his art. In a previous interview, Deniel shared that he feels like a bird every time he dances. “For me, (no words can) express how satisfied I am (with dancing). It’s just the best feeling... you know when you do your best and do what you love (the most), it is when you feel free and want to do it more and more.” 

Asked if he choreographs his own dance routines, Deniel answered, “Yes… it just shows my love for (dance), my emotions.” He added that “how I deliver every step” is a sneak peek for others to see the hardship Deniel puts into his work. “I want people to see the work I do. I usually get some inspiration from my idols or by watching YouTube videos. In fact, my life experiences are part of my process in choreographing my dance routines.”

Prior to Asia’s Got Talent, Deniel tried his luck in the Season Five of Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT), a reality talent show also based on that global franchise. “(It) helped me build my confidence, especially performing in front of many people.”

At this point of the competition, all AGT semi-finalists are all eyes on the finale night. Deniel is banking on his hard work, passion for dancing and faith in it to make a successful bid at the Asian-wide talent tilt. 

“(Dancing) is my passion and (it) is not easy, people don’t know how much sweat, blood, and tears I put in it,” he said. “Working hard for what you love and enjoying it at the same time is indescribable feeling.”

As a young Filipino artist, what motivates him in joining competitions like AGTS2?

“I join competitions simply because I always want to perform,” replied Deniel, who also wants to be known for his work ethic and passion, “and give back to people who have helped me fulfill my dreams. I (want) to give my family the best life I could give them.”

(Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 airs Thursday nights at 8:30 on AXNThe network is available on Cablelink Channel 38, Cignal Channel 121, Destiny Cable Channel 61, Dream Satellite TV Channel 20, G Sat Channel 51 and SKYCable Channel 49. AXN HD is available on SKYCable Channel 247.)

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