“I’m told I’m energetic, inspiring and that I motivate people.”
In his two decades teaching dance classes at Sydney Dance Company, Ramon Doringo has inspired and motivated thousands of dancers, both neophytes and enthusiasts alike. We chatted to Ramon to learn a little more about the man behind the beaming smile, hear about his previous career milestones and find out why he thinks the Virtual Studio is a great place to learn to dance.
I was born and raised in the Philippines as one of ten children; I’m number nine.
In primary school, the whole school would assemble in the morning. First, we would sing the national anthem and then we would all exercise together. One of the teachers must have noticed that I had good rhythm and asked me to lead the exercise for the whole school, so I did. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but it was a big responsibility.
As a boy, I truly loved watching beauty pageants like Miss Universe and Miss World. One day I saw a folkloric dance company performing at the coronation of Miss Asia and that’s when I thought, ‘I want to do what they’re doing, I want to be a dancer as well’.
My parents couldn’t afford to send me to dance school so throughout primary school and high school, I just waited and waited. After high school, I went to Philippino Normal University, where I received a Bachelor of Education over a four-year period. All the best teachers graduated from there, but it was also the university that was affiliated with the folkloric dance company I had seen on T.V. I joined the company after graduation and that is when I really felt like I’d made it as a dancer.
My first overseas trip was with that company. We went to Germany and then USA and Asia. It was because of Imelda Marcos, the first lady of the Philippines, that we were able to travel abroad. It was during Martial Law but due to Cultural Diplomacy we could travel.
I got into teaching when I was living in Sydney in 1999. I was freelancing while waiting to go on tour with the musical Rasputin. I got a call to cover for a teacher who was sick and that’s how I got involved with Sydney Dance Company.
There are so many, but one that comes to mind is when I performed the evil king in the musical The King and I. I was taught by the original cast member Kathy Lee Brynner, who played the part of Eliza and I danced the original choreography by Jerome Robbins. That is a memory I still treasure now.
As I kid, I joined every possible after school activity and I loved to run. At family gatherings, I could never be found because I was constantly on the go. After moving to Australia in my early twenties I got really into formal exercise because it is so complimentary to dance, and I found that getting to the gym regularly was useful for injury prevention as well as keeping my mind healthy. Throughout my dance career, I would do eight shows a week and still make time to get to the gym every day and then when I became a full-time teacher, I was teaching 12-15 classes a week and that became a big part of my exercise routine.
Exercise always helps me to keep a positive outlook, stay motivated and it inspires me to try new things. Over the years at Sydney Dance Company there have been many developments in dance and I’ve always tried to evolve my style, rather than stick to what I know. It keeps things interesting.
I teach beginner Jazz in the Ultimo studios and in the Virtual Studio.
My class is designed for people who are not trained dancers, for anyone who likes to move. You don’t even need rhythm to begin with, that will come with time. People can also expect to have fun and to be challenged. I’m told I’m energetic, inspiring and that I motivate people.
The Virtual Studio is fun because you can just dance as if no-one is watching. Whereas in the studio people might feel like they’re being watched. I’ve found that the Virtual Studio can help build confidence and so for people who’ve never danced before, it’s a great place to start.
I like to watch dance on Instagram and Tik Tok, but I also love watching the Sydney Dance Company dancers rehearse. That can absolutely make my day.
I’m inspired by the people who come to class, both in the Virtual Studio and in the studio. At the end of class, seeing everyone doing the routine keeps me inspired to keep teaching and choreographing.
I also love meeting and greeting students at the studio. It melts my heart to hear people talk about how much they love the classes, with some even saying it changes their life, and money can’t buy that.
Enjoy unlimited dance in the Virtual Studio or In-Studio with a Membership from $28 per week. Single and FlexiPacks are also available.