St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School graduate Carnel John Destacamento has stepped into the spotlight, leading his dance crew, “The ARTillery,” to a first-place finish at the World of Dance Competition held in Michigan on August 18.
His passion for dance was born in SJB’s dance studio over 10 years ago, when he first entered as a grade 9 student. While his talent has taken him globally, he still credits the school’s dance program for his success.
“SJB’s studio was the first real dance studio I ever entered,” he said.
“Being able to find a space where I could develop as a dancer was a valuable first step. Taking dance class and being part of SJB’s dance team was my first crack at choreographing and learning what it meant to become a performer.”
“Those experiences have shaped who I am today and have allowed me to meet several talented dancers who have become lifelong friends and part of my dance family.”
The ARTillery was formed in 2015 by Destacamento and St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School graduate Miguel Ramirez, making it Hamilton’s first premier competitive Hip Hop team.
Along with Destacamento, nine other SJB dancers make up part of the 20-member crew, including Serena Tran, Deanne Tarquinio, Azia Naguit, Gillian Macgalas, Vincent Magcalas, Rafael Pelaez, Avery Alonzo, Addi San Juan and Anton Le.
“The chemistry and experience of SJB’s dancers is a valuable asset that contributes greatly to the team’s vision and aspirations.”
Despite graduating in 2013, Destacamento continues to contribute to the dance community at SJB. He has returned regularly to perform at the school’s Evening of Dance, gives classes and donates an annual graduation award for excellence and achievement in dance.