Wednesday, 10 May 2017 23:29

Junior New System (Philippines)

From Adversity to Stardom: Junior New System from the Philippines Soar to New Heights!


From adversity and hardship always comes the most artful of masterpieces. And no artist worth his salt ever starts out wealthy, their propaganda notwithstanding.

WCOPA Champs 2


In such difficult circumstances did the Junior New System Dance Crew begin their fairy tale life. In the bowels of Sampaloc, a poor, crowded, squatter-infested district of Manila, a group of brothers watched their older siblings gyrate to the staccato beat of hip hop music, in English and Tagalog. As the older boys gravitated to other interests, younger ones, aged ten to sixteen, stepped into their shoes and improved on their dance movements, attracting other vagrants, orphans and sundry garbage-collectors to their nightly practice sessions. For lack of anything better to do, they became good at hip hop, calling themselves Junior New System, or JNS. As the trains rolled by, the JNS boys rehearsed beside railroad tracks, snatching their throw-away mattresses from the steel wheels just in time.


For six years from 2009 they toiled, becoming good enough to compete in local dance contests, riding rented jeepneys from town to town, winning a couple of thousand Pesos here and losing more competitions there than they care to remember. And so they struggled, quarreling occasionally with parents worried about their children, always returning to their hovels too crowded to really call home. But there was no single contest that would catapult them to fame, only a long, hard slog that kept them awake on the road till wee hours of the morning. Until a former dancer, Mar Visda, offered to manage their meanderings.

In March of 2015, their Manager wangled an audition for JNS for the first Asia’s Got Talent show to be held in Singapore. Dedication to their craft got the producers interested enough to give them a place. When they first appeared on AGT, the four foreign judges were immediately wowed by their lyrical method, different than the tough, in-your-face, street-oriented hip hop norm. By their second performance a couple of weeks later, they had completely changed the audience’s impression of hip hop, warming their way into the judges’ hearts with a never-before-seen dance in stiletto heels to win a Golden Buzzer award, propelling them directly to the Finals. But there were so many Filipino finalists that the TV audience’s votes were divided, knocking JNS down to third place, along with two other Philippine talents.


A series of public invitations to cultural dance exhibitions followed, and for a few months JNS was busy, accepting a few invitations to appear in major network noontime shows, and a trip to Penang, Malaysia to cap that city’s 2016 New Year countdown. They were becoming an Asia-wide phenomenon, creating modest-sized fan bases in Malaysia, Indonesia and even Taiwan.

As if this weren’t enough, the Philippine cultural establishment named JNS as the Best Dance Company in the country, culminating in two ALIW awards in a row for both 2015 and 2016. Hip hop had arrived, and it took a team of poor Sampaloc boys to bring it home.

World Championships of the Performing Arts (WCOPA)

In 2016, JNS auditioned for the World Championships of the Performing Arts, hoping to win a place, this time on the World stage in Hollywood. Led by Mr. Gerry Mercado (WCOPA's National Licensed Director), JNS was selected to become part of the 2016 Philippines National Team delegation.  

Team Phillipines 2016

Team Phillipines 2016 B

They flew out in July 2016, and in their classic low-cost, crowded, yet disciplined way, JNS won their first WCOPA contest in Long Beach CA. After that followed three more dance category competitions, all of which they won as well.

JNS Insta 3

Finally, on Saturday, July 16, 2016, WCOPA selected Junior New System as the Grand Champion Performer of the World on WCOPA’s 20th anniversary.

2016 Grand Champions1000 

Having won many Philippine cultural awards and local trophies, JNS had finally become U.S. world champions as well! They will retrieve their prize in July 2017, spending a month in Hollywood to train under the Millennium Dance Company. Then they will hand over the crown to the next WCOPA 2017 champion.

WCOPA Champs

From the hovels of Sampaloc to the halls of Hollywood! Not since the invention of light to banish the darkness has such an incongruous sequence been created by discipline, persistence and sheer love for the Performing Arts.

Click below to watch the 2016 JNS Wining Performance at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood!

*** For more information on how to become part of this great experience go to: http://wcopa.com/contestants/how-to-be-a-contestant

*** Email: info@wcopa.com


Click below to follow the 2017 WCOPA Team Philippines on Facebook! 

TEAM PH 2017


Sunday, 07 May 2017 19:06

One of a Kind


One of a kind, 21st Annual International Performing Arts Championships lands in Long Beach, CA

(Presented by Worldstars ™)

Singers, musicians, dancers, actors and models are ready to compete before 75 judges from the entertainment industry at the 21st Annual World Championships of Performing Arts®, June 30 - July 9, 2017 in Long Beach, California. This international meet is often cited as the official “Talent Olympics” for aspiring performers.


Selections for contestants have been held in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. “Contestants from over 50 countries are expected to participate,” says Griff O’Neil, competition CEO and a former executive of the Miss Universe Pageant, “vying for ‘the gold’ PLUS a total of $400,000 in scholarships: $30,000 from the Millennium Dance Complex, $150,000 from the New York Film Academy, and $200,000 from the New York Conservatory for Film and Television in 2016!”

Before the opening ceremonies and competition begins, contestants look forward to the much-anticipated WORLDSTARS Boot Camp, an unmatched full-day of the most comprehensive performing arts seminars and workshops given by top industry experts.

A popular highlight of the international meet is the spectacular Opening Ceremonies and WORLDSTARS Parade of Nations. Similar to the Olympics Opening Ceremony, ‘thrilled’ contestants from over 50 countries parade in beautiful costumes representing their nations. Along the parade route, stages are set-up for a variety of international entertainment. The WORLDSTARS Parade of Nations is free to the public and takes place outside of the Long Beach Convention Center.

Adding to the fun, a WORLDSTARS Village - much like an “Olympic Village” where you can meet teams from around the world, will be set-up in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. During these days, Worldstar contestants and families will enjoy special events which include: DJ Dance Party, "Champion Circle", and the the World Championships of Performing Arts announcement of Finalists with live entertainment rounding out the evening. International talent, food trucks and fun! Entrance to the WORLDSTARS Village is free and open to the public. *

The week of competition culminates with the exciting World Championships of Performing Arts/ WORLSTARS Grand Finale Competition - a live global webcast staged in the beautiful Terrace Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. The pre-show is followed by a live webcast where the best of the best vie for World Championship titles. Featured artists and former WCOPA Champions will perform. Information on Ticket sales will be made available on a date closer to the event by calling the Box Office and online via Ticketmaster. *

Entertainment industry greats from Hollywood, Nashville and New York, have served as judges and been honored with induction into the Performing Arts Hall of Fame® at this prestigious global competition. Previous honorees include: Debbie Allen, Ann-Margret, Jaclyn Smith, Justin Chambers, Liza Minelli and Dolly Parton. Last year’s honoree was world renowned entertainer Engelbert Humperdinck.


2017 judges will be announced in the months to come. Previos year's judges included Cirque du Soleil’s Head Artistic Director Pierre Parisien, world renowned casting director Harriet Greenspan, Anita Mann -Emmy Award-winning choreographer and live show producer, Janet Alhanti - one of the most sought after acting coaches to the stars, Bob Garrett - vocal coach to some of the most respected singers and actors in Hollywood, LA Models’ Crista Klayman considered the #1 runway agent in America, and Lang Elliott - the original founder of TriStar Pictures, a two-time Academy Award nominee who has produced and distributed over 125 motion pictures. Other final judges include Victoria Morris, James Charles, Bob McKinnon, Keith Naisbitt, Jennifer Tomiko Kohatsu, and Kenya Clay. *


Executive Board


Griff O’Neil: Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Gwen Wilson: President

Chuck Lorimer: Chief Financial Officer

Judy Garland: Vice President

Nancy Bianconi: Director of Special Projects



For more information about World Championships of Performing Arts contact info@wcopa.com visit www.wcopa.com 
* Times, events, ticket availability and participating Judges are subject to change.



Wednesday, 03 May 2017 18:04

Alexander Pantoja (United States)

ALEXANDER PANTOJA, 2016 WCOPA Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World from the U.S., performs across the world.

by Sam Campbell and Rico Aguirre

At the age of 3, he started singing to all of his family and friends. He loved to perform and sing for them at every party. At the age of 8, Alexander did his first performance in front of a small crowd. Everyone loved it and people encouraged him to pursue his passion for singing.  At the age of 10, Alexander Performed in the 20th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts in Long Beach, California representing the United States National Team and earned 2016 Champion for best Vocalist of the World and the overall competition the 2016 Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World!

Alex 2

After the WCOPA experience in California, Alexander auditioned for an opportunity to perform in Osaka, Japan. He was selected for this Christmas production that ran from October, 2016 to January, 2017. In the sixty shows he performed as one of the Lead performers he demonstrated responsibility, team work, dedication and professionalism in front of thousands of people daily.

The shows were a demonstration of his talents as a singer, actor and model. Alexander learned how to speak Japanese, which was a challenge. He not only conquered these challenges, but he also participated in the culture, learned how to use and calculate the Yen in comparison to USA currency, and experienced the various methods of mass transit. Alexander overcame all of these challenges and completed his contract. Alexander continues to be the same person he was when he left the USA, but this opportunity provided Alexander an undeniable wealth of personal growth socially, professionally in theater and on stage, and academically in relation to his worldly surroundings. His performance, participation and responsibilities toward this event will resonate throughout his future endeavors as a professional performer.

Alexander Pantoja Final Show


We spent time with Alexander who shared the following thoughts about his WCOPA Experience and success:

1. How was your experience at World Championships of Performing Arts?

My experience at World Championships of Performing Arts was amazing. It was my first time in a competition of this magnitude. I made so many friends from all over the world.

2. Did you ever dream you would win Junior Grand Champion?

Never dreamed I would win Junior Grand Champion of the World. All of the countries brought their very best Performers with so much talent.

3. How did you prepare for the competition?

I prepared for the competition working daily on vocal techniques and running the 60 edits numerous times. As well as vocal classes and took performance classes so that the vocal and performance were both excellent.

4. What went through your mind when they called your name as the winner during Final Show?

I just could not believe that my name was called as the overall winner during the final Show.  I was speechless but was excited at the same time.


5. How did your family and friends react to your success when you went back home?

Some of my Family received me at the Airport with lots of balloons and presents. The next day my family and friends were so happy on my Achievement that they surprised me with a Huge party.

6. What advice do you have for future WCOPA performers?

My advice for future WCOPA performers is to make sure that you are 100% prepared for the competition. Stay focused and have fun.


7. Do you think WCOPA helped you as a performer? If so, how?

WCOPA helped me as a performer because it taught me how important one needs to be technically perfect but that performing for the audience is equally as important.


8. What have you been up to since World Championships ended?

After the WCOPA experience in California, I auditioned for an opportunity to perform in Osaka, Japan. I was selected for a Fantastic Christmas Production that ran from October 2016 to January 2017. I performed in over 60 shows as the
lead performer.  I have been singing in local venues as soloist. Lately, I have been working on some original songs.


9. What is your dream? What do you hope to be when you grow up?

My dream is to become a professional Singer and Actor. I hope when I grow up, I can fill the stadiums with thousands of people that would love to hear me sing. To be able to be in many movies as an Actor.


We look forward to Alexander's continued succes -  Our WCOPA family is proud of all your acomplishments!  

Alexander Pantoja Final Show 2

Watch Alexander's Winning Performance below!


*** For more information on how to become part of this great experience go to: http://wcopa.com/contestants/how-to-be-a-contestant

*** Email: info@wcopa.com 




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