It’s sometimes easy to forget that Macau is home to many talented and creative people in industries besides gaming. Growing up in Macau isn’t always easy, especially for those with interests in the arts or creative fields. But for Joel Fesalbon, he has turned his love of dancing into a career. The freelance dancer was born and raised here, though his parents are from the Philippines. Joel is also a student at the University of Macau.
What’s your connection with Macau?
I basically have lived in Macau all my life so to me it is pretty much my home and I definitely enjoy living here. I love the food and the people here. What I really love is meeting new people because it is so diverse that you can just meet new people from different countries. I also enjoy the nightlife here as it helps with meeting new people.
You describe yourself on Instagram as being a freelance choreographer. How did you decide to pursue this path?
Dancing is definitely my passion. I have always enjoyed dancing when I was a kid just watching Michael Jackson on TV. I only started getting serious with it when I was in high school and I was fortunate to meet people who looked for dancers and hired dancers to perform for them.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a freelance performer?
What I find really challenging about this whole freelancing thing, is that many of the opportunities are found in Hong Kong, so a lot of people tend to look for dancers who are from Hong Kong but I get lucky when there are dance shows in Macau or even in Hong Kong where I get asked to perform in Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Who are your musical/dancing influences or idols?
My influences would definitely include Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Bam Martin, and Keone Madrid (famous dance choreographer). I grew up watching them and to this day I never get tired of watching them when I look for inspiration.
What type of music do you like to perform to?
Most of the music I perform with is hip hop but sometimes famous pop music.
What are your thoughts on the Macau dancing scene?
When I was younger I always thought that the Macau dance scene was small, but when I got to meet more local dancers I realized that there is a big dance scene out there in Macau especially in the underground dance battles they host. But when it comes to the type of dance I do which is urban dance, there aren’t really many urban dance choreographers but it is growing and there are more people in Macau who are coming to realize that urban dance is also something to learn since it’s fun and you can really learn a lot.
Who had the most influence in your life while growing up? Whats the best advice they gave you?
Growing up, I really learned a lot from my best friend Liam Alexander (who is currently in South Africa pursuing his theater arts studies). He has always taught me how to better myself as a dancer and he has definitely pushed me to the person I am now. He would always tell me to go more and to keep pushing my limits and I’m grateful to have him teach me a lot.
What’s in store for you this year?
This year, I just want to finish my studies in communications at the University of Macau and also do dance gigs when I can and just keep inspiring others and learn from my peers. I graduate this academic year so after that I’m hoping to just travel to the USA and just learn as much as I can about dancing and improve myself.
Follow Joel on instagram to stay updated on his adventures @joelfesalbon