NOT a few were surprised to see PBA star Gary David step out of his comfort zone and put on his dancing shoes in the maiden episode of TV5's Celebrity Dance Battle on Saturday night.
His wife, Jen, said it was simply an offer he can't turn down.
They Said It!
“Sabi ko nga sa mga judges, sa Araneta Coliseum, pag naglalaro ako before 20,000 mahigit na tao, di ako kinakabahan. Doon sa celebrity dance, isang libo lang tao, kinabahan talaga ako." Meralco Bolts shooting guard Gary David
“Si Boss MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) at si Coach Chot (Reyes) ang nag-suggest na isali siya. Kaya wala siyang choice,” said Mrs. David in between laughs, pointing to the two TV5 top honchos who also happen to be Gary's bosses in the PBA and with Gilas Pilipinas.
“Nung una talaga ayaw ni Gary, nahihiya eh. Saka hindi siya sanay sa ballroom. Hip-hop kasi talaga sayaw niya,” Jen added.
The Gilas mainstay admitted he found it easier to play basketball before 20,000-plus fans than dance before no more than a thousand people during the newly launched made-for-TV dance competition.
“Nanibago talaga ako. Kasi hindi ako sanay sa ballroom. Tapos iba pa ang atmosphere. Nahiya talaga ako noong una,” said David, explaining why he looked tentative in the first part of his dance number with partner Steff 'Chuchay' Sabalo.
“Sabi ko nga sa mga judges, sa Araneta Coliseum, pag naglalaro ako before 20,000 mahigit na tao, di ako kinakabahan. Doon sa celebrity dance, isang libo lang tao, kinabahan talaga ako,” he said.
See the YouTube video of Gary David's performance:
He may be more nervous than he ever has been in his whole life during the dance routine, but that's not to say David didn't enjoy the experience.
Growing up in his native Dinalupihan in Bataan, David admitted he was as passionate about dancing as he was about basketball.
“Dati talaga pinagsabay ko ang dancing at basketball. Hilig ko pareho 'yun eh. Nung high school ako may dance group nga ako sa Dinalupihan. Ang pangalan, ‘The Friendly Guys,'” said David.
“Lagi kaming sumasali sa mga dance contest 'nun. Kaso lagi naman kaming talo. Kaya tawag sa amin nun, ‘Da pren-lingo.' Baliw 'yun sa Kampampangan,” he said laughing.
Asked how she rated his husband's maiden performance, the former Miss Jenn Santos gave a perfect 10.
“Syempre, proud ako sa kanya. Hindi nga ako kinabahan nung performance nya kasi alam ko namang dancer talaga si Gary,” she said.
Mrs. David bared that it only took three two-hour sessions for her husband to perfect the routine.
“Easy learner kasi si Gary. Pag gusto niya yung bagay, madali niyang nakukuha agad. Parang natural sa kanya na marunong siya agad,” said Jenn, who enumerated some of David’s other talents like singing, rapping and most of all cooking.
“Yun ang isang 10 points kay Gary - cooking. Mahilig siya magluto. Madalas nga mag-invite ng friends dito sa bahay 'yan, tapos pinagluluto niya,” she revealed. “Kare-kare ang specialty niyan!”
David said he hoped he has gained the respect of the judges comprised of dance guru Douglas Nierras, dancing expert Edna Ledesma, actress G Toengi and America’s Next Top Model runner-up Allison Harvard.
“Sabi nga mga judges, huwag na daw ako mag-basketball, sumayaw na lang ako. Sabi ko, ‘Ayoko nga.' Gusto ko pang mag-basketball,” he said.
But will dancing be his post-PBA career?
“Pwede rin,” said the David grinning.