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Duo reflects on WYD performance

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Their dance routine incorporated mercy and Canadian artists
By Josh Tng
The B.C. Catholic

Caption: Abby Zaporteza and Celine Diaz show their moves during the post-WYD event, No Greater Love, in Surrey. The pair were one of two youth performances from Canada at WYD 2016 in Krakow. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic.

A Tweet on Twitter led two local dancers to represent Canada before an international audience.

"My friend had tweeted an advertisement for World Youth Day (WYD) performers, and I thought it might be a good idea," said Abby Zaporteza.

Zaporteza and Celine Diaz created Project Pursuit in response to the call, and to their surprise were invited to perform at WYD 2016 in Krakow July 27. "We had both been competitive dancers and have danced on international stages before," Zaporteza said, "but this was something so different, getting to dance to represent our country was great!"

"It felt like an honour to be selected," Diaz added. "We weren't sure if God wanted us to perform there, but we felt really blessed to have that experience and see everyone."

The duo decided to base their routine on both their Christian and Canadian roots. "We sought to portray the journey that every Christian goes through in their relationship with God: messy beginnings, spiritual highs and lows, and growth in our love for God as we become more receptive to His love for us," Diaz said.

The hip-hop dance routine featured several Canadian artists like Drake and Justin Bieber, and "was about pressing on in our pursuit for God, while acknowledging that He first pursues us - and always will."

As they approached their venue for their performance, Project Pursuit hit a snag. "When we first got to the venue, there was no one there (in the audience)," said Diaz, "but as we started the music, people ran over to see what was going on; it was crazy."

"Seeing numerous flags from different countries swaying in the wind in unison, I knew our love story with God portrayed through our dance was not ours alone; it was the story of every single audience member in that square."

After their performance ended, they returned to being pilgrims, both on WYD and in life. "We are still unwrapping the experience and epiphanies (from the experience)," Zaporteza said. "By going to WYD, we have become more open to receiving God's mercy from others, and in doing so, have become more giving of our own mercy."

Project Pursuit's future is a move away from dancing into creating "an online space for sharing meaningful messages and life experiences pertaining to our faith," said Diaz. The duo's dance future remains to be decided, but "we do have potential dance video projects in the works."

"Our hope is to spread meaningful messages through different media/art forms, and dance is one of them."

"People should take a chance with WYD," Diaz concluded. "We never could have imagined the experience."

Diaz's blog can be found at Zaporteza's YouTube channel can be found at

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 December 2016 09:38  

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