Alma Manabat Parker

2023 Project AwardDance/Choreography

2023 Project Award

Parker will deepen her knowledge and understanding of the major Filipino dance forms by training with Kayamanan ng Lahi, a Filipino folk dance and arts organization based in Los Angeles. She will learn the appropriate use of musical instruments, movements, costumes, props and performance staging for dance styles representing each of the five regions within the 7,000-island country.

As a first-generation immigrant and long-time resident of Ketchikan, Parker has experienced the struggle of accepting her Filipino identity and cultural heritage while still yearning for acceptance by non-Filipinos. She uses the art of folk dance and music to create connections between Filipino elders and young people and already is familiar with two of the styles.  Parker hopes to revitalize a once-vibrant and prominent local cultural dance group of performers in Ketchikan to amplify multicultural influences and create a positive sense of belonging. 

Parker is active in Ketchikan’s dance community as the head coach of the Ketchikan High School Dance Team as well as being head instructor/owner of studioMAX, a local dance and fitness studio.  By adding Filipino Folk Dance instruction to her repertoire, she will further diversify her training thus allowing more students to have a variety of dance opportunities within her community.

Alma Manabat Parker balances candles during a performance at the Centennial Celebration of Peacehealth Ketchikan Medical Center on Feb. 22, 2023.
Local high school dance team members perform at 2021 FIL-AM Festival. The Tinikling is a traditional Philippine folk dance that includes tapping bamboo sticks while dancers maneuver through, imitating movements of a bird called the Tilking.
Filipino women pose on Feb. 22, 2023 before participating in the Centennial Celebration of Peacehealth Ketchikan Medical Center. The Pandanggo sa Ilaw is a Spanish-influenced folk dance. Lamps or candles are balanced on your head and hands to simulate fireflies in the night.
The Tinikling performance is seen from above.