The 18-year Filipino-American proved this by topping the US dance show “So You Think You Can Dance,” as she beat her closest competitor, the 20-year-old Latin ballroom specialist Jensen Arnold.
“It’s starting to feel real that my dreams are coming true. It’s just amazing ‘cause I still look up to the people on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and now I’m one of them,” Cabanilla told Mercury News, which covered the event.
According to the news report, Cabanilla started dancing at the age of two and later trained at the Orange County Performing Arts Academy.
Cabanilla’s performance drew high praise from all the judges, including actress Vanessa Hudgens, who called the 18-year-old dancer a “fierce warrior princess.”
Hudgens, who also has Filipino blood, earlier described Cabanilla as a “fellow Filipina.”
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