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Michelle, Daughter of Patrick and Nikka Garcia, on Her Dance Stint at IU's Concert

"I still cannot believe I danced ['Holssi'] on stage with her," said the 11-year-old dancer

Patrick and Nikka Garcia's daughter Michelle was one of the kids chosen to dance with Hallyu superstar IU onstage at her concert last June 1. The 2024 IU HEREH World Tour Concert in Manila was held at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, marking the seventh stop of her first world tour. 

To make her concert personalized per destination, IU and her team have been choosing kids from each country to perform "Holssi" with her. This is in theme with her song's music video, wherein there's also a part where IU is surrounded by kids dancing along with her. 

IU did the same for the Philippines, and Michelle Celeste Garcia was among the 12 kids who were given an opportunity to share the stage with the K-pop idol.

Michelle became a fan of IU (Uaena, as the celebrity's fandom name goes) during the pandemic. The 11-year-old Sky Dance Avenue MNL student and makeup enthusiast told Metro.Style, "My favorite songs of IU are 'Blueming,' 'Love Wins All,' 'Celebrity,' 'Lilac,' 'Shopper,' and 'Holssi.' But my number one would have to be 'Holssi.'" 

So when she and her parents found out there was going to be an audition for "Holssi" at IU's concert, they did not hesitate to try out. Michelle's mom, Nikka, told us, "Michelle auditioned by sending in a video of her dancing. She only had 15 minutes to learn it because we had to send it right away. She was so nervous! She did her best and prayed extra hard that day. At the end of the day, her prayer was answered."

As early as now, Michelle seems to be developing a passion for the same field her father, an actor who starred in the 1990s youth-oriented series Gimik and Tabing Ilog, established himself in.

"Michelle started dancing the minute she started standing," Nikka said, laughing. "She has always had the love for dancing!  I remember we would always catch her performing in front of the mirror and I think I even have some posted on my Instagram. This is a step closer to her dream and we couldn't be more proud as parents."

Celebrity dance coach Sky Bautista of Sky Dance Avenue MNL also saw Michelle's passion and huge potential as a dancer. She told us, "Michelle’s dance journey is a very brave one. She started dancing during pandemic days. It was a challenge doing it via screen but it was never a hindrance for her to always get better. She has always been unafraid to try and explore different dance genres. She has a very special spot for KPOP, and would make sure she learns it step by step. She has always been so eager and dedicated to dance. Almost never missing any Tuesday dance Zoom sessions with Keona Alapag and Saturday trainings with SDA.

"She has bloomed so much, and I really see her empowered every time she moves. She tries to be the best version of herself every time she performs. There are too many opportunities ahead of her, and I am so excited for her to discover more about dance and performing arts."

Passing the audition is one thing; but rehearsing with IU is another story worth recounting over and over again. "I got to meet IU and rehearse with her," Michelle shared. "I was so star struck I started to cry. My mom actually has that video. She was so sweet and kindhearted and took her time to speak to everyone. She held my hand, which made me not want to wash my hand forever. Haha. But she was beautiful up close and from a far."

Michelle added, "I still cannot believe I danced ['Holssi'] on stage with her!" And as she wrote on her Instagram, this was indeed a moment worth remembering and cherishing forever. What a core memory!

How did they celebrate this milestone? Nikka shared, "We celebrated by enjoying the rest of the concert together. It was a lot of fun! The energy of that beautiful crowd was something else! We ended the day by Michelle leading our family prayer. Her prayer was simply just giving thanks, no requests, just saying 'Thank You, Lord.' Hearing her heartfelt prayer was a cherry on top of such a special day! I made sure we had her favorite dish the next day!"

Before her Philippine Arena concert, IU also held her "Love, Poem" tour in Araneta Coliseum in December 2019. Both concerts were produced by PULP Live World. The next stop for the 2024 IU HEREH World Tour is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she will do a two-night concert.

Lead photo from @michellecelestemgarcia