Heart Uy from UPeepz passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 4, the Filipino hip-hop dance team announced on social media.
"Even before we had a junior team back in 2016, UPeepz was already blessed with the presence of an extraordinary dancer. At the age of 10, she embarked on this journey with us and graced our dance family with her dedication. She then paved the way for junior teams to be competitive in the international stages," UPeepz said in the tribute.
The award-winning dance troupe said that the 18-year-old dancer has been with them for over eight years already and has "blossomed into a seasoned competitor, leader, and a senior choreographer for our team."
"She was more than a talented dancer; she was our coach, our champion, a cherished teammate, and an inseparable part of our dance family," they wrote, adding that their heart "aches" for losing Heart.
"We will miss you. We want to express our deepest gratitude for the overwhelming support and prayers that have poured in for Heart, as well as for Tito Mark, and her beloved fur babies Luna and Chewie," they added.
"For now, we kindly request that the Uy family, Heart's closest friends and teammates be granted the space and privacy they need to grieve and heal."
UPeepz said that details of the wake for public visitation will be shared soon.
"Heart, we love you so much and your legacy will continue to inspire us," they ended the message.
On X (formerly Twitter), fans expressed their grief over Heart's passing, some sharing memories of her.
"A pat on the back, Philippine dance community. Another great dancer today. Rest in peace Heart uy! One of the reasons why I know Upeepz and Vpeepz is you. I dream of dancing with you, I guess let's do that in heaven. Dance in paradise!" one user said.
"One of my dreams is to meet you personally and join in your dance class. Pero paano na?? You're one of the reason bakit nahiligan ko sumayaw ulit. Rest in Peace, Heart Uy. Nakakabigla," another one wrote.
"[I] remember inaral ko din yung dance challenge/dance tutorial ni mico and heart back in 2020. [I] remember being so happy coz they noticed me after posting my video. still too young, heart. what a devastating day for us dancers. rest easy, heart uy," a fellow dancer said.
"In the wake of this heart-wrenching loss, we are left with the daunting task of not only grieving for four irreplaceable souls but also helping rebuild their lives from the ashes. The financial burden that has fallen upon our sister’s family is overwhelming. They didn’t just lose their loved ones but also lost a home for the remaining living family members," her family wrote.
The generous donations will be used to cover the funeral and burial expenses for Heart, Mark Baban, Chewie, and Luna "to provide them with the dignified farewell they deserve" and the restoration of the house and property "that have been severely damaged by the fire, allowing our sister’s family to regain some sense of stability."
"Every contribution, no matter how small, will make a profound difference in the family’s journey towards healing and recovery. We believe in the power of community, in the kindness of strangers, and in the enduring human spirit that refuses to be extinguished by tragedy," they said.
Heart was a member of the award-winning Filipino dance group, UPeepz. They are a two-time World Hip-hop Dance Champion, a two-time runner-up at the Body Rock Dance Competition USA, and a semifinalist for NBC World of Dance S3 and S4.
She was also a member of the duo The Decades, which competed in ABS-CBN's Dance Kids in 2015.