SportsUAAP: DLSU Animo Squad gears up for Cheer Dance wars
UAAP: DLSU Animo Squad gears up for Cheer Dance wars
October 2, 2015
October 2, 2015

After spending the first few weeks of UAAP Season 78 cheering from the sidelines and rousing the crowd at halftime, it’s the DLSU Animo Squad’s turn to take center stage as they will spring back into action for the annual UAAP Cheer Dance Competition (CDC), which will be held this Saturday, October 3, at 2 pm in the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Last year, La Salle’s resident pep squad failed to maintain their podium finish from two years prior. Finishing in sixth place in Season 77, they were left heartbroken by the result. In this year’s edition of the contest, however, they will come more prepared and motivated than ever before.

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“For me, everyday naman is preparation for CDC. We try to improve our skills as much as possible,”Animo Squad co-captain Eileen Shi remarks. “Last year, from third place we went down to sixth place. We took it as motivation to work harder. Pagkabalik palang namin we started working double time on our skills.”

Due to the long break, the team had the chance to develop and further polish their skills and routines. One thing the members of the squad pride themselves in is the fact that this year’s cast is more versatile, capable of interchanging roles with each other when needed.

“This year, everyone has to have almost the same set of skills. For example, yung fliers namin, required na lahat sila may pass at tumbling. Dati, we rely on superstars to do yung gymnastics, ngayon we rely more on the team na pantay-pantay yung skills,” Shi adds on her team’s big improvements.

Co-captain Rod Arceo shares Shi’s sentiments, believing that the squad can easily adjust to possible misfortunes and mishaps during practice and even in the competition.

“More or less, the people in our line up can fill in [for] each other’s gaps. In case someone lacks a skill, another person can do it. At the same time, when that person lacks a certain skill, babawiin niya in another aspect. So in a sense we’re all on the same level,” he said.

In addition, they also plan to shake things up in their routines, not wanting to be seen as one-dimensional by their competitors.

“Napansin din ng coach namin na baka isipin ng ibang schools na paulit-ulit yung flow ng routine namin so ginawa namin is that we really mixed it up. Hindi lang siya puro dance, cheer dance, cheer, it’s really a variety of different things. Different elements and different segments,” Arceo said.

“The UAAP for pep squads here is not solely for cheerleading. It’s more of a cheer and a dance. So this year, we upped yung dancing namin. When you watch our routine [on Saturday], mas marami yung dance segments, pero at same time yung level of cheerleading is nandun pa rin. Compared sa last year, may improvements pa rin sa stunts and the pyramids you see, and sa tumblings din,” Shi mentions on what fans can expect to see on Saturday.

When asked to name the biggest stumbling blocks for them to get a podium finish, the two named the NU, UP, and FEU Pep Squads as possible favorites to win the contest. However, they caution that anything can happen during the performance and there are factors that are also out of anyone’s control.

“Even though you trained so much, you can never say what’s going to go wrong that day. Kasi yung stunts, may parts na gets mo, may parts na minsan chamba din. A lot of things can happen on the competition day itself,” Shi added.