One of the most awaited events of the season, the UAAP Cheerdance Competition (CDC) also became one of the most emotional with several ups and downs. The DLSU Animo Squad maintained their sixth place finish from last year, garnering 560.5 points, continuing their podium finish drought.
The defending champions, the NU Pep Squad, etched themselves in Cheerdance history by winning their fourth consecutive title in a dominating fashion, finishing with 711 points. FEU and AdU were able to improve from their standings in previous editions of the competition as they managed to finish at the podium at runner-up and second runner-up, respectively.
The AdU Pep Squad were the most improved team, finishing at second runner-up from placing at seventh place last year. Their “Aloha” theme, a symbol of them saying “hello” to the podium, brought a Hawaiian vibe to the arena. Their dance routine, which earned 343 points, allowed them to boost their standing. Meanwhile, the FEU Cheering Squad incorporated elegance with the high-intensity pace of cheering through their “Broadway” themed routine.
The defending and now four-peat champions, the NU Pep Squad, were the most impressive as they performed an almost perfect routine, being penalized only one point. Their theme, “Cyborg”, proved that their skill in cheerdance were lightyears away from everyone else’s. In addition, they were awarded for having both the best toss and pyramid.
With the same low ranking from last year, it might seem that the Animo Squad failed to improve. However, there were significant point improvement in both their stunts category, and their overall performance. Their routine, themed “Legacy”, gave tribute to each UAAP school, showing the diversity of the UAAP. Being the first to perform, they set the bar high, showing that all schools stepped up their game, and that cheerdance in the country is changing, for the better. “It wasn’t perfect,” head coach Andro Garde states. “Pero it was the best that my kids could do, so regardless of what they did or could’ve done better, we’re really proud of what they accomplished.”
After the conclusion of this year’s CDC, the Animo Squad goes back to the drawing boards. With this, they are focused on making their team a lot stronger. “The stronger we get, the better chances we have of getting back at the podium,” Garde explains. The fight will continue for the Animo Squad, who truly exemplify the Animo Spirit day in and day out, in the spotlight or not.