Learning new stunts can be scary; the different elements to cheer dancing can also be quite intimidating. Likewise in drumming, keeping in tune to the beat to establish an unwavering rhythm is not at all easy. However, while some people take time to learn the basics of cheer dance and the drums, it seems like passion could truly drive an individual to greater heights.
Through sheer determination, brothers Adrian Pesebre (V, BSMEM-MRE) and Andrew Pesebre (IV, ISA-MGT), have both been formidable members of the DLSU Animo Squad since the year 2014 as a cheer dancer and a drummer, respectively.
Adjustments and evaluations
Just like all athletes, before they got to where they wanted to be, they all had vital starting points in their athletic careers. Back when he was a rookie, the older Pesebre, Adrian, made an extra effort to catch up with his seniors, to learn the skills needed to be able to compete later on in the UAAP. “Basically, zero experience ako dito sa cheerleading, so nag-double time talaga ako,” says Adrian.
(Basically, I had zero experience in cheerleading, so I had to really work double time.)
Likewise, for Andrew, he felt the pressure the most when he was a newbie on the team, he shares, “Kailangan mo habulin yung seniors mo tapos yung mga seniors hindi rin sila papayag na mahabol mo sila, so pareho kayong nag-hahatakan pataas.”
(You must catch up with your seniors and consequently, your seniors don’t want you to catch up to them, so you both pull each other going up.)
Considering that both of the Pesebres have been a part of the team for quite a while now, they both notice how they have changed and grown individually ever since they became members of the Animo Squad. The younger Pesebre explains that after four years of being on the team, he was able to step out of his comfort zone and push his limits to overcome his shy personality. “Being the new me, the better me, mas confident, hindi na ako takot humarap sa mga tao,” says Andrew. (Being the new me, the better me, more confident, I’m no longer afraid to face people)
On the other hand, the older Pesebre explains, “Before kasi, kapag may mga bagay na nahihirapan akong gawin, ilelet go ko nalang kasi hindi ko na kaya gawin.”
(Before, whenever I would have a hard time in doing things, I would simply let go because I couldn’t do them anymore.)
Adrian also adds that ever since he joined the Animo Squad, he was able to prove to himself that the saying, ‘What the mind perceives, the body can achieve,’ was right as he was able to convince himself that with that mindset he could go on as a more disciplined individual.
Poised team captains
Both of the Pesebres were given the opportunity to lead the Taft-based squad. Last year, Adrian was the team captain, who handled the leaders. “Noong naging captain ako, medyo pressured ako kasi iniisip ko, whoa captain, wala nang mas mataas na position doon,” shares the older Pesebre.
(When I was captain before, I was a bit pressured because I knew that there would be no higher position than the one given to me.)
Although he was already acting in the position, he slowly but surely realized that it was not about the power but more on how you act towards your team. As the team captain, it was of utmost importance for him to empower his members so that they would bring out their perfect effort and perform their ultimate best.
As for Andrew, coming into the year as the team captain for the drummers, he wants to incorporate his style wherein he would consider the situation and condition of his members at all times. Before deciding the specifics of their training, he would make a head count of the present and absent members. In addition, he wants to uphold no bias during games in order to instill equal minutes and playing time for his members.
Even though Adrian is no longer in charge, he promised that as a senior on the team, he would still contribute as a guide for the next generations. He will continuously give reminders with regards to the right attitude during trainings and performances to make sure the team is on track sharing, “That’s what I do, I continue to guide them to do their part well.”
Leaving a legacy
Albeit the fact that the leaders and the drummers practice at a different pace and in separate times and venues, the two Pesebres admit that as much as possible they want to inspire the notion of one team, one Animo Squad among them all. This season, they have tried to achieve the vibe that there are no divisions among the leaders, dancers, and drummers and so far it has worked out for them.
When he was the team captain, Adrian shares that having a healthy team, physically and mentally, is the legacy he left behind. As cheerleading is a team sport, he wants his team to be equal in every aspect, “No crab mentality and just help each other like family,” says Adrian. On the other hand, Andrew wants to leave the legacy of discipline. He wants his members to think that as a team, you should be disciplined enough to help one another to be able to step up as a whole.
Ultimately, the older Pesebre shares that the team has one goal this year coming into the UAAP Season 80 Cheerdance Competion. Adrian states, “Hindi naman yung NU, UP, or kung sino man yung kalaban namin, yung previous team na lumalabas sa performance, yun talaga yung kalaban namin.”
(NU, UP, or whoever we face is not our opponent, the previous team who appeared in the performance is our true contender.)
This year, the team has doubled their efforts to make up for all their shortcomings in the previous season as they have aggressively tackled dance and stunt attributes in their preparations. Their one true goal is to work and win as a team and hopefully be on top of the podium when it is all said and done.