It was history in the making at the Mall of Asia Arena as a sold out crowd witnessed jaw-dropping performances from Season 80’s UAAP Cheerdance competitors. Since 2010, no other university, besides National University and the University of the Philippines, has won first place in the competition.
This year, however, new teams emerged on the podium. With UP making a comeback and NU on the brink of a fifth-straight championship, they were once again expected to prove to everyone why they are giants in Philippine collegiate cheerdance. However, even the best fall short sometimes, proving that just like in any competition, it is truly anyone’s game.
AdU, UST, and UE were unrivaled in this year’s CDC, earning a spot in the top three, placing first, second, and third, respectively. The competition began with last year’s champions, the NU pep squad, performing an underwater themed routine. As expected, NU impressed the crowd with their stunts but fell short due to errors in their pyramids.
The Adamson pep squad was third to perform and its routine impressed the whole audience. Aside from the high level of skill required to execute the routine, it was their theme and choice of music which played as the x-factor and got the entire crowd on their feet.
Returning back to the mats after a one-year hiatus was the UP pep squad, seeking to take home another win. In an attempt to bring the crown home to Diliman, the UP pep squad fell short as they were outshined by five other schools, only placing higher than La Salle and Ateneo.
DLSU’s Japanese-inspired performance was a near perfect run as the Animo Squad executed their routine flawlessly with the right energy to match. Despite the clean and energetic performance of the Animo Squad, the level of difficulty showcased by the other teams proved too great to conquer. La Salle fell short of a podium finish and was not able to bag home any awards as they placed seventh, garnering a total score of 567.50.
It may seem like the Animo Squad has regressed due to them falling into a lower place as compared to last year, but team captain Angela Torres begs to differ. Torres believes that the group is heading towards the right direction as she states that having a perfect run in this year’s CDC will be the stepping stone for the team’s continuous improvement. Torres states, “Our goal for today, like I mentioned before, was to give a better performance and have a cleaner run, actually we hit our perfect run today, it was the first time ever that we hit a perfect run.”
She then further emphasized the squad’s future as she explains, “The fact that we were able to get it this clean gives the squad more confidence for next year, so hopefully, we can add more difficulty to our stunts and our pyramids and some gymnastics as well.”
With the CDC coming to a close, the Animo Squad definitely held their heads high. They faced a lot of challenges this year but they were still able to progress despite the hardships thrown at them. They had to adjust to a new coach in just a short amount of time, they faced member scarcity, and have been plagued by multiple injuries throughout the CDC journey. Torres sees this year’s CDC experience as a sign of better things to come for the Animo Squad. Just like what Adamson proved today, the cheerdance competition is anyone’s ball game.