Earlier today, the UAAP Season 81 Cheerdance Competition (CDC) kicked off at the Mall of Asia Arena. The DLSU Animo Squad may have had a lot of speed bumps throughout their preparations, but it did not stop the squad from giving their all for the University. This year, DLSU finished in eighth place, garnering 459.5 points, unable to secure a podium finish.
Redeeming their supposed five-peat victory last year, the NU Pep Squad came back with their “Coco” Disney-Pixar movie-themed performance as they claimed the UAAP CDC crown. NU dominated this year’s competition recording a total of 711 points. Although AdU failed to retain a back-to-back title, they still managed to clinch a third place finish, as FEU improved to second place in this year’s edition of the competition.
The UE Pep Squad opened the cheerdance competition with themed “Pintados Warriors”. Their costume was mostly equipped with engraved tattoos, performing astoundingly with their routines and dance moves. The UP Pep Squad followed suit in the hopes to get back to the top of the competition. All members were still in their traditional undercut as they presented the theme of the school, Iskulay ng Sablay, reflecting the life of a modern UP student. Third to perform was the España-based team, the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe. They presented a Beyonce-inspired performance, resembling her iconic discography.
Before they hit the mats, recently recovered Animo Squad member Dani Ferrer expressed the excitement the team had, “We’re really excited to show everyone, especially the Lasallian community, what we’ve prepared for. We’ve been through a lot, a lot of adjustment because of injuries and other sacrifices, and we’re really excited to show what we have to the community,” she shares.
The fourth performing team is the Animo Squad, giving a broadway-inspired routine. The squad recreated moments from the iconic musical Hairspray. The Green-and-White was then followed by the NU Pep Squad. NU managed to pull off a jaw-dropping routine, with their theme inspired by the hit pixar film Coco–it was this routine that brought them back to the top of the scoreboard. The sixth performers were the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion, who managed to perform a graceful and elegant routine with the theme of fairy tales.
Showcasing a 70s vibe, the FEU Cheering Squad grooved out their punk as they performed their cheer and stunts in an attempt to take home the title this season. The Tamaraws, who performed second to the last, outshined all the other teams, except the Bulldogs, with their glittery gold top costume for a silver slate.
Unleashing their inner beast, the Adamson University Pep Squad tried to defend their CDC crown from last year with their “Circle of Life” theme but failed to prolong their supremacy. They started off strong with their amazing pyramids and lifts but these were not enough to sustain the team’s final tally as critical errors prevented their claim to the top award.
Moreover, the one-minute long group stunts were dominated by NU to double their first place win in the competition. The FEU Cheering Squad was hailed second best, and the AdU Pep Squad took the the third spot.
Despite the unfortunate outcome, and the many adversities they encountered, the Animo Squad still braved the mats. Team captain Lara Andrada was not able to perform due to her injury, however she is still grateful for her teammates, “I’m still proud of my team because of all the struggles we’ve been through, everyone fought through and wala naman bumitaw sa amin and I’m thankful for that. ‘Yun yung importante,” she says.
(Everyone fought through and no one gave up. And I’m thankful for that. That’s what’s important.)