By Joyce Remo
IT was only in 2012 when the National University Pep Squad ascended the podium during the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Cheerdance Competition.
The early years of the pep rally competition were heavily dominated by other universities, particularly the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, and Far Eastern University.
But the tides started changing in 2013. The UP Pep Squad was on its way to its fourth consecutive win when the then-underdogs from NU snatched the cheer dance title in the UAAP’s 76th season.
The Bulldogs secured their first win with an Arabian Night-themed routine. This flawless choreography started NU’s cheer dance dominance, and they haven’t backed out from the forefront since then.
The following year, the dawgs surprised cheer dance fanatics with their Native American-inspired mohawks, fringes, and feathered headgear. Their unique ensembles, paired with their breathtaking stunts and impeccable routine, paved the way for their back-to-back championship in 2014.
In 2015, it was certain NU wasn’t ready to give up the spotlight. Despite controversies over their caveman-themed routine, the team’s mesmerizing performance proved that the pep squad is in a class of its own and it grabbed its third crown.
Dressed in cyborg-inspired getups and groove, the Bulldogs from Sampaloc showed pep rally enthusiasts that they’ve become a cheer dance powerhouse as they owned the 79th season of the UAAP CDC.
NU’s four-peat victory became historic, making it one of the universities to establish a winning dynasty in the competition.
While Adamson University broke NU’s four-year streak in 2017 with its Grease Lightning-Esque attire, the Bulldogs reclaimed their throne the following year. Their awe-inspiring routine and majestic uniform were inspired by the 2017 animated film Coco. There’s really no stopping NU’s raging fire to conquer the cheerleading scene.
Surely, NU’s fifth championship title wasn’t their last. With a PPop culture theme, NU’s cheerdance squad coupled its dance routine with heartstopping tosses, breathtaking pyramid stunts, and signature Scorpion poses.
Back-breaking executions and intricate choreography gave NU its sixth gold medal in seven years.
Although the Bulldogs failed to protect their throne in 2021, fans are hoping for NU’s comeback win in today’s competition.
The dance troupe is set to perform their “Zumbark” moves later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The season-host, Adamson University, will be the first to hit the dancefloor, followed by the University of the East, University of Sto. Tomas, De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila University, Far Eastern University, NU, and the University of the Philippines.
Photo credit: UAAP Facebook