By Joyce Remo
WITH all the pandemic restrictions lifted, the UAAP Cheerdance Competition was back in its full glory for the league’s 85th season.
Returning with this season’s CDC are full arena capacity for fans and spectators, the reintroduction of pep squad drummers to support the cheers, a 25-man team from last season’s 15, and up to six minutes of routine performance from the previous season’s three-minute limit.
All eight teams were equally hungry to claim the grand prize for this year’s most-awaited pep rally competition.
The Falcons of San Marcelino led the cheerdance competition with their electrifying performance. The Adamson University Pep Squad displayed synchronized tosses and heart stopping lifts and stunts as they grooved with their reinvention theme.
AdU Pep Squad placed second during the 84th season and sought to break the curse and win despite being the first to perform.
Next in line was the University of the East Pep Squad. With rookies’ late entrance, one of the team’s toughest challenges this season was the ticking time.
With their Pinoy pride and soul in line, the UE Pep Squad showcased its impressive routine on the arena’s blue mats in their signature red and white ensemble.
The third to perform was cheerdance powerhouse University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe. UST ties with the University of the Philippines with the most championship wins throughout the UAAP CDC history.
Driven by their passion for their craft, the Salinggawi Dance Troupe wowed the crowd with their brilliant routine, which placed them third in this year’s competition.
These Tigers from España devoured the stage with a remix of Lady Gaga’s hits as they delivered impeccable and energizing moves stunts in their drag-inspired outfits in black and gold.
The Archers from Taft came right after UST. Geared in white and green, the De La Salle University Animo Squad paid homage to Janet Jackson as they shook the arena with their loud cheers, dance formations, and bewildering tosses and tumblings.
With four months of perfecting their routine, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles lit the MOA arena in blue as they charged for their Ateneo Forever themed flight.
The blue side of Katipunan was in full force for their one big fight and came in Black Panther-inspired bodysuits.
As the sixth crew to perform, the pressure was on for the CDC’s defending champion, the Far Eastern University Cheering Squad.
Despite issues including injuries and short recovery times from the preceding season, the Tamaraws showed their commitment to defending their title.
FEU carried out a Francis Magalona tribute with the bold chants, swag, jaw-dropping stunts, and dazzling outfit change from gold to the colors of the national flag. They placed first runner-up in this year’s competition.
The National University Pep Squad showed it was deserving of reclaiming the the top spot with its performance. The Bulldogs have became one of the league’s showstoppers since its four-year championship streak.
In their neon blue, pink, and yellow costumes, NU Pep Squad members brought their A-game with their energetic Zumba-themed choreo and ferocious stunt executions.
The final group to perform in this year’s UAAP CDC was the UP Pep Squad. Despite the recent controversies, the Fighting Maroons continued to showcase their strength in the cheerleading scene.
Strong and heartfelt UP chants echoed throughout the arena as the Iskolars from the state university battled for a spot in the podium.
The squad’s theme exemplified UP’s renewed passion and power for their business as seen in their refined movements and stunts.