the hiatus that is cheerdance

the hiatus that happened last sunday that is called the UAAP Cheerdance Competition brought about different emotions inside the Araneta Coliseum.

why is it that this competition is more intense than the also-running basketball tournament? because this is a once-a-year event. to avenge your loss, you have to wait for another year. however, that won't assure you that you'd be really get back at your opponent. also, the tournament brings out your innermost Maroon or what-have-you. school spirit is at its best when this competition is held. :D

so now, an assessment of how teams did this year. the analysis posted in this entry are solely based on the author's opinions and knowlodge.

1. The Adamson Pep Squad

i am actually looking forward to their performance. they've been doing strong routines since 2005. however, they always fall short into reaching the coveted top 3.

they have interesting costume but a bit over-the-top. they look like they will be sporting a Geisha theme or something related to the Japanese. the main problem with the routine is synchronization and the lack of impact. they have x-out, layout and backtuck tosses which UP, UST and FEU have already done in the past years. certain parts of the routine actually remind me of UP Pep's routine last year. also, dismounts are not synchronized and are not the same.

the music was ununderstandable. i hope they improve on that.

they have one good pyramid with good mounting technique. i think it's called a split pyramid. :D not-so-high level of difficulty for other stunts, though.

2. NU Pep Squad

this squad has been on the bottom of the standings year after year. will this be their breakout year?

their costume is simple. they definitely increased in skill. they have one full twist in their tumbling passes and most of the guys can do backtucks. they have nice transtition in the middle of the routine and good mounting of the swedish falls in the end. i like the choreography towards the end. their tosses include toe-touches and layout.

some of the stunts fell which constitute a major error. but great improvement for the squad, nonetheless. also, they are more confident now. their cheerleaders look like college students! haha. unlike the previous years when they use high school students as part of the group.

definitely better than Adamson's. but, Love Story as part of the cheermix? you have got to be kidding me. :D

3. UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe

will they be able to finally reclaim the title they supposedly "lent" to UP? or another runner-up finish for the winningest group in cheerdance history?

Studio23 introductory spiel: With 8 cheerdance titles under their belt will the UST SDT bring back the glory to España? let's see.

their costume reminds me of Tribo UP last year - it's just me. anyway, they start the routine with backtucks with a few memebers landing on their knees. this is not the Salinggawi that we're used to seeing - errors plaguing their routine. stunts fall, pyramid fall. they have pike, x-out and twisting tosses and a superman stunt leading to a swedish fall. full twists in tumbling passes is also an improvement. choreography was good, btw.

the routine is not entirely difficult but definitely flashy. main highlights of the routine include the 1000 hands sequence and the walk-on-fire pyramid. other than that, it was plain. music was good but some parts remind me of the Tribo routine.

for the first three performers this merits top ranking.

4. DLSU Animo Squad

the routine last year was enough to erase the horrors of 2007. but, will they be able to make it on top this year?

their first costume is cute. the theme is Carnival-esque. haha. i wouldn't know how the describe it. the opening choreography is good with layout and kick double tosses. they have the same superman stunt leading to a swedish falls pyramid as UST. however, the form of the top flyers are not as good as UST's. their partner stunts are also good except for the three that fell. they also now have full twisting tumbling passes.

good job by the Animo Squad but not enough to rank higher than UST. i'd put them between UST and NU.

5. UP Pep Squad

will there be another 3-peat for the defending champions?

i actually think that as far as opening VTR is concerned Riki Flores is the best. :D

people might kill me for this but i actually like their uniform/costume. it was very connected to the theme of depicting UP Life. tosses are definitely top notch since they were able to show layouts, full twists, kick doubles, kick fulls and a pike step out. the winner of this routine could be the A-frame pyramid and it's mounting - the most difficult pyramid i've seen so far. however, the failure to form the 2-2-1 pyramid and the falling of the partner stunt in the middle could cause deductions. i'd like to commend the final pyramid aalongside the transformation of the jeepney into the UP Seal.

props for the highest level of difficulty and for doing one of the best routines the UP Pep ever had. :)

definitely the squad will be able to defend their crown.

6. Ateneo Blue Babble Batallion

i really like their uniform. it looks clean and very cheerleader-ish.

good opening sequence and the one-count mounting of a 2-2-1 pyramid. they also have good backtuck, x-out and kick double tosses. they really have great partner stunts especially in doing the double liberties! i have to say that their execution is great and it is the cleanest routine by far. the difficulty is not as high as UP's but way cleaner. Moonwalk FTW!

with that routine they could break into the top three, honestly. :) im placing them between UP and UST.

7. UE Pep Squad

UE disappoints me most. if NU is the most improved squad every year, UE is doing the opposite. the skill and quality of the routines are trending towards the negative side of the spectrum.

their costume reminds me of UP's CAIO uniform. what's with the jeepney? the main problem of the routine is the lack of difficulty and synchronization. even in the stunts, flyers were not mounted and dismounted at the same time. folkdance? novelty songs? there is definitely something wrong with this squad. the highlight of the routine could be the umbrella hats, or maybe not.

i'm ranking them lower than Adamson. Adamson had more difficulty in their routine.

8. FEU Cheering Squad

for a couple of years running, FEU finished as bridesmaid to both UP and UST. their last championship dated back to 1998. will they be able to break this 11-year drought?

i also like their uniform. but not as much as i like UP's and Ateneo's. i have to say that they have the best skills in the competition. their partner stunts are extremely superb with bow-and-arrows, chin-chins, scales and arabesques. very clean execution with minimal errors. they have tosses like x-out, kick doubles and double fulls. however, their routine really reminded me of past UP and UST routines.

they could win this. and i am placing them alongside UP for first. :)

after watching all teams this is my ranking:
  1. UP/FEU
  2. FEU/UP
  3. Ateneo
  4. UST
  5. DLSU
  6. NU
  7. Adamson
  8. UE

however, i was wrong with the top three ranking. the judges have spoken and they proclaim FEU as the new champions with Ateneo and UP as 1st and 2nd runners-up respectively.

i am a bit satisfied with the results but hey, i would want UP to do a three-peat. however, i think that errors caused us the championship. a glaring first-pyramid error could be costly.

but, i would like to say that this routine of the pep squad is one of the most intelligent yet. it makes me proud that i am from UP and everything that has to do with it. :)

and, i'd like to reiterate our cheer, "Bayan, bayan, bayan ko, di pa tapos ang laban mo."

let's keep on fighting! next year, we may reclaim that most coveted crown. it'll be pay back time.


Best Opening VTR: Riki Flores of UP
Best Skills: FEU
Best Stunts: UP
Best Pyramids: UP
Best Tosses: FEU
Cute Performance Award: Ateneo
Most Memorable Pyramid: Walking-on-Fire Pyramid by UST
Most Memorable Stunt: Moonwalk Stunt by Ateneo
Fail Pyramid: Final Pyramid by Adamson
Fail Stunt: Tumbling Girl with Five Guys by UST
Best Crowd: UP
Best Reaction: TIE! (UST celebrating UP's 3rd place finish and UST's non-reaction to Ateneo's 2nd place)
Best in Uniform: Ateneo