FEU Cheering Squad seeks repeat as UAAP Cheerdance returns to old format
MANILA, Philippines — Far Eastern University (FEU) Cheering Squad defends its crown when the UAAP Cheerdance Competition brings back its traditional rules on Saturday next week at Mall of Asia Arena.
Despite being limited to a three-minute performance and 15 performers without a presence of drums last May, the FEU Cheering Squad shone the brightest with a near-flawless performance that honored the band Queen and end a 13-year title drought.
Six months later, the defending champion is raring to perform again with a routine that will honor the songs of Francis Magalona as the league reverts to the pre-pandemic tournament format.
“We just go back to the old rules, 15-25 performers, 5-6 minutes performance. Last season, we really cut down to 15 [performers] and 3-minute performance,” said special events committee head Gigi Kamus during the press conference on Sunday.
“This time, we will have more performers and more time again to showcase their skills and routines,” she added.
UAAP cheerdance competition theme teasers:
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FEU coach Randell San Gregorio said they will prepare the same way they prepared in the past years, putting a premium on conditioning as they seek to prove themselves that they can also win in a traditional format.
“We will prepare the same way we prepared in previous years, regardless of any competition. We focused on conditioning also. We wish everyone safety. I hope all of us will be one this Saturday and we can give a great show to the crowd,” San Gregorio said in Filipino.
Drums, which were prohibited last season, will be allowed this time. MOA Arena will also be at full capacity after only 12,522 fans attended the limited-capacity competition last May.
“We will have a full house this time. We will have drums, two basses and two snares. We are trying to experiment that they will have a rotation in drumming their drums upon the request of MOA that there will be the rotation and won’t hit their drums at the same time to give our judges a chance to concentrate while giving their scores,” said Kamus, who is also University of Santo Tomas board representative.
National University PEP Squad, which was dethroned and settled for bronze last season, is eager to regain the crown with a ‘cheer-obics’-themed performance, combining both cheer dance and aerobics.
“From Season 84, it’s like we’re in a rush. At least now, somehow, it’s possible. I think it’s more than enough to prepare for this competition,” said NU coach Ghicka Bernabe, who had won six of the last seven competitions before they dropped down to third early this year with a routine paying homage to ’90s music.
The Adamson Pep Squad, which placed second, will kick off the Season 85 competition with a Reinvention and RnB concert-inspired performance, followed by UE PEP Squad performing a P-pop-themed routine, UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe hinting a ‘monster’ show, De La Salle Animo Squad saying it will dance to Janet Jackson’s song, and Ateneo Blue Eagles teasing an Ateneo Forever theme.
FEU will perform sixth, followed by NU, while UP Pep Squad will cap the competition, teasing a ‘big question mark’ theme.
“The Cheerdance Competition is the event where we cheer for the individuals who rally our varsity teams on a daily basis. It’s a very special event that everyone in the UAAP community looks forward to. And as what we have seen during the halftime of our men’s basketball games, all teams are ready to have their one shining moment on December 10,” said UAAP Season 85 President Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM.
The UAAP Season 85 Cheerdance Competition will air on December 10th, Live on One Sports, UAAP Varsity Channel, Cignal Play and the Smart Gigaplay App. The event will also be available for international audience via iWantTFC.