It's time to bring out the school spirit once again as the countdown begins for the most awaited cheerdance contest in the country, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) cheerdance competition.
The annual competition brings all member universities of the UAAP under one roof, with the venue becoming packed to the rafters. Each university displays their school spirit in what is considered as the UAAP's most festive event.
Cheerleading powerhouse University of the Philippines (UP) Pep Squad feels at home in the center court. The squad members have tumbled and cheered their way to seven UAAP titles. This year, they are gunning for their third straight win.
Sports Unlimited visited the team in UP Diliman at the College of Human Kinetics and caught them hard at training. Sports Unlimited host Dyan Castillejo got to join the team in their dance practice, and as she tried their easiest dance moves, she realized that cheerdancing is not as easy as it looks.
The UP Pep Squad has always been one of the teams to watch for in the UAAP cheerdance competition, always surprising audiences with their flamboyant and out of the box themes and styles.
Last year, the squad members all bleached their hair platinum blond as they paid homage to Madonna's blond ambition. That gamble paid off as they stomped the competition and successfully defended their title.
These "iskolar ng bayan" want to show that they are not only the brightest minds in the country. They also want to show that they have the sharpest moves.
The UP Pep Squad members are among the fittest and meanest athletes in UP's varsity program. They train in jazz, hip-hop, and gymnastics almost six hours a day, even on holidays. After all, in cheerdancing, perfection is the name of the game.
Cheerdancing has evolved into a highly competitive sport that combines grace and athleticism. Athletes have to execute high flying and breathtaking acrobatic moves without losing their smiles.
It takes very long hours to perfect dance moves, pyramids and tumbling passes. Student athletes have to juggle the demands of their studies and rigorous training. They sacrifice holidays and work long hours to ensure they remain on top.
Each year, they treat their competition routine with utmost secrecy. They always aim to blow the judges and spectators away come championship day.
With the passion, dedication and determination the UP Pep Squad has shown, a three-peat may not be hard to achieve.
Aired on: September 1, 2012