UAAP Cheerdance returns with no drums, shorter routines

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2022 04:19 PM

UAAP Cheerdance returns with no drums, shorter routines

MANILA, Philippines -- The UAAP Cheerdance Competition returns for the first time since 2019 on Sunday, with the league's cheering squads performing shortened routines and featuring fewer personnel.

The UAAP confirmed on Thursday that a maximum of 15 performers will be allowed on the competition floor of the Mall of Asia Arena, down from the 25-man squad of previous seasons. Moreover, routines must run for only two-and-a-half minutes to three minutes, whereas squads were allowed six minutes in previous years.

Perhaps the biggest change is that no live drums are allowed in the competition, with teams performing to canned music.

According to UAAP president Nonong Calanog of De La Salle University, the restrictions in the competition were made with the health and safety of participants in mind. Moreover, the decisions were made when Metro Manila was still under stricter restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Hindi ito ang normal na CDC," Calanog conceded in a press conference on Thursday. "It's shorter, [with] fewer people."

"When the board decided to bring back the CDC, we were technically still in alert level 2 or alert level 3," he said. 

While restrictions have been eased, it was no longer possible for the cheerdance squads to change their routines, which were decided some six months in advance.

"Most of our coaches prepared for the time na we decided na three minute routine lang ito, and there will be only 15 people in the squad. All of these things were considered way back, mga six months before," said Calanog. 

"It just so happened that things are a little better now, but we had to contend with the uncertainty," he added. "We didn't know what will happen by the time that we have the CDC, but we were ready with whatever decisions we made at the time."

All eight teams will perform on Sunday, in the following order:

  • Ateneo Blue Eagles
  • NU Pep Squad
  • UP Pep Squad
  • FEU Cheering Squad
  • DLSU Animo Squad
  • Adamson Pep Squad
  • UE Pep Squad
  • UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe

The powerhouse National University Pep Squad is gunning for a third consecutive cheerdance crown.

Head coach Ghicka Bernabe believes they are ready for Sunday's event, despite all the changes that they had to make to their usual routines.

"Siniksik namin 'yung performance namin," she said. "We made sure na lahat ng mag-a-add ng points ay nilagay namin sa three minutes."

The UAAP CDC starts at 4 p.m.