Published on September 17th, 2014 | by Michiko Alejandro0
Animo Squad lands sixth in this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition
The blue mats of the Big Dome once again centered the arena as the highly-anticipated UAAP Cheerdance Competition takes place.
Our very own DLSU Animo Squad, who landed 2nd runner up in last year’s tournament fell short to finish in the podium this time as the group yielded sixth. While National University successfully defended their Cheerdance throne as Season 77 champions. UP Pep Squad and UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe finished 2nd and 3rd this year.
With all the nerves of the competition and the pressure of performing in front of the 22,000 strong live spectators and being nationally televised all taking place, the Squad felt they came up short in solidifying their six-minute performance.
“We had better runs na mas feel talaga kesa dun sa mismong competition.” Said head cheerdancer, Charley Peña.
Despite the shortcomings, the sixth place finish was not a downfall for the team and they were proud that the mix of ten graduating and 11 first time performers were able to blend well in the team. La Salle had the most number of rookies in all eight participating universities.
“I did not expect that those errors will happen but overall I am contented because of the number of rookies we had,” Coach Rhufa stressed.
The Animo Squad showcased a Star Wars-themed performance garnered a total of 557 points. Winners NU, UP and UST tallied 677.5, 658 and 625 markers respectively. Although unfavorable to the Green-and-White squad, the team had 26 deduction points despite being one of the schools who scored high in the stunts department.
“The rankings maybe are justified but some scores are questionable,” Coach Ruffa added.
Head cheerleader Jaymes Saez felt that the team could capture a better standing if they were able to execute better. “Ang plan is mabuo yung routine. Kaso may errors. Kung nabuo yung routine, sure nasa top 3 tayo. Hindi natupad sa plan pero okay lang” he mentioned.
The sixth place finish wouldn’t define though the hard work and dedication the Animo Squad put all into place in their CDC stint this year. What’s assured is the Lasallian community will always be supporting the team despite any result.
Saet, Peña and Coach Rhufa spearhead the teams run this year and dedicates the performance to the Lasallian supporters.
“For the Lasallian community, thank you! Sobrang overwhelming ng support. Before, ang crowd ng DLSU isang strip lang, ngayon pantayan na sa UST.” Graduating Saet added
“The support you showed us this year will be our drive and fuel to improve and be better next year. We won’t let you down.” Assured by Charlie Peña.
As for Coach Rhufa’s final message, he made sure the team will bounce back from this year and come back stronger come Season 78. “To my animo squad: Lesson learned, keep the faith and our dreams alive. We won’t stop, we’ll train off season, and we will be back.”
This article was written in collaboration with Jan Gonzales
NOTE: The light sabers the Animo Squad used was a team-effort made and was headed by the Engineering members of the team. The team stressed that it was manually made and no outside expenses were used.