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MANILA, Philippines - The University of the Philippines (UP) Pep Squad successfully defended its crown and emerged as the 2012 Samsung UAAP Cheerdance Competition Champion.
In front of 19,509 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena, the UP Pep Squad displayed a well-executed routine to win their 8th Cheerdance Championship tying the Univerity of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe with the most first place finishes in UAAP Cheerdance history.
After last year's Madonna theme, UP went with a Freedom themed routine this year which showcased clean lifts, tosses and stunts with a high level of difficulty. Known for always doing something unexpected, the once blonde Diliman-based squad sported a semi-bald hair cut and even recognized their competitors in their routine, an act no other team in the league has done in the history of the CDC.
Improving from their 2nd runner-up finish last year, the Far Eastern University Cheering Squad was awarded first runner-up with their Jungle-themed routine. The FEU Cheering Squad impressed the crowd with their stunts and costumes, wearing Ramaraw headgears that wowed the crowd towards the end of the routine.
In what could be the biggest surprise for the afternoon, the NU Pep Squad, with a royalty-themed routine, earned the second runner-up spot, their first ever podium finish since the Cheerdance Competition started. Wearing dark blue and gold, the NU Pep Squad showed a greatly improved routine that amazed the audience.
The University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe, perennial favorites in the competition, failed to make it in the top three for the second straight year. The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe wanted to get back to their winning ways but their Brazilian Festival themed routine wasn't enough to get the nod of the judges.
Last year's first runner-up, the De La Salle University Animo Squad, had a Boxing themed routine. They performed good stunts and had a clean routine--their secret to last year's runner up finish. This time, however, they didn't land in the top three.
The Ateneo Blue Babble Batallion entertained the crowd with their Anime-themed routine, their costume reminiscent of Tron or flight suits in Japanese animated shows. The crowd went wild when the blocks that they carried in the beginning of the routine were transformed into a 10 ft. tall Voltes V robot.
The Adamson University Pep Squad showed their love for Korean music with their K-Pop themed routine. They wore a glittery costume and had a starry backdrop. The Adamson Pep Squad made the crowd go wild by including Korean Star Psy's Gangnam Style into their routine.
This year, the University of the East Pep Squad had a Superhero/Immortals themed routine. Their dancers had their hair dyed blonde and initially wore costumes with a cape on it.
With the win, the UP Pep Squad also took home a cash prize of P340,000 while the FEU Cheering Squad and the NU Pep Squad won P200,000 and P140,000 respectively.
This year also marks the second time that the Group Stunts Challenge was held. The top three was exactly the same as last year--the UP Pep Squad was crowned champion while the FEU Cheering Squad and the NU Pep Squad were 1st and 2nd runner-up respectively.
The Samsung Stunner award was given to Nicolette Erica Ambulo of the UP Pep Squad.
This is the second consecutive year that the University of the Philippines swept all three awards in the Cheerdance Competition. -Rappler.com
For more on the UAAP Cheerdance Competition, read: