UP Pep Squad Reigns

Natashya Gutierrez

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the DLSU Animo Squad entered as an underdog but finished second.

MANILA, Philippines — Boasting its fourth title in five seasons, the UP Pep Squad proved that they reign supreme in the cheerdance arena. 

Rounding off the top three were the DLSU Animo Squad, this year’s first runner-up, and the FEU Pep Squad, who finished second runner-up.  

The blonde-haired UP Pep Squad shone bright, delivering their Madonna-inspired routine flawlessly. They defended the title deservingly, perfecting every pyramid, tumble and basket toss, at one point even imitating the famous UP Oblation by lifting a dancer who mimicked the statue. Their spirited dance was synchronized throughout, much to the delight of the overwhelmingly deafening crowd.

DLSU also came to impress. An underdog coming into the competition, their warrior-themed dance was executed cleanly, and with notable synchrony, enough to win them a second place finish. As for the FEU Cheering Squad, their unique and quirky choreography proved to be a winning formula. Their mounts and pyramids were smooth, earning them the third place spot. 

The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe failed to place in this year’s competition despite a sharp, creative routine and finishing third last year.

When tickets started selling last Wednesday, people lined up and camped out at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in hopes of seeing this year’s cheerdance competition. The effort of those who got in was well worth it. This year’s caliber of competition had significantly improved from last year and a new event was introduced as well.

The group stunt event, a one minute routine without cheers or dances, made its debut. The top three finishers for that event were UP, FEU and the NU Pep Squad.

Follow the reporter on Twitter: @natashya_g

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.