Saturday, September 22, 2012


Watching the UAAP Cheerdance Competition never fails to bring back teenage memories, perky - cutesy years, and those Salonpas moments after practices. 

UAAP just had their annual cheer dancing competition, this time held for the first time at the MOA Arena. I still prefer it to be in Araneta though, where it's more tight and noisy, MOA Arena's just quite big. I just don't like the place even on concerts, let arena be in Araneta. I miss MOA concert grounds and its cheaper tix! 

The UAAP CDC last Sept.22 trended on Twitter even before the show ended, I believe it even trended on top spot worldwide! From hashtag #SamsungUAAPCheerdanceCompetition2012 to hashtags of the 8 different competing schools, anything related to it, you name it & it's on twitter. This just goes to show how many viewers this once in a year event gathers. 

But what is with this event that makes us (especially girls) glued on TV? I have been watching it since 2001 and I don't think I remembered missing a single competing year. Here's the thing, my school isn't even part of UAAP. Also, I only watched it live once and never accepted free passes anymore bec. I prefer to watch it on TV where I can see the whole routine clearly. Here's another thing, I am not a professional cheerdancer nor trainer, and I would only watch Hellcats for Ashley Tisdale. So, why do we like the UAAP Cheerdance Competition anyway?


September would be UAAP's time to showcase their cheers and of course those skillfully mastered routines. This is also a great time for cheerdancers or choreographers to pick up some steps, formations, music and costume ideas which you would probably recognized during Sportsfest. You see yourself doing those same moves because you are and you were a cheerdancer during your students days. 

I have here one of those cheerdancing outfits I wore years ago. Ugh, the poor taste of yesteryears! 

Some would watch it out of frustration though. Those who have always dreamt of wearing a neatly sewn cheerdancing outfit, or of being tossed and flip, or smiling like retards while shouting your school's chant. You would watch and imagine that you are that girl on top of the pyramid, or you would try to do their dance steps but you look hideous so you just continue the daydreaming instead.


The color identifier of the eight schools played a big part on the competition's creative and eye candy aspect. I chose to use the word eye candy as it best describes the young audience's appeal as well. The costume, music, and / or the over-all theme are the creative factors you are excited to see every year. 

The costumes excites me actually, I like how it affects the synchronization of the squad. The UST Salinggawi dance troupe didn't made it again this year on the top 3, they used to be the biggest competitor every year. Who doesn't know their famous chant: "GO USTE! GO USTE!". I also miss their signature unitards costume, I still believe they started it all, and for me its their winning charm. For me UST (except for this year!) and UP are the best in terms of costume. For the least liked, I would say UE, Ateneo, and Adamson.

The theme is also what makes it interesting. How they would get to incorporate it to their routine without sacrificing cheerdancing technicalities. NU gave us the royalties or Disney-themed performance this year so they wore princess / prince inspired outfits, played Disney songs like A Whole New World, and ended the routine with Beauty and the Beast's Be Our Guest. Maybe they did a great job as they are placed on the top 3 for the first time!

Some of my favorites are UE's motorcycle props from 2003, Matrix inspired routine of UST from 2002, Madonna-theme of UP last year, Ateneo's cowboy theme from 2002, DLSU Military theme from 2005, and FEU's jungle theme this year! UP on the other hand still never fails to surprise us each year. From super short hair, to blonde hair, and now... semi-bald haircut! Man the commitment and sacrifice they do on every woman's crowning glory! Congrats UP for winning this year by the way! Ateneo had a Voltes V mascot at the end of their routine to represent their theme. 

But do you remember UAAP's sponsor before Samsung? Yes it's Nestle's Non-stop where they have to incorporate the Non-stop ice cream to their dance routine! I remembered seeing huge Nonstop ice cream containers made from styrofoam all for sponsor's glory.


Whether you're a cheerdancer or not, the tosses, pyramids, basically the routine itself amazes you. The breath taking moments of tossers, flyers are just some of the highlights of the 'show'. The stunning pyramids that makes you wonder how they can still smile and balance themselves at the same time. I always tend to picture a tape being rewinded every time I would see those girls jumping backwards going to second base of the pyramid, haha! This is a big factor for the judges as of course aside from the creativity, it is still the technicalities of cheering that matters.

UP seems to remain consistent with that, especially this year where they didn't invest on much costume and props, and focused on stunts instead. Some of my unforgettable and favorites stunts are FEU's worm stunt (i don't know what you call it) from 2003, UST's coliseo pyramid from 2009, Ateneo's moon walk on air (2009 I think), UST's inverted pyramid from 2003, UP's headstand that showed the originally inverted UP henna on their stomach (forgot the year), and Adamson's carousel toss from 2006 (that was really great!).

Since twitter's part of our viewing experience as well, the UAAP CDC also became a chance for us girls to be commentators in UAAP for a day. Hell yeah, shut up boys and your insights and comments about basketball coz it's our time to shine, at least for one day! We all suddenly became cheer dancing experts, forecasting the top 3, which most of the time is correct (at least for the top 2). It used to be predictable with UST Salinggawi being consistent on the winning spot, not until UP pep squad backed up their basketball team and FEU being consistent as well on the top 3!

These are just some of the reasons why we love to watch UAAP's cheerdancing competition. But above all this, what really should matter is the essence of school spirit! Whether you're part of the 8 competing schools or not, this one day event every year just reminds us that there should always be room for enjoyment. It's a break between the heart stopping basketball, volleyball, etc. It's where we get to feel young again, where we see beautiful girls wearing colorful outfits, and wow ourselves from those amazing stunts.

It's all about being perky, fun, loud, full of energy, creative, and... still young. We are never too old for this kind of things! GO FIGHT!

(original photo of cheerdancers are not mine)


Francesca Soriano said...

Hello! Visiting from teentalk :)

fao rani said...

thanks for the visit francesca! will check yours soon too :)