[Second of a series]
IT’S payback time as far as Far Eastern University Pep Squad is concerned.
After seeing its streak of 11-year podium finishes come to an end last year, the Morayta-based team has vowed to go all-out in the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition on Sunday.
Coach Jaqui Alolor, who has been at the helm of the team for 12 straight years, said last season's letdown has become the top motivation of her cheerdancers.
“Last year we were all crying kasi hindi kami sanay na wala kaming trophy na hawak," said the bubbly FEU dance master.
"Pero of course there's always a reason kung bakit nangyayari 'yun. Para sa akin magandang maganda `yung ginawa namin pero siguro sa mata ng judges merong mga pagkukulang at merong mga weakness and from there we learned a lot," she added.
But that hasn't stopped the three-time cheerdance champion from aiming high on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as it sets its sights not only on a return to the podium, but also on winning the title itself.
"We really wanted to be on top," said Alolor. "Kung mag-aim din naman kami mag-aim high na kami. Mag-aambisyon ka rin naman, taasan mo na. Walang limit ang pag-ambisyon. I always tell them (dancers) that."
As it tries to get back to its winning ways, the FEU Pep Squad has deviated a little bit from their usual style. The Morayta-based dancers, who have been perfecting their routine since March, will be going for a tamer act.
"Syempre una pa rin ang safety ng dancers, pero at the end of the routine mapapa-smile ka," Alolor said. "It's not wild and fierce, it is something relaxing para kang nagpapa-spa, syempre may part na intense, pero at the end of the day mapapa-smile ka."
Gunning for its fourth title means getting past defending champion National University led by Ghicka Bernabe, Alolor’s former dancer at FEU.
For the FEU coach, it will be a mentor-student showdown again.
"In NU, the coaches are my dancers before. Some of them four years kong nahawakan, some five years, so partly I'm proud of them kasi siguro ibang part of them nakuha nila from FEU," said Alolor.
"Ibang challenge for me kasi it will be mentor versus student and you have to prove this year that the mentor is still better than the student."
Other squads vying for honors: