UAAP cheerdance preview: FEU keen to come out on top in student-mentor rematch
FEU's cheerdancers are motivated to bounce back after missing out on a podium finish for the first time in 11 seasons last year. Jerome Ascano

[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:


UP Pep Squad aims to bounce back in UAAP cheerdance with 'never before seen' routine



UE Pep Squad coach vows surprise from rookie-laden team


La Salle Animo Squad eager to sustain rise under coach Rosario


Adamson cheerdance team eyes end to 13-year absence from podium


NU Pep Squad out to prove last year's title run is no fluke


UST ready to rise like Phoenix after going bust with Egypt-inspired routine


Eighth among eight teams last year, Ateneo sets lofty goal of a podium finish

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