[Editor's note: Here's the second installment of our eight-part primer on the 2018 UAAP Cheerdance Competition]
DE La Salle Animo Squad will be pinning its hopes on precise and difficult routines built around a fun, old-school theme as it eyes a return to the podium in the 2018 UAAP Cheerdance Competitio on November 17 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Mired in the bottom four the past four seasons since their thir- place finish last 2013, the Green Archers under coach Ramon Pagaduan vowed to flaunt a brand-new style anchored on more challenging and entertaining routines.
“Well, this year I’m hoping na mag-podium finish kami I just hope na umabot yung difficulty, well for them kasi it’s difficult already yung ginagawa namin,” Pagaduan told SPIN.ph.
“Medyo nag-cling into difficulty kami this year tapos binago ko ‘yung latag ko sa routine. So kumbaga hindi ako masyado at ease doon sa latag ko ng routine this year kasi it’s totally different from the past two themes na ginawa ko.”
“We placed seventh last year so we have to crawl ourselves up to the podium,” he added.
Pagaduan, who has been coaching in the Cheerdance Competition for a decade — five years at University of Santo Tomas and five at La Salle, said the competition reaching a high level prompted the change in style.
“Back in 2013 kasi the game was different,” the veteran coach said. “Hindi siya ganoon ka technical like now so basically advantage talaga ng mga teams kapag may mga gymnast sila kasi technical na nga din yung game back then kasi it’s more of choreography and linis.”
“This year kasi yung investment namin sa dance mas malaki and I think isa kami sa pinakamasaya na theme sa eight schools,” he added. “Nag-improve din yung tumbling namin although compared to others it’s not at par. Pero if iko-compare ko siya from last year sa Animo Squad medyo mas mataas itong gymnastics nila dito.”
Team captain Lara Andrada said a team composed of several newcomers has been responding well to Pagaduan.
“Sobrang bago talaga ng team namin and I guess for this year’s routine, bago yung way ng pag-latag ni coach Ramon sa routine namin,” said Andrada, a fourth-year flyer of the Animo Squad.
“I think may compromise na nangyari hindi lang sa nagets namin yung style ni coach Ramon pero nagets din ni coach Ramon yung style sa amin so may compromise na nangyari. But for this year, I think mas nagkakaintindihan yung team talaga.”
And what can fans expect from La Salle this year?
“Without revealing too much, it’s old school but it’s a really fun time yun lang,” Andrada said.
“Basta they’re the nicest kids in town,” Pagaduan added.