#UAAPCDC2015 scoop: Meet UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe captain Gladys Cruz

Barry Viloria on Oct 02, 2015 01:19 AM
#UAAPCDC2015 scoop: Meet UST Salinggawi captain Gladys Cruz
Follow Gladys Cruz on Instagram: @gladyscruuz (All photos courtesy of Gladys Cruz)

Polite and surprisingly simple, UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe’s #ladyboss Gladys Cruz goes against everything that reminds you of those mean cheer captain caricatures in most movies. She’s nice and friendly, and this translates to how she leads her team during trainings.

“I’m very approachable,” the 19 year-old AB Behavioral Sciences student reveals. “I’m so jolly sa training. It’s my way of encouraging my team and bringing their spirits up. Pumapanget kasi performance naming pag na-da-down sila.”

Don’t get her kind of leadership wrong, though. Gladys can also be strict, learning from the “strong” and “tutok” ways of Coach Ramon Pagaduan IV, who’s been at the helm since 2012. Discipline is Gladys’ foremost focus as they approach the upcoming competition.

“Si Coach yung tipong tao na kelangang magawa muna namin bago sya maging soft sa min. Lagi nya kaming gustong focused.”

This moment has been a long time coming for Gladys, who first played volleyball before picking up the cheerleading in sixth grade at the School of Holy Spirit in Quezon City. She slid through high school with two championships at the NCC - All Girls Division (2010 and 2012).

Gladys’ first years as part of the squad were when the esteemed, decades-old ‘Gawi was being trounced off the ranks. UST nabbed a top three spot in Season 77 after being away from it from Seasons 74 to 76. In the last, they were second to the last.

Gladys recalls their last year's climb like it was yesterday, “Sobrang saya lang nun! Syempre, di naming in-expect. Iniisip naming na walang ibang dapat puntahan kasi di kami papayag na bumaba pa kami. So, we really pushed for it.”

In her breath is pride and fulfillment.

“Lahat ng hirap sobrang worth na hirap namin! Last year, I made it to the Dean’s List, so nakakatuwa talaga!”

This year, Gladys says UST will hold on to its royal post, teasing a “very indigenous and native” performance.

“Production wise, you will get to witness stunts and dance na mas malakas. Like last year, we are focused on hitting it perfectly. Bonus nalang yung rankings.”

As for Gladys, she just wants to see where her hard work goes. (‘Gawi’s trainings cover seven days a week mostly; sometimes, on weekends, there are whole day trainings.) She seems inspired to go for it.

“My inspiration is my family. Naiintindihan nila kahit di nila ako nakikita. Gets nila kung nasan ako. Sila naman ang cheerleaders ko.”

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