DLSU Animo Squad ready to open 2016 UAAP CDC with a bang

Santino Honasan on Nov 14, 2016 06:38 PM
DLSU Animo Squad ready to open 2016 UAAP CDC with a bang
STRONG START. The DLSU Animo Squad promised an opening number that everybody will cheer for.

How did the DLSU Animo Squad do last year? Sixth.

When you talk about the UAAP Cheerdance Competition, you immediately think about schools like University of the Philippines, National University, and University of Sto. Tomas – not so much De La Salle University.

It’s because the Animo Squad has yet to reach the pinnacle of the CDC.

That doesn’t mean they haven’t been close, however.

During the first three years of the competition, the green and white team had podium finishes – with two straight runner-up finishes in 1994 and 1995 and a third-place finish in 1996.

They finished as runners-up again in 1998, but that would be their last podium finish in the next 12 years.

When head coach Ruffa “Ruff” Rosario took over in 2011 though, he managed to bring the Animo Squad back to the upper echelon of the competition as they were once again runners-up in 2011.

Two seasons later, they were back as third-placers. Since then, however, they have not been able to replicate the same sort of success.

Still, what keeps coach Ruffa positive is the fact that he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself and the Animo Squad. He even quipped, “Actually, we’re not about winning the title.”

He added, “First, I always tell the kids to enjoy every moment of their lives as members of the Animo Squad, representing the school and bringing honor to the alma mater. Of course, ang sa akin lang, gusto ko i-enjoy talaga nila yung sport.”

In the last two editions of the CDC, DLSU finished in sixth-place and coach Ruffa just attributed it to a few errors and not being able to meet some of the technical requirements. “For the last two seasons, hindi kami umaabot sa podium because may mga skill requirements kami na hindi naabot talaga, kung ano lang yung kaya nung mga bata,” he said.

But for coach Ruffa, it’s not so much about podium finishes as it is about enjoying and appreciating being part of the Animo Squad and making the most of your college lives. “As an individual and as a student-athlete, an achievement for me is while you are loving the sport, extraordinary student ka. Sa college life, meron kang extra-curricular and at the same time, yung academics mo hindi mo napabayaan,” he shared.”

He continued, “Performing perfectly with all their heart, enjoying the routine, yun na yung, as a coach, I’m really content with. If they pull off the routine on competition day, whatever God gives us, podium finish or not.”

This season though, it’s a whole new opportunity for coach Ruffa and the DLSU Animo Squad to shine.

With a theme that’ll guarantee to take on a trip down memory lane, coach Ruffa has only one simple mission for the Animo Squad. “This season, ang sinabi ko sa kanila, being the first performers, let the audience, not only the Lasallian audience, cheer for you. As opening, gusto ko lahat ng schools i-cheer sila because it’s connected to our theme,” he shared.

Being the first ones in the spotlight this year, the Animo Squad will have to set the bar.

When asked what the fans can expect from the green and white gang, coach Ruffa didn’t say much, but promised a big opening for this year’s competition. As he put it, “Every year, ang Animo Squad may surprises. This year, as the number one performer, we will open the UAAP CDC with a really big bang!”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @honasantino.

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