1994-1996: When the UST Salinggawi innovated and reigned the UAAP Cheerdance

Gerry Plaza on Nov 18, 2016 09:14 AM
1994-1996: When UST reigned the UAAP Cheerdance
During its reign on the hardcourt, UST’s cheerdancers from the Salinggawi Dance Troupe mirrored that dominance on the nascent staging of the first UAAP Cheerdance Competition in 1994 by bagging the title.

Who could forget the time when the cheerdance first became a UAAP collegiate competition?

It was during that glorious UST dynasty in basketball, running rings around the competition behind that vaunted lineup of Dennis Espino, Bal David, Rudolph Belmonte, Patrick Fran and Chris Cantonjos.

On top of that, their cheerleaders were champs themselves.

During its reign on the hardcourt, UST’s cheerdancers from the Salinggawi Dance Troupe mirrored that dominance on the nascent staging of the first UAAP Cheerdance Competition in 1994 by bagging the title.

Then named the Jollibee Chi-Cheer Kayo Challenge, the competition saw schools perform their traditional cheers. But since UST fielded its world-renowned dance troupe as its official “pep squad,” intricate choreography and mind-blowing stunts became part of the routine that set the tone of the competition to this day.

UST innovated the cheerdance with complicated pyramids, basket tosses, and swan dives that truly left the audience in awe. Adding to those difficult stunts, transitions were clean and quick thus scaling the difficulty level to unchartered heights.

It easily copped the title in the first three years of the competition, with the vaunted, trademark zigzag pyramid as their centerpiece move in terms of persons involved, mounting technique, and form.

They bested the most active cheering squad at the time, the DLSU Pep Squad, for two straight years, and in its three-peat year in 1996, beating the school that ultimately became their bitter rivals, UP, which was then represented by its equally recognized Filipiniana Dance Troupe.

 

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