1999-2001: UP Pep Squad rules the cheerdance game
Gerry Plaza on Nov 18, 2016 09:15 AM
The UP Pep Squad finally emerged as a force to reckon with in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition, collaring three consecutive titles from 1999-2001.
After a year’s absence, UST came back to the UAAP Cheerdance Competition but it seemed a new dominant force was taking over.
For the past four seasons, UP played second or third fiddle but in turn of the century, its new cheerdance squad, the UP Varsity Pep Squad, made it all known who’s the new sheriff in town.
While the UP Fighting Maroons had been struggling on the hardcourt, their cheerleaders had emerged as a force to reckon with in the Cheerdance Competition, collaring three consecutive titles from 1999-2001.
Brandishing cool jazz moves meshed with synchronized gymnastic stunts, UP’s routine was an awesome sight even from afar—all with thunderous support from students, alumni and followers from the stands cheering in unison.
Donning the maroon and gold colors, with all cheerdancers in uniform dance outfits (marking the first time women cheerleaders wore pants in a cheerdance routine), the UP Varsity Pep Squad stretched, gyrated, tossed, and even integrated rhythmic dance to the blaring drums reverberating throughout the venue.
UP copped its first Cheerdance title in 1999, giving UST a rude awakening.
Not only did it show a new cheerdance giant was emerging, it became pretty clear UP got what it took to stay on top for a long time.
The UP Varsity Pep Squad stamped its class anew in 2000, even improving on its pyramid and lifts and its scintillating dance moves to again beat UST to the Cheerdance title for a back-to-back win.
Then in 2001, UP eyed its own hat trick with a much enhanced number, this time integrating ethnic dance moves, fancy jazz footwork, and local martial arts to its routine, which truly stood out in the competition. It gloriously succeeded in bagging the three-peat, beating second-placers Adamson Pep Squad, which pulled off a graceful surprise in a routine that pushed UST down the podium at third place.