Up close with a dancing Falcon

Date Posted: February 9, 2018 at 01:55 PM


Photo credit: Dwyeth Vergeire

An unexplainable kind of happiness rushed through his body as the names of their biggest contenders were announced; and when they were declared champion, he did nothing but run to the podium to claim his victorious moment. Seven years into cheerleading and as AdU Pep Squad captain, Dwyeth Vergeire had at last won a championship. 

One of the most awaited events during the annual University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is the Cheerdance Competition. For years, only two or three schools dominated the event but UAAP Season 80 dropped a big surprise – the first championship of the usual underdog and the 2016 bronze medalist, the Adamson University (Soaring Falcons) Pep Squad.

With their hashtag #80for80 for their ‘80s Manila-inspired routine, the AdU Pep Squad lorded it over the other seven UAAP member schools during the UAAP Cheerdance Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena last December 2, 2017. The win also marked Dwyeth’s last stint in the UAAP. 

An Operations Management major, Dwyeth has been a part of the Pep Squad since his first year in the university. He was there during those seasons when everyone seemed to disregard them in the competition. Last 2016, he was there when they surprised everyone with their Aloha-themed number that landed them their first podium finish – a bronze.

According to Dwyeth, that first podium finish drove their coach, Jam Lorenzo, to maximize their potential as cheerdancers with a routine more intense and faster than the previous one. He said that their skills improved even more, making them capable of performing more challenging executions. Every year, their coach designs their performance and upon hearing the ‘80s Manila theme for this season, he felt the thrill to perform a unique and groovy choreography.

The road to their victory was not an easy one. Being student-athletes, they still had their academics to worry about. They are students in the morning and athletes at night. Fatigue and pressure are their biggest challenges in balancing a dual lifestyle.

As captain of the Pep Squad, he made it a point that the team solve all misunderstandings and miscommunications before and after every training. He said that the secret to their success is cultivating a good relationship with each other by addressing each and every concern of the members so their performance won’t be ruined. He also shared that they always made sure that every practice is as good as the real performance so that they will already be “ripe” on the mat. 

Dwyeth narrated that while dancing in the cheerdance competition, all they thought about was bringing pride and honor to the university. They were really hungry for victory and they wanted to change the stereotype attached to the AdU Pep Squad as a non-contender. And for this last battle on the mat, he changed that stereotype, thus turning the Pep Squad into one worth watching out for.

It may sadden Dwyeth to bid farewell to his teammates and to cheerleading after graduation but his heart will continue to support the AdU Pep Squad. He will always cheer for them and proudly shout UNAWAKANAHIMO!