School spirit and energy felt anew after pandemic
The WNCAA Season 53’s Cheerdance Competition finally happened after four years; the last cheer competition was held in 2019. In 2020, the competition was postponed because of the pandemic, the lockdown putting the teams and schools in uncertainty.
Now that things are slowly going back to normal, the WNCAA cheer competition finally happened, even if only in a startup capacity since not all the member schools joined since a lot are still recovering from the pandemic.
But it was an exciting competition nonetheless because in full attendance were the schools known to be the cheer powerhouses in the league—Assumption College San Lorenzo, St. Paul College Pasig, San Beda Alabang, De La Salle Zobel, University of Asia and the Pacific, Miriam College and Centro Escolar University.
Drums and school crowds were in full force, school spirit again came to life to sweep everyone into a frenzy, especially the De La Salle Zobel and San Beda Alabang whose cheering traditions amount to a hundred years each.
This year’s competition only had two divisions—the Seniors and Juniors categories; the Midgets category will be back in Season 54.
The competition had a list of esteemed judges from the accredited GAP-Cheerleading Philippines federation members, all of good standing and independent from the WNCAA:
Head Judge Suyin Chua is a physician and doctor, she’s a gymnast, dancer, choreographer and coach and has worked with Cheerleading Philippines since 2007.
Daria Shigaeva is a professional dancer and teacher with a degree from the University of Culture and Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. This Moscow native has a bachelor’s degree in Dance Company Leadership and worked as choreographer for Russian Ballet
Carissa Adea is a former principal dancer of Ballet Philippines and has been dancing for 15 years with the company where she essayed lead roles including Giselle in Giselle, princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Snow White in Snow White, Oryang in Rock Supremo, Encantada and Babaylan in Encantada.
Kimberly Clarete is a movement artist and educator, with a background in ballet, jazz and contemporary dance, and she took her MSA in dance in New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
Ianne Damian is a teacher of ballet and choreography for over 40 years and founding member of Ballet Manila
Lora Benedicto is a former professional ballet and street dancer and former cast member in Hong Kong Disneyland.
Mikhail Anton studied at UP Diliman Diploma in Dance and was offered a scholarship in Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts
GAP-Cheerleading Philippines is the official national governing body of cheerleading and Cheer dance in the country, which is under the Philippine Sports Commission.
Check the Youtube channel of YOU.com.ph for more WNCAA perfomances.
For the Juniors division, the 2nd runner-up was Assumption College San Lorenzo, 1st runner up De La Salle Zobel—a first for the school to reach the Top 3; and the champion was San Beda Alabang, the school’s first Juniors Championship trophy since 2010.
For the Seniors division, St. Scholastica’s College Manila was 2nd runner-up, Centro Escolar University =1st runner up, and University of Asia and the Pacific was champion, a first in the history of the squad.
Special thanks to BENCH and Universal Robina Corporation for the prizes.