A bigger and louder University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 Cheerdance Competition will be staged on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena as it reverts to its pre-pandemic format.
The much-awaited showdown will feature more performers and longer routines compared to the previous contest six months ago.
Each team can now field a maximum of 25 performers with each routine lasting for five to six minutes.
The CDC returned last May after being shelved for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, teams were only allowed to have 15 performers with each routine shortened to only three minutes.
“We just go back to the old rules of 15 to 25 performers with five to six minutes of performance each,” special events committee head Gigi Camus said on Sunday during the CDC press conference held at the MOA Arena.
Camus, who was joined by UAAP officials, coaches and team skippers, added that teams can now fully showcase their skills with longer time of performance.
“Last season we cut down to 15 performers and three minutes per routine. This time, there will be a longer time for performers to showcase their skills and routines,” she added.
Teams are now allowed to bring their drums composed of two snares and two basses. Drums were prohibited in the last edition.
“We are trying to experiment that they will have a rotation in beating their drums upon the request of MOA. That they won’t be hitting their drums at the same time, so there will be a rotation,” Camus said.
“During the competition, there will also be limitations on drums so judges can concentrate while giving their scores. In the past, they had difficulty discussing with all the drums pounding at the same time.”
Fans can also enjoy the CDC live as the venue has allowed full capacity this time.
A total of 12,522 gate attendance watched the Season 84 CDC won by Far Eastern University, which ended a 13-year title drought, last May.
Ticket sale has yet to be announced.
This season, the FEU Pep Squad will be sixth in the order of performance with a Francis Magalona team.
Season 84 runner-up Adamson Pep Squad will be first to perform with an R&B and reinvention-themed routine followed by the University of the East Pep Squad using a P-Pop-inspired performance, University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe will have a monster theme will De La Salle University Animo Squad will pay homage to Janet Jackson.
Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, on the other hand will have a ‘forever’ theme, former six-time champion National University Pep Squad will showcase a cheerobics routine as they try to rebound from a bronze medal finish in the previous edition while the University of the Philippines Pep Squad will be the last to perform.