There’s a new coach for the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe and he has brought loftier goals for the upcoming UAAP 80 Cheerdance Competition.
Despite a coaching overhaul that saw the departure of longtime coach Ramon Pagaduan IV for the DLSU Animo Squad, a rejuvenated UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe is ready to make another leap in this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition.
Last year’s fourth-placers will now be led by nurse and Salinggawi alumnus Mark Chaiwalla and squad president Benjo Gutierrez said the team has already been reaping in the rewards.
“Very refreshed. Parang pinindot ang F5 10 times. Bagong-bago. Bago lahat – bagong latag, bagong piyesa, bago lahat, pero same culture pa rin,” Gutierrez said.
Contrary to Pagaduan’s more polished and basic routines, the Salinggawi will now attempt more difficult, “buwis-buhay” stunts that will surely raise the eyebrows of the UST community – and just about everybody.
In preparing for the six-minute routine, the graduating Gutierrez said there is no room for error or injury right now since there are no available replacements. Members of the team could only sacrifice their bodies to go for another podium finish – which will be its second in three years.
Gutierrez however is not worried since Chaiwalla is a registered nurse and has been working at the UST Hospital before he was appointed last June. As such, he regularly checks in on his crew if they can take the practices physically.
Since Chaiwalla’s arrival, there has been no time wasted as the team has already been preparing for the annual event since the third week of July.
Although he estimates the team to be 87 percent polished at the time of the interview, he expects the team to be all-out when it’s their turn to present their routine.
“Pag one-time, big-time, wala ka nang choice kung hindi ibigay ang lahat eh. Saka may adrenaline din naman sa competition.” Gutierrez said.
The journalism major also praised the new coaching staff of Chaiwalla which includes assistant coach Dan Dimaculangan who has had experience working for Disney and is currently taking a vacation just to help out his alma mater.
Alongside a new coaching regime, the Salinggawi president has noted that the team is tighter and closer than ever and that only reinforces their renewed sense of purpose for a “people’s coach.”
While this will be Chaiwalla’s first coaching stint, the mindset of the team is not to just show up for the competition, but to try and dislodge the NU Pep Squad from the top. If not, at the very least, compete for a podium finish.
“Yung routine na mismo namin ang magasasabi kung gaano kalaki ang ipinagbago namin from last year eh,” Gutierrez said.
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