UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe

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University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe
Salinggawi from University of Santo Tomas at halftime.jpg
Founded 1968
Based in University of Santo Tomas
Colors              Gold, black, and white
Championships 13
(8 UAAP Cheerdance,
2 Philippine National Games Cheering,
1 Lipton Iced Tea Cheering,
1 Tomas Morato Business Foundation Dance,
1 PRISAA Creative Folk Dance)
Choreographer(s) Ramon Pagaduan IV

The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe (or simply Salinggawi or SDT), is the University-wide organization for dance and the official dance troupe of the University of Santo Tomas (UST). The group is known for its versatility covering wide array of genre from performing arts to cheerleading, from contemporary to breakdancing. The Salinggawi Dance Troupe is also the official cheerdance team along with the official pep squad and drumline - the UST Yellow Jackets of the University of Santo Tomas. The group also performs for the halftime during the games of the UST Growling Tigers, the university's Men's Basketball team in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. The group is also the official team of the University to Skecher's Streetdance Competition.

Salinggawi is derived from the Filipino phrase "Salin n g mga dating Gawi at Lahi", which translates to "transfer of customs and traditions" in English.[1]


It was established in 1968 as the cultural group of UST.[1] It was the year when the former Philippine first lady Mrs. Imelda Marcos stirred the climate of the country for cultural rebirth. The formation of the dance troupe was spearheaded by Mrs. Emerita E. Basilio, an authority on the Philippine folk dance and a former directress of the women section of the Physical Education Department.[1] Along with her in this task are other dance teachers namely: Mrs. Delly Nabong, Mrs. Carmen Cruz, Mrs. Arce Garcia and volunteered students. The transcribed researchers of dances were interpreted into steps and expression, thus, creating a stage presentation out of the repetitious classroom exercises. From months of refining and polishing the group transformed it into a performance on December 16, 1968. and they are the most popular cheering/dance troupe in the whole Philippines.

The dance troupe is composed of UST Students boarded together by their love and passion for dancing. They are auditioned and further trained to polish their talents until such time that they can execute the simplest step into perfection. The mark of the versatility in Performing Arts is characterized in every Salinggawi performance. Integrated into their program is orientation in the different aspects of entertainment such as scriptwriting, stage production and others.

Choreographer[2]    Year[2]   
Rene Hofilena
David Jhoy Sasis IV
Thea De Guzman
Ma. Corazon Medalla
Ryan Silva
Ramon Pagaduan IV


The Salinggawi logo symbolizes the dance troupe's aim for excellence in theater dances such as classical and modern ballet, jazz, modern dances, authentic folk dances and commercial dances as well. The overlapping character poses implies that the members are composed of men and women who want to exemplify Salinggawi's aim for perfection in dance. The horizontal rays represent the values integrated into their vigorous training. Those values are discipline, gratitude, respect, honesty, loyalty and integrity. These values are embodied by every Salinggawi dancer. It will hone them to become well-trained performers and responsible Thomasian leaders who will enrich and propagate the nation's desirable culture through dance.



The dance troupe, together with UST's official pep squad and drumline – the UST Yellow Jackets, is most popular as the university's official Cheerdance team for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

SDT Joined the first UAAP Cheerdance Competition in 1994 (then known as the Jollibee Chi-Cheer Kayo Challenge) and became champions for three straight years but opted out of the competition in 1998 and instead joined the Lipton Iced Tea Cheering Competition where they won first place.

In 1999 Salinggawi went back to regain the title however failed against UP Pep Squad which earned its first championship. UP Pep Squad held on to the title for another two years, matching Salinggawi’s own record. In 2002, Salinggawi regained the title and held on to it for another four years. UP Pep Squad has been their consistent runner up until 2007 when UP Pep Squad won back the title. The consistent competition among the two groups developed hardcore fans and escalated further the competition among the members of the group. After UST SDT's loss to championship in 2007, the Troupe gradually went downhill placing 3rd, and in 2009, completely losing its place in the Top 3 list. The last time that the troupe managed to snatch a podium finish was in 2010 where they placed 3rd behind UP and FEU. In 2013, the troupe dropped to 7th place, their lowest since the inception of UAAP CDC.

Notable attributes in UAAP Cheerdance routines[edit]

The Zigzag Pyramid[edit]

They introduced this pyramid in 1995.[3] This pyramid varies each year in number of person involved, height, form, and mounting technique.

The Fouette[edit]

This ballet move was introduced in the Troupe's routine in 2003. The perfect execution, well-synchronized, and creatively choreographed form of fouette made it a distinct feature of UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe in every Cheerdance routine. In the early years of the competition, it was executed during the latter portion of their routine.

Huge Banners[edit]

The squad used huge banners as props in their annual routine. It is usually colored black, gold or white.

  • 2001: A large, white banner with a nestle logo covers the dancers for the nestle cheer.[4]
  • 2003: 2 long banners used as props in nestle cheer
  • 2004: Cut in half to reveal the dancers beneath it
  • 2005: Dancers poked out through its holes
  • 2006: Displayed a tiger on top of the UST Main Building
  • 2007: Two huge flags displayed the logos of Samsung and UAAP and a long banner displayed "University of Santo Tomas" at the end of the routine
  • 2008: Two huge flags displayed the last two lines of the UST Hymn: "Ever Your Valiant Legions" and "Imbued with Unending Grace", and banners coming out of a tiger's head displayed the school battle cry, "Viva Santo Tomas"
  • 2009: A long banner coming out of a tiger emblem displayed "All Hail The Mighty Tigers".
  • 2010: A banner coming out of a magical box completing the slogan "400 Growls of UST".

"Go USTe!" Closing Cheer[edit]

For the third year in a row since 2006, as well as in 2003, they ended their routine with its most popular cheer - "Go USTe!". The cheer was performed with its traditional choreography. As the group exits, the squad points to the Thomasian audience.

Campaign Slogans[edit]

A banner carrying their campaign slogan is displayed by the Thomasian audience and usually represented a bid for a consecutive win.

  • 2002: The Real Champions are Back for their bid to regain the title.
  • 2003: Back 2 Back for their bid to have a back-to-back title.
  • 2004: Balik sa Naka-GAWI-an: Three-Peat for UST for their bid to have another three-peat.
  • 2005: Roar 4 More for their bid to have an unprecedented four-peat.
  • 2006: Jive for Five for their bid to have an unprecedented five-peat.
  • 2007: Tuloy ang Naka-GAWI-an: UST, This SIXTH It! for their bid to snatch a double grand-slam.
  • 2009: All Hail The Mighty Tigers for their Ancient Civilizations-inspired routine.
  • 2010: 400 Growls of UST for their Year of the Metal Tiger-themed routine and countdown to the university's quadricentennial anniversary.
  • 2011: Tigers Have No Predators
  • 2012: A New Breed Has Evolved
  • 2013: Saling9awi
  • 2014: #StoptheHate #NewsBlackout

University-wide Competitions[edit]

The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe sponsors annual intercollegiate dance and cheering competitions in the University of Santo Tomas:

  • Danscene, an Annual Dance Competition (since 1984) [2]
  • Street Dance Competition
  • Cheermania, an Annual Cheerdance Competition

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Garcia, A.G. (2009-02-13). "All the right moves!". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ Ruth L. Navarra (2007-09-17), "Champions of Cheer", Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 17 September 2007.
  4. ^ UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe Site
Awards and achievements
New championship UAAP Cheerdance Competition Champion
1994, 1995, 1996
Title next held by
FEU Cheering Squad
Preceded by
UP Pep Squad
UAAP Cheerdance Competition Champion
2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Succeeded by
UP Pep Squad