Following a meeting of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Board of Directors, a new decision will require the competing streetdance teams to put on a show during the halftime break—to the beat of the hottest TikTok dances.
Joining the craze
Formerly known as Musical.ly, TikTok is a video-based social networking application that allows individuals to try their luck at dancing to their favorite songs and share them across various social media platforms. Over the last few months, TikTok has been one of the largest growing applications available in the online market, as proven by crazy statistics.
As of late 2019, the user base of TikTok had reached 800 million and is estimated to reach over a supermegazillion users by the end of 2020. The application has also been downloaded for over a billion times worldwide, and has reached an average of over 50 minutes of usage per day.
To gather thoughts and insights of Lasallians regarding the use and popularity of the TikTok craze, a survey was conducted by The LuhSallian. A total of 64.4 percent out of the 1,707 respondents indicated that they have downloaded and have danced to Salbakuta’s Stupid Love on their own, while 11.1 percent specified that they have only participated in Renegade videos made by other people. Meanwhile, 24.5 percent have not downloaded the application nor participated in any dance video at all.
Based on its worldwide reach, it was “no surprise” that the UAAP eventually decided to join in on the craze, 4 Minutes singer and TikTok Chief Executive Officer Madonna expresses. “Tiktok, tiktok, tiktok,” Madonna affirms, showing her excitement for what is to come.
What resulted in the decision was after Lasallian TikTok stars Lady Spikers Team Captain Aduke Ogunsanya, University Student Government Executive Secretary EJ Baillo, and Mooncake were invited to the National Basketball Association All-Star game halftime show last February 16 to show off their dance moves to a global audience. UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rene Saguisag mentions how their performance gave the board the idea to mimic this for UAAP. “This is to engage more with the audience during games. We noticed how the TikTok app is gaining popularity, and their dances are being done by many, especially Lasallians,” shares Saguisag.
On the change
While the past decade in the UAAP allowed cheerdance teams to show their skills through an exhibition of steadfast stunts and routines during the halftime break, the sudden transition to TikTok routines came as a surprise to newly-minted Animo Squad Team Captain and DLSU courtside reporter Aiyanna Perlas. “‘Di namin ‘to in-expect, akala kasi namin na tradition siya (halftime cheers). Kaka-inaugurate lang sa akin as team captain tapos ang major na ng change. Ano na gagawin namin then?” Perlas comments.
(We didn’t expect this, since we thought that halftime cheer exhibitions were a tradition. I just got inaugurated as team captain and a major change has already transpired. What are we going to do now?)
Perlas says that she and her squad do not agree with the UAAP Board’s decision, as they believe that it is “unreasonable” for the UAAP officials to put an end to what the cheerdancers “look forward to in every game.” “Mawawala lang rin yung hype ng TikTok someday, so I think it’s unfair that they introduced these sudden changes,” she further explains.
(The hype over TikTok will fade away someday.)
On the other hand, La Salle Dance Company-Street (LSDC-Street) Company Manager Katrina De Leon has mixed emotions toward the upcoming development. “I am personally a fan of TikTok, and I enjoy their dances. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t thrilled to perform at halftime, but I think that the cheerdancers are a better fit for halftime performances,” she explains.
When asked about the longevity of this idea, Saguisag clarifies that this trend will not carry on for a long time. “We expect the audience to be engaged because there are a lot of young students that watch the games. This will last at most until the end of the decade only,” he explains.
In the next 10 or so years, expect to see LSDC-Street perform during the halftime break once the UAAP resumes, as the Green-and-White battle for the crown in their respective tourneys.