Bring it On!

    Emily is the real thing.

Bring it On is getting even more attention than cheerleaders at a football game. Sugary-sweet hyper fun, it's the movie equivalent of Pixie Stix. We at popcrazy loved it, but couldn't help wondering -- just how realistic was it all? So we had a chat with Emily Parker, who cheered at Westfield High School in Westfield, Indiana, and asked her to bring on the facts.

Do you think Bring it On is an accurate portrayal of high school cheerleading?

Emily: None of the teams had an adult advisor! In the movie, the girls were in charge of everything, but this would never happen in real life. For safety and insurance purposes, the schools require you to have adults around. Also, some of the moves they performed were illegal. There is a rule book that outlines which moves are allowed to be performed at a high school level. Some of those jumps would never have been permitted in competition.

Ooh, illegal moves! And what was accurate about the movie?
Emily: The flashback to cheerleading camp, when everyone is at dinner in cheerleading garb. That's exactly how it was.
Speaking of cheer camp, what's the deal with that spirit stick?
Emily: Spirit sticks are real, but before this movie I had never heard of the urban legend that it's bad luck to drop one. A spirit stick is a trophy or award that you take back to your school from the cheerleading camp. A cheerleader or squad can win them for a chant, cheer, or dance routine. I think a girl from our school got one in the jumping competition.
In the movie, the squads cheerfight. Did your squad ever argue with anyone in rhyme?

    Angry cheerleaders!
Emily: No way! You don't interact much with the other squads at camp or a competition. And at the games, the squads have a really friendly relationship. Before the game, you go over to the fans on the other side and do a "hello cheer" as a welcome. Also, cheerleading etiquette dictates that if it's a home game, you do something nice for the visiting squad, like make them cookies.
What did you think of the cheerleading ability of the actresses in the film?
Emily: Well, the captains and the main people weren't the ones doing jumps and stuff. Obviously this is because they were actors, but in real squads, they definitely would have been doing more of the complicated moves. And Kirsten Dunst didn't do the cheerleading run, which you would always do entering and exiting a competition. She was just running like a normal person.
In the film, they have a carwash and wear bikinis to raise money. Did you ever do anything like that?
Emily: We had a carwash, but we didn't wear bikinis. We wore tank tops and shorts. And we didn't wash the windows with our breasts like that girl in the movie. I guess that's why they charged $15 and we only charged $3.
What's your favorite cheerleading routine?
Emily: [after a little coaxing, she demonstrates]


[Editor's note: unfortunately popcrazy does not have a digital video camera. So you missed out on this amazing example of arm swinging, side-stepping cheerleading action.]

    Yes, that's Faith (the rebel slayer from
    Buffy) on the right!
We will leave you with another cheer:

That's the way we spell rowdy!
Rowdy! Let's get rowdy!!"

Now get your rowdy self to the movies and see Bring it On.

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