Bring it on

Cheerleading musical to play at John R. Emens Auditorium

What: “Bring It On: The Musical”

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: John R. Emens Auditorium

Cost: Free in advance or $11 at the door for students

The chants, rivalries and stunts of cheer drama will come to campus for a one-night performance of “Bring It On: The Musical.”

The musical will start at 7:30 tonight at John R. Emens Auditorium.

Hollywood gave the world a new look at cheerleading with the release of “Bring It On” in 2000. The blockbuster hit, which starred Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union, told a story of friendship and competition and inspired various spin-offs and a musical.

The teenage comedy was remade into a Broadway musical in 2011. While the characters in the movies don’t appear in the musical, there is a similar story line and theme.

Ball State cheerleader Tara Spitzer-Long said the original “Bring It On” movie inspired her when she was young to keep on cheerleading.

“I grew up doing sports my entire life, and I live for the adrenaline rush of competition,” said Spitzer-Long, a senior physical therapy and exercise science major. “The peak of the movie is the big competition at the end and shows how much time, dedication and hard work it took them to get there. That kind of stuff is what motivates me because I love a challenge. I can easily see where this movie can be the ‘fuel to your fire’ to participate in cheerleading.”

To Spitzer-Long, “Bring It On” continued stereotypes about cheerleading: female cheerleaders are blonde and ditsy, while the male cheerleaders are gay.

“That is not the case at all,” she said. “The movie is a fun, crazy, silly look into cheerleading. Real-life cheerleading is all that but also something that requires a lot of hard work than what most people realize.”

While the movie may not be an accurate portrayal of the cheerleaders, Spitzer-Long said “Bring It On” gives viewers a truthful description of the passion and high-energy involved with cheering.
“In the movie, they are training for competing in Nationals, and our squad just got back from competing in Orlando at Disneyworld [in January],” she said. “The intense practicing, long hours, tumbling, stunting, being drained after hard practices, getting injured — that part of cheerleading is very real. It takes a lot of hard work and a strong team to be able to compete and do well. I think that was shown in the movie very well.”

Spitzer-Long said she will attend the event and is excited to see how gymnastics and cheer stunts are incorporated into the musical.

Erin L. Fleming, a performer in the musical, hopes the audience learns that “love and friendship are two keys to success and happiness.”

“This show is such a great example of how good things can be lost quickly if you put selfish needs before respecting and loving the people around you,” Fleming said. “Competition can bring out the worst in people, and everyone lives in a world of competition.”

“Bring It On: The Musical” will be at Emens for a one-night only performance. Tickets are free in advance for students with an ID or $11 at the door. For tickets and more information, please contact the Emens box office at 765-285-1539.


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