Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Influence Of "Bring It On" Movies On Children's Cheerleading

Edited by Azizi Powell

Part I provides a definition of ""Bring It On" style cheers". The purpose of Part I is to document in part the cultural impact of "Bring It On" cheerleader movies specifically with regard to their inclusion of African American originated cheers and their use of modified forms of African American cheer performance styles.

Click http://cocojams2.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-african-american-sources-of-bring.html The African American Sources Of Bring It On (2000 & 2006) Movies Cheers

Part II provides text examples of two cheers from the first "Bring It On" movie- "U. G. L. Y.", "Brr It's Cold In Here", and one cheer from the third "Bring It On" movie ("Bring It On: All Or Nothing" - "Introduce Yourself." That post also mentions "Shabooya Roll Call", another very popular cheer from "Bring It On: All Or Nothing". In addition, Part II provides information and examples of those cheers' African American sources, as well as video clips from the "Bring It On All Or Nothing" movie.

DISCLAIMER
These posts aren't meant to be an endorsement or a promotion of the "Bring It On" movie series. On the contrary, I have serious concerns about those movies' reliance on stereotypical depictions of African Americans, Latinas, those movies' stereotypical references to gays, and those movies' use of profanity.

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GENERAL OVERVIEW "Bring It On" is the title or part of the title of five American produced teenage cheerleader movies. The first movie in that series, produced in 2000, is often highly acclaimed in the teenage cheerleader movie genre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bring_It_On_(film). And, according to a 2008 Wall Street Journal article that is cited in "Bring It On"'s Wikipedia page, "Outside of the United States, American-style cheerleading is sometimes referred to as Bring It On-style cheerleading."
-end of quote-
Referring to cheers as being in the "Bring It On" style isn't always considered something positive. At least three years ago I read an online statement that prefaced a list of children's cheers in which an adult critized the fact that many children's cheer squads were promoting hip shaking. That writer indicated that prior to the "Bring It On" movie, "hip shaking" wasn't even considered, let alone, allowed in children's cheerleading squads. Of course, cheerleader squads that are auxiliaries of professional football squads do a lot of hip shaking and other dance moves. And there's no doubt that the popularity of those professional cheerleader squads have influenced children's image and the rest of the general public's image of how cheerleaders are supposed to perform. But I think those who refer to certain types of children (and teen) cheerleader cheers as "Bring It On" style cheers are on to something.

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THE TEXTUAL CONTENT AND STRUCTURE OF "BRING IT ON" STYLE CHEERS
"Bring It On" style cheers have one or both of the following following textual characteristics:
1. Cheers have text (words) that include self-bragging and/or confronatational language
2. Cheers are chanted using a group/consecutive soloist call & response structure: The group voice is usually heard first, and a soloist responds. At the conclusion of this pattern, the cheer begins from the beginning with a new soloist. This pattern continues until every one in the group has one turn as the soloist.

THE PERFORMANCE STYLE OF "BRING IT ON" STYLE CHEERS
"Bring It On" style cheers have one or both of the following performance elements
1. Cheers are performed with hip shaking and/or foot stomps.
2. Cheers may also include gestures and body movement from African American culture such as "talk to the hand", leaning in aa confronatational manner toward the opposing cheerleader squad, and gritting (a facial appearance in which the person looks menacing).
Text examples of these cheers are showcased in Part II and Part III of this cocojams2 series.

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THE GENERAL TONE OF "BRING IT ON" STYLE CHEERS
The expected tone for mainstream cheerleaders is to be peppy (full of energy) and always smiling. In contrast, "Bring It On" style cheers are confrontational and cheerleaders rarely smile when they are performing those types of cheers. Instead, Bring It On" cheerleaders often "grit on" their competitor's cheerleader squad - meaning they exhibit "a grit face" (a sullen, mean expression). Another difference between "Bring It On" style cheers and mainstream cheerleader cheers is that "Bring It On" style cheers often diss (insult) the opposing athletic team or the opposing team's cheerleaders.

Futhermore, while the focus of mainstream cheerleaders is the game being played (i.e. their school's athletes), their school, and their fans, the focus of many Bring It On style cheers are the cheerleaders themselves. The braggadocio and confrontational words and body movements that accompany those cheers is characteristic of many Black music genres such as Blues and Hip-Hop. And that is to be expected since "Bring It On style cheers" is just another name for (sometimes modified) African American children's foot stomping cheers.

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MORE COMMENTS ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF "BRING IT ON" STYLE CHEERS
"Foot stomping cheers" are often called "stomp cheers". These types of cheers originated among African American in the 1970s and are very closely related to the performance art of "steppin'". "Steppin" originated among historically Black (African American) Greek lettered fraternities and sororities and became more performed and more widely known in the 1970s. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/an-overview-of-foot-stomping-movement.html for a pancocojams post on foot stomping cheers and http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/an-overview-of-black-greek-letter.html for a pancocojams post on steppin'.

Furthermore, the "Bring It On" style of cheerleading is also related to the African American originated form of cheerleading that is known as "Stomp and Shake". Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/overview-of-stomp-shake-cheerleading.htmlfor a pancocojams post on "stomp and shake cheerleading". "Pancocojams" is another cultural blog that I curate.

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Click the link for Part II for video examples of two cheers that were featured in "Bring It On: All Or Nothing" movies.

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