As a companion to my list of college-set movies written by women, I now bring a list of high school oriented movies written by women, for those who have just begun, returned to, or are nostalgic for high school.
In Bring It On, Kirsten Dunst plays Torrance, the captain of her high school cheerleading team “the Toros,” who are a national powerhouse in competitive cheerleading. When a new student joins the squad, she recognizes that the previous captain had been stealing their award-winning routines from the poor and predominantly black East Compton Clovers, a team that has never had enough money to go to competitions and prove the routines are theirs. Torrance is horrified by this, and the pressure is on to develop their own original routines before the national championship.
So how do they invent their own cheer routine in three weeks without stealing it from the impoverished black school on the other side of town? They don’t! Instead they stitch together a Frankenstein of dance moves they cribbed from sources such as swing dancing, interpretive dance, martial arts, Bob Fosse routines, and even mime. Of course, the movie never points out the hypocrisy here. That’s all white people stuff, right? Who cares? But in the real world, dance troupes get in trouble all the time for stealing from other choreographers – including Beyonce, who was recently in hot water for copying her dances from a bunch of other sources … such as Bob Fosse.