“Tensions between high-culture and pop-culture are numerous in American dance narratives and function to reflect upper- and middle-class social divide, as well as racial disparities.” (Boyd, 2004)
Bring it On: All or Nothing (2006), narrates the cheerleading rivalry between a dominantly-white cheerleading squad from Pacific Vista High School, with those from Crenshaw Heights Highschool, an urban, dominant African-American and Latina high school. This particular scene demonstrates how dance within cheerleading routines are conceptualize to represent the relationship between social class and race through the means of cheerleading. The Crenshaw Heights cheerleading squad adopts a more hip-hop like approach to dancing, whereas the Pacific Vista High School represents a stereotypical white cheerleading approach. The main character, Britney Allen, is living a perfect life as the cheerleading captain and girlfriend of the star quarterback, Brad, until her life takes a turn for the worst when her father loses his job. This forces her family to relocate to a disadvantaged city, and attends the Crenshaw Heights, which is is populated by mainly blacks and Latinas, which demonstrates the racial ranking of this school and the implications it has on white-dominant society . This is viewed as the conflict of the film, in which Britney’s “white girl” status raises issues when she is forced to attend Crenshaw Heights and encounter the new cheerleading squad.
In this clip, Camille, the cheerleading captain of Crenshaw Heights, and her friends Kirresha and Leti, are performing a dance called the “Shabooya Role Call,” which takes on a hip-hop oriented approach to cheerleading, in which startles Britney who has only known the traditional cheerleading routines. Camille and her companions, perform this routine which is only one example within the film that demonstrates this dynamic between popular dance, race, and society. The hip-hop number is loud, aggressive, and obnoxious, reflecting the culture of minority groups and the general popular culture references that represent them. They are viewed as underdogs and rebels, by deposing tradition and bringing on an unconventional approach to change the means of pop culture standards.
Jade Boyd’s quote highly emphasizes the importance of dance among all other artistic forms of expression, as one of the many tools in popular culture to separate and distinguish social class with race (2004). The relationship between social class/race and dance permits the ability to further generalize by the stereotypical characteristics that represent a certain group. In this case, Britney and Camille are from two very opposite ends of town, in which Britney represents a high-class, proper, well put together teenage cheerleader, while Camille represents the lower-class, unorthodox and insubordinate group of minorities. Britney’s familiarity with tradition cheerleading routines drastically changes once she joins the Crenshaw Heights cheerleading squad, which forces her to entirely change her perception on the sport.
All in all, Boyd’s analysis explores how popular culture means are actively trying to negotiate a distinguished relationship between social class with dance and music, promoting and demonstrating social divide. Boyd’s general argument can be understood in many different contexts within popular culture. This just further exemplifies that these type of generalizations are embedded in societal norms which are characterized because of the way popular culture interprets and perceives them. I chose this particular quote and scene because it essentially mirrors the similar racial divide in “Save the Last Dance” (2001). Furthermore, I think it truly illustrates her main argument which can be understood in many artistic forms, especially in dance and music.