Top 10 cheerleading movies and TV series
Cheerleading on the big and small screen
We’ve trawled the archives to come up with our list of the best cheerleader themed movies and TV series to shake your pom-poms at.
Cheerleading has featured strongly on the big and small screen ever since it emerged in a big way in the movies the 1970s. It’s fair to say we could have filled half the list with movies from the Bring it On franchise, but we've largely avoided that lazy option (and there's not a single vampire cheerleader film in sight, and believe us there are quite a few).
1. Bring It On
It was the 2000 film Bring It On that started the recent run of cheerleader movies. In the first, Kirsten Dunst stars as a high school cheerleader. The movie was a surprising success and led to direct-to-video sequels: Bring It On Again in 2003, Bring It On: All or Nothing in 2006, Bring It On: In It to Win It in 2007, and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish in 2009.
2. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
A made-for-TV movie originally airing in 1979. Jane Seymour stars as a newspaper reporter who is sent by her editor boyfriend to go undercover to try out for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading team in order to do an insider’s story. The relative success spawned a sequel The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders II a year later.
3. Sugar and Spice
2001 teen cheerleading comedy which sees Diane, a popular head cheerleader becoming pregnant by the star football quarterback. Diane and her five cheerleader mates, plan a bank robbery to support her after the baby’s father and her parents financially cut her off. Will bitter cheerleading rival Lisa throw a spanner in the works?
4. Positively true adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom
The titles more or less says it all. This 1993 TV movie is based on the true story of Wanda Holloway (played by Holly Hunter), a Texas mother whose obsession with her daughter's cheerleading career leads her to attempt to hire a hit man to kill the mother of her daughter's rival for selection to the junior high school cheerleading squad. In reality Holloway ended up serving six months in jail.
5. I Love You, Beth Cooper
Hayden Panettiere (of Heroes fame) stars as cheerleader, Beth Cooper in the 2009 film adaptation of the novel of the same name. Super-nerd Denis proclaims his love for the hottest girl in school – header cheerleader Beth Cooper – during his graduation speech. Much to his surprise, she shows up at his door that very night and decides to show him the best night of his life.
6. Man of the House
Tommy Lee Jones is up to his elbows in pom poms as a Texas Ranger given the task of protecting a group of college cheerleaders who have witnessed a murder in this 2005 movie. It’s a light comedic effort with Jones’ character thrust in to an alien situation as he is forced to live with the five out-of-control cheerleaders he has been lined up to protect.
7. Fired Up
In this 2009 movie, two high school guys and stars of their football team decide to ditch summer football camp for cheerleader camp. Awash in a sea of gorgeous women, the two are having the time of their live until one of them falls for the head cheerleader. In order to win her over the boys must come up with some new moves to help them win the cheer competition finals.
8. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
This TV series, first appearing in 2007, shows the harsh realities of trying to make the cut on the pro squad of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Everything from initial tryouts to physical fitness and gruelingdance choreography is shown. Girls are judged by a panel of experts with over a thousand who auditioned being whittled down to just 36. The success of the series led to its return for several more seasons.
9. Blood, Sweat and Cheers
As a cheerleading documentary Blood, Sweat and Cheers succeeds in getting you right in the middle of a young cheerleading squad and their fight to be national champions. It showcases the athleticism, determination, and camaraderie it takes to achieve success in competition and is a must-see for anyone who has a family member in cheerleading.
10. #1Cheerleader Camp
This 2010 movie is a low brow humoured offering; think American Pie in a cheerleader setting. The basic storyline consists of two guys who get a job at a college cheerleading camp and help a struggling team make it to the State championships. In between there’s a lot of hot women and some quality cheerleading moves, making it one that the guys may enjoy.