"What I Was Born to Do": Bring It On Boasts a Record 32 Broadway Debuts; Meet the Newbies

By Michael Gioia
14 Aug 2012

Melody Mills

Ensemble member Melody Mills, 25, a competitive cheerleader and professional dancer/choreographer for the NBA, NFL and artists such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West and Shakira, took her first job in theatre when she landed the North American tour of Bring It On. "I always knew I wanted to be a performer," said Mills, from Akron, OH, but "Broadway wasn't a specific career goal for me."

However, during the first Broadway preview for Bring It On, "I couldn't stop jumping," she said. "You could have called me the Easter bunny! I simmered, bowed my head to thank the Man" — Jesus Christ, who she says serves as her inspiration — "and let him know it was about to go down. And, it did! We rocked that stage. Throughout the entire show I kept thinking, 'This is me, and this is what I do.' The stage is my home."

Michael Naone Carter

Ensemble member Michael Naone Carter, 22, describes himself as a "self-taught" tumbler with a year of cheerleading experience at Hofstra University. "In the beginning of the Bring It On audition process, I didn't believe that I was good enough," said Carter, who was born in Hawaii and raised in Magnolia, NJ. "But when I got a callback for each round, I knew that this was for me."

Now, on Broadway, he said that performing the show is "just like breathing — it comes so naturally." About his first Broadway preview, he added, "At first it felt like a normal show, but it was at the end of the Jackson number 'Cross the Line,' when I did the last dance step and looked to the balcony, that I realized I was on Broadway and a feeling of accomplishment and joy ran through my body. I began to cry. I will always remember this moment in my life."