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

By Michael Gioia
14 Aug 2012

Bettis Richardson Jr.

"Performing is the air I breathe," said ensemble member Bettis Richardson Jr., who was raised in North Lauderdale, FL. "I am an unconventional performer, and I am proud to say I am a self taught singer-dancer-tumbler and cheerleader who has sought out training to advance when I would hit a wall in my growth. I take training seriously, and once I find the appropriate training, I cherish it and would never take for granted someone else's choice to share their knowledge with me."

Prior to Broadway, Richardson Jr. was the owner and creative director of two cheer gyms, All Star Rockets and Cooper City Storm; the in-house choreographer for Top Gun All Stars from Miami Florida; and a competitive cheer and dance team choreographer since age 14. "Broadway has been a career highlight — I love the arts," he added. "The possibility of learning and experiencing any and every part of it has been a pure blessing."

Billie Sue Roe

"I never considered Broadway a career goal," said 27-year-old swing Billie Sue Roe from Appleton, WI. "I've always had a bit of stage fright when it comes to singing in public and don't consider myself much of an actor, so theatre itself had never been something I pursued."

Roe — who is also the production's assistant stunt captain — however, had more than enough cheerleading experience to prepare her for Bring It On. "I have been a competitive cheerleader for over ten years," said Roe, who cheered for the University of Kentucky and Morehead State. "Broadway was intimidating because the type of performance is more like running a marathon versus the 'sprint' of a two-and-a-half-minute cheerleading routine. It takes a lot of focus and mental training to be able to hold your wits for a two-and-a-half-hourlong show."