Gotta Kick It Up! (2002)

Gotta Kick It Up! Poster

This was going to be the first year that Marshal Middle School was not going to have a dance team. All that changes when the new Biology teacher, Ms. Bartlett, agrees to be the coach. Now the girls need to prove that they are ready to compete and are able to win; not only to themselves, but to their parents and coach. Using the chant "si, se puede" or "yes, I can" the Dance team builds their confidence to perform.

"Got ta Kick It Up!" is a Disney Channel Original Movie launched in 2002. The film, directed by Ramón Menéndez, is inspired by a true story about a group of Latina girls from a middle school in Los Angeles who overcome individual difficulties and social stereotypes to form an effective dance group.

The Plot
The story revolves around the new biology teacher, Ms. Bartlett, played by Susan Egan, who, apart from her regular teaching, is likewise coerced into training the dance team at Marshall Middle School. This duty comes her method due to the sudden departure of the previous dance trainer. Initially, she hesitates, considering her lack of experience in this field. Nevertheless, she's sparked by the enthusiasm and vigor of the 5 Latina school girls, engaging her to take the difficulty head-on.

The Girls
The five lead characters are characterized in a different way. Daisy, the positive yet impractical dreamer, wishes to be an expert dancer. Alyssa is an enthusiastic dancer but lets her low self-confidence waiver her dreams. Marisol is devoted however deals with familial obligations. Yolanda deals with body approval while Esmeralda, though enthusiastic, handle monetary restraints.

The Seemingly Impossible Journey
Ms. Bartlett begins coaching the ladies without any prior experience in Latin dance, having a hard time to keep them inspired and together. The ladies themselves deal with different challenges, both individual and societal. Each lady drawn from different socio-economic backgrounds, family situations, and personal insecurities, they deal with ridicule and disapproval from their peers and even some grownups around them. Yet, they discover strength in each other and continue their journey versus all chances.

Triumph Over Trials
The turning point in the film is when the women make it to the finals of a major dance competitors against a powerful and renowned rival dance team. In spite of their inexperience and the lack of expert training, the ladies handle to reveal real grit and a fierce spirit. They redefine team effort, showcasing a dance efficiency that wins them both the competitors and the approval they have actually been vying for.

The journey teaches them valuable life lessons about self-confidence, team effort, determination and thinking in oneself. Their simple yet powerful mantra throughout the movie, "Sí, se puede!" which indicates "Yes, we can!" becomes their rallying cry for strength and unity.

"Got ta Kick It Up!" isn't just a story about a dance group. It's an engaging narrative about the strength of teamwork, the value of thinking in oneself, and the power of perseverance. It's a celebration of Latin culture, delicately discussing social norms, challenges dealt with by teenagers, and the insecurity that features adolescence. Overall, the film is a motivating look for all age groups, and it perfectly showcases that with decision, the spirit of teamwork, and a great deal of heart, you can indeed "kick it up" in life.

Top Cast

  • Camille Guaty (small)
    Camille Guaty
  • America Ferrera (small)
    America Ferrera
  • Jhoanna Flores (small)
    Jhoanna Flores
  • Suilma Rodriguez (small)
    Suilma Rodriguez
  • Sabrina Wiener
  • Susan Egan (small)
    Susan Egan
    Heather Bartlett
  • Miguel Sandoval (small)
    Miguel Sandoval
    Principal Zavala
  • Erik Alexander Gavica
  • Elizabeth Sung (small)
    Elizabeth Sung
    Ms. Kim
  • Ahmad Stoner
  • Gwen Banta
    Officious Woman