Cassidy Barcelona and her friends scurry to their starting positions as hundreds of thousands of vibrant posters rise, and the lights fade. The girls only have a split second to admire Beyonce taking the stage and Coldplay’s colorful floral instruments.
MVHS senior and LAHS cheerleader, Barcelona, was scouted to dance at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show alongside the performance of Coldplay, Beyoncé & Bruno Mars. While it was an intense audition process, the experience was a “memory of a lifetime,” Barcelona said.
The process began as Barcelona and other LAHS cheerleaders were scouted after performing their cheer routine at a game.
“We were asked by a scout to send in an audition video of us and after we did that, there was a long period of just waiting for our results,” Barcelona said, “By the time they emailed our coach asking us to participate, most of us had just come to the conclusion that we didn’t make it.”
After the team celebrated their acceptance, they had a long checklist of items that needed to be completed before the big day, such as getting signatures from the school administration, finding transportation and organizing their time around the frequent practices. Additionally, Barcelona and her teammates signed strict legal agreements prohibiting them from speaking of their participation in the Super Bowl until the performance.
“If we broke those rules we got kicked out from the whole thing so everybody tried to take them pretty seriously,” Barcelona said.
Dance is major part of Barcelona’s life, for she has been performing for nine years and cheering competitively for eight years. While the halftime practices weren’t grueling for her, they were extremely lengthy and strict.
“The whole experience was really, really intense. They had a lot of rules we had to follow about security and what was expected of the dancers,” Barcelona said, “Because there were so many of us, there was a lot of waiting time. The director would give instruction by groups of dance teams.”
Barcelona and the other cheerleaders dedicated weeks to practicing tricks with the flower umbrellas and decor shown on television on the big day. Long hours and nights were devoted to rehearsing the choreography.
When the dancers transitioned to practicing at the stadium, they were shocked into reality, for Beyoncé, Coldplay, and Bruno Mars were practicing right alongside them.
After months of anticipation, and weeks of practice, the big day finally came. Barcelona and other cheerleaders from LAHS encountered other backup dancers, camera crews, and news reporters.
“There weren’t people in our way so we could see Beyonce in her robe, Bruno Mars, and Chris Martin pretty clearly and it was so cool to watch all the artists have so much fun with their practice,” Barcelona said, “I would absolutely do something like this again. Even though it wasn’t what I expected, it was an amazing experience.”