Sí se puede! Sí se puede! Sí se puede!
Happy 15th anniversary, Disney Channel’s Gotta Kick It Up! Let’s celebrate!
Gotta Kick It Up! remains one of the most culturally-aware DCOMs, which is most definitely something worth celebrating. Based on a true story of an executive-turned-teacher who volunteers as the coach of Latina girls on a middle school dance team, the film really had it all.
Not only was the cast (hello, Camille Guaty and America Ferrera!) primarily Latina, which to this day rarely happens, but the characters they played were not merely stereotypical portrayals. There were many variations of the Latina woman, just as there are in everyday life. At the time, it was such a huge step forward for Disney Channel, and TV in general. But let’s be honest, if this movie were made today, it would still be considered a huge step forward.
Unfortunately, not much has changed in the world of Hollywood diversity in the last 15 years, which is why this film remains so important and its anniversary is something that should be greatly celebrated.
Gotta Kick It Up! gave its characters the chance to be shown to the world, but it also gave its actresses the chance to be shown to the world. It helped give these women the platform and the film credit needed to help kick-start their career in the right direction. And, girl, has it!
Keep reading to see what the talented Gotta Kick It Up! actresses are up to now, 15 years later.
Camille Guaty (Daisy)
Clearly Camille is just as talented, determined, and motivated as her character Daisy because she’s been steadily working since the film premiered in 2002. She landed a few TV shows gigs before taking the lead in yet another TV movie, this time on VH1. 30 Days Until I’m Famous was a great 2004 rom-com and perfect for all Camille fans (get on it!). Following this film, she had a few episodes on popular shows here and then, with larger stints on The Nine, Prison Break: Resurrection, Las Vegas, Cupid, The Vampire Diaries, Happyland (short-lived and greatly missed MTV series in 2014), and Scorpion.
Camille currently stars as Nina Sandoval on VH1’s summer series Daytime Divas. She also has multiple films releasing in 2017, including Casting Call and A Futile & Stupid Gesture.
DCOMs are clearly such a great kicking off point and something worth celebrating!
America Ferrera (Yolanda)
Kickstarting her career with this empowering DCOM, America has become an incredibly successful actress. She landed the part of Carmen in the fabulous film adaptation o Ann Brashares’ The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and then went n to star in her own ABC series Ugly Betty from 2006-10. She currently plays the lead in her new series, from The Office exec producer, Superstore on NBC.
Susan Egan (Ms. Bartlett)
Coming into this project, Susan was far from an acting novice, having started her career back in 1979, with TV, film, and broadway. Still, the part of Ms. Bartlett was definitely a turning point in her professional journey, landing a few great movie roles after it (including 13 Going on 30!). She currently voices the character Rose Quartz on Steven Universe.
Suilma Rodriguez (Marisol)
This might’ve been Suilma’s first professional acting role, but it definitely wasn’t her last. Taking the movie’s title to heart, she kicked it up a notch and has gone on to have quite the career, though she didn’t start acting again after this film until 2009. She took part in quite a few short films and one-episode stints on shows before landing parts in 2016’s Love in Moreno Valley and Looking: The Movie. That seems little compared to all the great projects Suilma has coming up in 2017: The Perfect Host, Rio, A Tale of Two Coreys, and Collisions. Whew!
Jhoanna Flores (Alyssa)
After acting in the dancing DCOM, Jhoanna went on to have a few more roles throughout the years, with her most recent gig as Adriana Stone on The Young and the Restless for a 13-episode arc in 2013.
Sabrina Wiener (Esmeralda)
Hopefully Sabrina is still out there dancing, but she hasn’t acted in film or television since starring in this DCOM in 2002.
Well, now that we know what the cast is up to, I think it’s time that we all rewatch the film. Can we watch this movie *all* day in honor of its 15th anniversary? Please refer to the below gif for the answer.
Are you going to watch Gotta Kick It Up! today to celebrate? What’s your favorite part of the movie? Share your thoughts!