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    Torrance Shipman anxiously dreams about her first day of senior year. Her boyfriend, Aaron, has left for college, and her cheerleading squad, the Toros, is aiming for a sixth consecutive national title. Team captain, "Big Red", is graduating and Torrance is elected to take her place. Shortly after her election, however, a team member is injured and can no longer compete. Torrance replaces her with Missy Pantone, a gymnast who recently transferred to the school with her brother, Cliff. Torrance and Cliff develop a flirtatious friendship.

    After watching the Toros practice, Missy realizes the squad has been copying routines from a rival team that her previous high school competed against. She drives Torrance to Los Angeles, where they watch the East Compton Clovers perform routines that are virtually identical to the Toros'. Isis, the Clovers' team captain, angrily confronts the two. Torrance learns that "Big Red" regularly attended the Clovers' practices to videotape and steal their routines. Isis informs Torrance of her plans to defeat the Toros at the regional and national championships, which the team has never attended due to their economic hardship.