Savannah May plays the leading role in the Lifetime original movie, “The Secret Lives Of Cheerleaders.” Being a triple threat: dancer, singer, and actress, May continuously impresses those around her and keeps on an uphill climb in her career. Beauty, brains and moves, she has it all! 
1.Tell us more about your role on “The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders.”

I play Ava, she is the new transfer student at Roosevelt High. She grew up dancing but after a life altering accident, she kind of lost her way. When she gets to the new school and finds out they don’t have a dance team, her overly ambitious mom convinces her to try out for the cheer squad. Once she does and makes the squad, she goes from a nobody to instant High School royalty. None of this sits well with Queen Bee and captain of the Roosevelt Lionesses Katrina. That’s when Ava begins to realize that being a part of this elite squad comes at a price.

2.Have you ever cheered in the past or was this a completely new experience for you?

So I have never cheered at an actual school or anything but I was in Bring It On the musical at TUTS in downtown Houston Texas, where they had us learn advanced cheer stunts for the show. However, for the movie, I didn’t do any cheer stunts. They only had the actors do the cheer/dance routines. We had 5 real cheerleaders from the High School we filmed at that did all the stunts in the movie.

3.How did you train mentally and physically for your role in the film?

I read through the entire script so many times prior to filming so I would really be prepared to take on a role like Ava. The year before she came to this new school was the hardest year of her life. She’s gone through things that not a lot of people would understand. I wanted to make sure that even though she was gaining this popular, high school royalty status, that she still wasn’t able to let go of her past. She begins to put trust into certain people who are entering her life at just the right time, like Patrick (played by Gunner Burkhardt). He’s the first person she truly begins to trust, so I wanted those scenes where she opens up to him to feel raw and unfiltered. Plus, having a co-star as phenomenal as Gunner, everything felt even more natural. When it comes to physically, I know what my body needs to be able to make it through long hours of dancing. Especially when a couple of the dance scenes we did were outside in surprisingly freezing cold weather. I made sure that I was drinking plenty of water and I warmed up my body by stretching, jumping up & down, doing jumping jacks. Then, once we wrapped I would go home and take an epsom salt bath to soothe and relax my muscles so they weren’t sore the next day.

4.If you could go back in time to your younger self, what piece of advice would you give her?

I think just to take in every single moment while you can. Life moves so fast that you sometimes forget to stop and really appreciate everything that’s happening right in front of you. My number one concern has always been, “What comes next?”. I get so focused on the future that everything going on right now just flies by and sometimes I wish I was able to hit a rewind button.

5.Describe to us your own personal fashion style.

It’s a mix of a lot of different styles. I love the hipster/90’s vibe but I also love a very classy/chic look. It kind of depends on what I’m doing that day or what my mood is. I love to play around with clothes and see what could look new & original. I want to make sure what I wear expresses my personality as well as stands out.

6.What is your favorite song to dance to?

It’s constantly changing haha! Growing up a dancer, any kind of song will make me want to get up and dance. But I guess if I had to pick just one, it would be either If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes or Sucker by the Jonas Brothers. They’re both really fun upbeat songs that I can jam to no matter where I am.

7.Who would you say is your hero ?

I would have to say that my mom is my hero. I know that answer is a pretty common one when someone is asked that question but it is 100% the truth. My mom gave up everything she has ever known in Texas just to move out to LA to help me pursue my dreams. She is the most selfless person I know. Every day I strive to be even half as compassionate and caring as she is. She has always been my number one supporter and would do absolutely anything for the people she loves. I am forever grateful for everything she has done for me throughout my life and I feel completely blessed to have her as my mom.

8.Favorite quote: go!

“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

By Alexandra Bonnet