Morgan Simianer

Guru Studio to develop a new cheerleading series

Talent agency Foundation Media Partners and cheerleading company Varsity Spirit are teaming up with Guru to develop Spirits of Ridgeway High.
April 5, 2023

Give me a D, give me an E, give me an A, give me an L!

Toronto’s Guru Studio has partnered with American talent agency Foundation Media Partners and cheerleading brand Varsity Spirit to develop a new animated series called Spirits of Ridgeway High.

Aimed at kids ages six to 11, the 52 x 11-minute concept stars cheerleader Melissa Mayfield, who tries to turn her last-place cheer team into a winning squad. Things get complicated when she discovers that both cheer and music have secret magical powers, which the team needs to master in order to win. Guru says the series will feature themes like school spirit, teamwork and the power of determination. 

“Cheerfluencer” Morgan Simianer (pictured)—who was part of a well-known Texas cheerleading squad featured in the Netflix docu-series Cheer (2020)—voices the animated show’s lead character, and is also an exec producer and advisor on the project. Guru will bring the show to the market starting this month.

The studio has a longstanding relationship with Foundation Media, and the two companies are developing the IP together. A Guru spokesperson told Kidscreen the partners chose to go with animation because it lends itself well to fantastical, adventurous and aspirational themes, and it also appeals to a younger audience than live action does. 

Guru and Foundation Media identified Varsity Spirit early on as an ideal partner to ensure the show realistically depicts the world of cheerleading (minus the magical powers) to viewers. The Memphis-based company organizes cheerleading competitions, operates training camps and manufactures apparel for cheer and dance teams in the US

“Varsity Spirit literally invented modern cheerleading as we know it, and brings a wealth of knowledge and marketing power to the table,” said Foundation Media CEO Patrick Hughes in a release.

For its part, Varsity wants the series to promote the creativity and athleticism of cheerleading. And it was compelled to work with Guru based on the studio’s track record for making and distributing content worldwide, according to the same release.

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