'The Cup Song' routine clicking with students around Western Pa.
A particular movie scene has hit the perfect chord with adolescents looking to let their vocal and rhythmic skills shine.
“Pitch Perfect,” recently released on DVD, is the tale of Beca, a college freshman who auditions for The Bellas, her school's all-girl singing group. Beca, played by Anna Kendrick, sings a song and accompanies herself with a rhythmic cup routine, tapping, twisting and clapping while she sings “When I'm Gone.” The ditty has become widely known simply as “The Cup Song.”
Kids are learning the routine and practicing between classes, after school and at lunch tables across Western Pennsylvania.
“It was different and unique and pretty cool,” says Gabby Sylvania, 12, a sixth-grader at Baggaley Elementary in the Greater Latrobe School District.
Two students at West Mifflin Area Middle School have made it their mission to perfect the routine for a performance in their school's talent show in May. Autumn Heatherington, 11, and Mickalee Marchilena, 12, both in sixth grade, practice the nearly two-minute drill any chance they get.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” says Autumn. “I like the beat and wanted to learn. It's amazing to do the cup thing and sing with it. I wanted to teach other kids so we could all do it as a big group.”
The girls do their routine slightly different than Beca, tapping the counter instead of the top of the plastic cups so as to not smash them. They add the extra element of handing off cups to one another.
Michael Porembka, principal at Baggaley, says he's seen kids improvise when a cup isn't around, using erasers and pencils instead, and sometimes switching up the moves and melody to make it their own.
“They've literally picked up what she does in the movie and are adding new songs and new rhythms,” he says.
In addition to it being a fun group activity, the routine ties into some of the school's curriculum, Porembka says.
“There is a musical component,” he says. “It's not just a movie thing. The kids are linking what they're learning in music, chorus and band to what she does in the movie.”
Adrienne Floro, assistant principal at Quaker Valley Middle School, says every sixth-grade lunch period includes students practicing the routine.
“They do it with whatever object in their lunch can take the place of a cup,” says Floro, who has watched the movie many times with her daughter. “It's so much fun.”
Annie Snyder, director of North Star Kids, a musical-theater-education program with students from all over Western Pennsylvania, incorporated the routine into a performance 30 of her students will debut at a free show on April 7 at St. John's Lutheran Church in McCandless. The students sitting on the stage clicking and clacking away with their cups is an impressive sight, she says.
“There's a great rhythm to it,” Snyder says. “They really do love it.”
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Scuderi, Despres an odd couple on defense
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Pitt’s Dixon searching for answers in Maui
- NFL notebook: RG3 ‘not happy’ with benching
- Kiski Area boys ready for encore
- ‘Charlie Brown’s Christmas’ reminder of holiday message
- Kiski Area girls brace for rough season
- Former Worthington police chief going to trial
- Holiday greeting cards benefit charities
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Contractor fighting Armstrong blight one house at a time