Lina Cruz, the cheer captain of her high school squad in Los Angeles, is on the way to leading the team to national competition when her mother remarries and the family moves. Lina enrolls at Malibu Vista High School. At the school, Lina is an outcast and becomes enemies with Avery, the captain of the Jaguars cheer leading team, that Avery created when the school's own team refused her the role of captain. Lina learns that the school sanctioned team the Sea Lions are nowhere near the level of the cheer squad she captained back home. She joins the squad and they vote her the team's captain. Lina enlists the help of two of her friends from L.A., Gloria and Treyvonetta, to come and help her bring the team up to a championship performance level.
When a member of the Sea Lions falls during a basketball game, Avery's Jaguars step in and steal the spot light. To improve her team's skills, Lina takes the team to a street dance school where she meets up with her crush, Avery's younger brother Evan. Afterwards the team agrees to double up their practices in order to compete in the cheer-leading All Star Championship. Avery gets Lina's friends from L.A. expelled to sabotage the Sea Lions. There is a dance that Lina refuses to attend after her friends are expelled but her stepsister talks her into it and Lina goes to the party as Evan's date.
Gloria and Trey are also at the party and are there to witness Lina's angry breakdown following a dance off with Avery, who bullies Lina after losing. Outside, Lina breaks up with Evan, quits the Sea Lions, and demands to return to L.A. with Gloria and Trey. Her friends convince her to stay and rejoin the squad but the team suffers another blow when half of its members quit because they don't agree with the team's more strenuous practices. During a trip to L.A. Lina and the last of her team meet up with the Rough Rider cheer squad to become a combined team sponsored by a local gym to go to the All Star competition. At school, Evan confesses his feelings for Lina in front of a crowd and the pair get back together. The Sea Lion Rough Rider team earns a place in the final round of the All Star Championship and there defeat Avery's Jaguars.