UCLA Gymnasts Participate In TV Show Make It Or Break It

June 19, 2009

UCLA gymnastics alumnae have made their imprints on the new ABC Family original series Make It Or Break It, which premieres Monday, June 22 at 9 pm ET/PT and 8 pm CT.

Natalie Padilla (2007-08), Jordan Schwikert (2005-08) and Ariana Berlin (2006-09) are stunt doubles for two of the lead characters, and Tasha Schwikert (2005-08) is cast as a gymnast on the show. Heidi Moneymaker (1997-2000) was a stunt double for one of the leads in the pilot episode, and Karin Silvestri Coye (1995-97) is the gymnastics coordinator for the show.

Make It Or Break It is a drama set in the world of competitive gymnastics. Jordan doubles for actress Ayla Kell, who plays Payson Keeler, the top gymnast at The Rock training facility. Padilla and Berlin have doubled for actress Josie Loren, who plays Kaylie Cruz, another top competitor at the club. Moneymaker doubled in the show's pilot for actress Chelsea Hobbs, who plays newcomer Emily Kmetko. Tasha can often be seen in the show as a background gymnast.

Other former collegiate gymnasts who are doing stunts on the show include Courtney Kupets (Georgia), Ashley Postell (Utah) and Renae Moneymaker (San Jose State).

Padilla, who previously did stunt work for a segment on the Bonnie Hunt Show, is looking to further her career in the stunt world once filming for Make It Or Break It wraps in mid-July. She is training in martial arts and other aspects of stunt work. Although doing stunt work for the show is very different from an actual gymnastics competition, Padilla noted the similarities.

'It feels like competition when you're filming because the camera is on you, and you're the focus,' Padilla said. 'You're under pressure to get the skills right for the shot, similar to how you're under pressure to hit your routine for your team. Having to do it for someone else makes you want to do it even more.'

Learning to be mentally prepared to go at any time is a skill that was honed during her time with the UCLA Gymnastics team, and Padilla is certainly utilizing that on the set during shoots. 'You have to be mentally ready at any time,' she said. 'Our day starts out early with hair, makeup and wardrobe, and then we warm up, but you never really know when your turn is coming up. You just have to be ready whenever they call you.'

Also participating in the show behind the scenes is Alyssa Kitasoe, who is working with ABC Family in a marketing and promotions internship. Kitasoe, who competed for UCLA in 2006 and was the team manager for the past three years, is serving as an ABC Family 'Fambassador' to promote Make It Or Break It and other new shows on the network. Kitasoe recently organized and hosted a screening party for the show with several cast members in attendance at Waller's GymJam Academy.

For more information on the show, visit ABC Family.

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