Cassie Scerbo is an American actor, singer, and dancer, who first came under the spotlight when she was chosen for the all-girl pop-band ‘Slumber Party Girls,’ which hosted the children's music variety show ‘Dance Revolution’ on ‘CBS’ in the mid-2000s. She later became known for her acting in the direct-to-video film ‘Bring It On: In It to Win It’ and the ‘ABC Family’ drama ‘Make It or Break It.’ However, she was most famous for starring as ‘Nova Clarke’ in four of the six movies of the pop-culture phenomenon ‘Sharknado.’ Scerbo is a sports and fitness enthusiast, and a keen philanthropist who dedicates a considerable amount of her time to environmental issues and social causes, such as cancer awareness, sex-trafficking, and the provision of safe drinking-water in Africa. She is also known to make frequent visits to children's hospitals in Los Angeles. Scerbo happens to be a graduate of the ‘Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’ in Parkland, Florida, where convicted teenager Nikolas Cruz had gunned down 17 students and staff in 2018, making it the deadliest school shooting in American history, surpassing the Columbine massacre of 1999.
Childhood & Early Life
Scerbo was born Cassandra Lynn Scerbo, on March 30, 1990, in Long Island, New York. Her family moved to Parkland, Florida soon after, which is where she lived from her kindergarten years until she was cast in ‘Make It or Break It’ in 2009.
She is proud of her unmixed Italian heritage and calls herself an “East-Coast girl” because of her New York and Florida connections. She has an older sister named Alaina Scerbo.
Scerbo started singing and dancing when she was just 4 years old. She has been a runner-up at the ‘International Hip Hop Championships’ in Miami, Florida, and has performed at the annual ‘Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade’ in New York City. She has also performed at a ‘Superbowl’ half-time show and has done a 3-week tour in Singapore.
She would play football for the ‘Parkland Soccer Club’ as a youngster. She attended the ‘Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,’ from where she graduated in 2008, almost a decade before the fateful events of February 14, 2018.
Scerbo has gone on record stating that she does not support blaming the school administration of her former senior-high for the horrific gun violence that took place there, amid accusations of lack of security. She believes that the institution has always provided a safe and nurturing environment to its students.
She is close friends with baseball player Anthony Rizzo, who plays for the ‘Major League Baseball’ (MLB) team ‘Chicago Cubs.’ Rizzo, too, attended ‘Marjory Stoneman Douglas,’ Parkland, and the two came together in an initiative to help their hometown recover in the aftermath of the mass shooting that had taken place there.
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Her entertainment career began in 2006, with her auditioning successfully for ‘DIC Entertainment’s five-member girl band ‘Slumber Party Girls,’ beating over a thousand other participants vying for the opportunity. In September that year, the pop group debuted by promoting nutrition and fitness in the kid's variety series ‘Dance Revolution,’ featuring several of the group’s original songs. Their first album, ‘Dance Revolution,’ was released without much buzz. Before her stint with ‘Slumber Party Girls,’ Scerbo had played an uncredited role in the film ‘Hitters Anonymous’ (2005).
The Ron Fair-selected band split up in 2007, while working on their second album, but Scerbo went ahead and signed a solo record-deal with ‘Geffen Records’ later that year. In 2008, three of her singles, ‘Betcha Don't Know,’ ‘Sugar and Spice,’ and ‘Top of The World,’ were released on ‘iTunes.’
After making appearances in the telefilm ‘House Broken’ (2006) and the ‘Disney’ pilot ‘Arwin!’ (2007), she was recruited for the fourth installment of the ‘Bring It On’ franchise, ‘In It to Win It.’ The film was released straight to DVD in December 2007 and received mostly unfavorable reviews from critics.
She then appeared in another direct-to-DVD release, the comedy ‘Soccer Mom,’ in September 2008. In June 2009, she was cast in ‘Freeform’s (then known as ‘ABC Family’) successful teen-drama series ‘Make It or Break It.’ The show was watched by 2.5 million viewers, and ran for three seasons until May 2012.
Scerbo’s acting career soared during and after ‘Make It or Break It.’ She began earning major TV guest-spots, including an April 2010 episode of ‘CSI: Miami,’ alongside Chelsea Hobbs. She also appeared in a plethora of telefilms, such as the ‘ABC Family’ original ‘Teen Spirit’ (2011), ‘Bering Sea Beast’ (2013), ‘My Life as a Dead Girl’ (2015), ‘The Perfect Soulmate’ (2017), and ‘Truth or Dare’ (2017).
She has also guest-starred in a range of TV series in the past decade, such as ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ (2010), ‘Hot in Cleveland’ (2012), ‘Bad Judge’ (2014), ‘Baby Daddy’ (2014), and ‘Star Trek: Progeny’ (2016). She has voiced the character of ‘Heidi Weinerman’ in the ‘Disney XD’ animation series ‘Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja,’ which ran from 2012 to 2015.
The highlight of her career, however, will remain ‘Syfy’s unexpected hit film series that began with ‘Sharknado’ (2013), in which she played bartender ‘Nova Clarke.’ She reprised the role in the sequels ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ (2015), ‘Sharknado 5: Global Swarming’ (2017), and the sixth and the final installment, ‘The Last Sharknado: It's About Time’ (2018).
She has also been part of Neil Labute's award-winning short film ‘Bench Seat’ (2011), comedies such as ‘A Holiday Heist’ (2011) and ‘Not Another Not Another Movie’ (2011), and dramas such as ‘Not Today’ (2013) and ‘Take a Chance’ (2015). Scerbo was last seen playing ‘Vanessa’ in ‘ABC’s ‘Grand Hotel’ in 2019.
Personal & Family Life
Scerbo has been linked with several individuals during the early part of her career, beginning with her ‘Bring It On: In It to Win It’ co-actor Michael Copon, in July 2007. Less than a year after her break-up with Copon, she started dating actor Cody Longo. The two parted ways in 2010, and soon, Scerbo became involved with baseball player Doug Reinhardt, whom she had met while hosting the ‘Stop Staring Fashion Show’ in West Hollywood in October that year. They broke up in early 2011. Soon, she began dating her ‘Make It or Break It’ co-star Josh Bowman. Their relationship ended in December, 2011.
In August 2012, Scerbo announced that she and actor Wilmer Valderrama had become god-parents to Kenneth Carney, son of singer and actor Tiffany Thornton and Christopher Carney.
Scerbo started training as a boxer at age 17. Boxing is also her favorite workout option. She says she would be boxing professionally had she not been an actor. Scerbo also takes power walks at the beach with her dog, Gucci, and loves doing push-ups at home while watching TV or listening to music.
She is an ardent activist who has been associated with causes such as cancer, children, women, water, disaster-relief, healthcare, homelessness, human rights, lupus, sexual abuse, slavery, and human-trafficking, Scerbo supports many charities and foundations, such as ‘Habitat For Humanity,’ ‘Lupus LA,’ ‘Padres Contra el Cancer,’ ‘Race to Erase MS,’ the ‘Somaly Mam Foundation,’ ‘Susan G. Komen for the Cure,’ ‘The Thirst Project,’ and ‘18 for 18.’ She skydived 4 years in a row to raise funds against sex-trafficking. She is also associated with ‘Boo2Bullying,’ an anti-bullying outreach and mentorship program.