What A Dumbass

Cheerleader dances topless after the strap on her top breaks...she was afraid her team would lose points. Can anyone say- insanely obsessed with an annoying after school activity?

She kept dancin'

One particular dance routine you won't see on TV, though it already is the stuff of legend in cheer and dance circles. It had everything: True grit, high drama — and bare breasts.

Carla Sanchez calls herself very modest, the most modest person she knows. "You have no idea," she says. "Not even my mother has seen me naked."

Imagine the dilemma she faced when she and 17 other members of the New York University dance team began the 2-minute, 15-second routine they had worked on for months in hopes of securing a national championship. All was fine for about 15 seconds — until the plastic snap on Sanchez's spandex top inexplicably came undone.

Sanchez had an instant to make a very public decision: Quickly cover up, as every fiber in her preacher's-daughter body wanted — or just keep dancin'.

It is the kind of plot twist you might find on Fox's Boston Public: Sanchez danced those last two minutes topless in front of astounded onlookers. She believed that if she were out of sync for even a moment, her teammates would be assessed a major deduction, dooming their dream. So she soldiered on, never missing a beat.

You can guess the rest. NYU won its division, and Sanchez was acclaimed a hero. "That was very brave," said co-captain Carolyn Comparato. "She's a rock star."

Most in the audience were fellow competitors or parents, true believers in the culture of cheer and dance, and they understood instinctively: She was taking one for the team.

A few men hooted and tossed coins onstage. But the atmosphere was more admiring than salacious.

"I can't believe I just danced topless!" Sanchez cried. She asked teammates if there would be a deduction for her uniform coming undone. "We'll get bonus points!" suggested one.

Michelle Allison, head judge for dance, explained there was no deduction for the uniform failure. But neither would there have been a deduction had Sanchez broken ranks and quickly righted her costume. Being out of sync is a major deduction in almost every instance, Allison said, "but not in an extreme case like this."

No one seemed to know the exception to the rule because no one could remember anything like it happening before — except in the movies. The opening number in Bring It On, No. 1 at the box office in late summer 2000, features a high-kicking cheer routine in which actress Kirsten Dunst loses her top (demurely, in PG-13 fashion).

She wakes up screaming: It is only a nightmare. Sanchez's nightmare was real — not so much life imitating art as choreography trumping a teen movie script.

Congratulations to Carla...she is the very first winner of Josh's dumbass of the month!!