Catherine Barry '21
Netflix recently came out with a very popular new original six-part series entitled “Cheer.” The premise of the show is that it follows the story of the Navarro cheerleading team from Navarro community college in the small town of Corsicana, Texas. Instead of just focusing on the competition routines, the series dives deep into the behind-the-scenes of cheerleading and exposes the more gruesome parts of the sport such as the mental and physical battles many of the athletes face when training, as well as the countless hours they spend practicing, which is what makes Cheer so much more entertaining than other sports documentaries. Cheer is great for anyone looking for something to watch while they are quarantined.
The team made a name for itself by winning 14 national championships for junior colleges and in the series, is widely recognized as one of the most intense and competitive cheer teams in the nation.
The team’s head coach is also a well-known coach in the cheer community, Monica Aldama. She creates close connections with each athlete on her team not only by supporting her team both as a coach but also by being an adult figure in their life who believes in each person’s ability to be successful and to achieve their desired goals. This adult support system Aldama establishes as a part of the team culture plays a crucial part in the team’s success as many of the cheerleaders come from a range of backgrounds that don’t all necessarily have this type of support in their personal lives outside of the college.
I have always loved watching cheerleading shows because I find it super entertaining to see the detailed routines that always include a multitude of tumbling, flips, and poses come to life up in the air. However, this series was quite unique from things I have watched before, as it reveals the multitude of sacrifices each athlete makes every day, including pushing past the most painful injuries, conflicting emotions and even the abundance of school work.
This series truly shows what it means and takes to be a cheerleader on an elite team and among the best of the best cheerleaders while still being able to maintain a healthy balance between the sport and their college schoolwork, as well as maintaining each of their mental and physical well beings.
Ultimately, I would recommend this sports documentary series to anyone who is looking for an inspiring and dramatic watch. Each episode is around an hour-long, so it is great for anyone who isn’t looking for a show to necessarily binge, but rather more for casual viewing.