We Binge-Watched Cheer—Here Are 8 Takeaways
Just a few seconds into Netflix's new short docuseries Cheer and it's easy to see why the world is obsessed—this is cheerleading like you've never seen it before.
If you're in the world of cheer, you know just how difficult stunting and tumbling is, but the national champions on the Navarro cheer squad take tricks and technique to an entirely new level. Not only do these athletes push through incredible personal setbacks to make the Corsicana, Texas-based team, they continually push their bodies and minds to perfect the most complex routines drummed up by Navarro college's queen coach, Monica Aldama.
Ahead are eight major things we took away after binge-watching cheer (in just one day, don't judge). Don't worry, no spoilers ahead!
1. Cheerleading Is a Freaking Sport
If you were still on the fence for some reason about whether or not cheerleading is a sport, a few minutes into Cheer will easily confirm that cheerleading is, most definitely one. These women and men are incredible, multi-hyphenate athletes who deserve some serious sports recognition.
2. Having an Incredible Coach Is Everything
One of the biggest takeaways from the short series is how vital it is to have an amazing coach. Monica Aldama, Navarro's cheer coach, not only built the best college cheer program in the country—boasting 14 NCA National Championships and five Grand National Championships—she's also an incredible role model, leader and even mother figure to all of the people on her squad. She's gentle but stern, and clearly knows how to inspire her team year after year to victory.
3. Two Minutes and 15 Seconds Can Change Your Life
If you ever needed a little dose of encouragement, just remember cheerleaders' entire professional career is determined in just two minutes and 15 seconds at the National Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida. This is a great metaphor for life: Hard work pays off, and your life can completely change at any minute.
4. Always Bring Your A-Game Because Anyone Is Replaceable
Coach Monica runs deep—there are 40 members of the Navarro cheer team, but only 20 of them get to perform on "mat" at Dayton Beach Florida. Of course, Monica takes tabs all year to determine who will be on and off mat. But even if you're chosen to be on mat, you could be off and out at any minute. This also gives a major incentive to those who didn't make mat. Fan favorite Jerry made it onto mat twice and ultimately got to perform even though he wasn't a part of the original 20 selected, so you really always have to be ready.
5. Cheer-lebrities Are the New Social Stars
The most famous of the bunch prior to the show was Gabi Butler, who has over 1.2 million followers, and was already slinging sponsored posts and ad campaigns. But the Netflix debut has the followers rollin' in for the show's other faces, including Morgan Simianer, Lexi Brumback and Jeremiah Harris. Heck, Morgan was even on The Ellen Show with Kendall Jenner!
6. There's Nothing Girly About Being a Male Cheerleader
Not only can most of the male cheerleaders whip out insane gymnastics tumbling skills, they also lift, toss, hold and catch their female counterparts in these seemingly impossible and definitely dangerous stunts. Many of these stunts are also performed solo, with the male cheerleader holding up another entirely on his own perfectly on cue.
7. Cheerleading Is the Most Dangerous Sport
"People have broken their necks doing this, but Monica needs me to do it, so I'll just do it. I would take a bullet for her," says Morgan, a cheerleader who is clearly one of Monica's favorites, and totally fearless when asked to step in after her teammate Sherbs gets injured. In this six-part series, we see: so many tapped wrists/knees/ankles, a dislocated elbow, a tumbler twisting their ankle while performing at Daytona, and a squad member painfully pushing through the routine, even though her ribs are really hurting her—so much so that she opted to go to the ER in between practices. Not only are these cheerleaders athletes, they have incredible determination to push through injury, and clearly, very high pain tolerances.
8. Dumb Cheerleader Stereotypes Are So Over
Think cheerleaders look pretty and clap? Think again. Not only are these cheerleaders athletes, they're also top notch students, too. Cheer shows them making time for school and their grades amidst a rigorous practice schedule. Jerry even got a scholarship for academics for a four year college after graduating from Navarro!
Want to be a Navarro cheerleader? HERE's some advice on making your high school cheer team.