Netflix’s ‘Cheer’ Docuseries, Reviewed by Real Cheerleaders

Jasmine Van Leeuwen, Reporter

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Anyone who believes cheerleading is not a sport will have that illusion quickly dispelled by Netflix’s new docuseries cheer. The show follows the 2019 Navarro College competitive cheer team as they work to win a coveted national title. 

Just 50 miles outside of Dallas is Corsicana, Texas, home to Navarro College. The team is coached by Monica Aldama, a well known figure in the cheerleading world. She and the Navarro team have won thirteen national titles in the past two decades and is referred to as “The Queen,” in the cheer world. The docuseries highlights the teams’ struggles and successes throughout the season, leading up to their final competition in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

The show rarely holds back in showing the reality of practices. As a viewer, it is difficult to watch the numerous injuries which leave team members sidelined for the remainder of their short season. From concussions to broken elbows, trips to the ER are not uncommon. 

By the end of the show, everyone is rooting for Navarro to win their final (and only) competition of the season. But, the show is about more than the championship and the prestigious title that goes along with it. It is about seeing the team members grow as people and make good decisions for themselves. As Navarro is a two-year school, many team members will not be returning the following year. Additionally, there is no professional route for cheerleading like football or soccer, so for many athletes, this is their final cheerleading experience. 

After watching this show, you might be thinking that many of the parts were fabricated just to create drama, or that the coach was absolutely crazy. To cheerleaders however, this show is very relatable. 

For thousands of people around the world, cheerleading forms a large part of their identity.  Stamford High freshman, Becca Gordon, is one of them. She is both Stamford High Cheerleader and All Star Cheerleader. She said, “[The show] was 100% accurate to real cheerleading. It was my life in a show.” Becca has been cheering for nine years and cheerleading makes up a large part of her life. Every day, she practices with the Stamford High team and her All Star team, and sometimes with both. 

Sophia San Agustin, AITE Sophomore and All Star Cheerleader, believes that the docuseries brings some much needed light to the sport of cheerleading. “Cheer is very stereotyped, and [the show] shows the true colors of cheerleading.” Sophia commutes an hour each way to be a member of an All Star cheerleading team in Danbury, CT. 

Cheerleading has formed a large part of Westhill Sophomore Dilyn Hartnett’s life. As an All Star cheerleader, she has been to two different cheer gyms. Although it seems like Navarro practices extremely often, this is normal to Dilyn. She spends her week in and out of the gym, competing on two different teams. Dilyn said, “[The show] shows how much work we put in at practice. You leave everything on the mat in 2 minutes and 30 seconds.”

Stamford High Senior, Tiana Furnaros, has been cheering since she was four years old. Since then, she has been through five cheerleading programs and is currently a Stamford High cheerleader. She has experienced both the highs and lows of cheerleading, from winning national championships, to injuries which sidelined her for the season. “Full outs, competition preparation, tough coaches, and bonding with teammates are things that every cheerleader goes through in their career whether it be with a high school, college, or all star team.  The show “Cheer” has not only inspired me, but has also inspired others on my team to become better athletes on the mat.” Tiana has also seen the plethora of benefits associated with cheerleading past being on the team. “[Cheerleading] not only make you a better athlete, but also morphs you into a hard working and driven individual.

If you were wondering if the show is dramatized or not, any cheerleader can tell you that the show is exactly like the sport. If you are looking for a new show to binge watch, I highly recommend cheerleaders for its accuracy to real cheerleading.