By Jane Nyman
CHEER: the Netflix docuseries that is changing perceptions of cheerleaders with each stream. The docuseries highlights Navarro Community Colleges’ cheerleading program as the fight for their fourteenth national title.
After my two-day binge session of CHEER, I realized that in reality, it’s not that hard for the Navarro team to win the national title. There’s only one other team in their division, so winning the national title is a given if they hit their routine. However, what the docuseries doesn’t highlight is Navarro winning the Grand National title. The Grand National title is the team that receives the highest score in the whole competition. When looking at the big picture, that’s a higher level of achievement than winning the National title.
Many of the cheerleaders spotlighted in the series have fought a hard life battle before making it on the mat. LaDarius Marshall, a gay black “stumbler” (cheer lingo for he can stunt and tumble) was abused and suicidal before he joined the Navarro cheer team. Jerry, one of the most positive and encouraging team members, had his single mother die of cancer in the midst of highschool. However, Coach Monica Aldama has been a rock for all her athletes. She treats the cheerleaders as if they were her own children. Aldama built Navarro’s program from the bottom up, and is the definition of hard work, grace and class.
A must watch, CHEER is not only informative but also exciting and entertaining. It will make you laugh, cry and then want to try out for Navarro yourself.