Forget everything you thought you knew about Cheerleading. Cheer is a documentary series that delves into the world of the sport as you've never seen it before. Following the Navarro collegiate National Champions through their 2019 season, this is an in-depth look at a punishing sport that requires more than just the ability to look cute while waving some pom-poms in the air.
Led by head coach Monica Aldama, Navarro college is renowned for its Cheer team. Located in a small Texas town called Corsicana, this squad is packed with some of the toughest and best athletes from around the US. With training sessions up to three times a day plus a full college schedule, the young men and women who battle it out for one of 20 places ‘on the mat' are not messing around. So if you're expecting all of the usual cheerleading cliches and high-school drama that is normally the image of the sport, you are in for a surprise.
The documentary series focuses on quite a few of the squad, often giving more air-time to those with particularly tough backgrounds. If it wasn't for the sport, Navarro, and Monica herself, many of those interviewed are quite open about the fact that they would probably be dead or in prison. One student even states that she would take a bullet for Monica. And she's not joking. Navarro is a family where it's strict rules and high expectations have given many of its squad a real purpose and a sense of belonging they have never previously had.
But it's not all golden for the students at Navarro. Attempting their toughest routine to date, so they can win again at Daytona, the endless training sessions leads to a huge amount of injuries. From dislocated joints, cracked ribs and concussions to bleeding blisters and fatigue, it's difficult to imagine how they can keep going. Especially when you factor in that they still have to maintain decent grades and have outside commitments. Quite a few, such as Gabi Butler and Morgan Simianer are already well known on social media and that comes with its own burdens.
Cheer is an excellent documentary, that was created and directed by Greg Whitely and the same team that brought you Last Chance U. It is an engaging and gritty look at a world that has for so long been seen through rose coloured glasses. Put down the pom-poms and get ready for some high intensity and aggressive sporting brilliance.