New Docuseries 'Cheer' Shows The Dangerous Side Of Competitive Cheer

New Docuseries ‘Cheer’ Shows The Dangerous Side Of Competitive Cheer

January 13, 2020 Updated January 15, 2020


My partner came home from work excited to turn on the television for me after stumbling upon a docuseries he “just knew” I would love. I was skeptical of his judgment, but then I saw the words on the screen and thought to myself, hmmm, maybe he does listen to me. 

Featuring 40 of the best cheerleaders in the nation, and a coach that would make anybody stand up straighter when passing her by, Netflix’s new series Cheer is sure to leave you with cheer-bumps on your arms and adrenaline that won’t stop pumping.

I might sprain my ankle when I walk up the stairs now, but back in my teen years, I was on several competitive cheer teams. Even though I was practicing seven days a week, sometimes attending three different practices for multiple teams a day, it never failed that someone would say to me, “Cheerleading isn’t a sport.”

When cheerleading first originated in the 1960s, the most advanced skill being done was a brief and short jump in the air while pom-poms were waved around. Now, cheerleaders are throwing other people into the air while they kick, flip, and spin before catching them in a cradle.

As seen in Cheer, in the small town of Corsicana, Texas, there’s no doubt that Navarro Cheer has redefined the everyday stereotype of cheerleaders. With their full-fulls, and their basket-fulls, Netflix has given these cheerleaders a platform to prove that there’s more to the sport of cheer than standing on the side of a track in skimpy skirts while shouting, “Goooo team!”

Specifically in competitive cheer, the hours are long, the practices are intense, and the competition is brutal. If a team’s routine isn’t perfected in the two minutes and 15 seconds given during a competition, you can forget winning the very thing you’ve been training a year for.