'Cheer': A Look Inside Competitive Cheerleading

Cheer, the new docuseries on Netflix, has caused an uproar in the competitive and all-star cheer community. After just one season, this show has resonated so deeply with current and former cheerleaders, as well as admirers of the sport. What is it about this show that makes it a must-watch? 

As a former cheerleader, I have watched all cheerleading shows and movies like Bring It OnCheer Squad and even TLC's Cheerleader Generation. No show has compared to the emotions I felt while watching Cheer. Not only has this show given me tremendous nostalgia for my cheer days, but it made me miss the family-like environment you are embraced in when you join a cheer team. This show is like no other because it shows the struggles and pain every team endures while preparing for competition season. Cheerleading rarely gets recognized for the athleticism it requires because everyone outside of the cheer world still has the image of pom-poms and sideline cheer. This is the origin of cheerleading but since then, it has grown into a sport that requires determination, dedication and no fear. 

The docuseries follows the Navarro college cheer team who are reigning NCA National Cheerleading Champions. Each episode follows their practices as they train for Daytona, one of the biggest college cheerleading championships. Not only does this show feature a champion team, but it also goes into the life of "Cheerlebrity" Gabi Butler who is on the Navarro team.  

What sets this show apart is how they take you into the lives of each cheerleader, where you can see what they overcome and how this sport has impacted their lives. Cheerleading is a sport that requires an immense amount of training that you don't really get to see when you watch a routine because they make it look so effortless. This is why Cheer is such an important show to the cheer community because "outsiders" can finally get a glimpse into what really goes into a two minute and 30-second routine. I believe Cheer is going to show the world that cheerleading is a sport and one that is not for the faint of heart.

The premiere of Cheer stirred huge hype on Twitter as everyone binge-watched the show and tweeted their reactions. Not only did I laugh and cry during the show, but I felt so appreciative that I got to be a part of such an amazing sport. The show really touched on how once you age out of college cheer, you're cheerleading career is over since there is no professional cheer league. It's a hard goodbye to say to the sport and that is why this show is special to so many.

From a former cheerleader's perspective, Cheer, "is really accurate with the true intensity of this sport. It's showing a side of the sport that the crowd doesn't see at competitions and that's important." The show hit the hearts of many ex cheerleaders because as one mentioned, "I felt like I was living vicariously through them, the show reminded me of the cheer passion still burning inside of me." Cheer brought many emotions to cheerleaders who watched the show. This is what we do and we are finally getting a voice to show others how hard we work at this sport. As another former cheerleader mentioned, "This show is exactly what you show to someone who doesn't watch all-star cheer or know exactly what collegiate cheer is about". 

Cheer is a great docuseries and I think everyone should watch it, even if you have never been a cheerleader. It's an addicting series because you start to connect with the cheerleaders and their struggles. I purposely included no spoilers because I am adamant that everyone has to watch this show! The passion, hard work and struggles that go into the 2:30 routine are really shown in Cheer

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