Cheer: The new Netflix docu-series

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “A docu-series? Come on.” But this my friend, this was something special.


I was at home with the flu, trying so desperately to find something good to watch on Netflix. Maybe a comedy? No.. it hurt to laugh. A romance? No… I didn’t feel like crying. In the depths of Netflix Originals and old-time Disney classics, I came across a docu-series. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “A docu-series? Come on.” But this my friend, this was something special, and I had never seen anything like it before. Cheer is a show that documents the blood, sweat, and tears that go into competition prep for a 14x National Championship cheer team. This team would be the Navarro College Bulldogs based in Corsicana, Texas. 

Navarro is not like your typical college– it is a public community college who’s co-ed cheer team aims specifically (but is not limited) to better the lives of students who have dropped out of high school, been incarcerated, or have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. The athletes channel these struggles and tackle them headfirst by giving it all out on the mat. Coach Monica Adalma coaches the 38 athletes to greatness, leading them to win a total of fourteen National Championships since 2000, competing in Daytona Beach, Florida, at the National Cheer Association competition. 

Like most cheer squads, the team practices cool and complex routines. What is different about the Bulldogs, and what is really emphasized in Cheer is the sense of strength and support surrounding the members. Some of these young adults have been through hell and back, and are constantly working to better themselves. The cheer team provides an outlet to be physically aggressive, mentally alleviating, and to knock down walls that may have stunted their success.  

Cheer is exhilarating. Throughout the emotional rollercoaster of the series, cameramen bombarded the practice room with all sorts of equipment, trying to perfectly capture the essence of the team. Injuries are often caught on camera, highlighting the reality of being a competitive cheerleader. Interviews are also filmed with some of the members’ families, describing how being a Bulldog has changed their child’s life forever. 

Though roadblocks may have hindered teammates in the past, together, no other cheer teams in the United States seem to be a match to them. The group of cheerleaders consists of charismatic, caring, and competitive individuals that when together, are unstoppable. The routines created by Monica are dynamic and beautiful in a way that highlights the strength and heart of each cheerleader. 

In the days leading up to the Daytona Beach competition, the team sits down to reflect on the season, as well as share how being on the team has benefitted them. Members share difficult and releasing stories that capture their true essence: they are hardworking people simply looking to find their place in the world. 

Check out Cheer on Netflix to get a better look at the Bulldogs and their impeccable talents.