The head coach and breakout star of the Netflix hit, Cheer, talks about her high expectations for her cheerleading team, and how she has been affected by claims of child abuse against one of the show’s stars

Two years ago, hardly anyone outside the world of competitive cheerleading would have been familiar with Navarro College, based in the small Texan town of Corsicana, its junior college cheer squad, or its head coach, Monica Aldama. But the global success of Cheer, Netflix’s Emmy-winning docuseries following Aldama and her team’s journey to the national championships in Daytona, changed all of that.

Audiences were immediately captivated by the technical skill, athleticism and personal dramas of competitive cheerleading. Cast members became stars, garnering huge social media followings and appearing on the likes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Oprah’s live tour. Aldama’s signature blond highlights and no-nonsense “mat talk” were satirised on SNL. Reese Witherspoon even said she inspired her to the point of tears.

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