I’m not sure there’s anything so alien to me about American culture as cheerleading. It’s gymnastics without the international respect, and a physically brutal sport which seems to ignore participant safety altogether. It’s also predicated on the jingoistic idea of ‘pep’; growing up in Australia, the only school spirit I remember was Midori mixed with Sprite. No thanks.
But Cheer, the new Netflix docuseries from the creators of the excellent Last Chance U, tenderly highlights the kind of person drawn to the practice: elite athletes whose insane talents were unappreciated or actively scorned in other sports, and the adults hellbent on morphing those abilities into something equally dangerous and spectacular.
Everyone craves structure, even if that structure is a three-storey human pyramid.
If that doesn’t convince you to scope out Cheer, consider this: presenter, model, chef, and all-around internet superstar Chrissy Teigen has shared her memories of the sport after slamming through the series. While Teigen tacitly admits she was never admitted to the upper echelons of the sport (“One squad got to cheer for basketball and football and the other (mine) got volleyball and wrestling”), the superstar has obvious affection for the practice.
“I still remember my mat cheers though. Go fight win baby. Go fight win.”
View this post on Instagram
watching cheer on Netflix got me reminiscing about how i sucked at cheerleading almost as much as I sucked at doing my brows. Truly no idea how I made this team. The best part is they claimed there was no JV/varsity but one squad got to cheer for basketball and football and the other (mine) got volleyball and wrestling. I still remember my mat cheers though. Go fight win baby. Go fight win
It’s worth noting this is not the first time she has posted images from her high school cheerleading days in Snohomish, Washington. Peep this pic, re-shared in 2017:
Once again, watch Cheer. It’s that good.