Twenty-year-old Lexi Brumback captured the hearts of viewers as the chillest member of the Navarro College cheerleading team in Netflix's Cheer , a docuseries about the squad's journey to the National Championships in Daytona, Florida. But don't let her laidback personality fool you. Lexi is serious when it comes to the mat and is recognized as one of the if not the most talented female tumblers on the legendary team.
Lexi says that if it wasn't for cheerleading, she'd be "sitting in a jail cell right now."
She generally has money. And her status as a cheerleader is mostly for show: an opportunity to wear a costume that announces, over and over again, her place in the social hierarchy. When people find out I spent my teen years as a cheerleader, they sometimes react with a disbelief I find quietly insulting: You , a cheerleader? I think they mean it as a compliment. But all kinds of people become cheerleaders, for all kinds of reasons and all kinds of rewards. The new six-part documentary, now airing on Netflix, follows a super-elite squad of cheerleaders at Navarro College, a junior college in Texas, as they train to defend their title at the national cheerleading championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. Every cheerleader of a certain age knows that the best cheerleading movie is not Bring It On , but the VHS of the national competitions you taped off ESPN and watched on repeat: at squad sleepovers, but also by yourself, dreaming of a basket toss that went that high and hit that crisp. They were just good.
She's a seriously talented tumbler (duh).
In the second, an athlete named Morgan clutches her ribs and writhes in pain on the floor. She leaves, against medical advice and with a warning that more stress on her ribs could damage her organs or kill her, and returns to the gym. When told that Morgan had been to the ER, Aldama appears annoyed. Morgan practices. The actor Reese Witherspoon found Aldama so inspirational that she cried. The Cut interviewed her about her daily routine. Instead, the series tells one of the oldest, darkest stories in American sports—of athletes with no pay and little support breaking their bodies again and again, all for the greater glory of an authority figure they dare not question. Although Cheer portrays the Navarro College cheerleading squad as a Goliath, it quickly becomes clear that the team is a David doing incredible things with spare resources. Navarro is a two-year junior college in Corsicana, Texas, a small town south of Dallas, which is precisely the kind of school that has budget problems everywhere in America. Cheerleaders are particularly desperate for that extra oversight.
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