A new cheerleading star is on the mat, and her name is Maddy Brum. With the release of Cheer Season 2 in January 2022, fans were introduced to some exciting new additions to the champion Navarro College cheer team. Among those newcomers was Brum, a flyer whose athleticism earned her a spot front and center on the mat, even as a rookie. But it wasn’t only her skills that caught viewers’ attention — she was also super vulnerable in revealing the less glamorous parts of her life. Now, Brum is sharing how she and her family feel as Cheer Season 2 is being watched all over the world.
Like many members of the Navarro squad, Brum’s life isn’t all smiles and sequins. During Season 2 of Cheer, she shared some of the difficult aspects of her upbringing. Her dad went to prison when she was young, and her mom moved around often and had trouble making ends meet. Brum made it clear that cheer is one of the only consistencies in her life. The cheer star says sharing so much personal history with audiences was an “overwhelming” experience, but one she’s happy to have had.
“I think that it showed that it’s not just what you go through, it’s what you make of it,” Brum tells Elite Daily. “My family and I realize that we all have come so far from where we used to be.”
Although there was some initial shock seeing their story told on Netflix, Brum says her family has been “nothing but supportive” of her time on the show.
“When it first came out, I think me and my family were like, ‘Woah, we don’t really know what’s going on,’ because we never really expected anything like this to happen,” she says. “But then after, I think maybe my mom watched it like five times and was like, ‘I’m so proud of you and this is absolutely amazing and it worked out great.’”
As Brum explained on Cheer, Brum’s dad can’t leave their home state of Massachusetts. But throughout the season, audiences saw them connect over the phone while Brum was in Texas at Navarro College. In those conversations, they butted heads over parts of Brum’s budding cheer career. Brum says their relationship is still evolving.
“[My dad] just hasn’t been around for a long time,” Brum explains. “So when he came into my life at an older age, he looks at me and I’m still his little girl and sometimes I had to [say], ‘I’m not a little girl anymore, Dad.’ And I think especially over the past year, he started to realize that a little bit more and he is trying to let me focus on myself.”
Part of Brum’s focus on herself includes her goal to attend a four-year university after completing the 2021-2022 season at Navarro College. “I do want to try to go to a university and I do want to compete on the bandshell with a different program,” she says. “As much as I love wearing Navarro, I want to try and spread out my options and see and try new things.”
Another part of that future is being an inspiration to other athletes, especially the ones who have started following her on Instagram after seeing her on Cheer. “I’ve gotten a bigger fan base [and] that warms my heart a lot, because I realized I can inspire younger athletes or people who are even my age or even older people in their sport and make them the best that they can be,” she says. “Now I’m even more aware of how much I can inspire people with my story and the sport that I do.”
Season 2 of Cheer is on Netflix now.