Cheer gives audiences a peek into the world of competitive college cheerleading, but despite clearing up some major misconceptions about the sport, there are still a few things that could definitely use some explaining. The docuseries is full of terms and acronyms specific to the cheerleading world, which can be daunting for fans who are new to the sport. To help you out, here's a list of phrases from Netflix's Cheer, complete with definitions, so you won't have to pause your marathon of the show to look anything up.
Specifically, there are a lot of terms unique to the sport that explain what a cheerleader's role is on the team. While it may not be obvious, not all cheerleaders do (or are capable of doing) the same skills as everyone else. Each athlete typically has a specific role and set of skills they specialize in, which makes things even more competitive when the coaches decide who gets to perform at the NCA championships each year. On top of all that, there are also some key Navarro-specific phrases mixed into the show, which definitely call for some more explanation.
So, if you're new to the series or you just want some more context, check out this list of terms from Netflix's
Cheer, which can serve as a starting point to help you better understand the Navarro squad, and the world of competitive cheerleading as a whole.
This is another term for club cheerleading. Some Navarro cheerleaders participate in All-Star cheerleading in addition to being on the school team.
Head coach Monica Aldama's alter-ego who holds the Navarro College
program to high standards. Navarro star Gabi Butler explained Monica turns into Annette "when someone is either disrespectful toward her, is not listening to her, or does something wrong." She also added: "You just don't want to see that side of Monica." Note taken.
The person who remains on the ground to lift or throw other team members in the air for stunts.
Also known as "basket toss," this is a stunt in which three or more bases toss a "flyer" (see below) into the air. The flyer does a spin or flip (or a combo) in the air before landing in the bases' arms (aka cradle).
Navarro Community College's mascot, also known as "dogs."
Similar to Navarro’s FIOFMU (see below), CCFC is a series of letters chanted by Trinity Valley (see below) cheerleaders. Also like FIOFMU, CCFC is also a secret phrase, so the exact definition is unclear.
What Gabi Butler's Navarro teammates call her because she's been featured in many
cheerleading magazines, has had a huge Instagram following even before the show, and is very well known in the world of cheerleading. Cheer Season 1 created a while slew of cheer-lebrities in athletes like Lexi Brumback, La'Darius Marshall, and Morgan Simianer.
The position in which two or more bases interlock their arms to catch a flyer after a stunt. One hand from each base ends up around the flyer's thighs and the other arms go around the back.
The few months leading up to the NCA National Championships in April of each year. Basically, it’s the time when things get real and practice gets tough AF.
A phrase the Navarro cheerleaders often use in cheers, on t-shirts, in Instagram captions, and much more. The acronym was never explained on the show, but a
now-deleted post on Urban Dictionary claimed the term means “fight it out, f*** ‘em up,” which could make sense as the team's motto.
However, since it's not confirmed, you can't be sure if this is the correct meaning. As Navarro team member
Kayla Culver explained on Twitter: "Learning the meaning is entirely special and is only known by Navarro cheerleaders and Navarro cheer alumni." Navarro teammates only get to know the acronym's meaning after their first year, so it looks like the only way to solve this mystery is to join the team yourself.
The brave souls who get lifted and tossed into the air by the bases to preform a twist, flip, or other skill.
A backflip with a 360-degree spin. Good technique means keeping a straight body (like a board) and pointed toes throughout the movement.
Doing a routine from the beginning to the end, during which all cheerleaders perform all of their skills, rather than marking them. Generally, cheerleaders practice their routine in pieces, so performing a full-out routine is a major test of stamina.
In the world of cheerleading, "hit" means to perform a skill successfully. Cheerleaders aim to "hit zero" when they compete, which means to make it from the beginning to the end of the routine without mistakes that would take points off in judging. Essentially, "hitting zero" refers to performing a flawless routine.
Encouraging words or cues team members shout to one another, usually from the sidelines.
National Cheerleaders Association, aka the organization that hosts that big national championship in Daytona every year — you know, the one Navarro has won 14 times.
Team members who perform on competition day are "on mat." There are many people on the Navarro cheerleading team, but only 20 people make it "on mat" and have the honor of performing for the judges in Daytona.
Pyramids started as people kneeling on top of one another, but have transitioned into a much more complex structure. In competitive cheer, a pyramid is a series of stunts and lifts the entire team performs in a sequence. During a pyramid, every cheerleader on the mat is contributing in different ways to the greater whole to make the wild visual effect succeed.
According to Navarro's assistant coach Andy Cosferent, a pyramid is pretty significant. "A college routine that has a variety of skill and sections, but a pyramid is the most important part of it all ... It's going to make you or break you," he explained in Episode 1.
Cheerleaders who can both stunt and tumble in routines. La’Darius Marshall, for example, was a stumbler.
Cheerleaders who participate in the acrobatic stunts in a routine. Some stunters (bases) remain on the ground and lift or throw other team members into the air, while other stunters (flyers) are the ones getting get lifted into the air to perform acrobatic skills. Essentially, these are the folks who do not tumble in a routine.
The community college that is Navarro's biggest competitive threat. Located just 50 miles away from Navarro College, Trinity Valley won Nationals in 2018, which left Navarro in second place and was coach Aldama's hardest loss. Check out their competitive history of who won the NCA championships:
A cheerleader who stays on the ground and performs solo stunts such as flips and twists. They aren't supported by a base or lifted into the air. Often, tumblers do skills in tandem with each other in cheerleading routines, which looks pretty cool. Lexi Brumback was a star tumbler in
Cheer Season 1.
A backflip a cheerleader performs with their body stretched out and a slight arch in their back to make the move look more loopy and elegant. The power behind this move helps them transition immediately into other skills such as a full (see above).
Cheer is streaming on Netflix.