Who is Monica Aldama from Cheer?

The Netflix cheerleading docuseries is EVERYWHERE right now

Monica Aldama Cheer Netflix

by Marianna Manson |
Updated on

Netflix's Cheer is everywhere right now (seriously, if you haven't watched it, where have you been?) so it was obviously time to get to know the show's iconic hero/villain, depending on how you feel about her.

Who is Monica Aldama on Cheer?

Monica Aldama is the divisive star coach at the centre of one of Netflix’s lockdown hits, Cheer. The series – season two of which landed on UK ‘Flix on January 11th – follows the hyper competitive world of American cheerleading and sees the best teams and most skilled athletes compete to be crowned NCA (National Cheerleading Association) College Nationals champions.

Monica has long been revered in the world of elite cheering but since the first season exploded onto the global screen in early 2020, she’s become a household name and TV personality.

What is Monica Aldama’s job?

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Monica holds the respected position of Head Cheer Coach of the co-ed team, called The Navarro Bulldogs, at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas – posited by the show as being the best in the USA. In series one, Monica was relentlessly lauded as the country’s most accomplished and respected cheer coach, and as such her star (and the stars of some of her team) rose exponentially over lockdown, making her a TV personality and celebrity in her own right. She’s currently training the current class of athletes for the 2022 Daytona Nationals, due to take place in April 2022.

She's also a published author, releasing her first book, Full Out, later this year.

How old is Monica Aldama?

Monica is 49, and will turn 50 on February 9th – we know, right.

Where is Monica Aldama from?

Monica is from a town called Corsicana in Texas, USA, where she still lives and works.

Why did Monica Aldama and La’Darius Marshall fall out?

One of the undeniable stand out stars of series two was La’Darius Marshall, who it was clear from the get go was a favourite of Monica’s and something of a surrogate son to her. Early on we saw Monica speak candidly about how much she was rooting for La’Darius and he admitted he thought of her “like a mom”.

But it wasn’t to last and, midway through the season and with seemingly no real explanation, La’Darius admitted he’d quit school, quit the Navarro College cheer squad and quit his cheer career all together. On the show we got fragmented accounts of what went down (with stories of stolen dogs and team rivalries unsubstantiated) but one thing was for certain – La’Darius was NOT happy.

“I did my time,” he said in episode six. “I've cheered with the best of them. I can't be killing my body anymore. I'm tired. My body is dead and burnt out.”

Monica Aldama Cheer Netflix
Monica with La'Darius (left), Jerry (right) and Gabi Butler ©Getty

Speaking of Monica, he said, “When she came back from Dancing With the Stars, it was almost like she forgot where she came from”, and recently promised a tell all video where he would “clear the air and tell the truth” was coming soon.

Meanwhile, La’Darius’ former team mates were quick to pick sides and jump to Monica’s defence, who kept shtum about the fall out on the series.

However, she later admitted in a separate interview with Parada Magazine, “I’ve been really hurt over this because I’ve gone above and beyond for this kid. I’ve done more for him than probably anyone at this program that’s ever come through because I was determined the boy was going to graduate.

“He came to my family's house for Thanksgiving when he had nowhere to go. I paid his dorm deposit. I’ve literally done everything in the world for this kid. Never raised my voice at him. Yet you’re going to slander my name? I don’t get it. I take it very personally.”

Despite kissing and making up during the last episode, when La’Darius came to watch Navarro compete at Daytona, it appears that all is still not well between the two as he recently took to social media to confirm that they were no longer friends, adding, “I don’t support people who support pedos like she did.”

What did Monica Aldama say about Jerry Harris?

Jerry Harris was superstar of series one, going on to have a short lived career in presenting, interviewing Joe Biden and Brad Pitt (among others) during a stint as a correspondent on Ellen.

However, between series one and two, Cheer was rocked by explosive allegations that Jerry had solicited sex and pornographic images from minors and he’s currently being detained while awaiting trial on child pornography charges.

An entire episode of series two was given over to the case, with interviews with Monica and various members of the team about their reaction to the news. However, many faced criticism for their failure to condemn Jerry’s action, and Monica in particular was looked to show support for his victims.

“It was like an out of body experience, I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” she said on the show. “I didn’t even want to look at my phone because I was scared… I couldn’t take the weight of all of it, I couldn’t do anything about it and I just didn’t want to read it.

Monica Aldama Cheer Netflix
Monica and Jerry on a TV show in 2020 ©Getty

“We had a team meeting that night, and it really felt like a funeral, I’ve never seen the kids cry so hard,” Monica continued. “It was just an awful situation… I cried myself to sleep. I was really struggling mentally because I loved Jerry like my own child but I have all these emotions that are just fighting each other.

“I can’t even process it right now because my head is battling the ‘He did wrong’ versus this person I know. I can’t wrap my head around what I need to even think or how to feel, which is why I haven’t written him back because I don’t know what I would say. I want to be supportive, yet I’m so disappointed.”

Fans took to Twitter to express their dismay, with one writing, “Wait, so Monica thinks 'it’s not right' that La’Darius is wearing their shirt after speaking his truth about Navarro but she’s not sure how she feels & 'wants to support' Jerry after he was alleged to have had sexual interactions with kids. Ohh okay. Got it”

“I don’t understand how La’Darius tweeting about Monica got her so angry but Jerry literally being an actual child abuser didn’t even make her slightly upset?” said another.

And Sarah Klein, the lawyer who represented Jerry’s victims in court, said, “Textbook narcissist. Makes it about herself, not the minor victims of child rape at the hands of HER athlete. Enablers like this should have ZERO access to children whether or not they win ‘Daytona.’ SMH.”

In a statement released in September 2020 shortly after the news broke, Monica said, “My heart is shattered into a million pieces. I am devastated by this shocking, unexpected news. Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation, and I'm praying hard for the victims & everyone affected. Please respect our privacy as our family mourns during this time.”

Is Monica Aldama married?

Yep – Monica has been married (on and off) to her high school sweetheart Chris Aldama since 1994 after meeting at Corsicana High. They divorced in 2006, which Monica has called “one of the darkest times of [her] life”, but remarried a year later.

Chris is a semi-famous personality in his own right in Corsicana as the guitarist in popular local blues band Courtney Prater & The Sidetracks.

CHECK OUT the best Cheer inspired fitness gear


Cheer inspired fitness gear slider

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Nike Pro Dri-FIT Shorts

You'll catch the Cheers athletes of both Navarro and TVCC teams wearing plenty of comfortable workout gear, and practising their stunts in these Nike Pro Dri-FIT shorts.

Weekday Cheer Bikini Top with High Neck in Light Blue2 of 13

Weekday Cheer Bikini Top with High Neck in Light Blue

This powder blue top gets our vote.

Navarro Cheer Sweatshirt3 of 13

Navarro Cheer Sweatshirt

Fully rep Navarro college with this graphic sweatshirt.

Energy Bra Long Line4 of 13

Energy Bra Long Line

A comfortable and supportive sports bra, ideal for even the toughest of workouts.

Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve5 of 13

Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve

A soft lightweight t-shirt that's available in plenty of different colours if light grey isn't up your street.

Gymshark Speed tank6 of 13

Gymshark Speed tank

This top is cute AF and super lightweight, so it's excellent for most sports, whether you're running or doing yoga.

Adidas Sweatshirt7 of 13

Adidas Sweatshirt

Need some loungewear? This sweatshirt is brilliantly comfy and perfect for those self-care Sundays.

Navarro Classic T-Shirt8 of 13

Navarro Classic T-Shirt

Show just how much of a Cheer fan you are with this graphic t-shirt with Navarro College's motto.

Women's Shape Seamless Leggings - Black9 of 13

Women's Shape Seamless Leggings - Black

These high-waisted leggings are perfect for any workout, especially during these winter months.

Ruched Training Sports Bra10 of 13

Ruched Training Sports Bra

We love an all-black fitness outfit and this sports bra is the perfect addition to it.

BuildLife 3.78L/2.2L Wide Mouth Gym Water Bottle11 of 13

BuildLife 3.78L/2.2L Wide Mouth Gym Water Bottle

Just like the Cheer cast, you've got to keep hydrated, and this gorgeous 3.78L water bottle is just the way to do it.

Training Ankle Socks12 of 13

Training Ankle Socks

The cheer cast is famous for having a clean, clear cut image, and these white socks are definitely part of it.

Uplifting Scrunchie13 of 13

Uplifting Scrunchie

There's nothing worse than working out with your hair flying around in your face, and this soft scrunchie will keep your hair in place throughout your workouts.

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Does Monica Aldama have kids?

Chris and Monica are parents to two grown-up kids who sometimes feature on the show and on Monica’s instagram, 25 year old Austin and 21 year old Ally.

Ally’s fiancé Trevor Denbow often also features in family snaps.

Monica Aldama Cheer Netflix
Monica on Dancing with the Stars ©Getty

Monica Aldama on Dancing with the Stars

In season two of Cheer, we saw Monica leave The Bulldogs at a crucial time to compete on the 29th series of America’s answer to Strictly, Dancing with the Stars. She was paired up with pro dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy. While she didn’t make it to the final, she did manage a top score of 27 (out of 30) during her time on the show.

Monica’s decision to take the time out was a point of contention on the show, particularly when it came to handing the reigns over to a new coach at a time where the junior – or ‘Rookie’ – cheerleaders had chosen the school precisely to be coached by Monica.

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