When Netflix’s docuseries Cheer premiered in January 2020, it gave national attention to a sport that’s often not taken seriously: cheerleading. The show quickly became a massive hit, earning a Saturday Night Live spoof and praise from celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Reese Witherspoon.
Season 1 followed the elite cheerleading team at Navarro College as they rigorously trained for the 2019 national championships in Daytona, Florida — and a ton of drama ensued along the way. The equally exciting second season documented Navarro and their rivals down the road, Trinity Valley Community College, training for the 2020 and 2021 Daytona competitions.
In January 2022, several Cheer stars announced they were taking their stunts on the road for CHEER LIVE. The tour saw Navarro alums like Gabi Butler and Morgan Simianer reunite on the mat for the first time in two years, led by their head coach Monica Aldama.
Netflix has yet to confirm if the series is returning for season 3 yet, but given that season 2 was a surprise, another run is not out of the question. Thanks to social media, fans already know how a potential third season would end — with a win at Daytona. Navarro reclaimed their national champion title at the 2022 cheer competition after a devastating loss to Trinity Valley the year prior.
The following season, Butler joined the coaching staff, and she and Aldama led the team to yet another Daytona win in April 2023.
Later that same month, a Navarro cheerleader filed a lawsuit against Aldama for allegedly covering up a sexual assault incident. The head coach called the accusations ‘wildly inaccurate’ in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
After the show’s runaway success, its cast members’ newfound fame and continued dedication to the sport offered them various opportunities. So, where is the cast of Cheer these days? Here are all the updates on the talented stars of seasons 1 and 2.
Morgan Simianer graduated from Navarro in 2020, and since then, the skilled flyer has racked up 1.2 million followers on Instagram and partnered with several brands. Simianer created a line of ’90s-esque hair products with Conair and Scünci, and curated exclusive items like ‘werk it’ and ‘yas queen’ lashes for her Morgan Simianer x LashyBox.
Though she retired from her sport, Simianer told PEOPLE in January 2022 that she hopes to remain close to the cheerleading world. ‘I’ve been doing a lot of amazing opportunities. And it’s been fun figuring out what I like and what I don’t like, and, you know, just navigating my way through this whole entire new chapter of my life,’ she said of her life after college.
In March 2022, the Navarro alum announced her engagement to Stone Burleson, a loan originator at NFM Lending. The couple started dating in early 2021, and Burleson proposed to Simianer with a Kay Jewelers custom Neil Lane diamond ring. ‘I’m so excited I get to marry my best friend,’ Simianer told PEOPLE in March 2022.
Simianer celebrated her ‘Bach and Boujee’ bachelorette party in January 2023 with fellow Navarro alums, Austin Bayles and Justin Hinsley.
Butler was already famous in the cheerleading world before Cheer, and she was a role model to her Navarro teammates throughout the show. Though the 25-year-old had two years left of eligibility for college athletics as of November 2022, she told PEOPLE that her time at Navarro is ‘done.’
Butler is currently still cheering with Empire Athletics, but she’s excited about a new sport: wrestling. The Navarro alum signed a contract with WWE in November 2022. ‘It’s very related to cheerleading because … we like to put on a show and we also have to be athletic,’ she explained to PEOPLE. The Cheer star won’t be in the ring yet, but she’s looking forward to it.
As for her personal life, Butler is currently dating Ricky Nunn, a fellow cheerleader. He called her an ‘amazing soul and a blessing to my life’ in a Jan. 17 Instagram post for her birthday.
In December 2022, Butler was accused of wearing blackface after a Twitter account, CHEER Confessions Inc., posted an incriminating old photo of her. Butler responded with a since-deleted Twitter statement, saying that veteran teammates had encouraged everyone to paint their faces. She also claimed not to know what blackface was at the time.
Her former teammate, La’Darius Marshall, responded on Twitter, claiming that he had ‘personally talked’ to Gabi and ‘said that it was not a good idea’ when members of the team wanted to paint their faces. ‘So no we didn’t all feel the same, I forgave you for it but don’t sit on here and LIE,’ he wrote.
Marshall spoke on the situation again in a TikTok in February 2023, claiming that he previously defended Butler because they were in a romantic relationship while at Navarro. ‘I’m tired. I’m no longer backing her. The only reason I was backing her is because we were sleeping together,’ he said. Butler has yet to respond to Marshall’s claims.
In March 2023, Butler announced that she’d joined the coaching staff at Navarro.
‘Taking on daytona with a slightly different role this time,’ she captioned a photo of her and Aldama in identical outfits on Instagram.
A few weeks later, the dynamic coaching duo led their cheer team to yet another Daytona victory.
‘TAKE ME TO THE WATER 😍😭 I AM SO BEYOND PROUD OF ALL OF YOU!!!!!!! the routine you guys put out was hands down one of the most beautiful routines i’ve ever seen…. Literally brought tears to my eyes,’ Butler wrote on Instagram. ‘It makes my heart so full to see you guys fulfill your dreams and goals…. I love you guys with all my heart.’
Marshall’s remarkable athleticism and powerful attitude made him a main character on Cheer. After season 1 aired, however, he told The Cut he was in a ‘dark place’ after filming.
‘I never wanted to be perceived as a victim,’ Marshall, who opened up about his experience as a survivor of sexual abuse on the show, explained. ‘I don’t like the word … I know what I’ve been through, but look how far I made it.’
However, the athlete was thankful that Cheer gave him a platform to tell his story, and explained that the series taught him to lower his ‘shields.’
Marshall returned to Navarro for season 2 of cheer, though his relationship with head coach Monica Aldama quickly deteriorated after Aldama temporarily left the college to compete on Dancing with the Stars. Their falling out surprised both viewers and Marshall’s fellow teammates, as he and Aldama had always been especially close. Marshall ended up leaving Navarro and called out Aldama’s actions during a social media rant, though the two later reconciled at the end of season 2.
Currently, the now-24-year-old is still involved with cheerleading, but as a coach for Idaho All-Star Cheer. He reflected on his journey from athlete to coach in a January 2023 Instagram post, writing that his experience moving to Idaho has been ‘life altering.’
‘Meeting the kids for the first time and telling them they would some day be champions and having them look at me as if I was a Lunatic for believing in them that much gave me the giggles,’ he wrote, adding that as a coach of young athletes, he’s prioritized ‘free range communication’ with his kids above all else.
In February 2023, Marshall made headlines after calling out his former teammate Butler for her past actions. In a series of several TikToks, he also claimed that the pair were romantic as teammates. ‘That’s the only reason we dealt with each other, is because we were with each other. This girl literally slept in my dorm every single day when we were at Navarro,’ he wrote in one video.
Star tumbler Lexi Brumback became a fan-favorite during season 1 of Cheer thanks to her gymnastic skills and her carefree approach to the intense sport. However, fans were disappointed when Brumback was kicked off the team at the end of the season after illegal substances were found in her car.
Brumback later received a second chance from head coach Monica Aldama and returned to the squad for season 2. ‘I just want to prove to everyone that I’m not my mistakes,’ Lexi said at the time. ‘I’m what I make of them.’
Brumback began preparing for the 2020 National Championship along with her teammates before the competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cheerleader ended up leaving Navarro mid-way through season 2, later telling Popsugar that her departure was due to academics. And though she was sad to leave her teammates, Brumback was focused on the future.
‘I love cheer, it was a huge part of my life, but that’s not the career path that I want to take,’ she told the outlet.
After gaining over 750,000 followers on Instagram thanks to her Cheer fame, Brumback became an influencer and regularly shares updates from her travels with fans. She also has a separate account dedicated to her art and makeup with nearly 20,000 followers.
The Navarro alum recently celebrated four years with her partner, Dominic Green. ‘Our souls are forever connected,’ she wrote in a Dec. 21, 2022, anniversary post. ‘I love you as much as there are stars in the universe.’
Cheer gave Monica Aldama a nationwide reputation as both a brilliant head coach and a compassionate maternal figure for her athletes. After season 1 premiered, Aldama joined her team on a press tour that involved appearances on several high-profile shows, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where they were gifted a $20,000 check.
‘I’ve done this for 25 years and even though I thought it was a temporary job [at first], I just can’t see myself giving it up,’ Aldama told DeGeneres. ‘I’m so passionate about these kids and I love doing it.’
Aldama also went on to appear on season 29 of Dancing with the Stars, where she was paired with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. She continued to coach her Navarro squad from afar while filming the series in Los Angeles, telling PEOPLE, ‘We’ve done some Zooms, and I get videos every single day of practice, check-ins and stuff.’ Aldama landed in the top 10 in the competition before she was eliminated during week 7.
The 51-year-old is still the Navarro Head Cheer Coach and has since led her team to victory during the 2022 and 2023 Daytona competitions.
Aldama remains close with fellow members of the Cheer cast. She joined Simianer in presenting an award at the Creative Arts Emmys in September 2022, and she called Butler a ‘queen’ and a ‘blessing to so many’ in a January 2023 post to celebrate her birthday.
The renowned cheer coach also has a memoir out titled Full Out: Lessons in Life and Leadership from America’s Favorite Coach.
On April 26, 2023, a female cheerleader at Navarro filed a lawsuit against Aldama. The plaintiff claims she was sexually assaulted by another member of the squad during her first semester at the college and that Aldama, other cheerleaders, campus police and the school’s Title IX coordinator urged her not to report the incident.
The cheerleader also alleges that Aldama agreed to help her with her cheer career if she didn’t report the assault.
‘I am heartbroken by the false allegations made against me,’ Aldama said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. ‘… I would never remain silent, or ask any student to remain silent if I were aware that any sexual misconduct occurred in the Cheer program.’
Jerry Harris’ moving journey, optimism and ‘mat talk’ made him a Cheer fan favorite, but his story took a dark turn after season 1 premiered. In September 2020, two underage twin brothers filed a lawsuit against Harris for alleged sexual abuse stemming from incidents in 2018, when the boys were 13. After initially pleading not guilty, the former cheerleader later plead guilty to two out of seven sexual abuse and child pornography charges in February 2022. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in July.
Aldama told Ellen Degeneres during a Jan. 19, 2022, interview that the news was ‘shocking’ and ‘devasting for everyone.’
‘As a parent, I was heartbroken for those affected and, you know, it was definitely one of the major challenges that we faced, just keeping ourselves in a good state of mind, mentally to get through that,’ she said.
Mackenzie ‘Sherbs’ Sherburn
Mackenzie ‘Sherbs’ Sherburn was a flyer on the Navarro team who suffered a brutal fall and dislocated her shoulder during the third episode of the series. After cheering for Navarro, she went on to cheer at Texas Tech University and graduated in August 2021.
These days, Sherburn has 276,000 Instagram followers and partners with brands like Loving Tan and Bamboo Underwear. She remains best friends with her Cheer costar, James Thomas. ‘Can’t even explain how full my heart is now that we’re together again 🥺🏽❤️🔥,’ she captioned a photo of them together in September 2022.
Bayles is a former Navarro tumbler who had an unfortunate landing and suffered a serious injury during the team’s championship performance. Despite the mishap, Navarro took home first place in the 2019 Daytona competition.
Like many of his Navarro teammates, the next step in Bayles’ cheer journey was Texas Tech University. He graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology with a Minor in Health Professions. ‘First generation college graduate has a nice ring to it,’ he wrote in a May 2022 Instagram post. Bayles is still close with Sherburn and Simianer.
Shannon Woolsey, a flyer featured on Cheer, also followed the Navarro College to Texas Tech cheer path. She graduated from Texas Tech in May 2022 and is now an influencer with over 237,000 Instagram followers.