No one knows hard work quite like Monica Aldama, cheerleading coach at Navarro College, the very one featured in Netlfix’s documentary series, Cheer. So when it came time to get her grind on as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, she knew what to expect.
“I’m used to that kind of grind,” she tells StyleCaster. “Working long hours and try to stay focused for that long, just not being on the physical side of it.”
Although Aldama is no longer competing, she’ll be leaving DWTS with plenty of great memories. “Just a couple of weeks ago, Val [Chmerkovskiy] just told me how proud he was of me,” she says. “I think he finally saw me finding some confidence in myself and that just more that meant a lot to me, more so than me doing a good job, just that he was proud of how hard I work.”
Aldama recognizes the same sentiment is true when she coaches her kids at Navarro, all of whom look to her for approval and support to keep them going. “If you’re putting in the work and working really hard, then you’re definitely going to make the people that are supporting you proud,” she explains.
Of course, in the Cheer world, this encouragement often comes in the form of mat talk. Aldama admits the constant cheering (no pun intended) can be tough on her throat, which is where her partnership with Robitussin comes in. “I was super excited to work with them on this new product line, Robitussin natural,” she explains. “It’s got all natural ingredients in it, so it’s definitely right up my alley.”
“I am on the go seven days a week,” Aldama says. “I don’t have time to get sick and I definitely have to take care of myself.” Now that her turn on DWTS it’s time for her to get back to her regular coaching grind, with some Robitussin on hand for the late nights and mat talking sessions. “We’re practicing a lot, just like our normal schedule,” she reveals.
Although the fall season is normally filled with football games, basketball half-time shows and cheering on the volleyball court, but this year looks a little different thanks to COVID. “All of our athletic games got moved to the spring,” she says. “So we’ve really just been practicing and working on our technique, our difficulty and ideas for Daytona.”
The Navarro cheer team is laser-focused on the National Championships, hoping to add another W to their roster. But will we get to watch the drama play out again on Netflix?
“That’s the biggest question everybody wants to know,” Aldama says with a laugh. “I’m open to whatever, but I don’t really have any information that I can give you on that at the moment. But we’ll see what happens.” Doesn’t sound like a no to me!
“I had a great experience with season one,” she continues. “The team that came and filmed us, they filmed for 12 hours a day, so they really became like family by the time they left.” As for the on-screen Cheer family, expect to see more from fan faves La’Darius Marshall, Gabi Butler and Lexi Brumback who are still on the team. “They don’t want to leave,” she explains. “They love it.” And we love watching them kill it on the mat.
Something else Aldama and I both love? Taylor Swift. “I really do love Taylor a lot. Her PR rep e-mailed me [a few days before Folklore dropped] and of course, I’m like this is a joke because she said Taylor wanted to send me a gift,” Aldama says with a laugh. “Her album came out at midnight and I got the gift the following days so then I put it all together,” she explains.
Aldama may have the cardigan, but her favorite song on the album isn’t track 2. “‘Betty,’ I love that song,” she says. “I don’t know why, but as soon as I heard it, I just couldn’t stop listening to it.” Same girl, same.