How Cheer's Bows Stick the Landing
The Cheer cast prepare for a lift. They wear black and red uniforms.

The Bow: Cheer

The iconic accessory of the hit series.

25 May 20222 min read

In Season 2 of Cheer, Navarro College is back on the mat, pushing through heartbreak as they look to win another national championship. Fighting right alongside them is Trinity Valley Community College, who had dominated the competitive cheerleading space before Coach Monica Aldama came to Navarro and made them the team to beat. Both squads have breakout stars, unimaginable athleticism, determination, and, of course, perfectly placed bows. “We’ve done our hair the same way for so long,” says Coach Monica. “Half-up, with just a small ponytail, and that’s where the bow sits [in the front]. You want it so you can see it.”

Members of the team jump in impressive splits. They wear black, white, and red uniforms, and huge bows!

As we learn in Cheer, presentation is crucial in cheerleading. “Overall Impression” is a component of the judging at nationals, so uniforms and aesthetics are important to coaches and players alike. In Season 2’s fourth episode, uniforms become a hot topic for Navarro when Coach Monica decides to incorporate white back into the look, a color they’ve avoided since losing while wearing it (we’ll let you watch for yourself to find out if the superstition held up).

The collegiate cheerleading rule book has a whole note about bows: “Hair bows may only be worn behind the top center of the head and may not have material close to the face at any time.” Coaches that are worried about the size of their team’s bows — or their potential to upstage the complex series of pyramids and sky-high tosses they’ve practiced for months — can send images to the board for approval. At the end of the day, uniform color and bow size be damned: The cheerleaders of Navarro and Trinity Valley impress judges and viewers alike with their raw physical and performative talents. As fan-favorite tumbler La’Darius Marshall says, “A uniform ain’t gonna stop you from whatever you need to go do.”