Dancing With the Stars season 29 has one major competitor on its hands: Monica Aldama. The 50-year-old coach is best known for leading the Navarro College cheerleading team to victory in Netflix’s Cheer. Now she’s a contestant on DWTS and has her eyes on her next trophy: the mirrorball trophy. So, who is Monica Aldama? HollywoodLife has rounded up 5 key things to know about her.
1. Monica became a household name after the release of the Netflix docuseries Cheer. The docuseries was released in Jan. 2020 and followed head coach Monica and her Navarro College cheerleaders as they worked for their 2019 national championship win. Cheer wowed us with incredible stunts and routines but also showed the reality of cheerleading with injuries, off-the-mat issues, and tough decisions made by Monica.
2. She has coached the Navarro College cheerleading team for 25 years. She began working as the coach at Navarro in 1995. Since her reign at Navarro started, Monica has brought home 14 National Cheer Association (NCA) Junior College Division National Championships and five Grand National Titles in competition at Daytona Beach, Florida. Navarro College currently holds the record for the highest score in history at NCA College Nationals. Monica was inducted into the Navarro College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
3. Monica is happily married with kids! She is married to Chris Aldama. They have two kids together: Austin and Ally.
4. She initially didn’t think she’d be a cheer coach. Monica saw herself as the CEO of a company in New York, according to her Hall of Fame bio. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.B.A. in Finance and the University of Texas at Tyler with a Master of Business Administration. On a whim, she decided to apply for the Navarro College cheer coach position and hasn’t left.
5. She is incredibly close to so many of her cheerleaders from over the years. Monica is always posting photos of Navarro College cheerleaders past and present. Monica calls her cheerleaders “family.”