Is ‘On Pointe’ the new ‘Cheer’?

I’m sure we all remember ‘Cheer’ from last year, the docuseries following an American college cheer team in their fight for victory in the national cheer comp. Or even ‘Cheer Squad’ which also came out in 2019 but appeared to garner less of a response. ‘Cheer Squad’ was also a docuseries following a cheer team however they were a Canadian cheer team who competed competitively. If you didn’t check out ‘Cheer Squad’ I highly recommend it.

Anyway, the point being, everyone was talking about ‘Cheer’ and loving it last year. This brought so much light to the general public on the complexity of competitive cheer in showing the athletes as, well, athletes. It also gave a really close look into a lot of the teams personal lives and struggles which made you feel their pain and their happiness. Got me all emotional to be honest!

‘On Pointe’ was only recently released on Disney+ a few weeks ago and it appears to be following in the footsteps of these other docuseries. ‘On Pointe’ follows kids of many ages in their lives going to the School of American Ballet (which is directly associated with the New York Ballet Company). Kids of all ages go to the academy and live and breathe Ballet. Some even living on campus and some as young as 6 years old. This is the place for American students to become professional dancers with apparently 90% of the New York Ballet Companies hires coming directly from the academy. We see their classes, families, extra-curricular, highs, lows, and more. So, in short, the answer to my above question is, ‘On Pointe’ definitely should be the next ‘Cheer’.

Now, I love dance, I can’t do it by any means but I love it, I love watching dance, dance movies, dance shows (shout-out to Dance Academy, Dance Moms and The Next Step), so for me this was super exciting. The pure dedication from these young people to spend hours and hours daily at dance class after being at school and then do rehearsals for roles in ‘The Nutcracker’ at Lincoln Center is astounding. So, if you love watching Ballet like me, definitely watch this one, maybe also ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ (let me know if you want a post on it too).

Another thing which ‘On Pointe’ has done well is the emotional aspect. By the second episode I was already so attached to the dancers and wanted the things they wanted so much that it hurt me thinking Sophia may not get a role in The Nutcracker. When Sam was being brought up to the next class I felt it in my soul how happy I was for him, same with when Ava got into the New York Ballet Company, all her friends were so happy and excited for her, so supportive and to see her go and tell her parents and see their pride and her tears, let’s just say, I could’ve cried too. This really reminds me how attached I had gotten to certain team members in Cheer, for instance, seeing Jerry try his very hardest 100% of the time and still be overlooked and then make it. Watching real life people reach their goals is just a different feeling.

There is however, one clear difference which may be a deal breaker for some but; ‘On Pointe’ is not competition based, obviously in the dance world everyone is your competition as much as you are your own, and there are castings for The Nutcracker with the New York Ballet, but, it isn’t a show about competition. There isn’t one whole goal for the team and they either win or lose, people aren’t being kicked on and off the team (or at least those who will actually perform). We simply, get a tiny glimpse over 6 episodes into the lives of these dancers.

So, if you made it this far and are looking for a takeaway message, my point in, ‘On Pointe’ deserves as much hype as Cheer got, you should absolutely watch it and I have loved it.

Thanks so much for reading! If you end up giving ‘On Pointe’ a go let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’d love if you checked out some of my other posts or my socials down below, or share this post with someone who might enjoy it:

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