Culture

How Dallas Women Do It — Navarro Cheer Flyer Morgan Simianer

The Netflix Favorite on Getting Back Into Cheer Shape, Life After Navarro, and Learning to Prioritize Herself

BY Susannah Hutcheson // 05.13.22

When Morgan Simianer Googled “best cheer programs in the U.S.” and found Navarro College, she had no idea how much her life would change. But, after moving from Wyoming to Texas to join Navarro’s team, Netflix cameras came to her cheer practices, watched her make mat, and took us along for the journey as the award-winning cheer team took Daytona Beach by storm. As a fan-fave on the aforementioned Netflix smash hit, Cheer, Morgan has since had to reconcile with retiring from cheerleading, having her journey cut short, and picking the sport back up again.

Simianer talks to PaperCity about everything from life in Dallas to the biggest lessons she learned at Navarro.

 

PaperCity: Take us on your cheer journey. 

Morgan Simianer: In high school, I ran cross country and track and I played basketball, believe it or not. I wanted to cheer, so I went to the University of Wyoming for one semester and cheered there. They didn’t really have the type of competitiveness that I was looking for in cheerleading. So I literally just Googled the best places to cheer in the United States. I came across Navarro College, and they had a clinic coming up. So I went down to the clinic and made the team somehow (still curious as to how that worked). I fell in love with the place, grew as an athlete and as a person, and was there for three years. Then COVID hit.

That was kind of the end of my cheer career, in a sense. Now we have the Cheer tour that is coming up this summer, and I’m super excited about it! But that also means I need to start getting back into shape… I joined a competitive team at Cheer Athletics so that I can start getting into cheer shape again.

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What do your days look like now, post-college?

It has changed a lot. Usually, I’d go to school, go to practice, do schoolwork, and then go to practice again. But now, I have practice three times a week, and on those days I don’t have practice I get to spend time with my fiancé and my friends and my little kitten at home. I’ve been doing interviews, shooting content ideas, and all that sort of stuff, too. My days are just filled with doing the things I love outside of cheerleading and trying to build my brand a little bit more.

 

How are you getting back into cheer shape?

It is actually really hard getting back into it. I thought it was going to be just one of those things that clicks in your brain and you’re good, but it’s a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I took two years off of cheering and wasn’t strictly working out every single day. Also, when you go to a gym and lift weights, it’s not the same as the muscles you use when you’re lifting people into the air, so it’s a lot harder to gain back those muscles without cheering. It’s been a little bit difficult, but I obviously have a lot of teammates and friends in the cheer community that have helped me get back into shape and are really supportive and helpful. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been fun.

 

What’s the biggest lesson you learned from Navarro Cheer?

Never take anything for granted. When I was cheering at Navarro and my last year got called off by Covid, obviously I wasn’t expecting that. So I wish I’d just lived in the moment more and not been so stressed and worried about what’s coming next. I wish I’d just appreciated where I was and how far I’d come instead of only thinking about the future.

 

How do you prioritize your own mental and physical health?

I realized later on that you have to do what’s best for you when it comes to taking care of yourself. If I’m not in a good mental state, and I’m not okay, then I can’t be okay for other people and can’t help them. So just really being able to take a step back and do what’s best for me and take that time to be alone. To be able to do the things you need to do for yourself is really important, and I didn’t really realize that until later on down the road.

 

_images_uploads_gallery_Cheer_Season2_Episode2_00_08_58_02
Morgan Simianer in the second season of Cheer.

OK, let’s have a little fun…

Your go-to Dallas coffee order.

So, Starbucks is my thing. I’ll try other coffee places, but if there’s a Starbucks, I’m there. I get a Venti iced vanilla chai with breve. It’s like Christmas in a cup all year round.

The best Dallas meal you’ve ever eaten.
I have like five go-tos, for sure. If I’m having a steak dinner with my fiancé, we go to Nick & Sam’s or Bob’s Chop House. For brunch, I usually go to Breadwinners or Sixty Vines. And then Katy Trail Ice House and Mi Cocina we love!

Favorite Dallas wellness.

I usually use Massage Envy, since there’s a whole bunch of branches all over the place. But for nails, I actually drive to Prosper at this place called Venetian Nail, and that’s my favorite go-to of all time.

Best spot in Dallas.

Lower Greenville! The whole strip of restaurants and bars — it’s so cute. I also love Whiskey Hatchet — that place is so fun.

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