Monday night, dancing fans will tune in to ABC for the Season 29 premiere of Dancing With the Stars. This latest iteration features a wild cast of characters, including Carole Baskin and former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley. One of the most-anticipated contestants is Monica Aldama, who came to national attention in Netflix's Cheer. Here's what to know about the cheerleading coach.
The head coach of Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, Aldama has been with the program since 1995. During her tenure, she has turned the cheerleading program into a juggernaut, resulting in 14 championships. Aldama has a reputation for being a perfectionist and requiring a high level of effort from members of the program. She even admits this fact during her Dancing With the Stars Q&A segment.
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According to Hollywood Life, Aldama didn't set out with the intention of becoming a famous cheerleading coach. She actually planned on becoming the CEO of a company in New York City. However, she applied for the Navarro College job "on a whim" after graduating from the University of Texas at Tyler with a Master of Business Administration, which changed the trajectory of her life.
While Aldama has remained in shape during her coaching career, she recently revealed on Instagram that DWTS has taken her fitness to another level. she posted a photo that showed her abs and talked about the amount of work she put in while practicing for the competition. Aldama also revealed that her yet-to-be-announced dancing partner was putting her through the wringer.
"Thank you DWTS! The abs are starting to make a come back," Aldama wrote on Instagram. "I've officially been in LA for 2 weeks and 3 days but it feels like much longer. I've been practicing for a week and a half, and to be honest, I've never worked this hard physically in my life. I've learned so much in such little time - although I'm still working on that technique. My partner has been amazing and is tough as nails on me. (Karma right??? [crying laughing emoji]) I'm thankful for the opportunity to have this journey and I'm soaking in every bit of it. [heart emoji]"
Season 29 of Dancing With the Stars airs on Monday night. Tyra Banks will take over as the new host, replacing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. The new season will debut with a two-hour season premiere beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.