Abby Johnston

Abby Johnston is a writer, editor, and sixth-generation Texan.
Director Greg Whitely has said that cheerleaders are “the toughest athletes I’ve ever filmed.”

‘Cheer’ Takes an Overlooked Sport Off the Sidelines

The Netflix show about a Corsicana cheerleading squad’s journey to nationals explores an indignity I remember well from my time as a high school dancer: training for intense athletic competitions while being reduced to halftime entertainment.

My nose hovered just centimeters above the scuffed basketball court, legs folded beneath me in a perfect Z, my back flat enough to serve tea on. As a chugging synth melody filled the gym, I felt my dread growing. I … Read More


The Highwomen Are the Superbly Talented, Feminist Supergroup Country Music Needs

On a stunning self-titled album released this week, the four musicians—two of whom are Texans—explore domesticity, motherhood, love, and loss.

In 1973, fresh from recording her raw, woman-to-woman plea to spare her relationship, Dolly Parton mixed “Jolene” in Nashville’s RCA Studio A. She wouldn’t return to the space, the birthplace of some of country’s finest cuts, until almost five decades … Read More