Here Are Our Favorite Stars Who Were Also Cheerleaders When They Were Young

Published on 12/03/2020
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These stars have always had a passion for entertaining people, and it’s no surprise that any chance they’re put in front of the lens, they can do whatever. But did you know that all this started with cheerleading for these celebs? These are the most iconic faces to shake the pom-poms. Whether they were the cheer captain or simply cheering at the bleachers, you can be positive that they made the audience yell their hearts out as they shout and cheer for whoever they cheered for!

Cameron Diaz

First and foremost, Cameron was just a teenager like everybody else before she emerged as a superstar.  In her adolescence, the blonde at Long Beach Polytechnic High School was a bubbly cheerleader. To reflect the school colors, she was sporting green and yellow, but later, the facial expressions came in helpful for many tryouts.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz

Diane Sawyer

You can be sure, as a former cheerleader, that Diane Sawyer certainly has energy! The cheery and bubbly blonde Diane was part of the Seneca High School cheerleading squad in Louisville, Kentucky. After her kicks kicked off and ultimately moved the personality to TV journalism, she spent a few years at the World’s Fair advertising the Coca-Cola Pavilion.

Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn and her family were deployed in Japan when her father enlisted in the Air Force. When the couple divorced, Olivia and her mother relocated back to Oklahoma. That is where Munn became a cheerleader in Putnam City for the North High School team. She then went to college to study journalism, but it was in acting where she found her real niche.

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn

Ciara

Ciara Princess Wilson at Riverdale High School was not just some cheerleading team. She had been a captain! Ciara is also a huge promoter of sport and its advantages. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t be as involved as I wanted to be because it was the year when my music started to become even more important to me.” Said Ciara, explaining why she had to give it up as she pursued music.

Ciara

Ciara

Kirsten Dunst

Sure, she portrayed the cheerleader character called Torrance Shipman in the film Bring It On, but this actress had real-world experience. She was a pom-girl when she studied at Laurel High School and Notre Dame High School. She was in her high school squad before the blockbuster film came out.

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst

George W. Bush

President George W. Bush was both an upbeat captain and a basketball player in Andover, Massachusetts, at Phillips Academy. Equipped with a megaphone and lots of joy, the public official stirred the masses with cheers. Later he went to Harvard Business School and Yale University, and this is where it all started.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria, the Mexican-American actress, had her major cheerleading eureka moment. While performing at Roy Miller High School in Corpus Cristi, TX, and Texas A&M-Kingsville, Longoria fell madly in love with being in front of a crowd. She was identified by a visiting LA agent who knew she would have something truly unique.

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

Kathie Lee Gifford

By the age of fourteen, Kathie Lee was a cheerleader at the core. Apart from cheerleading, she also competed in pageants and even won the Junior Miss Pageant of Maryland in 1970. She graduated in sports and went to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to attend the University of Oral Roberts. There she explored drama and music.

Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep is among Hollywood’s favorite people. She is recognized for her on-screen excellence and pleasant outlook, which she learned at Bernards High School in New Jersey through cheering. During her senior year, she was a varsity representative, visualized here to be very proud of her accomplishment.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Sandra Bullock

Did you know that the actress was a cheerleader in Arlington, Virginia at Washington-Lee High School before she was the cool spy in Miss Congeniality? Before finishing high school in 1982, she participated in sports and many of its theater productions. She kept her eye on this medal!

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock

Steve Martin

This ivory performer once had a head of brown locks hanging in the closet and a uniform for cheerleaders. The California Garden Grove team was cheery and hilarious and had some of the finest claps. That could be because a lot of them were written by the comedy legend Steve himself!

Steve Martin

Steve Martin

Denise Richards

Back in their youth in Illinois, Denise was an athletic Tomboy. When she relocated to Oceanside, California, she chose to alter her aesthetic and to join the cheering team at El Camino High School. She began starring in shows such as Saved By The Bell and Married With Kids, eventually dating her now-ex-husband, Charlie Sheen.

Denise Richards

Denise Richards

Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa was born and raised as an entertainer in southern New Jersey. The future soap opera star entered the cheerleading team while attending Eastern Regional High School, shouting lively to the crowds. At school, she got drama classes as well. Her educator, Jim Beckley, advised her to keep acting, and she is probably happy to have pursued that recommendation.

Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa

Halle Berry

Before becoming the first African-American to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress, she was Halle, from Bedford High School in Cleveland, OH. Berry was a good leader for students, participating in cheerleading, courses for scholarships, and the school newsletter. She even won the prom queen, and in high school, somehow, she still didn’t peak.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

Jenna Dewan

Jenna Dewan is a dancing celebrity owing to her movie, Step Up, featuring herself and Channing Tatum. However, before she was in that series, she was a cheer queen in Texas. She fell in love with the technical ability of the performance elements and decided to follow it. She finally got her big break when dancing backup for Janet Jackson in 2001.

Jenna Dewan

Jenna Dewan

Lindsay Lohan

Following her childhood celebrity status, Lindsay went to a regular high school in Long Island, NY. Before transitioning to solely home education, she attended both Cold Spring Harbor High School and Sanford H. Calhoun High School, trying on a cheering squad at both schools.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

Sally Field

From her experience at Forest Gump or Mrs. Doubtfire, you might remember this star, but she was performing long before that. This star was a part of the cheering squad for Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California. Later on, however, she would also be a star known for shows such as The Flying Nun and Gidget.

Sally Field

Sally Field

Fergie

Born as Stacie Ann Ferguson, Fergie, thanks to her sunny personality and pretty face, was a favorite member of her high school cheer squad. She also challenged the myth that cheerleaders are stupid, considering that she was a straight-A student at Glen A. Wilson High School. Later on, she decided to join the Black Eyed Peas.

Fergie

Fergie

Cynthia Bailey

Before she left the city at 18 for a career in NYC, this star performed on a football field. At Deshler High School, the reality TV star and actress chanted for the home team in her native state of Alabama. The rest is a legend for this starlet.

Cynthia Bailey

Cynthia Bailey

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union entranced fans as a cheerleader in Bring It On, but she had a great lot of practice in the part. In Pleasanton, California, the queen was a cheerleading superstar.  According to her, the family was very much involved in sports as she even said, “In my family, if you couldn’t talk Cornhusker football, then you don’t get to have an opinion.”

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union

Renee Zellweger

While still studying at Katy High School in Katy, Texas, Zellweger was part of a cheerleaders team. She’s also very involved in the gymnastics side of the sport, once even appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to show off her flips and tumbles. You can’t hold this girl down!

Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger

Stacy Keibler

This WWE wrestler did not always have the heart of a fighter. When she was the Baltimore Ravens’ talented cheerleader, it was more like a dancer’s spirit. She switched to WCW in 1999 and until 2001. From there, the girl became a wrestling pro and primarily worked with WWE.

Stacy Keibler

Stacy Keibler

Jesse James Decker

Singer or cheerleader… All right, why not both? The country singer-songwriter was recording songs and meeting Nashville labels at fifteen, but she still yelled for the home team on weekends. Now she’s got a lot of hit albums, and she’s branched out into the modeling industry, too. Maybe she’ll redesign some uniforms.

Jesse James Decker

Jesse James Decker

Mandy Moore

Before playing pom wielding Lana Thomas in The Princess Diaries of 2001, Mandy Moore had her cheer outfit. That being said, her experience, as she screamed for the Pop Warner Football Team, was a little odd. After this experience with the cheery world, she appeared in A Walk to Remember and later, This Is Us.

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore

Miley Cyrus

While most cheerleaders-turned-actors begin performing on the field, Miley has been a performer by blood. As Billy Ray Cyrus’ child, she seemed to have a talent for being on screen. However, the Cyrus star had once been a seven-year-old cheerleader for her hometown’s Tennessee Premiere soccer team before she was even Hannah Montana. Pretty! So pretty!

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

Blake Lively

It seems crazy now, but Blake just got into acting because she figured it would be beneficial for her mom and dad. They were right. However, she reserved some spare time for friends, homework, and the cheering squad on her calendar while studying at Burbank High School. She did all of it while filming her first major movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Blake Lively

Blake Lively

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler may be a leading comedian, but she was also once on top of the cheer pyramid! The legend of SNL chanted and sang for Burlington High School in Massachusetts. She then proceeded to Boston College and finally went to Chicago, where she managed not only to make cheers but also to laugh.

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler

Danielle Brooks

Danielle Brooks is famous for her starring character in Orange Is the New Black, but she was also a member of her high school cheer squad in high school. Eventually, because the miniskirts left her feeling awkward, she quit. “Never quit anything again because you’re scared of what others might think of you – unless you become an exotic dancer, the only exception. But even then, only quit because you want to.”

Danielle Brooks

Danielle Brooks

Megan Fox

In Port St. Lucie, Florida, before she shattered hearts in Transformers, Megan attended Morningside Academy. The fireball was ridiculed at her school, turning to sports for comfort. She began acting in movies like Confessions of a Teen Drama Queen, where she played a cheerleader!

Megan Fox

Megan Fox

Paul Rudd

One of the school’s “yell leaders” at Overland Park High School in Kansas was this oblivious heartthrob. Not only was he great at sensationalizing up the masses, but he’s also president of the Student Body. The actor learned how to cartwheel, flip, tumble, and lift a stunt while in high school, even though he doesn’t use film skills.

Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd

Reese Witherspoon

Back in the day, this Legally Blonde Star was at the top of the world and on top of the pyramid. The Walk the Line celebrity was part of her school’s cheerleading team even prior popularity came into her life. Here she is in a classic picture shared by Reese herself, cheering upon the Generals.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Ann Margret

Ann was an excellent singer, spry dancer, and peppy cheerleader at Winnetka, Illinois’ New Trier High School, and was raised in 1941 in Sweden. She happily smiled at the cameras and the fans even before she was famous. In photos such as Bye Bye Birdie, Carnal Intelligence, Grumpy Old Men, and The Cheap Detective, the starlet went on to act.

Ann Margret

Ann Margret

Sela Ward

The beautiful Sela Ward may be recognized for her acting career today, but the University of Alabama honors her as one of their cheering team’s influential alumni. The actress was cheering for the Crimson Tide football team long when she was ever on television. She graduated in 1977, having studied fine art and advertisement.

Sela Ward

Sela Ward

Alicia Silverstone

Silverstone Alicia was a cheerleader? Just as if! In the cult classic comedy Clueless, for her famous character as Cher Horowitz, this blonde beauty was liked by people, but her colleagues recognized her as a basic stunter. She cheered for San Mateo High School, home of the fighting Bearcats! Ah! My! Oh! Oh! Go, squad!

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone

Jayma Mays

Even though Emma Pillsbury, a high school guidance advisor on Glee, Jayma was once a high school cheerleader back in the day. Although happily embracing their Wolves, their school mascot, she and her teammates can be seen wearing blue and yellow. That smile will lighten up an audience!

Jayma Mays

Jayma Mays

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields is famed for being one of the world’s most beautiful ladies. If she was posing for a picture or performing in The Blue Lagoon at Emmeline in the 1980s, she did all this with a grin. The career-defining smile she learned from her energetic cheer squad at her private high school in New Jersey.

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields

Nene Leakes

Nene Leakes has had a long and distinguished profession as a reality tv star in the past few years, but before that, she flashed her pom-poms in the air for the home team. Her sassy behavior on and off the field probably helped her with both cheering and her career, seen here wearing a blend of red and gold colors.

Nene Leakes

Nene Leakes

Jennifer Lawrence

In various platforms, such as modeling and acting, Jennifer Lawrence has played her luck, but did you know she was also a high school student once? But apart from cheering sessions, Lawrence packed her weekends with softball tournaments, basketball warm-ups, field hockey scrimmages, and more. She is capable of everything!

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Kirk Douglas

Amsterdam High School in Amsterdam, New York, can proudly claim that the revered actor, Kirk Douglas, once cheered for their champion teams. He has filmed over 100 films throughout his long life. Typically, these consist of genres such as weighty dramas, old school westerns, and war movies.

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

Paula Abdul

As a cheerleader, Paula took this to the next stage. Not only did she excel at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, but she was also an honor student. After graduation, she dedicated herself to dance by becoming a Laker Girl, becoming a lead choreographer, and supporting stars, including Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson on the field.

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson’s cool-girl spirit is unparalleled, thanks to her cheer days. She was into the sport while studying at Richardson North Junior High School in Texas’s home state. She was not there for long, though as she dropped out of school at age 15 to pursue music, she finally became a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys.

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson

Snooki

Everyone’s favorite Jersey Shore guest star was once just an average teen. The star cheered for her school in Marlboro, New York, but that cost her mental health. “Cheerleading was my life in high school, but it wasn’t always easy for me. I started to be anorexic. Some freshmen were seventy pounds, and I was like, my spot as a flier will get taken away. So I ended up starving myself.” remembered Snooki.

Snooki

Snooki

 

Kendall Jenner

Today, she may be the world’s most popular woman, but she was an insecure teen just a few years ago. Any relief from the school limelight was obtained from the Kardashian sibling, Kendall Jenner. She can see a blue and white uniform here as a cheering squad member for her high school.

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner

Dakota Fanning

On this list, Dakota was unlike others because, several years after she was a successful actress, she started cheering. She had already been part of shows like ER, CSI: Investigation of the Crime Scene, The Practice, Spin City, Ally McBeal, and more. Campbell Hall School had her on their varsity cheering squad. Hey, go Vikings!

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning

 

Madonna

This pop icon once attended Rochester Adams High School and performed well both in the classroom and on the field. She was a straight-a grad, and more secretly, a natural brunette. She received a dance scholarship from the University of Michigan but dropped out to pursue singing.

Madonna

Madonna

 

Rachel Ray

Before she made wonderful dinners, she served smiles to the Lake George High School sports teams in Lake George, New York. She used to shake pom-poms and practice dances for after classes while now spending her days shaking salads and studying recipes. Oh, how times changed!

Rachel Ray

Rachel Ray

 

Samuel L. Jackson

The one that had ‘Samuel L. Cheerleading Jackson on their Bingo Card? The women joined the cheerleading squad at Morehouse College. He later confessed in an article that it was the simplest way to meet beautiful ladies. The only problem was that he was attending an all-boys school. Oops! Ah, oops!

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

 

Christina Aguilera

This world-class diva used to be a cheerleader when she was a North Allegheny Intermediate High School student in Pittsburgh, PA. Not only that, but she was a part of the exclusive Mickey Mouse Club, which had other big stars in its set. Since her music career took off, there was no stopping her.

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera

Katie Couric

Katie Couric is a journalist recognized for her pioneering work on networks like Yahoo! News and 60 Minutes. The journalist, though in Arlington, Virginia, was a troubled teen. There were several secondary schools she went to. She liked dancing, however, so she joined the cheering squad for both of them. Now that’s commitment!

Katie Couric

Katie Couric

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones may have grown as a celebrity daughter, but she remained somewhat grounded, too. In her schooling days, she enjoyed cheering, but she gradually became a mathematician and a member of the National Honor Society. She is undoubtedly a multi-talented girl.

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones

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