Celebrities Who Used To Be Cheerleaders In Their High School Years

Published on 12/16/2020
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These idols have always had a knack to share, so it’s not shocking that whenever they’re put in front of a camera, they can do just about anything. But did you also realize that cheerleading for these successful artists began with everything? You can be assured that the crowds shouted their lungs out as they shouted and cheered for whom they cheered, whether they cheered and shouted at the bleachers, the famous faces that shake poms!

Cameron Diaz

First of all, before Cameron Diaz was a movie star, she was like everybody else, just a teenager. At Long Beach Polytechnic High School, this blondie in her teens was a quirky cheerleader. It used green and yellow to reflect the school’s colors, but later, these facial expressions proved useful for several auditions.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz

Diane Sawyer

You can be certain, as a professional cheerleader, that Diane Sawyer definitely had the spirit! Happy and blond, Diane belonged to the Cheerleading Seneca High School Squad in her home town of Kentucky, Louisville. She spent a few years at the World Fair advertising the Coca-Cola Pavilion after initiating and eventually transferring the character to TV journalism.

Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer

Olivia Munn

When her father joined the Air Force, Olivia Munn and her family were stationed in Japan. Olivia and her mother relocated to Oklahoma after the couple broke up. For the Putnam City North High School team, Munn served as a cheerleader. Then in college, she studied journalism, and she found her true niche in acting.

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn

Ciara

Ciara Princess Wilson at Riverdale High School was not just another cheerleading squad. Well, she was a cheerleading captain! Ciara is still a significant proponent of sport and its benefits. “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 up pursuing music.

Ciara

Ciara

Kirsten Dunst

In the movie Bring It On, she may have played a cheerleader character named Torrance Shipman, but this actress had some understanding of the true experience of cheerleading. When she was attending Laurel High and Notre Dame High School, she was a pom-girl. Before the hit film came out, she was part of her own high school team.

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst

George W. Bush

At Phillips Academy, President George W. Bush was both a cheerful captain and a basketball player in Andover, Massachusetts. The political figure, armed with a megaphone and lots of joy, roused the crowds with chants. He went to Harvard Business School and Yale University later on, but it all began.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush

Eva Longoria

Her biggest cheerleading breakthrough at the moment was the Mexican-American star, Eva Longoria. Longoria fell in love with being in front of an audience while performing at Roy Miller High School in Corpus Cristi, TX, as well as at Texas A&M-Kingsville. A visiting LA agent had found her, who knew she had something special.

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee became a cheerleader at heart by the age of fourteen. She even entered pageants, except cheerleading, and won Maryland’s Junior Miss Pageant in 1970. She earned a sports degree and went to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to attend Oral Roberts University. She studied drama and music there.

Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford

Meryl Streep

Among Hollywood’s favorite actresses is Meryl Streep. At Bernards High School in New Jersey, she is remembered for her on-screen prowess and lovely attitude, the latter of which she learned through cheering. During her senior year, she was a varsity participant, photographed here to be very proud of her success.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Sandra Bullock

Did you guys know that the star at her place of birth in Arlington, Virginia, was a cheerleader at Washington-Lee High School before she was the cool spy of Miss Congeniality? She was involved in athletics, and several of the school’s theater plays before graduating in 1982. She kept her concentration on the prize!

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock

Steve Martin

In the dressing room, this silver-haired comedian once had a head of brown locks hanging and the outfit of a cheerleader. The California Garden Grove squad was given some of the best cheers, and they were peppy and hilarious. That may be because a lot of them were written by Steve himself, the comedy legend!

Steve Martin

Steve Martin

Denise Richards

Denise was an athletic Tomboy back in her Illinois childhood. She wanted to change her appearance and join the cheering squad at El Camino High School when she moved to Oceanside, California. She appeared in shows like Saved By The Bell and Married With Children, eventually courting Charlie Sheen, her now-ex-husband.

Denise Richards

Denise Richards

Kelly Ripa

In southern New Jersey, Kelly Ripa was raised as a dancer. While attending Eastern Regional High School, the future soap opera star joined the cheerleading squad, shouting spirited sayings to the crowds. At college, she took drama lessons as well. She was told to continue acting by her teacher, Jim Beckley, and she is probably happy to have followed that advice.

Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa

Halle Berry

Before becoming the first African-American to receive an Academy Award for best actress, she was just Halle, from Bedford High School in Cleveland, OH. Berry was a role model for students, taking part in cheerleading, honors courses, and the school’s newspaper. She even won the Queen of the Prom, and in high school, somehow, she didn’t even peak.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

Jenna Dewan

Thanks to her movie, Step Up, starring herself and Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan is a dancing superstar. Nevertheless, she was a cheer queen in Texas before being in the franchise. She fell in love with and wanted to try, the physicality of the dance pieces. Eventually, when dancing backup to Janet Jackson in 2001, she got her big break.

Jenna Dewan

Jenna Dewan

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay went to a regular high school in Long Island, NY, following her childhood celebrity status. She attended both Cold Spring Harbor High School and Sanford H. Calhoun High School before transitioning to exclusively homeschooling, trying on a cheering squad at both schools.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

Sally Field

From her involvement with Forrest Gump or Mrs. Doubtfire, you would understand this actress, but she was performing well before that. This star was part of Birmingham High School’s cheering squad in Van Nuys, California. Further on, though, for shows like The Flying Nun and Gidget, she would be recognized as a sensation.

Sally Field

Sally Field

Fergie

Born as Stacie Ann Ferguson, Fergie was a favorite star of her high-school cheering squad because of her happy personality and beautiful face. She also challenged the myth that cheerleaders are stupid, given that at Glen A. Wilson High School, she was a straight-A student. She went on to join the Black Eyed Peas later on.

Fergie

Fergie

Cynthia Bailey

This actress worked on a football field as a cheerleader until she left the state at 18 for a position in NYC. The reality television star and actress cheered for the local team in her home state of Alabama at Deshler High School. For this starlet, the rest is history.

Cynthia Bailey

Cynthia Bailey

Gabrielle Union

Acting as a cheerleader in Bring It On, Gabrielle Union captivated fans, but she had a wonderful year of experience in the role. The queen was a cheerleading superstar in Pleasanton, California. According to her, the family was very 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

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

Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger

Stacy Keibler

This WWE athlete did not always have a fighter’s spirit. It was more like a dancer’s heart when she was the Baltimore Ravens’ professional cheerleader. In 1999, and up until 2001, she moved to WCW. From there, the girl became a WWE wrestler and worked with WWE exclusively.

Stacy Keibler

Stacy Keibler

Jesse James Decker

Artist or cheerleader… All right, why not both? At age fifteen, the country singer-songwriter composed hit singles and conducted interviews for Nashville labels, but she also shouted for the home team on weekends. She has a ton of hit songs now, and she has also ventured out into the fashion business. She might have updated some uniforms.

Jesse James Decker

Jesse James Decker

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore wore her own cheering outfit when she portrayed Pom in The Princess Diaries of 2001, carrying Lana Thomas. Her knowledge was a bit different, however, as she cheered for the Pop Warner Football Team. She went on to star in A Walk to Remember after this experience with the cheery world and later, This Is Us.

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore

Miley Cyrus

Miley has been performing since she was born, even though most cheerleaders-turned-actors start performing on the field. She always had a knack for being on stage, as the child of Billy Ray Cyrus. The Cyrus star, however, was once a seven-year-old cheerleader for the Tennessee Premiere soccer team in her hometown before she became Hannah Montana.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

Blake Lively

Now it seems crazy, but Blake just got into acting because she thought it would be good for her mom and dad. They’ve been right. However, while attending Burbank High School, she left some spare time for friends, homework, and the cheering squad on her calendar. She did it all by shooting Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, her first major film.

Blake Lively

Blake Lively

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler may be a top-tier comedian, but she was on top of the cheer pyramid! The legend of SNL cheered in Massachusetts and sang for Burlington High School. Then she went to Boston College and eventually moved to Chicago, where she learned not only to cheer but also to laugh.

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler

Danielle Brooks

Danielle Brooks is renowned for her lead role in Orange Is the New Black, but she was also a part of her high school cheer squad back in high school. Eventually, she quit the team because the short skirts made her feel insecure. She later wrote about her experience on her blog by saying, “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

Paul Rudd

That Clueless heartthrob was one of the “yell leaders” of the school at Overland Park High School in Kansas. He was not only adept at hyping a crowd but also president of the Student Body. While in high school, the actor learned how to cartwheel, flip, tumble, and lift a stunt, even if he doesn’t use film skills.

Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd

Reese Witherspoon

At the top of the planet back in the day and on top of the pyramid was this Legally Blonde Star. The star of Walk the Line was part of the cheerleading team at her school long before fame entered her life. Here she is, cheering upon the Generals, in a throwback picture shared by Reese herself.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Ann Margret

At Winnetka, Illinois’ New Trier High School, Ann was an accomplished singer, spry dancer, and peppy cheerleader, and she was born in Sweden in 1941. Even before she was popular, she happily smiled at the cameras and the fans. The starlet went on to act in pictures like Bye Bye Birdie, Carnal Intelligence, Grumpy Old Men, and The Cheap Detective.

Ann Margret

Ann Margret

Sela Ward

Today, the lovely Sela Ward may be known for her acting career, but the University of Alabama knows her as one of the prestigious alumni of their cheering squad. Years before she was even on television, the actress was cheering for the Crimson Tide football team. Having studied fine art and advertising, she graduated in 1977.

Sela Ward

Sela Ward

Alicia Silverstone

Did you know that Alicia Silverstone was formerly a cheerleader? As if! Just as if! This blond beauty became known to humans in the cult classic comedy Clueless for her iconic role as Cher Horowitz, but her teammates knew her as a fundamental stunner. She cheered for San Mateo High School, home of the fighting Bearcats!

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone

Jayma Mays

Jayma used to be a high school cheerleader in the day, although she is Emma Pillsbury, a high school guidance advisor from Glee. She and her teammates are seen here wearing blue and yellow while gladly embracing their Wolves, their school mascot. For a crowd, that smile will make it lighter!

Jayma Mays

Jayma Mays

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields is famous for being one of the prettiest women in the world. She did it all with a smile, whether she was posing for the camera or acting in The Blue Lagoon at Emmeline in the 1980s. The career-defining smile was one she learned at her private high school in New Jersey from her spirited cheer squad.

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields

Nene Leakes

Over the past decade, Nene Leakes has had a long and successful career as a reality TV star, but before that, she was tossing her pom-poms into the air for the home team. In both cheering and her career, her spunky personality on and off the field undoubtedly supported her, seen here wearing a mixture of red and gold colors.

Nene Leakes

Nene Leakes

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence has tried her hand in several media, such as modeling and acting, but did you know she was once a high school student too? Lawrence filled her days with softball matches, basketball warm-ups, field hockey scrimmages, and more, aside from cheering sessions. She’s worthy of all things!

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Kirk Douglas

Amsterdam High School in Amsterdam, New York, can rightfully claim that Kirk Douglas, the renowned actor, once cheered for the winning teams. During his long life, he has shot over 100 films. These generally consist of serious dramas, westerns from the old school, and war movies.

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

Paula Abdul

Paula carried it to the next stage as a cheerleader. Not only was she determined to excel at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles in the cheering squad, but she was an honor student as well. She pledged herself to dance after graduation by becoming a Laker Girl, becoming a head choreographer, and supporting stars on the court, such as Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson.

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

Jessica Simpson

Thanks to her cheerleading days, nothing can compare to Jessica Simpson’s cool-girl spirit. While attending Richardson North Junior High School in Texas’s home state, she got into the sport. When she dropped out of college at the age of 15 to pursue music, she was not there for long, but she finally became a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys.

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson

Snooki

Jersey Shore’s favorite cast member was once a teen daily. The star began cheering for her school in Marlboro, New York. Sadly, it came at the expense of her mental health. Snooki said, “Cheerleading was my life in high school, but it wasn’t always easy for me. I started to be anorexic. There were freshmen who were seventy pounds, and I was like, my spot as a flier will get taken away. So I ended up starving myself.”

Snooki

Snooki

Phaedra Parks

Clarke Central High School was in Athens, Georgia, where this Real Housewives star and lawyer began her career. She had all the aspects that a cheerleader wants, noticed here in a red, white, and gold outfit. This fiery spirit was particularly beneficial later on in her adulthood when she studied law.

Phaedra Parks

Phaedra Parks

Olivia Wilde

Technically, there was no cheering squad for The Andover, Massachusetts Phillips Academy, but it did have a step-team. Almost the same look and type of cheering appears to occur, but with a new name and less stunting. According to Wilde herself, “It is just another form of cheering.”

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde

Kirstie Alley

Before receiving her big break, Alley cheered for Wichita Southeast High School in Kansas. At the time, she had much shorter hair, too, which for a cheerleader was rare. However, it must have strengthened her character since she was cast on the Cheers show shortly after high school.

Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley

Kendall Jenner

She may be the world’s most popular woman today, but she was an insecure teen just a few years ago. The Kardashian sister, Kendall Jenner, was provided with some relief from the school limelight. You could see her as a cheering squad member for her high school in a blue and white uniform here.

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner

Kathy Griffin

Kathy is a comic these days, but she used to be a young and entertaining seventeen-year-old cheerleader. At Oak Park, Illinois, Oak Park, and River Forest High School, she got her kicks…literally! And though she later turned to comedy, the spotlight still charmed her.

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin

Dakota Fanning

Dakota was unlike many on this list because she began cheering years after she was an established actress. She was already part of shows such as ER, CSI: The Crime Scene Investigation, The Practice, Spin City, Ally McBeal, and more. On their varsity cheering squad, Campbell Hall School had her. Go! Vikings! Go!

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning

Calista Flockhart

Remember that Ally McBeal star? As soon as she cheered for Shawnee High School in her New Jersey home state, Calista Flockhart was still performing. Then, she graduated and attended Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, where her career really started to gain momentum.

Calista Flockhart

Calista Flockhart

Michael Douglas

Cheerleading was actually a primarily male sport up until the 1950s. Choate Preparatory School was where, as with the rest of them, Douglas learned to cheer, chant, tumble, and stunt. As scientist Hank Pym, he followed another former male cheerleader when he was cast in the Marvel movies (Paul Rudd).

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

Megan Fox

Before she broke hearts in Transformers, Megan attended Morningside Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Her school had mocked the bombshell, turning to athletics for safety. She began to act in films like Teenage Drama Queen Confessions, where she played a cheerleader!

Megan Fox

Megan Fox

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