50 stars who were cheerleaders at school

05 Apr 2023

Celebrities were not always celebrities. Many of them, like us in childhood, took an active part in school life and sports events held there. We've rounded up 50 of Hollywood's most famous cheerleaders who once supported their teams in football, basketball, baseball and many other sports

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde was a member of the step team at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Stepping is another way to applaud, according to the Love The Coopers actress. Even Wilde said in a comment, "This was a wonderful squad. The amusing thing about this photo is that George W. Bush attended the same high school as I did. And in almost the same clothing, he appeared in one of the most well-known photos of him in the role of chief cheerleader.

Olivia Wilde.jpg@Celebrities Who Used To Be Cheerleaders/ Weekly/ YouTube.com

Lindsay Lohan

Lohan, who is the daughter of a former Wall Street trader, attended Cold Spring Harbor High School and Sanford H. Calhoun High School on Long Island, New York, before deciding to pursue homeschooling. For companies including Abercrombie, Calvin Klein, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, and Jell-O, Lohan began her modeling career as a young child. The Parent Trap, from which Lohan received her first lucrative film role in 1998, was followed by Freaky Friday in 2003.

Lindsay Lohan.jpg@10 Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders/ Interesting Facts/ YouTube.com

Meryl Streep

Who would have guessed that Streep would look great in a cheerleader outfit? Streep's high school yearbook was stolen in 2012, and someone very cunning shared the images of her cheerleading days with the public. Streep reportedly cheered for the varsity team at Bernards High School in New Jersey before becoming one of the greatest living actresses. She was undoubtedly one of the squad's toughest women.

Meryl Streep.jpg@MalibuHulaDuck/Reddit.com

Alicia Silverstone

This list is about to make you jump up and down with enthusiasm, so shake those pom-poms high in the air and do the splits as if it doesn't matter. They have appeared in many different platforms, including musical reality TV, cooking competition shows, and Hollywood's biggest blockbuster movies, but they all share one quality: spirits. No matter how many years have passed since their peak on the field, their upbeat perspective, brilliant smiles, and special knack for electrifying the crowd remain. Here is a list of some of your favorite stars who rose to fame through fan support.

Alicia Silverstone.jpg@Sh1fty3yedD0g/Reddit.com


Take a look at this image of the My Humps singer on the spirit squad if you don't think she's a stunner already! Fergie, who was born Stacie Ann Ferguson, attended Glen A. Wilson High School where she was a cheerleader and an A student. After graduating from high school, Fergie pursued a career in dancing. In 2003, she took Kim Hill's place as the lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas to produce the album Elephunk, which gave rise to the smash singles Where Is the Love? And Shut Up.. Fergie's experience in cheering has undoubtedly improved her flexibility when performing on stage.

Fergie.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders / WorldX / YouTube.com

Eva Longoria

Cheerleading wasn't just a fun recreational sport for Mexican-American actress Eva Longoria; it also helped her launch a lucrative Hollywood career. Longoria participated in cheerleading while a student at Texas A&M-Kingsville and Roy Miller High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. Longoria was found by a theatrical agent in Los Angeles after winning the Miss Corpus Christi pageant in 1998. For her part as Gabrielle Solic in the ABC drama Desperate Housewives, Longoria is best recognized.

Eva Longoria.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders / WorldX / YouTube.com

Cameron Diaz

Diaz cheered at Long Beach Polytechnic High School before she was an actress. The blonde beauty, who was born into a Cuban-American family in Southern California, began her career as a fashion model at the age of 16, posing for brands like Calvin Klein and Levi's. Diaz gained notoriety when, at age 21, she co-starred with Jim Carrey in the 1994 film The Mask. The Hollywood Reporter called Diaz the highest-paid actress over 40 years old in 2013, while Forbes listed her as one of the wealthiest Hispanic female celebrities.

Cameron Diaz.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders / WorldX / YouTube.com

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi

The competitive sport of cheerleading isn't all fun and games, and for some girls, it may become dangerous—but not in the way you might imagine. Cheerleading was Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's life in high school, but it wasn't always simple for her. Before joining the Jersey Shore, Polizzi attended Marlboro High School in New York. I first developed anorexia. There were freshmen who weighed 70 pounds, and I thought my place as a flyer would be removed. I consequently starved myself.

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders/ WorldX/ YouTube.com

Jessica Simpson

It seems almost inevitable that Simpson was a cheerleader during her time at Richardson North Junior High School in Texas because she is married to an NFL free agent. The blonde is still regarded by Cowboys supporters as Tony Romo's former biggest cheerleader even though Simpson dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to focus on her singing career. Simpson departed from J.J. Pearce High School after making an impression on Tommy Mottola, a former executive at Columbia Records, who promptly offered her a record deal.

Jessica Simpson.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders/ WorldX/ YouTube.com

Blake Lively

Blake Lively is a name that is frequently used when discussing ladies who are multitaskers. Having an actor for a father and a talent scout for a mother, Lively appeared bound for fame. She initially had no interest in performing, though. After years of acting training, Lively struggled to find time for study, cheerleading, and filming her sequences for the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when she arrived at Burbank High School.

Blake Lively.jpg@Celebrities Who Used To Be Cheerleaders/ OMG Blast/ YouTube.com

Renee Zellweger

Unbelievably, Zellweger wasn't always a cool, self-assured actress. Zellweger participated in the cheerleading squad at Katy High School in Katy, Texas, where she occasionally performed hand springs and flips. It appears that Zellweger has retained these skills because she still has the movements! The Bridget Jones's Diary actress visited the Jimmy Fallon Show to display her impressive leg toning and cheering skills.

Renee Zellweger.jpg@The Tragic Life Story Of Renee Zellweger/TheThings Celebrity /YouTube.com

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock formerly led pep rallies at Washington-Lee High School as a cheerleader before she rose to fame as an award-winning actress. Actress Sandra Bullock, who starred in The Blind Side, attended Arlington, Virginia's Washington-Lee High School. Before she earned her 1982 diploma, Bullock participated in theater productions at her school.

Sandra Bullock.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders / WorldX / YouTube.com

Paula Abdul

That Paula Abdul began her career in cheerleading is hardly surprising. She graduated from Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, California, where she was a cheerleader and an honors student, and she then joined the Laker Girls. She was chosen to lead the squad's choreography after she arrived. Abdul gave up her pom-poms for a spot at the American Idol judges' table, despite the fact that she looks adorable in that Lakers jersey.

Paula Abdul.jpg@L0st_in_the_Stars/Reddit.com

Katie Couric

Couric attended a number of public high schools in Arlington, Virginia, where she was an energetic cheerleader, before earning her degree from the University of Virginia and starting her successful journalism career in 1979. The journalist and television broadcaster has gained notoriety as the Global Anchor of 60 Minutes and Yahoo! News. Although we never would have imagined Katie Couric to be such a cute cheerleader, the well-known journalist really had some moves back then.

Katie Couric.jpg@cyber_hooligan/Reddit.com

Halle Berry

Halle Berry, a cheerleader, honors student, newspaper editor, and prom queen at Bedford High School in Cleveland, was the daughter of a hospital manager and a mental nurse. Berry made her television debut in 1989, and two years later, in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, she made her big-screen debut. The gifted actress won the Best Actress Oscar in 2001 for her work in Monsters Ball, making her the first African-American to do so.

Halle Berry.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders / WorldX / YouTube.com

Kelly Ripa

Growing up in southern New Jersey, Ripa already displayed a love of performing when she joined the cheerleading squad at Eastern Regional High School. She didn't understand her true calling until Jim Beckley, her theater teacher, urged her to pursue acting. After leaving college, Ripa relocated to New York City to pursue a career as an actress. All My Children gave her her first significant acting role. She has since hosted an episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan.

Kelly Ripa.jpg@haloarh/Reddit.com

Amy Poehler

Poehler was electrifying crowds at her high school's football games before she started making America laugh on shows like Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation. When she was a teenager, Poehler relocated from Newton to Burlington, Massachusetts, where she cheered for Burlington High School from 1986 to 1989 while waving pom-poms. Poehler relocated to Chicago after graduating from Boston College with a degree in communications, where she continued to hone her comic abilities.

Amy Poehler.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders/ WorldX/ YouTube.com

Hayden Panettiere

Her time as a cheerleader provided Hayden Panettiere with a strong foundation in physical coordination, teamwork, and performance. In her early childhood, she spent a year participating in cheerleading and quickly became a true mascot for the sports team! When she performed with the cheerleading squad, her school team won, for the only time in the year. 

Hayden Panettiere.jpg@Haydenpanettiere/Reddit.com

Jennifer Lawrence

The Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence appears just as we were beginning to believe that fried chicken was the best thing to ever come out of Kentucky. Lawrence, who was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, had a full schedule of extracurricular activities. J-Law participated in the cheer squad while she was a high school student and played softball, basketball, field hockey, and other sports. Since graduating and advancing in Hollywood, Lawrence has starred in high-profile movies including X-Men: First Class and Silver Linings Playbook.

Jennifer Lawrence.jpg@Top 5 Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders/ Top 5 Everything/ YouTube.com

Miley Cyrus

Who would have thought that Miley, who was so adorable back then, would be swinging back and forth on a huge wrecking ball while wearing only some of her clothes? Back to Miley, the adorable cheerleading infant. The Hannah Montana actress joined the Tennessee Premier soccer team's cheerleaders when she was seven years old in her small hometown of Franklin. Given that Miley Cyrus is the daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, one could conclude that performance runs in her family.

Miley Cyrus.jpg@Celebrities Who Used To Be Cheerleaders/ OMG Blast/ YouTube.com 

Sela Ward

Sela Ward, an accomplished actress and two-time Emmy Award winner, was once a consummate cheerleader. Ward's journey from cheerleading to the silver screen is a testament to how early experiences can shape the path to success. Today she is glorified not only for her acting talent but also for her determination because she achieved everything herself.

Sela Ward.jpg@problem_w_authority/Reddit.com


Ciara, who served as the team captain for the Riverdale High School cheerleaders, has openly said that she enjoyed the dancing, vigor, and thrill of the activity. CiCi may have traded in her pom-poms, but focusing on her music surely paid off in the end, as the R&B singer admitted in an interview, “Unfortunately, I couldn't be as involved as I wanted to be because it was a year when my music started to become even more important to me.”

Ciara.jpg@Ciara JUMP video behind the scenes with Winston-Salem State University cheerleaders + Lita/ Ciara Fanatic/ YouTube.com

Mandy Moore

Particularly for actress and former cheerleader Mandy Moore, life truly does imitate art. The actress who played Lana Thomas in The Princess Diaries was formerly a Pop Warner cheerleader, which likely contributed to her ability to succeed in the role. Moore demonstrated her skill at a young age by releasing her number one hit, "Candy," at the age of just 15! In addition to This Is Us, Moore also starred in A Walk to Remember.

Mandy Moore.jpg@Mandy Moore & Jenna Dewan Have Killer Cheerleading #TBTs/ The Late Late Show with James Corden/ YouTube.com

Kirsten Dunst

It's not surprising that Kirsten Dunst was a cheerleader herself until 2000, the same year the film, Bring It On, was released, given her outstanding performance as Torrance Shipman in the cheerleading comedy. Dunst, a New Jersey native, was cast in more than 100 TV advertisements after being signed by Ford Modeling Agency at the age of 3. The blue-eyed beauty continued to find time to cheer for Notre Dame High School and then Laurel Hall School.

Kirsten Dunst.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders/ WorldX/ YouTube.com

Kathie Lee Gifford

Even though Kathie Lee Gifford was born in Paris, she moved to Bowie, Maryland when she was just four years old, and by the time she was 14, she was a cheerleader. Gifford's victory at the 1970 Maryland Junior Miss Pageant propelled her out of Bowie and onto the path to success. Gifford attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she studied music and acting after graduating from high school. She is now best recognized for her fifteen years as a host of Live! along with Kathie Lee and Regis.

Kathie Lee Gifford.jpg@Kathie Lee & Hoda dance with booted cheerleaders/ Jacob Itto/ YouTube.com


Madonna was born to working-class Italian-American immigrants in Detroit and raised there before becoming well-known as the Material Girl. Madonna was a cheerleader as well as a straight-A student while she was a student at Rochester Adams High School. Madonna dropped out of the University of Michigan in 1978 and came to New York City despite receiving a dance scholarship there. The teenage musician started to transform into a pop music sensation there.

Madonna.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders / WorldX / YouTube.com

Katie Holmes

This famous actress and director had a unique start in the world of entertainment – as a cheerleader. It provided Katie Holmes with a solid foundation in physical coordination and sporty body. These skills became invaluable in her future endeavors, allowing her to transition seamlessly into the world of acting.

Katie Holmes.jpg@Dailymail/20 November 2016

Megan Fox

As Fox was born in Tennessee into a strict Pentecostal family, cheerleading did not necessarily transfer into high school popularity for the Transformers actress. Fox attended Morningside Academy in Port St. Lucie when her family relocated to Florida. There, she was a cheerleader but also faced bullying. Fox began acting in 2001 after relocating to California, and three years later she co-starred in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen with Lindsay Lohan as a cheerleader.

Megan Fox.jpg@Top 5 Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders / Top 5 Everything/ YouTube.com

Anjelah Johnson

While being a cheerleader, Anjelah Johnson honed her skills not only in physical coordination and grace but also in performance and the ability to engage with an audience. Her cheerful and vivacious personality helped her in cheerleading, sowing the seeds of her future success in the world of comedy and entertainment.

Anjelah Johnson.jpg@CelebrityBelly/Reddit.com

Dianna De La Garza

Dianna De La Garza, a well-known figure in the entertainment industry and Demi Lovato’s mother, has a unique story that began with her early years as a cheerleader. It provided Dianna with an opportunity to develop her confidence and self-confidence, all of which would become crucial assets in her future endeavors. Demi can be proud of her super-talented mom!

Dianna De La Garza.jpg@DCCs + Demi Lovato = STAR POWER! ⭐️ (Season 12) #DCCMakingTheTeam | CMT/CMT's Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders/YouTube.com

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon seems to have been alive forever, but up to this day, she still appears to have aged only 30 years. Along with starring in blockbusters like Legally Blonde, Witherspoon also received an Academy Award for her performance in the Johnny Cash drama Walk the Line. The gifted actress shared this image on social media of herself performing as a cheerleader at her school back in the day.

Reese Witherspoon.jpg@Celebrities Who Used To Be Cheerleaders/OMG Blast/YouTube.com

Denise Richards

Denise Richards, an active tomgirl growing up in Illinois, went through several phases. That was before her family moved to Oceanside, California, and she started cheerleading for El Camino High School. Prior to meeting her ex-husband, Charlie Sheen, Richards spent the most of the 1990s acting in shows including Saved By The Bell and Married With Children. She might have been the one who taught him how to spell "winnig" given her cheerleading background.

Denise Richards.jpg@15 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders/ WorldX/ YouTube.com

Kendall Jenner

The second-youngest member of the Kardashian clan, when celebrity got to be too much, put on her uniform and took to competitive cheerleading, also known as cheerleading. Kendall was a cheerleader throughout her time in high school, but not just any sort of cheerleader. Kendall was a member of Sierra Canyon School's varsity team, to be more precise. The varsity team's female athletes were given a stylish blue and white uniform, as well as matching metallic pom poms, as shown in the photo below.

Kendall Jenner.jpg@Kendall Jenner & Average Andy Learn a Routine from the ‘Cheer’ Squad/ TheEllenShow/ YouTube.com

Chrissy Teigen

Every time Chrissy Teigen publishes a photo, the internet seems to crash. She uploaded the cutest picture of herself as a cheerleader in high school to Instagram. She used to be a cheerleader for football before she started modeling. Teigen's dimply grin and sleek dark hair as she posed in her adorable red and white cheerleading costume from Snohomish High School while surrounded by her friends.

Chrissy Teigen.jpg@Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Cheerleaders || Pastimers/ Pastimers - World's Best & Worst/ YouTube.com

Kirstie Alley

Kristie Alley supported her school's sports in Wichita Southeast High School in Kansas before she became an actress. The actress moved to Los Angeles after leaving Kansas State University to pursue Scientology and make it big in Hollywood. A few years later, she took the place of actress Shelley Long on the Cheers cast. For her portrayal of Rebecca Howe, she received four Emmy nominations and one victory. Since then, she has been in numerous movies and television shows.

Kirstie Alley.jpg@Kirstie Alley Tribute ⭐ Transformation From 14 To 71 Years Old/Top Famous Tube/YouTube.com

Cindy Crawford 

Her passion marked Cindy's early years in cheerleading. She honed her skills and exuded a natural charm that would later become her trademark in the world of fashion and beauty. Cindy's time as a cheerleader not only helped her develop physical strength but also instilled in her a sense of discipline that would prove invaluable in her modeling career.

Cindy Crawford .jpg@Dailymail/21 March 2019

Dakota Fanning

Acting came long before cheering for Dakota Fanning. The little celebrity grew into a frequent guest on television programs including ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Practice, Spin City, Ally McBeal, and The Ellen Show as acting parts began to come her way when she was a young girl. After establishing her acting career, Fanning turned her attention to schoolwork and other social activities. She was a member of Campbell Hall School's varsity cheerleading squad and the homecoming queen.

Dakota Fanning.jpg@Celebrities Who Used To Be Cheerleaders/ OMG Blast/ YouTube.com

Gabrielle Union

Although Gabrielle Union was reared in Pleasanton, California, she was actually raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where she was born. Union was a cheerleader in high school, and she used those talents to play Torrence's foe, Isis, in the hugely successful 2000 movie Bring It On. As Gabrielle once remarked, "In my family, if you couldn't talk Cornhusker football, then you don't get to have an opinion." Sports are significant in the Union household.

Gabrielle Union.jpg@Gabrielle Union Underestimated the Rigors of Cheerleading for Bring it On/ Cherie Saunders/ YouTube.com

Jessie James Decker

Jessie James Decker is an American singer, songwriter, and television host, but her career began long before her foray into music and television when she was a cheerleader. Her start in the entertainment world had its roots in her college time. Her early experiences as a cheerleader helped shape her outgoing and charismatic persona.

Jessie James Decker.jpg@jjdandfamily /Reddit.com

Jenna Dewan

It makes perfect sense that she was a dancer before finding stardom thanks to her fierce dance moves in the 2006 movie Step Up. Jenna Dewan was an ordinary high school cheerleader in Texas before she made it big in Hollywood. Jenna's first big break in the entertainment business came in 2001 while she was a backup dancer for legendary musician Janet Jackson. The actress-turned-dancer posted a sweet throwback image of herself as a cheerleader on Instagram with the message, “#tbt to Texas high school cheerleader days.”

Jenna Dewan.jpg@Mandy Moore & Jenna Dewan Have Killer Cheerleading #TBTs/ The Late Late Show with James Corden/ YouTube.com

Danielle Brooks

Danielle Brooks was a cheerleader before Orange Is the New Black. She did finally give up due to her discomfort in the skirt. The actress shared an emotional letter online in which she stated: "You really quit cheerleading because of how you felt you looked while wearing a skirt? OK! Never ever give up on anything again out of fear of what people will think of you; the only exception is if you decide to pursue a career as an exotic dancer. Even so, only give up if you truly want to.

Danielle Brooks.jpg@Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Cheerleaders!!! 😱📣🤩/ Celebrity X-clusiveZ/ YouTube.com

Melissa Rycroft

Melissa Rycroft was a member of the drill squad in high school, unlike the other women on this list. She achieved the rank of first lieutenant since she was already such a gifted dancer. She later joined the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad, and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team was where she made her first TV appearances. She additionally appeared on The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars later. She most recently served as a host on Redneck Island on CMT.

Melissa Rycroft.jpg@Best of Melissa Rycroft #DCCMakingTheTeam | CMT/ CMT's Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders /YouTube.com

Stacy Keibler

Stacy Keibler attained her current position by combining intelligence and beautiful looks. She found employment as a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader by utilizing her agility. From 1999 until 2001, she entered professional wrestling as a member of WCW, using that as a launching pad. She relocated to WWE that year, where she spent five years as a regular. In 2005, Keibler began focusing on her work as the fitness editor at Stuff magazine, for which she also modeled. She still makes sporadic appearances. She has acted in a number of movies and frequently hosts TV shows.

Stacy Keibler.jpg@RavenMan8/Reddit.com

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson may be the last person you'd expect to see on this list, but the truth is that he was a cheerleader at Morehouse College. It's interesting that he joined since Morehouse is a men's institution because he wanted to meet ladies. He joined a local acting group while attending school to become a marine scientist in order to gain points in a class. His interest was piqued, so he changed majors and finally earned a Bachelor of Arts in drama.

Samuel L. Jackson.jpg@Celebrities Who Used To Be Cheerleaders/ OMG Blast/ YouTube.com

Robin Williams

It's not for nothing they say that talented people are talented in everything. Robin Williams was not only a renowned singer. He became the first male cheerleader in the history of the Denver Broncos, and his charisma made him memorable for years to come. The Broncos defeated the Patriots with a score of 45:10.

Robin Williams.jpg@cwilly1993/Reddit.com

Teri Lynn Hatcher

Teri Lynn Hatcher is an American actress best known for her role in the popular television series Desperate Housewives. However, before her acting career took off, she was a cheerleader. Hatcher's experience as a cheerleader began during high school when she showcased her enthusiasm at various school sporting events. As you can see, she fit into the role of a cheerleader very organically.

Teri Lynn Hatcher.jpg@Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Cheerleaders!!! 😱📣🤩/Celebrity X-clusiveZ/YouTube.com

Phaedra Parks

It's simple to understand how this Southern belle gained her outstanding self-esteem after transitioning from a cute cheerleader to a powerful lawyer. Parks was a plain country girl with a desire for more before she was cast in the captivating reality series Real House Wives of Atlanta and before she started brawling in court. Phaedra enjoyed watching her school's team while she was a student at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Georgia. Following graduation in 1990, she decided to pursue a legal career.

Phaedra Parks.jpg@threewicksofshade/Reddit.com

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner participated in cheerleading while she was a high school student. As we wrote earlier, her sister Kendall was also a cheerleader. So we can say that this is their family tradition. The star is now in excellent physical shape. On the network, you can often see her photos from the gym and it's cool! It would be interesting to see the dance of these popular sisters! We think they were tough cheerleaders!

Kylie Jenner.jpg@Fit-Ad985/Reddit.com

George W. Bush

In the 1960s, while George W. Bush was a senior in high school, he served as the head cheerleader at Phillips Academy. Bush attended Yale from 1964 to 1968 after graduating from high school, where he also was a cheerleader! By the way, Bush is an extremely sporty individual. In Midland, Texas, where he played Little League Baseball and dreamed of being the next Willie Mays, George W. Bush first discovered his love for baseball as a young child.

George W. Bush.jpg@HWIsBetterThanReagan/Reddit.com