"Go, Team!" "Defense!" When you think of these chants, it might bring you back to the days of high school football games with the cheerleaders chanting on the sidelines, but you probably don't think of celebrities. While many stars play cheerleaders on TV and in movies, you might be surprised to find out that they were pom-pom yielding spirit squad members at their schools before they became famous. From Meryl Streep to Jenna Dewan, continue reading to be surprised by which of your favorite celebrities was a cheerleader back in the day.
Back when Fergie was still Stacie Ann Ferguson, she was a straight-A student and a cheerleader at Glen A Willson High School. After high school, she went on to study dance.
In 2003, she replaced Kim Hill as the lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas. Her cheerleading and dance background has definitely helped keep her shows entertaining.
2. Reese Witherspoon
With her peppy attitude and her big smile, it is no surprise that Reese Witherspoon was a cheerleader as a child. Her character in Legally Blonde seems like she was the popular high school cheerleader.
The talented actress has won an Academy Award for her role in Walk the Line, and she continues to show off her brilliant talent.
3. Chrissy Teigan
The dark-haired girl with a bright smile is none other than the beautiful Chrissy Teigan. She was a member of the Snohomish High School cheer team before her modeling days.
Teigan shared this throwback photo to her Instagram, and her fans went wild. She looks almost exactly the same.
4. Eva Longoria
It seems as if Eva Longoria hasn't aged a day since her days as a cheerleader for Roy Miller High School in Texas. After high school, she continued to cheer at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
In 1998, Longoria won the Miss Corpus Christi pageant, where a talent agent discovered her. Her most famous role was in Desperate Housewives.
5. Rachael Ray
The vibrant culinary star was not always well known. She used to be a cheerleader for Lake George High School in Lake George, New York.
Today, she spends most of her time cooking on TV and hosting her Food Network Talk Show.
6. Meryl Streep
Most people would never assume that Meryl Streep was a cheerleader in high school. She grew up in New Jersey and attended Bernards High School.
Today, she is one of the most well known and accomplished actresses in the world. Would her character Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada approve of this outfit?
7. Cameron Diaz
Before her days on-screen, Cameron Diaz was doing high kicks and shaking her pom-poms for Long Beach Polytechnic High School. At 16, she started modeling for Calvin Klein and Levi's.
Her career really took off in 1994 when she starred in The Mask alongside Jim Carrey.
8. Sandra Bullock
Before Sandra Bullock was an award-winning actress, she was cheering on the sports teams at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia.
She found her love for acting by performing in her high school's theatre productions. Now she is an adored Hollywood actress who has won many awards for her work.
9. Alicia Silverstone
"As if!" The Clueless actress looks fresh-faced in her high school cheerleading photo. She was raised by her British parents in San Fransico and attended San Mateo High School.
Silverstone probably never imagined that she would have the lead role in a now iconic movie back when she was in high school.
10. Kendall Jenner
Although Kendall Jenner has been famous since she was younger, she tried to have a traditional childhood by joining her high school's cheer team. She and her sister Kylie both cheered for Sierra Canyon School.
She stayed in school until she started booking more modeling jobs, and then switched to home schooling so she could pursue a full-time modeling career.
11. Jenna Dewan
Jenna Dewan grew to fame after she starred alongside Channing Tatum in the dance movie, Step Up. She must have learned some of those moves from her cheerleading days back in Texas.
Before Step Up, Dewan was a back -up dancer for Janet Jackson. She started to grow in popularity before her big movie break.
12. Kelly Ripa
Kelly Ripa grew up in southern New Jersey and attended Eastern Regional High School where she was a cheerleader. Her high school drama teacher was the one who suggested she pursue acting.
She dropped out of college and moved to New York City to become an actress. She got her big break on All My Children. Since then she has been the host of Live With Kelly And Ryan.
13. Blake Lively
Blake Lively is a girl who can do it all. Her father was an actor, and her mother was a talent scout, so she was destined for Hollywood.
She attended Burbank High School in California, where she was a cheerleader along with filming Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
14. Meghan Fox
Meghan Fox played the popular cheerleader in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and she channeled some personal experience to play the role well. Fox attended Morningside Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Although cheerleaders are usually perceived as bullies, Fox was the one who was being bullied often.
15. Olivia Munn
Olivia Munn spent most of her life in Japan because her stepdad was stationed there for the Air Force, but when it was time for high school, she moved back to Oklahoma, where she was a cheerleader for Putnam City North High School.
In college, she studied journalism, and after graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to work in Hollywood.
16. Brooklyn Decker
Besides lightening her hair color, Brooklyn Decker has not changed since her days as a high school cheerleader. She went to Butler High School in Charlotte, North Caroline, and was the class president.
We wonder if she planned her 10-year reunion because her classmates must have wanted to reconnect after hearing about her success.
17. Dakota Fanning
Dakotas Fanning has been acting since she was a little girl. She starred in many movies when she was younger, but still managed to attend school and have an active social life.
She attended Campbell Hall School, and where she was not only a cheerleader, but she also won homecoming queen.
18. Lucy Hale
Long before she was the artistic writer of the group on Pretty Little Liars, Lucy Hale was a school cheerleader. She grew up singing and acting and made her first TV appearance on American Juniors.
In 2008, she had her big break when she starred alongside Blake Lively and America Ferrera in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.
19. Danielle Brooks
You might recognize Danielle Brooks from the hit Netflix show, Orange Is the New Black. Prior to being an inmate at Litchfield, she was a cheerleader for her high school.
She is now very body positive, but back when she was a cheerleader, she quit the team because she felt self-conscious in the uniform. On Instagram, she shared her cheerleading photo, and in the caption, Brooks wrote that she would never quit anything because of what others might think again.
20. Kirsten Dunst
Everyone remembers Kirsten Dunst for her role as Torrance Shipman in Bring It On. She had prior experience in cheerleading before the movie because she was a cheerleader at Laurel Hall School and Notre Dame High School.
Dunst was signed with a modeling agency at three years old and mainly appeared in TV commercials. She was destined to be in the spotlight since she was a little girl.
21. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. She was on the step team, which is their equivalent of a cheer team.
Wilde said she had fun participating on the step team. She said that George Bush attended the same high school and was also on the step team. The most famous photo of him is in the school's uniform performing.
22. Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler looks straight out of the '80s in her cheerleading photo from high school. She attended Burlington High School in Burlington, Massachusetts.
The Parks and Recreation star graduated in 1989 and attended Boston College, where she studied communications. She later moved to Chicago to work on her comedy.
23. Miley Cyrus
Some might say that performing is in Miley Cyrus' blood because of her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was just seven, she joined the cheerleading team for her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.
Most people wouldn't have guessed that this little girl would grow up to swing on a wrecking ball, and twerk at the MTV Music Awards.
24. Lindsay Lohan
Although Lindsay Lohan has been a notable name since she was a child, she tried to have normal schooling by attending public high school. She was a cheerleader for Cold Spring Harbor High School and Sanford H Calhoun high school before she switched to homeschool.
She wanted to fit in with her classmates, but it was too complicated as she gained more fame and took more acting jobs.
You might not recognize this one, but that is Ciara. She was the captain of Riverdale High School's cheerleading team, and she loved it.
In an interview, she once said that she wasn't able to be as involved as she wanted to her senior year because her music career was starting to take off.
26. Kathie Lee Gifford
When Kathie Lee Gifford was just four years old, her family moved from Paris, France to Bowie, Maryland. ten years later, she became a cheerleader at her high school, and went on to win Maryland's Junior Miss Pageant in 1970.
After high school, she studied music and drama at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma. Most recently, she was the co-host for Kathie Lee and Hoda, but she left to pursue other things.
27. Halle Berry
Hally Berry grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where she was not only a cheerleader, but she was also an honor student, editor of the school newspaper, and prom queen. Her parents were a hospital manager and a psychiatric nurse, so she had big shoes to fill.
In 1989 she got her breakout role in Jungle Fever. She went on to win an Academy Award for her role in Monsters Ball.
Madonna Louise Ciccone first started entertaining people when she was a high school cheerleader. She attended Rochester Adams High School in Detroit and she was a straight-A student.
Madonna received a dance scholarship for the University of Michigan but dropped out to move to New York City.
29. Paul Rudd
When Paul Rudd was ten, his family moved from New Jersey to Kansas, and he joined the cheer team in high school. Rudd was also the student body president.
His charisma and talent helped him become well-liked at his high school, and then he attended the University of Kansas where he majored in theatre.
30. Denise Richards
The Saved By The Bell actress, Denise Richards, grew up in Illinois, where she was an athletic tomboy. When she joined the El Camino High School cheerleading team, she started to act more girly.
After high school, she graduated and spent most of the '90s on Saved By The Bell and Married With Children.
31. Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin is unrecognizable in this picture from her high school cheerleading days. She grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, and attended Oak Park and River Forest High School.
Griffin often talks about the cosmetic procedures she has had, so it is no wonder she no longer looks like her teenage self. We can't deny that she had great form in her stunts.
32. Renee Zellweger
During her time at Katy High School in Katy, Texas, Renee Zellweger was a high school cheerleader. She did flips, stunts, and kicks, and she still remembers how to do them today.
She went on the Jimmy Fallon Show to show off her cheerleading moves, and she did not disappoint.
33. Steve Martin
We all know and love Steve Martin for his iconic roles in Father of the Bride, The Pink Panther, and Cheaper By the Dozen, but you probably didn't know that he was a cheerleader. He is the boy on the far right.
Martin went to school in Garden Grove, California, and he would make up funny cheers for his squad to perform.
34. Diane Sawyer
The ABC Journalist and television personality, Diane Sawyer, wasn't always the confident woman we see on TV. She often felt overshadowed by her older sister before she joined the cheerleading team at Seneca High School in Louisville, Kentucky.
She got her first break when she toured to promote the Coca Cola Pavilion for the World's Fair. In 1978 she presented on ABC News and has been with the network ever since.
35. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. During high school, she was very involved by playing softball, basketball, field hockey, and she did cheerleading.
Since she graduated, she has been in some major movies like The Hunger Games, X-Men: First Class, and Silver Linings Playbook.
36. Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union was a convincing cheerleader in Bring It On because she had prior cheerleading experience in high school. She went to school in Pleasanton, California, and was a cheerleader for her high school.
She originally auditioned for a different cheerleading movie but didn't get the part because she is black, but it was a blessing in disguise because that movie flopped and Bring It On became a classic.
37. Kirstie Alley
Before she became a popular actress, Kirstie Alley was a cheerleader at Witchita Southeast High School in Kansas. Alley dropped out of Kansas State University to pursue Scientology and try to make a career of acting.
She got her big break when she replaced Shelley Long on Cheers. She got many Emmy nominations and won one for her role as Rebecca Howe.
38. Jayma Mays
Jayma Mays played Emma Pillsbury on Glee and before her days as an actor, she was a cheerleader in high school.
She stood out from the crowd with her bright red ringlets and a big smile. She was destined to be in the spotlight.
39. Katie Couric
The 60 Minutes and Yahoo! News anchor was the most adorable cheerleader at her high school in Arlington, Virginia. After high school, Katie Couric attended University of Virginia and graduated with a degree in journalism.
Couric has been a host on the three biggest television networks in the US, and she has made a significant impact in the world of journalism.
40. Rashida Jones
The Parks and Recreation star does not exactly look like the all-American cheerleader here, but she was a very involved member of the spirit squad. Not only was she a cheerleader, but she also was a member of the math club and national honor society.
After grade school, she used her good grades and extracurriculars to get into Harvard University. In college, she was an active member of the drama and theatrical clubs.
41. Phaedra Parks
Before Phaedra Parks became a power attorney and star of Real House Wives of Atlanta, she was a high kicking cheerleader. She grew up in Athens, Georgia, and went to Clarke Central High School.
After she graduated high school, she went to the University of Georgia and then Wesleyan College for law school.
42. Ann Margret
This is a blast from the past. The Swedish-American actress went to New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, where she was a cheerleader.
Based on this picture, it looks like she loved her cheerleading days with her wide smile and jumping pose.
43. Kirk Douglas
The late Kirk Douglas had a long and successful career in Hollywood, but before he rose to fame he was cheering on his high school sports teams in Amsterdam, New York.
He passed away earlier this year, but his son, Michael Douglas, carries on his acting legacy.
44. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
The Jersey Shore star often talks about how fond of cheerleading she was in high school, and has even gotten her daughter into the world of competitive cheerleading. Snooki went to high school in Marlboro, New York and she was a flier for her cheer team.
Cheerleading wasn't always healthy for her because she wanted to stay skin so she could continue to be a flier, so she would starve herself.
45. Michael Douglas
Not only did Michael Douglas follow in his father's footsteps when it came to acting, but he also joined his school's cheerleading team. Douglas went to Choate Preparatory School, and he joined the squad.
The Douglas men are talented in unexpected ways, and they must have had a special bond.
46. Paula Abdul
It is not that surprising that Paula Abdul was a cheerleader. She has the spirited attitude and dance moves of a former cheerleader. Abdul went to Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, California and she was nominated head choreographer for the squad.
After graduating, she went on to become a Lakers Girl but decided to move forward with her music career instead.
47. Mandy Moore
In The Princess Diaries, Mandy Moore played the head cheerleader who was popular, and she got the inspiration for that role in her own life.
She went to Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, Florida. She started her music career at age 15 and then started getting more acting roles.
48. Jesse James Decker
Jesse James Decker is just as gorgeous now as she was when she was 15. She went to Warner Robins High School where she was a member of the cheer squad.
She had been passionate about music, but her career didn't come easy. Most Nashville labels rejected Decker after auditioning for the first time, but that didn't stop her from continuing with her career goals.
49. Stacy Keibler
Stacy Keibler has been passionate about dance and cheerleading since she was very young. She grew up in Rosedale, Maryland where she was a cheerleader and took dance classes after school.
Keibler went on to study at Towson Univerity and graduated with a degree in communications. She also became a cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens when she was 18.
50. Sally Field
Sally Field has had a long-lasting career and has starred in movies such as Forrest Gump and Mrs. Doubtfire. Feild went to Van Nuys High School in California and was a cheerleader for her high school.
She went on to play a cheerleader in The Flying Nun and Gidget. Field is a remarkable actress who continues to impress her fans.