Cheerleading

Jamie Lynn Spears may have a starring role on Nickelodeon’s hit show “Zoey 101,” but offscreen she’s a typical teenager who’d rather be back home in Louisiana, participating with her high school cheerleading squad.

Despite her celebrity status, Spears insists she was given no special treatment and had to earn her way onto the squad. The tryouts were held on her birthday, so Spears celebrated turning 15 by making the team. She enjoys the team practices but finds performing live a bit daunting.

“On television you can do several takes of a scene until you get it right, but when you go out on the floor you have to get it right the first time. I’ll be much more nervous performing for people I know than being on set for the show,” she says.

Spears looks forward to her sophomore year, but her responsibilities on “Zoey” force her to make sacrifices, such as spending less time with family and friends.

“I enjoy my character and working on the show, but I also love being home, and I really miss my friends when I’m away,” she says.

Generally, she’s able to spend summers at home, but this year is shooting the third season of “Zoey,” which continues through the fall. Her goal is to make it back to Louisiana for basketball season, where she will proudly wear her red, white and blue cheerleading uniform.

“Cheerleading gives me something to do with my friends and gives me a connection to home, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on as much,” she says.

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