A Journey to the Red Boots | Off the Field

In Texas, football is more than just a game.

It's tradition, it's our culture…it's a way of life.

In youth football, it's about putting on a uniform for the first time, hearing your family cheer for you from the sidelines and being a part of the football community. In high school, it's about putting on your homecoming mum, a worn-down pair of cowboy boots, and watching your classmates become superheroes under the Friday night lights. In college, it's about the tailgates, wearing your school colors with pride, and praying like your life depends on it at the annual rivalry game. In Texas, we feel every touchdown, every heartbreak, and each unforgettable win like we're right there with the players on the gridiron.

This season, the Texans are celebrating football across the State of Texas at all levels and supporting player safety initiatives. Being on high school, college and now a professional dance team as a Houston Texans Cheerleader has allowed me to be a part of these special football experiences over the years.

As a freshman in high school, I had the opportunity to perform at the halftime show for the Texans vs. Jaguars game through the HTC All-Stars program. As I walked into the Houston Methodist Training Center for our very first practice with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, I couldn't believe I had the opportunity to dance alongside such world-class performers. My nerves immediately subsided when I was greeted with big smiles and welcoming words from the HTC.

These talented individuals showed their true character as they helped my team with choreography, laughed with us and gave us the confidence to not only take on NRG Stadium, but anything in life. The impact these empowering HTC had on me is what has made me want to be a part of this team, family and organization. I remember seeing Coach Casey when she was on the team and being so inspired by how she carried herself and how much of a role model she was not only for me but every dancer in that practice.

As a senior in high school, I had the chance to perform again at NRG Stadium for the Strake Jesuit vs. St. Thomas rivalry football game. I can remember standing in the end zone in my white boots and sequined uniform, looking up at the crowd of cheering fans and wanting to soak in every second. Dancing on the turf under the lights at NRG that night was surreal and something that I hoped I could have the chance to do again in the future.

Since having the opportunity to participate in the HTC All-Stars program and performing at NRG stadium in high school, I continued to dance in college as a TCU Showgirl. After graduating from TCU last year, I returned to my hometown and decided to chase this dream of performing at NRG Stadium again. Making the team has been a full-circle experience and I am so excited to have the chance to return to the turf at NRG… but this time in red boots as a Houston Texans Cheerleader.

- HTC Rachel

Houston Texans Cheerleaders have been cheerleaders, dancers and gymnasts for years. Look at these photos of Houston Texans Cheerleaders in training!

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