Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Cheerleader of the Week: Ashley


For Texans Cheerleader of the Week Ashley, the family business is business. Her mother, father, grandparents and great-grandparents all are or were small business owners. Now, Ashley too operates her own business: TravaGym, a mobile cheer, tumbling and gymnastics instructional program for children.

"I guess you could say of my sisters and I, I got the business bug," she said. "I've kind of always known that I wanted to have some type of small business in some form or fashion, and cheerleading and tumbling is something that I know inside and out.

"It's something I do every day, and it's something I would do probably if I couldn't do anything else. I figure why not go into business and do something that you know like the back of your hand?"

Ashley brings class to the students by traveling to schools and daycare centers to set up equipment for kids and teach them the fundamentals of cheer, tumbling and gymnastics. That frees up parents with busy schedules from having to take their kids to extracurricular activities, and provides a welcome break from routine for students age two and up.

"The kids are incredible," she said. "I love, absolutely love working with kids; I would not be in the industry that I'm in if I didn't. They make my job worthwhile. They make me want to come back each time.

"Sometimes I feel like Mickey Mouse when I walk in the door because they raid me at the door when they find out that it's time for gymnastics. (But) that's exciting. It makes me feel good, and I definitely know that when I leave I've made a difference in those children's lives."

The business is a perfect combination of passions for Ashley. She graduated from LSU as a business management major with a focus in entrepreneurship, and boasts extensive experience in cheerleading and dance instruction. Her high school cheer squad placed sixth nationally during her senior year, and in 2000 she was named the Best Cheerleader in the nation by the National Cheerleading Association (NCA).

In college, she spent her summers with the NCA teaching camps and clinics to high school cheerleaders and all-star cheerleaders, and also coached night classes part-time to children at the LSU gymnastics facility.

Ashley is unique among the Texans Cheerleaders in that she was an NCAA athlete. She earned a four-year track and field scholarship to LSU, where she did the long jump and triple jump.

{QUOTE}Veteran cheerleader Lindsay can attest to that athletic ability. She saw it first hand last year on a three-day ski trip with the Texans to Alberta, Canada, when she watched Ashley give skiing a try for one of the first times.

"She got out there and just you would not have known," Lindsay said. "She picked it up so quickly, was amazing at it…I've been lucky enough to be skiing since I was about three years old and she gave me a run for my money."

That versatile athletic ability was critical for Ashley when joining the Texans Cheerleaders, which is a more dance-focused group than her previous cheerleader squads. Now in her second year, Ashley is drawing rave reviews for her vast improvements, denoted by the fact that cheerleader services manager Alto Gary made her a team captain before the season.

"Last year, she was fine," Gary said. "This year, she's got that extra 'pow,' and so everyone's kind of taking notice of Ashley this year, even in the office, like 'Oh, she's great! She's my favorite.' She's a sweet person, she dances well, she's easy to get along with, great to work with."

Her teammates certainly seem to think so.

"Ashley by far is one of the best performers I've ever seen," Vanessa said. "She really turns it on once she hits that field; it's like a completely different person. She's always exact. She's always prompt."

Ashley is being noticed outside of the Texans organization as well. A couple of months ago, she was featured in a photoshoot in *Health & Fitness *magazine.

"That was exciting because I've actually kind of considered fitness modeling kind of on the side…and so that was really exciting for me to do," she said. "I'm an athlete at heart; I love working out, and just to be able to be in a magazine like Health & Fitness…that was awesome to me."

She also was featured on the cover of the ESPN: The Magazine photo shoot with Mario Williams and several other Texans Cheerleaders prior to the start of last season.

"I'm so thankful to God (for that)," she said. "I don't know why I was selected, but I was so thankful that I was.

"The opportunities you get with the Texans, they're priceless. It's something I can show my grandkids and my kids years down the line, and they're going to be like, 'Mom that was so cool!' So that's really cool."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content