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Houston Texans

Cheerleader of the Week: Edith


Texans Cheerleader of the Week Edith may be one of the most well-respected veterans on the squad, but she was far from a shoe-in to make the cut when she tried out five years ago.

"There are girls I'll pick on the team, and other people are like, 'Are you serious?'" cheerleader services manager Alto Gary said. "I'm like, 'No, she'll be fine, don't worry. Let me just tweak this, tweak that, she'll be fine.' (Edith) was one of those people that I kind of had to say, 'Look, she's going to be fine. We just need to change her hair or just add whatever lipstick or whatever.'"

Turns out Gary was right. The only thing she changed was Edith's hair – it was curly, and Gary wanted it straight. Five years later, it's Edith who does the straightening out now that she's cemented her status as one of the best dancers on the squad.

"Edith has been my (line) captain for three years, and she's one of those people I say that she is like the sweetest person, but you need to make sure you have your stuff together because she's such a hard worker," Erica said. "She wants you to have your stuff down, and she takes this very seriously. She has a great style. She can do moves that like nobody else can. We'll all be trying to figure it out, and here's Edith doing it gracefully."

Gary agrees, saying that Edith is a "phenomenal" dancer who has a talent for improvisation and creating new formations. That advanced skillset makes her a strong leader among the Texans Cheerleaders.

"She can teach us anything, she can show us anything and she's the one girl that if Alto puts her on the spot to make something up, she can do it in two seconds or less," third-year veteran Summer said.

"She has the ability to watch a dance one or two times and she picks up the choreography like she created the choreography, and that's definitely something that I admire about Edith," second-year Texans Cheerleader Lynnette said. "She has a great personality, and she teaches choreography very well."

Given that praise, it should come as no surprise that Edith makes a career out of teaching others. She was a middle school Spanish instructor for two years and is now in her second year doubling as a Spanish teacher and assistant drill team director at Cy Springs High School.

{QUOTE}Edith's benevolent-yet-demanding nature is the perfect complement to her expertise in both areas that she teaches. Her first-hand experience of raucous crowd support after a riveting dance performance drives her to put students in position to get that same feeling.

"(The best feeling is) once they walk off the field, having them smile and being so proud of all the hard work," she said. "You'd be surprised how a minute-and-a-half dance, how much time we have to spend to perfect that and make everyone on time. And we spend so much time on this one dance that stepping off the field, you can see how proud the girls are of having put that much time into a performance."

Spanish, meanwhile, was Edith's first language. Though she has lived most of her life in Houston, she was born in Tampico, Mexico, and spoke Spanish with her parents at home before picking up English. That gives her the confidence to teach it in inventive and fun ways to students, especially in her Spanish I class.

"They've never been exposed to the language - they might've heard a few words here and there, but they really don't know how to speak the language," she said. "And I tell them it's pretty much like entering kindergarten where you're learning English, you're learning the alphabet. So I teach them with songs and with games we play.

"They have songs for the South American countries and capitals. They have songs for the alphabet, the numbers. We play Bingo with almost anything. Like right now we're studying the weather, so sometimes we play Bingo and they just choose either the temperature or different conditions of the weather and we play Bingo. So it's a lot of fun. I really enjoy teaching Spanish I."

And though by all accounts she is a master at her work, Edith does struggle ever so slightly with a schedule that includes three Spanish classes in the mornings before dance class in the afternoons – not to even speak of cheerleading practice after that's all said and done.

"Balancing all four I would have to say is a little tough," she said of her classes. "I mean, having a complete different mind change from the morning until the afternoon, having four different subjects is hard, but I love teaching.

"At first I thought I didn't know about teaching Spanish, but I really like being in the classroom, and just dance is my passion so having the opportunity to teach dance and work with the drill team after school, that's just great. So I really, really enjoy it."

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