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Cheerleaders of the Week: Larisa and Marisa


Larisa and Marisa are third-year veterans of the Houston Texans Cheerleaders.

Fans may have a tough time telling apart the Texans Cheerleader Twins, Larisa and Marisa. That's no accident.

"They take their pictures together, they do appearances together, they do everything together," cheerleader services manager Alto Gary said. "We do not split the twins up, because bad things happen when you split them up. So they must be together."

The twins, who started dancing individually at the age of three, have been dancing together for years.

"Once we were eight years old, our teacher actually came to us and asked if we wanted to do duets, if we were interested in doing a duet or solo," they said. "Well, of course we wanted to dance together, so we thought duets would be perfect for us. Once we started doing duets we kept doing them until we were 18, so from (then) on, it just stuck."

Working together, the twins mastered various dance styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop. They now team up as Gary's assistant, organizing and coordinating all of the many Texans Cheerleaders appearances.

"They have been doing a fabulous job," Gary said. "I called one to ask her would she do it and she was like, 'I can, but can my sister do it, too?' And I'm like, 'No problem, two for one!'

"They have their own little language and they work together well. And when they talk to me, if one walks away and I'm like talking to one, then I've got to remember, was I talking to you? Or was I talking to you? So I usually like to talk to them together. And I've worked with them on this."

{QUOTE}That's not the only reason Gary likes to keep them together. Once, the twins split up at the beginning of a game before the stadium-wide "Houston! Texans!" cheer, and Gary said a catastrophe ensued.

"I told our captain pick go ahead and pick out who's going to do (the cheer)" Gary said. "I said let's use the twins, and in my mind I'm thinking, 'Use the twins, both of them on one sign.' By the time I turn back around, one twin is at the Houston, one twin is at the Texans.

"I'm looking up at the screen and they split screen it. So you see double of the same face, and then they got mixed up on who was who, so they forgot what sign they were holding. And they were like, 'I didn't know if that was me or that was her,' and I was like what in the world is going on?

"(Another) time we put them on the same sign, like, 'You two, lift up the sign.' We're never going to split the twins up again."

But whether together or apart, the Texans Cheerleader Twins are adored by their teammates.

"They are a power force to be reckoned with," Lynnette said. "They're actually on my line this year, and I absolutely love dancing with them. Sometimes I have to look to my left and look to my right and kind of sit there and gaze to determine who is who. They definitely have like dance styles but very distinct personalities. They're both very, very nice, very lovely and I'm very happy to be on the team with them."

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