HTC Francesca on Earning Her 4th Year Veteran Status

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April 28 – May 17 was the longest three weeks I have experienced, but the most rewarding. The past three tryouts have all been slightly different, but this has been the best yet. Not including the countless hours rehearsing the tryout material on our own time, this year's audition process consisted of two virtual rounds, in-person interviews, finalists' practices with over 60 candidates in attendance and two in-person rounds. Getting to experience this process alongside hundreds of women is a fulfilling process. I had the opportunity to meet many amazing candidates from different walks of life. From engineers and doctors to mothers and business owners, auditions are fascinating to see how our goals and passion brings us together. 

Going into my fourth audition was a mix of emotions. The many variables are already nerve-racking but coming in as a potential fourth year veteran elevates the anxious feelings while trying to maintain the hunger, drive to be better, dance bigger and enjoy the moment. As a veteran, I had much to prove to the judges. I wanted to stand out, bring something different to the table than I had in years prior and prove I deserved to be on this team for another year!

Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle the Tuesday before auditions started which was devastating on its own. However, it added a little pizzazz to say the least. After the initial shock that I would have to go through auditions with a sprained ankle, I settled into reality and started rehabbing to strengthen my ankle as soon as possible. It was an awful situation, but it was an inherent push to work harder and focus on my movements. Do not take your ankles for granted!

Auditions were very fulfilling and being chosen for a fourth season is an honor beyond words. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to share this year with one of my best friends is so exciting. Holding such tenure within HTC is an immense responsibility in the most positive way. Along with our traditions and sisterhood, we are responsible for upholding the team to the high standards previous vets held for us throughout the years. Also, just being a motivator and an example to the rookies and younger vets of what it means to be an HTC and encouraging that in everything we do. It also means being a bridge between the alumni and current team. To carry on the sisterhood and bring the rookies into the HTC Family, to meet the vets who have guided us and to continuously build a bond throughout the seasons.

I am blessed to be able to continue living my dream as a Houston Texans Cheerleader and being a part of an impactful sisterhood.

-HTC Francesca

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