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Texans Cheerleader Crystal hits Hawaii

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KAPOLEI, Hawaii – When Houston Texans Cheerleader Crystal found out she had been chosen to represent the team in Hawaii for the 2008 Pro Bowl, she was honored and ecstatic. Still, the three-year veteran also knew she had a lot of work ahead of her.

Just like the all-star players on the field, Crystal had to be in the best shape possible to learn new routines and perform them almost around the clock during the Pro Bowl week.

"I did a lot of physical training," Crystal said. "I tried to open my mind up as far as different dance styles. I tried to do a little bit of stuff that we don't do with the Texans and go to different dance classes in the Houston area. I basically wanted to be ready for anything because I wasn't sure what materials we were going to learn."

{QUOTE}It's a good thing Crystal came to Oaha prepared. She and the 26 Pro Bowl Cheerleaders have put in long hours learning new routines and traversing the island for appearances.

"So far, we've had a lot of practice time," Crystal said. "We've tried to get that all in first, get all the kinks out and get all the hard work out of the way.

"We also go to appearances. It's just amazing to be in Hawaii and have fans. The fans will say, 'Go Houston!' and I never expected that. I'm not getting used to it at all. It still surprises me every single time."

What also surprised Crystal was how close the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders have become in such a short amount of time. The NFL cheerleaders, who are selected by their respective teams on the basis of their dance ability, community involvement and leadership, said they already feel like sisters.

"The other girls have been absolutely unbelievable," Crystal said. "We got here and realized that it has nothing to do with being competitive at all. We're all in accord. We basically came here to join and form a new team together.

"It happened immediately from the moment we were sitting in the airport – we were just immediate family."

Crystal, who is one of the Texans' captains, is known for dancing with a flair and vigor that attract everybody's attention. Her patent moves have impressed her peers, but so has her wardrobe.

Each Pro Bowl Cheerleader wears her team's uniforms and Crystal proudly has been sporting her Battle Red outfits.

"Battle Red Day is always one of my favorites," Crystal said. "I think we are known for our red boots. It's something that other teams don't have and I have been trying to rock the red boots."

In addition to her performance at Aloha Stadium on game day, Crystal and her teammates will make over fifty public appearances this week at children's hospitals, military bases and other Pro Bowl Week events.

One of the biggest events is Ohana Day at the Aloha Stadium where the cheerleaders perform during an informal Pro Bowl practice.

Despite the busy schedule, Crystal and the cheerleaders have found some time to relax and enjoy the island. On Wednesday night, they joined the players, media and NFL dignitaries at the Pro Bowl Welcome luau.

"We were in the Hawaiian spirit and the hula dancers were performing for us," Crystal said. "It was a lot of fun and great bonding time with the girls. And it was relaxing."

However, Crystal said every event at the Pro Bowl is a blessing for her.

"It's something very memorable that you will remember for the rest of your life," Crystal said. "It is a special week in my life."

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