A bit part of our "job" as cheerleaders is to do a certain number of appearances every season. I was lucky enough this summer to have a lot of free time, so I signed up for just about every appearance I could. Something that I expected to be just a "duty" has become something incredible.
Draft Day in late April, which was the "announcement party" for the 2006 Cheerleaders, was my first appearance, of course. I will always remember standing in the stairwell of the stadium's West Club waiting to hear Shania Twain's "I Feel Like a Woman." On cue, we walked out to dance together for the first time as a squad.
My second appearance made me realize that, although I think I know a lot about the happenings in our city, there is so much going on that I never even hear about. Four of us went downtown to the Dragon Boat Festival. Teams build these beautiful dragon boats and race them down the bayou. Apparently, they've been doing it here in Houston for a few years, even having boats manned by Texans and Rockets players.
One of my next appearances was at Hotel Derek for a realtor's award dinner. That night was when I first realized how many people's business cards you get as a cheerleader!
The golf tournaments have also been a lot of fun. I never understood why people enjoyed golf until I was able to be out there on a course enjoying a bit of peace and quiet, cooling off in the breeze from the golf cart.
The most awkward appearance, actually appearances, I've done were the "screenings" for one of the local hospitals. I signed up for all four dates and asked a little too late what kind of "screenings" they were doing. Let's just say it was an all-male audience. And frankly, I don't think a lot of the guys there were real happy seeing us just before their little "check up" either!
I've had some pretty great moments standing at an appearance realizing that last year I was watching the cheerleaders from the other side, dreaming and hoping that I could be one of them. I've had the chance to meet some outstanding kids at a Shriner's appearance, help teach a dance to young girls at the Texans' "Girls Get in the Game" appearance, and pass out our season schedule to suprised business-people downtown.
All this, and the regular season hasn't even started yet! A lot of people think cheerleaders just go to practice and the games. I have loved all of my appearances and can't wait to go to the next ones!
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