“You name it we’ve have probably done it, ” states Michelle, one half of the Houston Texans twin cheerleader duo, while discussing the squad’s interaction with the Houston community. “It could be a small business that requests our presence, or a charity; we work with the Houston Food Bank a lot, especially around Thanksgiving,” further explaining her role as a Texan Cheerleader which also includes house building and planting trees.
With the Texans winning their first playoff game in franchise history last season, the team has begun to build it’s own house and sowed seeds of even greater expectation. “The team ended on a great note last year having reached that milestone in team history and now we just expect to take it even further and be right there on the sidelines cheering them,” excitedly offered Michelle.
Along with her identical twin sister Rachel, the pair begin their third and second seasons respectively. “I really don’t think I could have joined the Texans band wagon at a better time,” joked Rachel who followed in her sister’s dance steps last season making the 2011 squad as a rookie.
Despite looking alike, earning one of the 32 coveted spots on the Texans Cheerleaders remains a constant challenge. “Our coach has very high standards for the squad,” said the twins adding, “We’re required to audition for every game; so you not only have to make the team, you have to make the field to be at every game.”
“Usually two weeks out, we audition for the game and practice from 6:30 to 10:30pm three times a week and the Thursday before the game we have to run through it like it’s an actual game, practice walking out the tunnel and things like that,” detailed Rachel of the weekly routine leading up to game day.
And once the ladies take the field in front of the 70,000 strong Reliant Stadium home crowd for their pre-game, two-minute warning, and third quarter break sets, Michelle reveals of the adrenaline rush, “I feel like a sense of almost tranquility … your body is just following the music automatically.”
Just like the players, the cheerleaders also have film study sessions explained the homegrown Houston natives. “Coach will compile footage of us and then sit us in one of the Texans board rooms and we’ll review our performances during the game and critique ourselves,” said Michelle.
While fans can’t be in the film session, they can definitely study the photo shoot session all year long by checking out the Houston Texans Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar. “We’re both Miss January and we’re also on the back cover of the calendar,” revealed the twins.
And one date that is assuredly circled on their and fans’ calendars alike is October 21st when the Texans will welcome the Baltimore Ravens to “The Bubble” in a rematch with the team that halted their playoff run a season ago. “We’re definitely looking forward to that one, we got to show them who we are … we’re going to prevail for this one,” emphasized a vengeful Michelle and Rachel.
And in a game that is guaranteed to be physical and have the Monday morning training room appearing closer to triage, the twins future medical career goals may equally be of interest to the Texans staff. “I’m starting medical school in a week so that’s going to be interesting to balance this season,” stated Rachel while her sister demonstrated similar aspirations to include the pursuit of a nursing degree. “I’m applying to nursing school right now and I plan on starting in Spring or Summer 2013 and I’ll finish that for the RN program in about a year,” anticipates Michelle. But for now, it’s go Texans!
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