Week 6: Amaris
Get articles like this on your desktop!
With the time commitments placed on the Rockets Power Dancers, few last more than a couple of seasons before giving way to another crop of energetic go-getters. So it’s rare that a member of RPD calls Toyota Center home for more than a couple of years, but this week’s RPD profile subject, Amaris, is now in her third season and still loves every minute of being a member of the Rockets Power Dancers.
Amaris started with the Comets dance team, Team NRG, but moved over to the Rockets prior to the 2003-2004 season. In those years Amaris has gotten more out of being a member of RPD than just learning new dance routines.
“Being on the team for three years has allowed me to see the evolution of our team as well as the Rockets team,” Amaris said. “I’ve been blessed to travel overseas to Asia three times representing the organization. That doesn't happen every day and wouldn’t happen on any other team. The lifelong friends I’ve made, the people’s lives that I’ve impacted, and the opportunity to watch the greatest game there is, with the seats I get, as well as dance by a group of talented, beautiful, intellectual women has to be the determining factor in my return to the team year after year.”
She adapted quickly. Amaris had 13 years of experience in cheerleading, but she would be the first to admit that she didn’t have the strongest dance background.
“My teammates probably got tired of me asking, ‘Okay, how do you do that again?’” Amaris said. “It’s been worth it, though.”
Originally from Louisiana, Amaris first fell in love with Texas after transferring to Texas Southern University to finish school. Once she saw Houston, it was love at first sight.
“I ended up finishing school at Texas Southern University, but I didn’t move here for the purpose of school,” Amaris said. “I was actually pursuing a career in music. Once I got to Houston, I knew I’d want to live here long-term. I love the city and plan on having a house here one day.”
Even with her desire to pursue a music career, Amaris did change paths after transferring. Once at TSU, she pursued a degree in broadcast journalism and although you won’t find her on the local news, she has used some of her journalism background while a member of RPD.
“Honestly, I chose the more stable career prior to my transfer to Texas Southern, and when a third of my hours didn’t transfer, it was like starting from scratch,” Amaris said. “I thought to myself, God has blessed me with a new start here in Houston, why not make the most of it across the boards and do something that won’t necessarily make me the most money in the end, but at least I’d be doing something I truly enjoy, so I chose journalism. Being a Power Dancer has allowed me to exercise my gift in broadcast, though, with Sports 610 in the mornings and afternoons, and the FOX 26 specials we do.”
Amaris also said that she wanted to be a weather girl originally, but is happy with the way things have worked out. She added that despite the games being so much fun, the other work that RPD does is something she really loves.
“We do so much with the community and within the organization that most people don’t witness,” Amaris said. “We have the opportunity to do a number of things we love on a daily basis whether it be modeling or doing Read to Achieve Rallies, which are my personal favorite.”
And don’t think Amaris has given up on her music career. She is a member of a hip-hip R&B group called Affinity, although her favorite type of music is country. Even if her music career tops the charts, it would hard to imagine Amaris leaving the Power Dancers, especially considering how much she loves being involved in the community.
“When you have a job like we do, it is almost an obligation to give back to the community,” Amaris said. “So many women, men and children alike are affected by our job, and I think it’s important to let them know, without sounding cliché, that they can do anything that they set their minds to if they just set goals for themselves and work hard. That is what our job exudes in my opinion. We are a group of professional women who have full time jobs outside of Rockets, but work hard so we can also do the thing we love the most.”
It’s appropriate then that a community outreach visit has been Amaris’ most memorable moment from the past three years.
“I’ve been blessed so much in these past three years that it would be hard to choose a favorite moment,” Amaris said. “But, if I had to, I’d say being able to share a holiday season with the children and families at the Ronald McDonald House. Man, what a beautiful group of people. The children have such strong minds and bright spirits. Love is a beautiful thing.”
You can catch Amaris and the rest of RPD at Rockets home games and at appearances throughout Houston.