Week 5: Julie
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With All-Star Week now in the rearview mirror, one would think that the Rockets Power Dancers’ schedule would be easing up. Think again. With two games at Toyota Center and appearances all over Houston this week, RPD is scheduled for a full slate of events and appearances. It’s something RPD member Julie has come to expect, but initially she was shocked by the time commitment associated with being a member of RPD.
“Everyone told me that it was intense (the schedule), but whew, it is fast paced for sure,” Julie said. “I’ve learned how to manage my time even better than I knew and realized how much a person really can accomplish in a day.”
Julie, now more than halfway through her rookie campaign, has since grown used to the rigorous schedule and added that the time commitment required of RPD is well worth the benefits.
“My rookie year has been an absolute blast,” Julie said. “I’ve truly enjoyed working with and getting to know such intellectual and talented women.”
Julie’s been in Houston now for 10 years. She was born in South Carolina and raised in Virginia Beach, Va., but lived in a variety of places growing up. She thinks moving around as a child has only helped her in her adult life.
“I can say that I think moving around a lot in my younger years taught me how to make friends easily and to be adaptable,” added Julie.
What’s the biggest difference between Houston and the East Coast for Julie? As you might expect, she said the weather, but she did add at least one similarity.
“The main difference between Texas and the East Coast is probably the weather,” Julie said. “Virginia has four distinct seasons; we only have two here in Houston: hot and hotter. The people are very similar. Southern hospitality can’t be beat.”
Not only is Julie tackling a new challenge with the Rockets this season, but in her professional life as well. Julie has always been an educator, but this past year she has made the leap to the high school level for the first time. She said she loves it, despite some bumps in the road early on.
“I’m enjoying the new age level I’m now working with,” Julie said. “There have been struggles with this being my first year teaching high schoolers, but I’m hanging in there. Daily, I hope and pray that I can inspire my students not only to further their intellect and education, but hopefully encourage them to become a strong male or female in character.”
There has been one drawback to Julie’s new schedule. She is an avid kickboxer, but hasn’t had as much time in the gym as she would like with her rigorous schedule. She does hold out hope that she might be able to spend more time in the gym after the season.
“I haven’t been able to kickbox as much as I used to because of our practice and game schedule,” Julie said. “But, any chance I get I’ll be back in the gym punching and kicking away. I earned my purple belt in Chun Kuk Do with my dad as my instructor. I haven’t been able to practice that much either. Maybe I’ll pick it back up when the season ends.”
Julie did add that the sacrifices have been more than worth it, especially with the Rockets hosting the All-Star Game this season. Julie lists the activities during All-Star Week in Houston as some of her favorite so far as a member of RPD. But those days are behind Julie and RPD now, and she looks forward to the rest of the season.
You can catch Julie and the rest of RPD at Rockets home games at Toyota Center and at appearances all over Houston.