Week 7: Nicole G.
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You don’t join the Rockets Power Dancers if you don’t love dance. While RPD performs a wide array of duties at Rockets home games, dancing is what they are known for. Therefore, it makes sense that RPD member Nicole G. loves to dance and incorporates it into nearly every aspect of her life.
When Nicole isn’t performing at half court at a Rockets’ game or practicing with RPD, she works as a dance competition instructor. Judging from what that entails, you can only surmise that Nicole loves to dance.
“As a competition instructor I have a lot of duties,” Nicole said. “I normally teach my students technique on a regular basis, just to keep them up to par with the things they need to be able to do in their competition routines. I also choreograph the competition routines for the high school and junior high companies. This year with my busy RPD schedule, I only committed to choreographing two company routines, so that I could make sure to find the time to really put my all into the choreography. This year I have taught two hip-hop routines, and we have spent many weekend practices getting them to perfection.”
With all the time Nicole now spends on the dance floor, it’s hard to believe that it took her a little while to develop a fondness for dance.
“I do love dance, and so it was quite a surprise to me when my mom told me that I didn't like it when she first put me in it at the age of three,” Nicole said. “I finally got back into dance in the fifth grade. I had a good friend who was in dance and she would take me with her to watch her take class. After going a few times I slowly started asking if I could participate. After doing that about two classes I begged my mom to sign me up, and I haven’t stopped since.”
It’s only natural then that Nicole would be drawn to RPD. Now in her rookie season, it was again a friend who got her thinking about joining a dance team for a pro sports team.
“I became interested in dancing for a professional team while I was attending college at Sam Houston,” Nicole said. “I had a friend who was dancing for a professional team and she would always talk to me about how awesome it was, and she made me really interested. The more I thought about it, I thought, what better team to dance for than my hometown Houston Rockets? I am so thankful to have made this team, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my first season.”
Nicole did grow up in Houston, and like many fans considers the Rockets winning back-to-back championships as her most memorable moment as a fan.
“I was very young at the time, and I remember being out with my family and watching the winning game at a restaurant,” Nicole said. “It was a really great feeling to see the city’s support.”
As you can imagine, Nicole’s family has been able to take advantage of Nicole being a member of RPD and has attended several games this year. They might even enjoy her being a member of RPD more than she does.
“My family cracks me up because they always ask me how ‘celebrity’ life is,” Nicole said. “I hardly consider myself a celebrity. I do know that my family thinks it is the coolest thing that I am able to do what I am doing, so I am just really happy they get to experience it in a way by coming and seeing me perform.”
Not just her family considers Nicole a minor celebrity. She noted that the thing that has surprised her the most about being a member of RPD is that a lot of Rockets fans consider her a celebrity, but even with her “fame” she still gets a little nervous before the music starts.
“Never in my life did I think that someone would want my autograph,” Nicole said. “It is the coolest thing ever. As far as performing goes I am always nervous right before I perform, but once that music turns on it is like my body just knows what to do. Performing is one of the most enjoyable things I do.”
Nicole is a basketball convert of sorts. She didn’t fall in love with it until she got one of the best seats in the house at Toyota Center.
“I get caught a lot paying more attention to the game than what I should be doing on the sides,” Nicole admitted. “I just love the non-stop action and the constant hustle of basketball. It always keeps me interested.”
Even though Nicole has loved her experience as a member of RPD, whether she will return for another season is still up in the air.
“I am the type of person that doesn't even know what I want to do tomorrow, so to predict next year is pretty hard,” Nicole said. “I have really been missing my ballet training, and I would love to devote some more time to taking class and possibly performing some ballet.”
That said, she still doesn’t want to close the door on her returning to the team in the fall.
“I’ve loved being a part of this team,” Nicole said. “I can definitely say I don’t want to have only been a member for one year, so I guess if I had to answer today about a return, it would be we’ll see.”
You can catch Nicole and the rest of RPD at Rockets home games at Toyota Center and at appearances throughout Houston.