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Wednesday October 25, 2006 10:30 AM


Inside the Dancers Studio


RPD's Team Captain Nicole J. visits with Rockets.com

Nicole J.
Rockets Power Dancers Team Captain
Age: 22
Hometown: Houston
Occupation: Automation Engineer
Alma Mater: Texas A&M University
Degree: Bachelor of Science - Chemical Engineering
Seasons as RPD: Second


Rockets.com: Why did you become a Rockets Power Dancer?
Nicole: I became a Rockets Power Dancer because I love to dance and perform. It’s been my passion for as long as I can remember. Basketball has always been my favorite sport and getting to dance for the team that I grew up cheering for makes it that much more exciting.

Rockets.com: What has been your favorite moment, so far, as a Rockets Power Dancer?
Nicole: My favorite moment was definitely running out onto the court during my first game in Toyota Center. I had adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was smiling from ear to ear. It was such a rush knowing that I was really a part of the Rockets organization and that I was getting the opportunity to perform for all of the fans.

Rockets.com: What is one misconception about being a Rockets Power Dancer?
Nicole: I'd have to say that people think that what we do is easy. Yes, it's fun, but it's a lot of hard work, especially on top of a 40-hour work week. We're practicing two to three times a week. It takes a lot of commitment and concentration to put together two dances for every home game and we do so much more than just dance. We have so much fun signing autographs and helping with contests. We put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

Rockets.com: What is your typical day like during the season?
Nicole: On a typical day, you'd most likely find me getting up at 6 a.m. and heading off to work. I'm usually at work until about 4:30. Then I head home for a quick change and I'm off to Toyota Center for practice. We're generally there until around 9:30 p.m. practicing and polishing routines for upcoming games. Afterwards, I head home, hit the shower and try to get to sleep by midnight so I can do it again the next day. We also have games and community appearances thrown into the mix.

Rockets.com: What are you looking forward to seeing this season?
Nicole: I'm looking forward to seeing the Rockets play their hearts out this year. We have some great new additions and everyone is healthy so I can't wait to see the damage that the team is going to cause on the court this year.

Rockets.com: Besides being a Rockets Power Dancer, how is your day-time job?
Nicole: I work full time as an automation and control engineer. What is that? I'll let you know when I find out. Just kidding. Basically, we engineer the connections between field instrumentation and the operator in charge of making sure that a process is running properly.

Rockets.com: What do you do in your free time, if you have any?
Nicole: I definitely don't have much free time so I'd like to say sleep. Really, I just enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. Usually, we're going out to lunch or dinner.

Rockets.com: Do you have a favorite activity?
Nicole: I'm a nerd. I love to read, mostly mysteries.

Rockets.com: Who is your favorite Rockets player?
Nicole: I'm going to have to go with Rafer Alston. He brings a different vibe to the game. He has so much energy. I love watching him zip around the court.

Rockets.com: Where do you want to travel and why?
Nicole: I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to do quite a bit of traveling. I guess Europe is at the top of my list. I'd love to visit the Louvre in Paris and see the architecture that I've only gotten to see in pictures.

Rockets.com: What do you expect to be doing 10 years from now?
Nicole: I'm not really sure what life has in store for me, but I plan to be enjoying whatever it may be with a family of my own.