Rodriguez pursues dream, becomes Texan cheerleader
By Danielle Banda
Valley Morning Star
Geles Ann Rodriguez had a ribbon in her hair and a pair of pompoms in her hand since grade school.
Her early passion for dancing, performing and competing later led her to join the elementary school and junior high cheerleading teams. Coaches recognized her talent and determination and appointed her cheerleading captain.
As head of the varsity squad in high school, she was able to excel as an athlete, subsequently opening doors to bigger opportunities. She planned on continuing the hobby throughout college, but had absolutely no idea that her extracurricular activity would essentially become her chosen profession.
She went from being a small-town girl from Harlingen to a professional athlete with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders. “I can’t believe that I’m actually following my dream while getting paid for it,” she said, “and I am so grateful for it.”
The dedicated student had always been at the top of her class. Rodriguez held an impressive academic record that placed her at the top 10 percent mark of the senior division. She was a member of the school’s Technology Academy, which was an advantage when it came to completing resumes and college admission applications. Rodriguez was an active member of the school’s theatrical and drama organization, where she learned to polish her performing art talents.
Rodriguez, who was also named Prom Queen, was a well-rounded and enthusiastic student who took part in various school -related activities. She successfully completed and graduated from high school, which then left a question mark in regards to the path of her future.
After submitting applications to various universities, Rodriguez decided to venture a bit further in her college endeavors. She prepared applications for universities out of the Valley, when she ran across a job opportunity that caught her interest. “I saw an opening for the Houston Texas Cheerleading squad,” she said, “and just decided to go for it.”
Rodriguez had really only traveled for short periods of time during school-sponsored field trips and family-related outings. As a result, it was difficult to imagine completely picking up and moving from a small town to the big city.
Admittance was a televised process that was dependent on votes sent in via text message by the people.
Friends quickly rallied together to support Rodriguez’s efforts in becoming one of the team. Special pages were set up on social networks, such as Facebook, to encourage people to vote for her place on the squad. The message, “Vote for Geles,” was promoted by family members as well. “My sisters told all their friends to vote for me, and my mom helped spread the word, too,” she said.
Finally, all text message votes were tallied, and the list of 2013 squad members had been officially finalized. Rodriguez and her large Valley support system waited anxiously for the results.
“Everybody’s help and hard work paid off,” she said in gratitude.
After receiving word of her acceptance, Rodriguez, her parents and her siblings danced in excitement with their visions of what the future held for their sister. “I was going to Houston, Texas,” she said with a grin on her face.
Rodriguez quickly adjusted to her new living arrangements and was ready to work. “The first day was scary at first, but I had a blast,” she said.
Today, Rodriguez participates in regular photo shoots with other members of the cheerleading squad. Most recently she was represented as the official poster girl of the 2014 Houston Texans Cheerleaders’ January page. Although these shoots are flattering bonuses to the job, the dedicated athlete is simply thankful to cheer at games for the Texas football team.
Although the journey was frightening at times, Rodriguez encourages others to follow their desired career choices wholeheartedly. “It’ll happen if you work hard enough for it,” she says.
Her story is that of family, desire and inspiration. “I hope to continue on this path for a good while,” she says, “because it’s a job that I love.”