Interview With Houston Texans Cheerleader Amanda Nicole Interviewed by Ben Tatar of a CriticalBench.com March 2011
Women all over the world dream about one day being a Cheerleader in the NFL. Men around the world wonder what it is like to know an NFL cheerleader. In this interview, Critical Bench reporter Ben Tatar goes one on one with Amanda from the Houston Texans as she talks about being a Houston Texans Cheerleader.
CRITICAL BENCH: Today Critical Bench is here with Amanda from the Houston Texans Cheerleader squad. Amanda, welcome to Critical Bench. Please introduce yourself.
Amanda: It is great to be here with Critical Bench today! I grew up in Deer Park, Texas. I've danced since I was 2 years old. Dance or cheer has always been a big part of my life.
CRITICAL BENCH: Amanda, how did you become a cheerleader for the Houston Texans?
Amanda: The Texans hold tryouts every year around April. I was a year out of high school and wanted to do something with dance and further my career as a dancer. I actually tried out for Texans 3 times before I made them team, the more I tried out the more I wanted to be a cheerleader. I preferred the NFL to the NBA. I liked their style of dance more, it was more my style!
CRITICAL BENCH: After you made the Texans' team, was being a Houston Texans cheerleader what you expected?
Amanda: Being a Houston Texans Cheerleader has been more than I expected. I've had more opportunities then I ever thought possible. I've met thousands of amazing, supportive fans. I've also had the privilege to travel with the AFE. They've sent us to Japan, Singapore, Diego Garcia, South Korea and Honduras. Those troops were so appreciative and it feels great to give back to them!!
CRITICAL BENCH: How are the other NFL cheerleaders that you work with? Are you all like a big family?
Amanda: You would think that having that many young, professional, and talented women working together that there would be a lot of drama, but we're all friends on this team. Everyone works together and helps each other out.
CRITICAL BENCH: What has it been like working with the NFL players from the Houston Texans? How have the NFL players been in general?
Amanda: Fraternizing with players is a big no-no in the NFL, but we have helped some of the guys out with their specific charities. All the players are very giving and have their own charities. It's great helping out!!
CRITICAL BENCH: What's best about being an NFL cheerleader?
Amanda: I would have to say my favorite part is the dancing. It's my passion, but, meeting all the fans and all of the amazing experiences I've had over these last 4 years come in a very close 2nd. I absolutely LOVE going on military tour (AFE).
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about some of the appearances that you have made. You've worked with Nike and other big companies. Tell us about that.
Amanda: Appearances are great!! I worked with Nike for Danny Kass, the Olympic snowboarder, to release some webisodes to help launch his new snow boot. We filmed at NASA, it was my roommate and I, so very fun, but a long day too. I have done appearances at lots of golf tournaments too. Those are fun. The cheerleaders have a golf tournament every year to release their calendar. I just did an appearance for the opening of America's Got Talent at Reliant Stadium. My favorite appearances are those that give back to the community or help people, kids especially. They are so very thankful and excited that you came to see them. One appearance that was very touching was a fulfilling boy's last wish to meet a Houston Texans Cheerleader... AMAZING!!!
CRITICAL BENCH:That is amazing. So far in your journey as an NFL cheerleader give us one of each a great, funny, memorable and life changing moment.
Amanda: A great moment in my career as a cheerleader has been simply doing what I love to do in front of so many people. Being a cheerleader is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
A funny moment has to be getting ready for games in the locker room before hand. We have worm contests, some of the girls can fit in our bags. We have so many fun moments just putting 35 girls together right before a game.
My most memorable moment is walking on the field for the first time as a rookie. You have so many mixed feelings; excitement, nervousness. It's overwhelming and indescribable.
AFE Military tours definitely change a person. These men and women are away from their families for so long and sacrifice so much. To go see them is an awesome experience.
CRITICAL BENCH: As a cheerleader, getting to travel all over the country, what have been some of your favorite places to visit?
Amanda: I've been to Japan twice, Singapore, South Korea, Honduras, Diego Garcia. Only military are allowed on Diego, no civilians. It was beautiful there. Some of my teammates have been to Iraq, Colorado, Canada, Mexico, and Miami. And of course, lots of cities in Texas. Two of the girls are about to go on military tour (AFE) to the Caribbean.
CRITICAL BENCH: That's awesome. Do you have any advice for young girls who would one day like to be a cheerleader like you?
Amanda: Just keep practicing and keep pushing yourself. Set your mind to it and never give up. If I gave up after trying out the first time, I wouldn't be where I am today!
CRITICAL BENCH: You have a huge heart Amanda for never giving up. You've really made a difference through your help with charities! Love it. Amanda, Is your family proud of you? How have your friends responded to you being an NFL cheerleader?
Amanda: My family couldn't be more proud. My mom actually has a jersey with "cheer mom" on the back and my dad has tons of Texans pictures and calendars. My grandparents tell everyone. My grandpa entered a raffle a couple of weeks ago and won an autographed picture of us. He thought that was so funny. My other set of grandparents have a poster of me in their hallway. My brother is very proud. He goes to most of the games and always finds me and stands up and waves, even if he is the only one in Reliant Stadium standing. All of my friends are very supportive of me.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?
Amanda: My future goals are to have a family one day and just be happy and successful in life.
CRITICAL BENCH: What do you enjoy doing away from cheerleading?
Amanda: I have a full time job at an oil and gas company doing market analysis, so needless to say; I don't have too much free time. They've been great with the time I take off for the Texans. I love taking dance classes, working out, listening to music, trying new restaurants and hanging out with my friends and family.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you want to be remembered?
Amanda: I want to have an impact on our fans. I want people to have a positive image of me. It's very flattering when fans at games know you're name or a fun fact about you. Hopefully, it means they'll remember me.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have a message for the Texans so they can have a big year?
Amanda: We have the talent. We just need to use it to the best of our ability. I can feel this will be our year!!
CRITICAL BENCH: What makes Amanda happy?
Amanda: Just being surrounded by the people that love and support me makes me happy.
CRITICAL BENCH: It's great that you have found people who love and support you. Did you have to face adversity to find out who your real friends were?
Amanda: I've had to overcome finding out who my real friends are and being judged. It was very hard for me to go through that, but I've realized I'm a lot stronger now and my true friends have my back no matter what. God should be the only one doing the judging. Going through and that particular time has made me even stronger in my faith, so it turned out to actually be a good thing when you look back.
CRITICAL BENCH: Finding out who one's real friends are can be a challenge for many successful people. How has Christ motivated you? What people in your life have inspired you?
Amanda: He has motivated me by listening to His message in church. If I've had a hard week, I feel so refreshed afterwards. I always feel like he has a way of speaking directly to me because I feel like that message was meant for me that week. I try to apply it to what I'm going through at that time.
My family inspires me. My dance teacher, Dana, inspires me and is so proud. I've been with her since I was two. My other teacher named Alfred, is very motivating and inspiring. Also, our director, Alto, she's awesome. She truly always has your best interest at heart. She makes us better people as a team and individually. Her choreography is amazing too.
CRITICAL BENCH: To be a Cheerleader at the NFL level, you have to be in great shape. What is your workout routine like? Tell us a little bit about your cardio, training and diet.
Amanda: Well, 4 hours of practice 3 days a week is a good workout by itself. In the off-season, I do about 20 - 30 minutes of cardio. I also, like to do arms, legs and stomach. I love to eat, so I watch what I eat, but I don't deprive myself if I have a sweet tooth. Everything in moderation.
CRITICAL BENCH: All great stuff. Okay, Amanda, I'm gonna say a quick concept. Just tell me whatever comes to mind.
Amanda: Okay, I'm ready!
My favorite bands are...Motley Crue, Theory of a Deadman, Hinder, Nickelback, anything rock
My ideal vacation is...Somewhere tropical... FIJI!!
A great personality trait of mine is...my optimism
For fun I love to go...to the beach, to the mall, to the river, mini vacations
I am always...One thing, very punctual!
I love...My friends, family, faith and dog!
My favorite health food is...I love grilled chicken
My favorite junk food is - I can never pass up PIZZA with ranch
3 compliments I have received that I like are...I have a pretty smile, which is so sweet. I've gotten that I have pretty eyes and people have told me I was their favorite cheerleader.
My turn ons are and my turn offs are - I love people who have the same passion in life as I do, people who are motivated and have aspirations. My turn offs are arrogance, laziness, people that are disrespectful and unappreciative.
The worst advice ever told to me was - I've gotten a lot of bad advice, some of which I took and then later figured out that they were not always right like I thought...
The best and worst parts of being a model are - Well, being a cheerleader, modeling is only part of the job. Our photo shoots are so much fun, you come in, get your hair and makeup done professionally. Our photographer is the best. He makes you feel so comfortable in front of the camera. He takes great shots. The worst thing is just making sure at any given time you are photoshoot ready, which requires you're hair being done, tan, nails, toes, working out, etc...I feel gorgeous is only in the eye of the beholder. You can be beautiful on the outside, but what comes from within is what truly matters in life.
I have learned...I've actually seen myself grow so much. I've figured out what truly matters in life. I've learned how to let the little things go, they're not worth fighting over. I've learn to love in a different way. More importantly, I know exactly what I want.
I miss...I miss living with my parents and brother, when I got to see them every day. I miss dance and cheer competitions and practicing all day every Saturday. I miss teaching dance and cheer. This sounds funny, but I miss junior high and high school, when your biggest dilemma was what outfit you were going to wear.
Would you like to be a WWE Diva - I would love to. :)
The worst pick up line ever told to me was - I would make a great future ex - wife...ummm, really?? haha! Thank you. No.
One thing I plan to have in the future is...Have a beautiful family
If I could have any super powers I would.... I would fly, or predict the future..
The number of kids that I would like to have one day is 2, preferably a boy and a girl
My darkest secret is...I'm a natural brunette...Shhh! don't tell!
If I was an actress I would like to be in a...I would be in a TV show, SCI-FI movie, but I've always wanted to be a dancer for someone in a music video!
My favorite kind of animal is...I love zebras, leopards, ocelots, any type of cat is pretty to me. I think sloths and llamas are funny though!!
If I had to be an animal I would be...a cheetah!
My advice for others who would like to be a cheerleader is - Never give up, keep practicing and stay optimistic.
CRITICAL BENCH: Amanda, It has been an honor interviewing you today. We at Critical Bench congratulate you on getting to live your dream life as a Houston Texan Cheerleader while also getting to inspire so many people around the world. We wish you the best with everything ahead. In closing who would you like to thank?
Amanda: I would like to thank my friends, especially Andrea, my roommate, friend and teammate. My parents, grandparents, family and brother. My mentors and dance teacher, Dana. Alto, our director, she is amazing, talent and smart lady. Finally, the Lord above. I'm very blessed.