There are two things Rookie BlazerDancer Rachel says she couldn’t live without: her brothers and dance.
Raised south of Portland in Albany, Rachel was the only daughter in her family. Surrounded by the rough and tumble life of of five brothers she started dancing when she was just a tike establishing her neighborhood reputation as a dancer with a tough side.
“I was the girly-girl who would go out and play football,” Rachel said.
Her love of dance garnered her four years as a member of the South Albany High School Dance Team, a time that saw great development in her skills. Spending two years on the choreography team creating routines and serving as a captain her senior year solidified her focus and inspired her long-term dreams. She knew she would dance for years to come.
Portland State University was the next stop on Rachel’s dance venture. An art studies major and dance minor, she continued to dance and push toward her goal of making a life of dance.
Rachel’s dedication and focus propelled her to the next level. In college she had her first experience as a professional dancer. Two years as a member of the Portland Winterhawks Rosebud Dance Team gave her the experience she needed on the floor and in the community to prepare for a successful audition with the BlazerDancers.
This year Rachel took another step in following her professional dreams when she earned her BlazerDancer poms. Entering auditions calm and collected she knew this year was different from her previous two attempts.
“Through the whole thing I was really determined and really calm and driven. I stayed really positive with myself,” Rachel said of the rigorous audition process. “It was a really different feeling, it felt like it was meant to be.”
Making the team was a moment Rachel says she’ll never forget. Sharing the excitement with her brothers—who watched her entire finals performance live online—made it even more special. Now, all the years of her brothers’ support has paid off. As Trail Blazer fans they’ll enjoy games with a new twist, their sister will be down on the court.
Meet BlazerDancer Veronica!