I went to a magnet school for middle school. My parents assumed, as did I, that I would continue on and go to the magnet high school. Then I went to a Zachary High School football game. The boy I liked was in the band and my family was super-close friends with his family, so we all went to watch him march and play the bassoon or the drums or whatever he played. (I think it was the drums. It would be very awkward to march while playing the bassoon.) I enjoyed the crowd, as I always did at sporting events, but when I saw the dance team, my life changed. It sounds dramatic because it WAS. 8th grade Jen saw the Bronco Belles (catchy name, huh?) take to the field in their shiny leotards, fringy gloves and velvet capes and a dream was born. After many entries about them in my diary, Roxie (What, you don't name your diaries?), I dropped the bomb on my parents: I was going to ZHS and trying out for Bronco Belles.
This posed many issues, the first and foremost being that we did not live in the Zachary school district. I'm fairly sure I had already registered at the magnet high school, but that was easy enough to fix: my mom called and told them I wasn't coming. The geography thing, however, posed a problem. After much dilliberation, my parents decided to put the house on the market and try to move to Zachary. When this did not happen quickly, they did the only other thing they could think of: They gave legal custody of me, their only child, to a couple at our church who lived just a few miles from good ol' ZHS. (My mother is now telling me that they just switched the people's water bill into my dad's name so they could show it to the school board, but my version's better, so let's stick with the idea that they handed me over to Susan and Gil, ok? Great.)
Anyway, long story short, I went to ZHS, tried out for and made the Bronco Belles and was happy as a clam. We practiced from 1-4pm every single day, sometimes longer if we had a really difficult routine. In the summer months, we practiced early in the morning outside our school, preparing for dance camp and competitions. I was over-the-moon happy to wear my uniform and be a part of the team. When I look back on those years, I know my experiences with the Belles taught me time-management, self-discipline and dedication, things that are so very important in my career.
Ok, enough waxing philosophical...who wants to see pictures!?!? I thought so.
In case you couldn't tell, that's me, second from the left, and some of my teammates gathered outside the school at some ungodly hour of the morning carrying way too much luggage to go to a competition or some such. Dig the plastic shorts. And the matching hair bows. And the "modern" dancer on our shirts, bags,and pretty much every other item we owned. Speaking of which,there was another Jennifer N. on the team. That's when I officially became Jen. But the other Jennifer liked to go by Jen sometimes, too, so I became Jen :). For real. There was a smiley face embroidered on every Bronco Belle item that was mine. We were hard core, yo.
Here we are at a Disney dance competition wearing the ugliest outfits we could find and enough makeup to make a hooker do a double-take:
Here we are doing our home routine for the judges at camp:
See how innovative we were? We made an arrow! One time for a field routine, we tried to spell "GO," but we practiced it backwards in the gym, so when we got to the football field to practice with the band, it said, "OG." I'm honestly not sure which one's me in this picture. I purposely didn't crop it so you could admire the guy in the bottom left corner's awesome video camera.
I poke fun, but those were seriously some of the best years of my life. I'll post some more pictures soon, along with the magical story of my very first football game as a Bronco Belle.