***This is a post I did last year about my sister, Tory (Victoria) Rivera. I thought it would be fun to share it again, especially for Women’s History Month. Victoria was a Major League Soccer (MLS) cheerleader/dance team member for the Houston Dynamo. She’s currently a dance teacher at an elementary school in Houston. Victoria is front and center in the photo below.***
Although Tory (Victoria) Rivera, 28, has lived in San Antonio and Houston for around 10 years now, she’ll always consider herself a ‘proud El Pasoan.’
Tory, A.K.A. my younger and only sister has been dancing, acting and cheering in front of crowds since she was a child. I’m not sure where she gets all of those great qualities and energy but she has all of them.
I’m the type of woman who freaks out when asked to do a sales presentation in front of a small to mid-sized group. You know that miserable, nauseous and worried feeling you get sometimes? I still get it when I’m asked to present anything to the vice president of marketing and sales and/or the publisher at my day job. I usually get the sweaty palms and shakes too. I didn’t ask Tory, a Montwood High School & University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) graduate if she gets those feelings when she performs at BBVA Compass Stadium. Whether she gets them or not, Tory has been a Dynamo Girl for two seasons. Soccer is a popular sport in El Paso, around Texas and of course worldwide! The Houston Dynamo belong to the western conference in American Major League Soccer (MLS), along with nine other teams. A couple of teams the Dynamo share the conference with include LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders. Tory and the girls will continue dancing at Dynamo home games until October 18. The season began on March 7.
“I really enjoy dancing. Nothing can describe the feeling you get when you are about to walk onto a field and perform for 22,000 fans, she said.” “Not only that but we also serve as role models to many young ladies. I appreciate that I can prove to them that nothing is impossible with hard work and dedication.”
Tory said more than 200 girls tried out to become Dynamo Girls in February. Although she said she wasn’t comfortable trying out, she immediately picked up the assigned dance moves. She performed the dance moves in front of a panel of judges. After she made the first cut, she was expected to perform in front of the judges again. After making the second cut, she was interviewed. Tory had to wait several days to see if she made the team. After finding out the results, she described the moment as ‘a major achievement and great honor in her life.’ Although she was a Dynamo Girl last season, she had to try out again. Tory said her role as a Dynamo Girl makes her feel happy and proud because the organization spends a lot of time helping others in Houston.
“We do several appearances throughout the season and a lot of community service. We are really involved with our fans. We love that these are priorities in our organization.” The Dynamo Girls participate in a swimsuit calendar to raise funds for local charities. The photo shoot takes place in Galveston, a coastal beach city near the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston is about a 45-minute drive from Houston.
Raul Lejarza, a Houston resident, said although he hasn’t attended a Houston Dynamo game/match yet he would like to take his 13-year-old son, Athan very soon when time permits. Based on all of the photos and videos I’ve seen online, the games and entertainment look like a great time! Tory said running into Houston’s main soccer star, Brad Davis on a regular basis is always a big deal to fans. Encountering other soccer players such as Hope Solo and Orlando City’s Kaka were fun times for her and the fans. Aside from being a Dynamo Girl, Tory works as an elementary school teacher in Southwest Houston. She teaches elementary dance to 2nd-5th grade students.
“Teaching is definitely a blessing. I absolutely love my job. There could not be anything more perfect for me. Not only are all of the kids wonderful but the staff is phenomenal as well. Not many people wake up in the morning excited to go to work but I can honestly say I do!”
For more info. on Tory and the Houston Dynamo Girls, check them out on Facebook. Please give them a like too, if possible. If you’re ever in Houston, go see a game for me and my family in El Paso and have fun! So long LA Galaxy! I quit being a fan when David Beckham retired. I’m always loyal to Texas teams anyway, especially one with family connections. New Mexico State is the only exception.
Photos courtesy of Tory Rivera/Facebook