Cheerleader of the Week 2016: Jessica R.

Meet the Colts Cheerleader Of The Week

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"I grew up in Richmond, Indiana. Born and raised, still am living there today. So, I drive back and forth for everything," says Colts rookie cheerleader Jessica R.

And she's not the only one.

"There are a couple of other girls that will travel a couple hours as well. If that's not proof that we love what we're doing, I don't know what else is."

Jessica may be new to the squad, but performing is nothing new to her.

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"I started dancing when I was three. My mom owns a dance studio back home, so she got my older sister and me into dance the second that we were able to walk and move and I've been doing it ever since," she says.

She danced in high school, danced in college, and when she graduated, she still wanted to dance. So, she started pursuing opportunities in professional dance, but it ended up pursuing her.

"I got a random email from the Pacemate coach at that time just saying, 'Hey, there are some auditions coming up.' It was a mass email. I looked into it, I decided to give it a shot because I wasn't ready to give it up yet."

And fortunately, she didn't have to.

"I auditioned for the Pacemates and I was a part of that team for eight years. Retired after my eighth season, took a year off, and decided that I wasn't ready to give it up still just yet. And I thought I would give the Colts a shot and I was fortunate enough to be chosen."

Through all that, she also helped teach at her mother's dance studio. And she still does.

Highlights from Jessica's 2017 Colts Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Shoot.(Morocco, IN)

"Some people might say, 'Oh, it's just dance.' But it's so much more than that," she says. "I think it's helped mold me into the young woman that I am today and it's given me so many wonderful opportunities. Dance is my life. That kind of sounds silly, but it really, really is. In almost every part of my life if I'm not on the field or on the court doing it, I'm teaching it or watching dance videos on YouTube. I can't get enough."

Which is why she started her own dance company with her Colts Cheer teammate, Brittany H.

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"A couple years ago, we were just randomly talking and we both had said it's our dream to open up a dance company, hold workshops, help girls reach the level of success that they want in terms of dance. We had a freak out moment. We were like, 'Oh my God, you want to do the same thing I want to do! Let's do this together.'"

Through ProMotion Dance, they're helping to bridge the gap for girls looking to become professional dancers by offering resources and support that they didn't have.

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Dance has always been there for Jessica.

At every turning point in life, it stayed with her.

She never could give it up.

And now, she'll never have to.

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