For Mariah, it was a dream come true.
In January, she represented the Colts Cheerleaders at the Pro Bowl in Orlando – the highest honor bestowed on an NFL cheerleader.
It was the perfect start to "her" year.
"This year is the year of the rooster in the Chinese calendar. And I was like, 'Oh, I'm a rooster. It's going to be my year even more.' And then I looked and the year of your sign is actually supposed to be bad luck. But it's quite the contrary this year."
Still, it has been a year of change.
"I ended my internship with the Colts and I was like, 'What am I going to do?' I went on the calendar trip for a week and got to play with our amazing staff and kind of have a hand in the behind the scenes work and help them out. So, that was a lot of fun."
She returned from the Dominican Republic feeling like it was time to figure out her next step. The only problem was, she had no idea what it was – until it fell in her lap.
"Jennifer from Open Gym texted me and was like, 'Are you still looking for a job?' And I was like, 'Yes.' And she was like, 'Juice Bar is hiring.' I assumed it was for design. I was like, 'Great. I love Juice Bar. I love their design, I love how they look, I love their brand identity.' Little did I know when I interviewed with Dee, one of the owners, it was for the general manager position. And I was like, 'I have no experience whatsoever. But I'm willing to try if you're willing.'"
Mariah's 2018 Colts Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Shoot in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
As a former Colts cheerleader herself, Dee knew Mariah was just what they were looking for.
"She and I had kind of a connection from the beginning. We get each other," Mariah says. "We were at an event recently and somebody was like, 'Oh, is that your daughter?' And Dee looked at me and she was like, 'No. But she might as well be.'"
It's been a learning experience for Mariah, running two Juice Bar locations. But her background as a Colts cheerleader prepared her well.
"It's kind of like Junior Cheer in a way because it's a lot of young people," she says. "We have like 16, 17, 18 -year-olds. So, it's kind of influencing them in a positive way. I'm still young myself, but it's cool to kind of help shape our youth. For a lot of them, it's their first job. So, I have a very strong impression on the rest of their future."
And with defensive lineman Kendall Langford as co-owner, for Mariah, it's also keeping it in the family.
"It's kind of cool how life still keeps me involved with the Colts."
At the end of last year, she was on the fence about returning for her fifth season.
"I had literally the dream year," she says. "I got to be a captain, I got to do so many different things. I got to go to the Pro Bowl."
So, what brought her back?
The same thing that brings her back every year.
"I'm not done dancing yet."
And how long will she continue?
For as long as she can.
"It's given me a job two different times and so many great friends and connections," she says. "Every year I feel great, I would love to be on the sideline – if they'll have me."