Houston Aeros and the Twin Twins
The Houston Aeros have ten games remaining in the regular season. As of today, they are one point out of first place. However, they're just five points out of fifth place, and finishing in fifth could mean they miss out on the playoffs. There's also the possibility that they could finish all of the way down in seventh place, so close are the teams in the AHL's West Division grouped together.
John Royal Say hello to Kristen and Kirsten, or is it Kirsten and Kristen?
The Aeros play their cross-state rival San Antonio Rampage twice this weekend -- Saturday here at Toyota Center and Sunday in San Antonio. The Rampage are in sixth place, but they're just six points behind the Aeros. So it really is key that the Aeros find a way to win these games so that they can start to get some distance and breathing room between themselves and those teams below them.
Helping to cheer on the team and fire up the crowd this weekend will be the Aerodynamics, the Aeros cheerleading squad. And if you watch the Dynamics, like any good male should, you'll notice something just a little strange. Sure they're wearing the tight cheerleading clothing. Sure they're waving pom-poms in the sky. But if you look closely, you'll notice something else: The squad has two sets of twins, or as I call them, twin twins.
I talked to one set of the twins, Kristen and Kirsten, before last Sunday's 6-3 win over Manitoba. And I talked to them before the game as they were doing something that I've never seen the Texans cheerleaders or the Rockets' Power Dancers do, and that was they were all lined up at the entrances to Toyota Center, greeting the fans as they entered. And this wasn't just a one-time thing, the Aerodynamics do this before every game.
Kristen and Kirsten are in their second year as Aerodynamics, and I was comforted by the fact that while I couldn't tell them apart -- they're identical twins, after all - neither could their teammates. But the two young ladies found that to be funny.
They said they became cheerleaders for the Aeros because they love hockey, mentioning the fast pace, aggressive action and the hard hitting as the reason why they're such fans. However, if you've watched the Aerodynamics during a game, you have noticed that they're never in one spot for too long as they're constantly roaming the stands for giveaways and contests, or they're out on the ice between periods doing routines or assisting with more contests.
"We see a lot," Kristen said. "We go downstairs usually at the five-minute mark before intermission, so we see about 45 minutes of the game."
John Royal It's time for a little air guitar
The Aerodynamics do spend a lot of time in the stands, interacting with the fans, which, once again, is not something I've seen the other squads for Houston teams do. And the ladies say they never have any problems with the fans, not even with some who might have had a bit too much alcohol. Kristen said the only problem she's ever had in the stands is when she misses a step running or down the aisle.
During their free time, Kristen and Kirsten are students at the University of Houston, and both are assistant teachers, Kristen working with preschool ages and Kirsten working with elementary kids -- you're going to have to find the schools out on your own. But becoming teachers is something they would both like to do after graduation.
"I love children, and I just want to stay in education," Kirsten said.
And any time that they're not at school, or working, or at games, they're still handling Aeros duties.
"We have two practices a week, but it's really a nonstop thing," Kristen said. "You have to continuously work out, continuously practice at home just to keep your body in shape and your mind focused on the routines, and everything. It's really a non-stop job."
And when they're not practicing, they're doing charity work associated with the team. The Aerodynamics are involved in charitable activities for Fanatical Change and St. Jude's.
This is an important weekend for the Aeros -- it seems like every weekend is an important weekend for this team -- and doing their best to help out the team will be Kristen and Kirsten and the rest of the Aerodynamics squad. So say hi when you walk into Toyota Center, and always make sure the aisle is clear before you head up to concessions so that you don't run into one of the young ladies while she's throwing out free T-shirts or playing air guitar for the air guitar contest.