Updated: 12/19/2012 1:52 pm
Jesse Rayos is a math teacher at Victoria East High School. But he stepped onto the dance floor as the director of the school's hip hop dance team, a position that was hard to fill. "They didn't have a director and they were lacking the leadership. So, they came and approached me and I graciously accepted. And it was one of the best decisions that I've done." said Rayos.
The team performs at pep rallies and community events, and a select few compete. Senior team member Christopher Zapata said, "We couldn't be a team without him. We weren't nothing last year. He came and he made something happen. Now we're national champions and we owe that all to him."
National champions four times over. Mr. Rayos practiced with the team three to four hours a day and their work paid off with national titles in all four dance entries at the MA National Dance Championship in Fort Worth last month.
"It meant a lot to us, Mr Rayos did a lot for us," said VEHS senior and team captain Jose Cabrera. "Ever since I joined it's just been a big part of my life and it's something I discovered I love to do. // It meant a lot to us for someone to actually show that they care about dancing and hip hop bc a lot of people don't accept hip hop dancing around here," said Zapata.
But, Mr. Rayos' caring goes well beyond the classroom or dance floor. "The rapport you establish with your students is phenomenal. If you show them that you care, they'll do anything for you. 18.104.22.168 That's why I like to attend all the football games, all the baseball games, soccer games, just to show these kids that you care. Once you show them you care, they'll turn around and do anything for you. They'll work really really hard for you," Rayos said.
Mr. Rayos says the students always come first, an understanding that transfers to the dance floor, showing these students that their moves in life can lead to success. Cabrera said, "he's a good director, the best director I've ever worked with."
Junior Lt Ernesto Briones said, "Thank you Mr Rayos for being such a great director and leading us this year and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us next year."
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