Everyone who loves music dreams of meeting a famous artist. That dream became a reality for a 2015 Donna High School graduate.
Former DHS D’ettes Major Alexandria Cantu met Lady Gaga and got to perform alongside her during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston. Cantu said this opportunity was possible because she is a member of the Blinn College Treasures, her college dance team. “It’s definitely something I’m going to remember forever,” Cantu said.
Cantu found out her dance team was invited to participate in the NFL championship game’s halftime show when she was on Christmas break. At the time, she was at DHS helping her former Drill Team Director Janet Garcia teach dance moves. During a break, she logged on to a Facebook group page to check if any messages had been posted for members of the Treasures. That is when she saw a video from her college dance team coach.
“She kept stalling in the video,” Cantu recalled. “She said she had a big surprise for us but told us we couldn’t tell anybody. We could only share the news with our parents. Then she writes on a piece of paper that said we were going to perform at the Super Bowl with Lady Gaga. I started yelling. I was super excited. I didn’t know what to do because I couldn’t tell anybody.”
Cantu could not hold it in. She approached Garcia and whispered the news to her. “I had to tell her. I told her we were going to perform at the Super Bowl with Lady Gaga. She looked at me and said ‘no way.’ We were both in complete shock. Everybody started staring at us and asked us what we were talking about but we couldn’t say anything.”
“I was very excited for her,” Garcia said. “I was overwhelmed with joy.”
The Treasures arrived in Houston several days prior to the Super Bowl for practice sessions. On the first day they met the star of the show. “We were told we were going to do a full run-through with her so we got really excited,” Cantu said. “They started lining us up along a gate. We didn’t know what was happening. Then she showed up. She was standing on stage and then ran out to the line we were in and went one-by-one to everybody touching everyone’s hand. I was like ‘Oh my God, Lady Gaga just touched my hand.’ ”
Cantu said the team practiced for eight days with Lady Gaga. They went over different types of dance movements for six songs. “She was so nice to us the whole time,” Cantu said. “Every time we would do a full run-through she would tell us ‘you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for being here and for putting so much work into this.’ The very first time we showed her the performance she cried. Our earpiece was on and she said ‘I love you guys so much and thank you guys for being so perfect.’ ”
Cantu said the actual Super Bowl performance was an unforgettable experience. “First of all we couldn’t believe we were there and performing with Lady Gaga,” Cantu said. “Our team was below the stage but we were in the front row. She was right in front of us. The lights were off and during one of the performances everybody in the audience took out their cell phones. The lights on the phones allowed us to see how many people were actually at the stadium. I was mesmerized and speechless.”
Cantu said she was confident during the entire performance. She credits her experience and success to her days as a member of the DHS D’ettes. During her four-year tenure, she climbed the ranks from Social Officer to Lieutenant to Major, the highest position offered in the program. “When she was a Major, she was a fantastic leader,” Garcia said. “She was completely dedicated to the organization and every time she attended practice she would always give it 110 percent.”
“I wouldn’t be where I am today dancing in college if it wasn’t for being a part of the D’ettes organization,” Cantu said. “It’s helping me be better. I’m looking forward to moving on.”