ARLINGTON -- Marcus Sophus II began dancing at age six.
While attending an elementary magnet school, Sophus developed the foundation for what would become his life's passion. He studied jazz, hip hop, contemporary and beginner's ballet on his way to developing a diverse dance background. He later went on to dance in high school and actually helped his coach choreograph the drill team's routines throughout the season. Ironically, at 6'4, his personal specialty was the traditional kick-line.
While in college, he auditioned for "SoReal" Performing Arts Center which is best known for its success on MTV's Americas Best Dance Crew. This was one of his most challenging but rewarding tasks and taught him what it meant to be a part of a team.
Sophus came across the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers just three days prior to this year's auditions when he spotted their flyer on social media. Following his research into the first and only co-ed hip hop dance team in the NFL, he got excited about the opportunity to showcase his talents with the group that is the perfect synergy of the professional sports arena with the pinnacle of the dance world and decided to try out for the team.
As his quest to join the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers got underway, he would miss his great-grandmother's funeral to make the trek north on I-45 up to the Dallas area from his home town of Houston for the first round of auditions. During the process that took place at Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch, he used her passing as motivation.
After advancing to the final round of auditions -- which took place at the Dallas Cowboys Draft Party at AT&T Stadium -- he had some of his best friends on hand. They were positioned up front on the edge of the stage cheering him on as his journey would continue into the team's intense training camp.
He put in for a transfer with his job in Houston and made the move up to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. When he received word that he had officially made the team, it was as if everything had fallen into place at the perfect time.
Following the Cowboys-Vikings preseason game at AT&T Stadium, he was kind enough to spend a few moments looking back on his first game as a member of the the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers presented by Miller Lite.
JAY BETSILL: So you your first game day has arrived. How were you feeling upon arrival at Valley Ranch and knowing the game was almost here?
MARCUS SOPHUS:I was nervous, but honestly I was more nervous in the days leading up to game. It was very surreal pulling up to Dallas Cowboys headquarters and knowing I was about to join my teammates on the bus, go to AT&T Stadium and perform in front of so many fans.
JB: What were your emotions like when the bus was approaching the AT&T Stadium?
MS: As soon as I saw the stadium off in the distance, I felt like 'this is the moment I've been waiting for, there's no turning back now. It's my chance to show people that I am meant to be here and time to go to work.'
JB: Talk about entering the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers locker room for your first game.
MS: Walking into the locker room, the first thing I noticed was the name plaques above our lockers. I am named after my father and he passed away when I was in high school. Seeing my name plaque, the first thing I thought of was him. I tried to fight back tears and honestly I cried a little, but I did my best to make sure no one saw me.
JB: The team's first performance was out on the Miller Lite Plaza on the west side of AT&T Stadium. What was that like from the dancers' perspective?
MS: Ironically, it was the same stage we performed on during finals, but there was definitely an entirely different level of excitement. I was so excited for the opportunity to showcase for the Cowboys fans what the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue has been working so hard on and giving our blood, sweat and tears. Walking on the stage in a Dallas Cowboys uniform as part of a team was like taking my first steps as a child.
JB: During the game, you were with your team in the field level Miller Lite Club and the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers were featured on the huge HD video board on multiple occasions. What was it like to see yourself on the big screen?
MS: The veterans have done a good job of teaching the rookies that when the camera is on us that we need to remember to keep our "game face" on, focus on the camera and not look up at the screen, but I did glance up very quickly and it's a memory I'll never forget. The whole game day experience was special and is something I will remember forever.
Fans can follow the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue Dancers on Twitter and Instagram @DCRhythmBlue