Danielle Sikes is right where she wants to be — times two.

“Within a year of being here, I got both my dream jobs,” the California native said.

{mosads}For her day job, Sikes serves as an ambassador of sorts to constituents as a legislative correspondent for Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio). But nights and weekends this past year are when Sikes practiced a bit of hockey diplomacy, pumping up the crowds at the Verizon Center as a member of the Red Rockers, the Washington Capitals’ spirit and dance squad.

Sikes says Gibbs’s staff “loves” her double life: “My office now thinks it’s hilarious and gets a kick out of it.” 

While she doesn’t generally advertise her other job when she’s at the Capitol, sometimes it can be hard to avoid, such as when she shows up to the office in “full hair and makeup, fake eyelashes, lipstick, everything” for a game or event that evening. She laughs as she says, “My office, they know when I walk in the door in the morning!”

Although she’s decided not to audition for this season’s Red Rockers team to instead “focus on work here on the Hill,” Sikes has learned over the last few months how to juggle the two gigs.

Keeping track of her dual schedules requires some organization, and for that, the California State University at Fullerton grad prefers to go old school. The political science major prefers a written planner to an iPhone calendar, saying, “Everything throughout the day I have in there.”

And while she says her peers might view her as a bundle of energy or a “little firecracker,” there’s nothing she digs more than a little R&R with a good read. “I read a lot. I’m a total bookworm,” Sikes says with a sheepish grin. 

When she’s not planted behind a book or cheering on the Caps, the sports fanatic makes a point of heading to the gym at least four times a week. “I try to keep myself in that routine not just for the job’s sake, but for myself.”

She credits her Golden State roots for her laid-back style. Patterns are a no-no for Sikes, but she digs bold colors. “You can keep it simple and still have that ‘wow’ factor,” she says.

Sikes landed in the nation’s capital last year through a scholars program at her college. She was immediately hooked on D.C.: “After being here for like two months, I called my parents and was like, I’m not going to come home.”

Her goal for now is to work her way up the career ladder in Congress, eyeing a chief of staff position down the road. “You don’t know what’s going to happen out here,” she says of Washington, “which I kind of like.”

— Judy Kurtz


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