Being a competitive twirler isn’t exactly all that people picture. Much like any famous athlete, when you are on top of your game, people take notice and not just judges! Not only do you have to execute during your 2.5 minutes on the floor, but you also have to be prepared to represent yourself and the sport well throughout the contest.
Yesterday, I competed at the NCABT Intercollegiate Championships in Plano, Texas. The NCABT, National Coalition for the Advancement of Baton Twirling, was founded in order to help twirlers earn their place among NCAA athletes. This was my second year to represent Baylor at the contest, and it is always one of my favorites because I get to see my friends from across the country.
Among all the festivities yesterday, I also had the opportunity to be interviewed by the Ft. Worth Star Telegram! The reporter was astonished at the level of athleticism among all the girls, and she asked me several different questions about my involvement with the sport and what I believed it meant for others. So many people discount the amount of hours spent in the gym and the amount of skill it takes to twirl because what most people know to be twirling isn’t what twirling really is! All most people ever see is the “Miss Congeniality” type of twirler, but it is so much more than that!
Speaking of “Miss Congeniality,” did you know that the stunt-double for the twirler in the movie was a former University of Texas feature twirler??? Dr. Coral Noonan-Terry was one of the judges this weekend and spoke to everyone after the competition. She even brought her batons from the movie, so obviously I had to snag a quick picture! Interestingly enough, I thought the way the batons magically burst into flames in the movie was just part of movie magic, but I was wrong. Coral told us that they specially made fire batons with an ignition button for the movie!
At the end of the contest, a young group of girls performed that had just started twirling. In fact, they put their routine together in six days! I had spoken with their coach earlier in the day because the first routine I did in front of people was done in the same short amount of time. After the contest, all the girls wanted to take a picture with me, so naturally, I told them what a good job they had done. One of the brothers just looked at me and said, “You were good too!” They had lots of questions about how I got to be at the level I am, and honestly, it all comes down to hours and hours in the gym. But, I never regret spending those hours practicing because of moments like this. Getting to inspire young girls to reach for their dreams is absolutely priceless.
In the end, I was rewarded for my hard work with two gold medals in 3 Baton and my favorite event, Collegiate Halftime Twirling, a routine that is crowd-pleasing and combines 1, 2, and 3 Baton with college fight songs. I’m honored to have represented Baylor this well in my final year of collegiate eligibility. Thanks to all those who supported and watched me along the way! To all the aspiring twirlers, keep practicing because I can’t wait to come watch you on the football field or in the contest arena!
Miss Frisco 2010