Baton twirling has evolved and changed, from marching with bands in parades, to what it is now . . . a competitive sport.
Competitions are prepared months in advance, hours of training boiling down to a two-minute routine. Countless mornings practicing that all comes down to one shot on the dance floor.
Baton twirling is a combination of many different genres of dance. The grace of ballroom, the strength and flexibility of gymnastics and the discipline of ballet.
Competition mornings start with a six o’clock wake up call, even though the butterflies in your stomach have kept you up all night. I start with some light stretching,force myself to eat a breakfast despite my nervous stomach. And this feeling stays with you through out the entire day, till you fall into bed at eight o’clock that night. And then you get ready to do it all over again!
That’s right, some of our competitions can last up to four days, each with early starts and late finishes.
A lot of people may look at this and think, it’s only dance. But it’s changed and become so much more than that. It’s a sport, and we are athletes. Just the same for soccer players and basketball players, we train and we trained hard.
People may look at us and only see our polished appearance and sparkly costumes, but underneath all that there is the bruised toes in our pointed shoes, the busted lips behind our lipstick and the tears behind the smile. . . and you still love it!
Everything sport takes hours of dedication and devotion, and when it comes to dance, there’s no difference.
Baton twirling has taught me so much in my thirteen years, and I’m talking about more than dancing.
Baton twirling has taught me self-confidence, the meaning of team work and the importance of sportsmanship. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?