I wasn’t a professional baton twirler, by any means. In fact, I wasn’t even an amateur twirler. I was just a girl with a baton who tried to do ‘crazy eights’ and basic twirls under my arms and just have fun with it! Me and my friends all had batons in the 70s. It was the equivalent of having a hula hoop!
Nowadays, there are baton twirling competitions and dances, marching bands, Teams, Clubs, Twirling Associations and Academy’s. There might have been all these options when I was growing up but I didn’t know about them, nor was it an option for me to partake in any of them!
Serious twirling combines dance, agility, coordination, flexibility and often gymnastics while manipulating a single baton or multiple batons. It is primarily performed while accompanied by music. When judged, fundamental characteristics include the handling of the baton to create visual images, pictures, and patterns executed with dexterity both close in and around the body and the proper release of the baton into the air. The discipline requires the simultaneous blending of these fundamental characteristics, utilizing time and space to display both technical merit and artistic expression. There are multiple types baton twirlers.
- Majorettes twirl in a group for a high school or college with its marching band.
- Twirler may perform as part of a group which marches in a parade or in front of an audience.
- Competitive twirlers may compete solo or as part of a group.
A far cry from the basic twirling I could do:
This is a LITTLE more my speed! But this little girl was definitely heading in the right direction…
And then there’s me… Baton-less!
Did you baton? Share your stories in the comment section below.