Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday Night Lights Feature - The Woodlands College Park High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

What a week is had been. We want to send our thoughts and prayers to our Houston twirl family who have been experiencing heavy rains and flooding. If you are in the Houston area and need any help, please reach out and let us know what we can do to assist you!

Luckily, while the twirlers in today’s interview are from the Houston area, the rain subsided enough for them to enjoy tonight’s game, even though they did get sprinkled on just a little bit.

Each season this blog likes to get to know some of these awesome twirlers a little better by learning about them and their experiences. We will be meeting a new High School twirler each Friday through the season with the Friday Night Lights Features, and discovering more about our Texas Collegians with the Collegiate Twirler Spotlights during the week. Make sure to follow us at facebook.com/twirlingiscatchingtx or on Instagram @twirlingiscatchingtx for lots of live content and Insta-story take overs by some of your favorites.

This week’s Friday Night Lights Feature is The Woodlands College Park High School Feature Twirlers!



The Woodlands College Park High School is a school many NBTA twirlers from Texas should be familiar with, as it is the location of the Annual Twirl in the Woods contest. TWCPHS has wonderful facilities which has helped promote a great history of baton twirlers over the past decade, and we love seeing that continue with the current Feature Twirlers, Madison Frantzen and Sophia Dinubilo. 

The Cavalier Marching Band Community is very supportive of their twirlers, and of twirling in general. Did you know that the TWCPHS Band Director’s Daughter was the 2019 Texas State Tiny Tot Basic Skills Champion? Isn’t that the cutest? With such a great appreciation for twirlers, the audition process is relatively simple. As the twirlers told us, “for auditions you talk to our amazing band director about joining the twirlers. After you prepare a routine, you perform it for the band director, and he decides who will twirl that year”.

There have been a lot of great opportunities for the twirlers at TWCPHS as part of the Marching Band and as Game Day entertainment. We asked Madison and Sophia what part of Game Day is their favorite and they told us, “when we get to go on the field after a football game and sing the school song with the football players and cheerleaders.” Love seeing school unity like that between organizations!

We asked the twirlers about their marching band program and they told us the band "loves to clap for basically anything”. Well, when your band has a lot worth clapping for, that makes sense. The TWCPHS Marching Band not only has State & Regional Champion Baton Twirlers, the program is very well respected in the school. This year both the Homecoming King and Queen were part of the Band. In fact, according to their band director, a band member has been King or Queen for 11 of the past 12 years. Wow! Band students are hard working kids and it is wonderful to see them get the recognition they deserve in the student body.

Now that we have learned a little about the TWCPHS Community, let’s learn more about their twirlers!

Madison Frantzen, Senior
Competition Level: Intermediate
Madison has been twirling for 6 years. She is a member of the Mickey’s Majorettes and is coached by Patti Mickey and Kayli Mickey McIntosh. The competition title she is the proudest of winning was the 2018 Beginner Junior Texas Pageant. Her favorite field trick is anything 3 Baton. In baton twirling she has been most inspired by current University of Texas Feature Twirler, Caroline Carothers. After High School she hopes to attend Texas A&M University and earn a degree in Education.







Sophia Dinubilo, Freshman
Competition Level: Advanced
Sophia has been twirling for 7 years. She is also a member of the Mickey’s Majorettes and is coached by Patti Mickey and Kayli Mickey McIntosh. The competition title she is the proudest of winning was the 2018 Pre-Teen Miss Majorette of the Southwest pageant. In baton twirling, she was most inspired by her Mickey’s Majorette teammate, Isabel Obias. Her favorite field trick is a high toss front walkover. After High School she hopes to twirl for a University.










Fun Facts!
Favorite Color - Pink (Both Madison & Sophia)
Favorite Movie - Any of the Star Wars Movies (Madison), Clueless (Sophia)
Favorite Music - Pop (Both Madison & Sophia)

Favorite Quote…
Madison – “Happy girls are the prettiest girls” – Audrey Hepburn
Sophia – “Though she is little, she is fierce”

When they are not twirling, they love to…
Madison – “Spend time with my family and swim”
Sophia – “Hang out with my friends and practice makeup”

Something you might not know about them is…
Madison – “I am in the teaching club for my school and compete competitively”
Sophia – “I really like to paint and make art”


These two ladies have a ton of fun twirling together. Already having been teammates, they knew each other well and had similar styles, which made the transition easy. They get to enjoy learning skills together and appreciate the camaraderie that comes from being co-features. This also leads to a lot of laughter. We asked what was one of the funniest things that has happened to them since they started twirling together. Madison said, “During the duet section we perform, Sophia hit me in the face and we couldn’t stop laughing”. Oh geez! At least they can both laugh about it!

We asked Madison and Sophia what the #1 non-twirling life skill they have learned from baton twirling was and they told us, “learning how to be self-motivated and always in a positive mood.” Being self-motivated is a very hard thing to learn, especially in a situation where you are twirling and may not have constant direction from the Directors. We wanted to know how they kept their focus during practices, and they shared some great advice. “We always try to make a list of what we want to get done that day and make sure we don’t get off topic”. That is a super productive way to approach practices!

As this is Madison’s senior year and Sophia’s freshman year, it will be their only year twirling together. Their co-feature bond is already strong, and losing that time together is what they will both miss the most when the season is over. They have really loved their time getting ready and practicing together, and seeing their hard work pay off on the field.

To wrap up our interview we asked these ladies what their best advice was for future High School twirlers. Madison told us “Smile big, and just have fun!” and Sophia kept it simple but strong with, “Never Give Up!” Both are great words of advice for any twirler.

We want to say thank you to Madison and Sophia for introducing us to the TWCPHS community and we wish them the best of luck with an amazing field season. Go Cavs!


We hope you have enjoyed this blog post. We are always looking for great new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or some information we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at texastwirlcontact@gmail.com and we would love to hear more about it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

#TexasTwirlersTravel - International Cup & Grand Prix

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

We know we are already in to mid-September (how did that happen?), but we want to rewind a little bit to last month for today's blog post. Previously this blog has mostly covered NBTA competitors when it comes to competition posts due to that being the most familiar to the blog writer.

However, with the creation of the International Baton Twirling Federation (IBTF), and the future goals of working together between organizations, this blog hopes to take more time to cover USTA events as well. The future of baton twirling relies on the WFNBTA and the WBTF coming together and aligning their goals, so here in Texas, we would like to ensure that we are broadening our horizons and making sure all Texas Twirlers have coverage.

To kick off our new efforts to show all the facets of different organizations that exist in Texas, we wanted to give a shout out to the amazing twirlers from Texas that recently represented on the World level at the WBTF International Cup and the IBTF Grand Prix! These five Texans included Emily Perkins, Maggie Chrudimsky, Emmanuel Espinosa, Krystal Yoli Miller, and Destiny LeBrun!


*Photo is missing Emily Perkins and includes two representatives from Louisiana.

In case you are not familiar with these two events, we will give you a quick summary. While both of these events were held in Limoges, France, this August, they were two separate events with different qualifiers.

The WBTF International Cup is the "USTA Worlds" event where twirlers qualified by placing Top Three at USTA Nationals in either the Elite, A, or B level or events including Solo, Two Baton, Three Baton, Artistic Twirl, and Artistic Pairs. This event occurred first from August 5th to 8th.


The IBTF Grand Prix was a glimpse in to what will occur on the Worlds level when NBTA/WFNBTA and USTA/WBTF combine for their future World event. The Grand Prix brings twirlers from both organizations together to compete for an overall title. Each organization had different qualification processes, and sent representatives for each division. This event occurred on August 9th to 11th.

This year, Texas brought home several final placements as well as two Silver Medals between the two competitions. We are super proud of these Texas Twirlers and their accomplishments representing Texas and the USA in France! Let's take a moment to recognize each of them.

Emily Perkins 
*IC Senior Elite Artistic Pair (with partner Keragan Ogden)*
4th in Prelims and 6th in Finals

*IC: Senior Elite Three Baton*
SILVER MEDAL in Finals

*Grand Prix* - 12th in Two Baton, 16th in Solo, and 
SILVER MEDAL in Duet (with partner Keragan Ogden)
     

Maggie Chrudimsky
*IC: Junior Level A Two Baton*
3rd in Prelims and 6th in Finals


Emmanuel Espinoza
*IC: Senior Men Level A Artistic Twirl*
Placed 8th in Prelims and 7th in Finals


Krystal Yoli Miller
*IC: Adult Level A Solo*
Placed 21st in Prelims


Destiny Lebrun
*IC: Senior Level A Artistic Pair (with partner Keriann Hollis)*
Placed 19th in Prelims


We want to send a huge congrats to these awesome Texas twirlers on a great International Cup & Grand Prix. We can't wait to follow them moving forward, as we know they will continue to do great things!


We hope you have enjoyed this blog post. We are always looking for great new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or some information we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at texastwirlcontact@gmail.com and we would love to hear more about it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - University of Texas San Antonio

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Last weekend was a great weekend for College Games. So many fun pictures and videos on social media of Texas twirlers performing their hearts out and supporting their teams.

Each season this blog likes to get to know some of these awesome twirlers a little better by learning about them and their experiences. We will be meeting a new High School twirler each Friday through the season with the Friday Night Lights Features, and discovering more about our Texas Collegians with the Collegiate Twirler Spotlights during the week. Make sure to follow us at facebook.com/twirlingiscatchingtx or on Instagram @twirlingiscatchingtx for lots of live content and Insta-story take overs by some of your favorites.

This week’s Collegiate Twirler Spotlight in the University of Texas-San Antonio Feature Twirlers!


Who else had a blast following the UTSA Twirlers as they took over our Insta-Story on Saturday? Experiencing Game Day with the SOSA Sweethearts, Alexis Tanner, Hannah Kacher, and Caitlin Stanke, was so much fun. We got to see the view from the field at the Alamodome, a sneak peek at the TeamWalk, and some pre-game and halftime twirling awesomeness. It made us super excited to get to know more about these three wonderful Feature Twirlers!

As we saw on Instagram, a UTSA Football Game Day with the Spirit of San Antonio (SOSA) Marching Band is unforgettable. The UTSA Feature Twirlers, coached by Staci Smith, are a beautiful presence on the field and bring extra talent to the organization. First year Feature Twirler, Hannah, tells us that the experiences with SOSA is what brought her to be a Roadrunner. “Of course I’ve been to college games, but being a performer on the field is a completely different experience. I loved my first game so much, and although it was long, I will never forget that day. A big reason why I chose UTSA was because of SOSA. Being from San Antonio I know how big of a deal SOSA is, and how could I not want to be a part of it?”

First year Feature Twirler, Caitlin Stanke, agreed. “I chose UTSA because of the pride shown in the band, even though it hasn’t been established very long. It’s amazing to see how we all work together to create such entertainment for all UTSA fans!” Being a freshman twirler has to be an overwhelming experience, but Caitlin also told us it was just as astonishing. “The atmosphere is so much different than high school band. I enjoy it every second of it, especially since I have two great new friends along my side!”


The University of Texas - San Antonio has been a presence in San Antonio since it was built in 1993, but they did not have a football team or marching band until 2011. This season is only the 9th year that SOSA has been rocking the Alamodome, but in that time they have developed some great school traditions. We asked the twirlers which of them meant the most to each girl. Second year Feature Twirler, Alexis, told us her favorite tradition is when, “after each game, win or lose, the football team and band gather together to sing the Alma Mater”. Catilin also loves the singing. It is such a special moment for the two organizations. Another event they enjoy is Midnight Light. Hannah tells us that “at midnight the night before school starts they get everyone pumped for the school year and light fireworks. It was very tiring but a memory I will always have!”

The band continues their traditions off the Game Day field. Hannah tells us how much she loves the unity that the band organization has and that is shows when they end rehearsal. “The drum major stands on the podium then gathers everyone’s attention through a back and forth chant. At the end you can hear the echo the band leaves and it gives me chills every time.” During the many, many hours the SOSA organization spends together, they have created a lot of fun inside jokes to go along with the more serious traditions. Alexis says her favorite inside joke is “Y’all Hear/See Sum?” which makes no sense to us, but we are sure it means something to them. They also agree that the nicknames they make up for  keeps them giggling on those long days. Caitlin additionally mentioned that “Hannah is a secret food critic of Mac and Cheese.”

Now that we have learned what it is like to be a part of the UTSA and SOSA Community, let’s learn more about Alexis, Hannah, and Caitlin!

Alexis Tanner
Alexis is from Corpus Christi, Texas, and is currently a sophomore majoring in Mathematics with a Teacher's Certification. She has been twirling for 13 years. She is a member of the Mickey’s Majorettes and is coached by Patti Mickey and Kayli Mickey McIntosh. The title she is the most proud of winning was the 2019 National 18 Year Old Baton Flag Champion. Her favorite competition trick is a toss double illusion, and her favorite field trick is a toss front walkover. In baton twirling, Alexis has been most inspired by her role model, now coach, Kayli Mickey McIntosh. “When I was little I wanted to be just like Kayli Mickey and I remember she put a crown on me at a competition and I completely freaked and didn’t let my mom touch it because Kayli had touched it, and now Kayli is my coach!!” After college she hopes to become a high school math teacher and either coach track or baton at the school.

Hannah Kacher
Hannah is from San Antonio, Texas, and is currently a freshman Psychology and Kinesiology major. She has been twirling for 13 years. Hannah is a member of the Twirling Sweet Sensations and is coached by Michele Pangrac and Mary Ann Srulowitz. The title she is the most proud of winning was the Junior Intermediate Texas State Pageant. Hannah’s favorite competition trick is a floor roll into a split catch blind, and her favorite field trick is a toss cartwheel. “It is definitely an easy crowd pleaser”. In baton twirling, she has been inspired by many of those around her. “Caroline Carothers has always been a person I loved to watch on the field and on the competition floor. But I can’t leave out my teammates on Sweet Sensations that have always encouraged me and inspired me to push myself, and now my new friend Alexis who has pushed me these past couple weeks to do bigger and better tricks." After college she is hoping to become a “Sports Psychologist, and maybe open up my own practice. Being to help athletes, like twirlers, overcome the mental strain of competition and games is something I am very passionate about”.

Caitlin Ann Stanke
Caitlin is from Rogers, Texas, and is currently a Medical Humanities Major with a Pre-Dental focus. At UTSA she is also a member of the First Generation College Student Organization and the UTSA Pre-Dental Society. She has been twirling for 6 years and is coached by Stacie Smith. Her favorite field trick is a toss cartwheel. In baton twirling she has been inspired the most by Karissa Wimberley. After college she hopes to start her own dental practice.











Fun Facts!
Favorite Color… Blue (Alexis), Gold - “because it has the perfect shine” (Hannah), Red (Caitlin)
Favorite Movie… Moana (Alexis), “I love, love, love Pitch Perfect!” (Hannah), Documentaries (Caitlin)
Favorite Music… Country (Caitlin), “I listen to all kinds of music, but you will usually find me listening to R&B” (Alexis).

Favorite Quote or Life Motto…
  • Alexis: “Fake it till you make it!”
  • Hannah: “Why do anything less than your best?”
  • Caitlin: “Come forth into the light of things and let nature be your teacher”

When they are not twirling they love to…
  • Alexis: “Workout or run! Being active outside of twirling is very important to me”
  • Hannah: “Play with my puppy and kitty. My pets are my entire world”
  • Caitlin: “Read!”

Something you might not know about them is…
  • Alexis: “I have broken my nose WAY too many times!”
  • Hannah: “I’m a pretty open book, so I can’t necessarily think of anything”
  • Caitlin: “I love photography and taking photos!”


Most memorable advice from their coaches…
  • Alexis: “Just keep smiling! And if you need to cry, don’t let anyone see you upset”
  • Caitlin: “Don’t knock it until you try it”

Favorite moment of twirling…
  • Alexis: "I gave myself a bloody nose in front of Mrs. Mickey at a local competition and stopped in the middle of my routine to bend over and cry. Mrs. Mickey told me to "keep going", so I proceeded to wipe the blood from my nose onto my arm and finish my routine. After I saluted, of course, I started crying again while my coach started walking me to the bathroom and my mom made sure that I didn’t get any blood on the white parts of my costume. I got a sportsman ship award at that competition, so I would say it was worth it!"
  • Hannah: “Definitely my team’s Disney trip where I got to be 1 of 3 twirlers that lead the parade”
  • Caitlin: “Teaching a multitude of young girls how to twirl every year at my high school."

Funniest Twirling Moment: 
  • Alexis: “Last year during a show we had to listen carefully to the music for a cue to move to the other side of the field in time for a trio section of the show. Well, I guess I was just having WAY too much fun twirling that I completely forgot to listen to the music. I soon realized that Julie (former UTSA twirler) was already on the other side of the field with Michael (another former UTSA twirler). I stopped twirling and bolted it to the other side of the field. With all that sprinting I got to my spot just in time for the opening exchange."
  • Catilin: "Getting chased by bees at practice. (Also very scary)"


Baton twirling has opened many new experiences to these ladies, but it has also taught them many life lessons. Caitlin says the main thing she has learned from twirling is “Proving to myself that I can do more than I think I can”. Hannah feels the strongest lessons she has learned have been about leadership and friendliness. “I believe you must be a role model in and out of the gym.” So true! The non-twirling skill Alexis is proud to have gained from twirling is how to talk to and make friends with people. “Believe it or not, I am a very shy person, but over the years twirling has taught me how to make friends with ease. It has also taught me how to speak to people in higher positions than myself. This is, of course, from the countless numbers of interviews I’ve done in practice and at competitions.”

As this is Alexis’ second yeas as a SOSA Sweetheart, we asked what she was the most excited about this season, and what she plans to improve on from last year. “I was most looking forward to just performing and being on the field again! Competition twirling is so much different that field twirling. I definitely don’t feel as much pressure on the field. I am able to be less critical of myself, be more comfortable showing the audience what I have improved on, and focus on putting on a good show. I will add harder tricks to my performances this year, and also add in more facial expressions. Last year I was very scared of performing on the field since it was my first time. However, since I have a year under my belt now, I am more comfortable with the setting and environment and I am able to have more fun. Also, adding in more expression to my twirling will hopefully make the show more exciting for me and the audience.”

To close the interview we asked these twirlers what advice they would pass on to future collegiate twirlers. Learning from experience, Alexis advises twirlers to work on facial expressions. “It may feel silly but if you practice these and incorporate them into your routine it will make a world of difference. It will add so much excitement into your twirling and the audience will appreciate it. Even if you are doing a trick that you find easy make it exciting for the audience to watch”. Caitlin suggested being in the moment as much as you can. “Take a deep breath and relax, enjoy and take pride in the routine you are going to perform. Once it’s over you’ll want to do it again and again!” Hannah kept it short and sweet with “Enjoy the game and smile so so big!” Love it!

We want to say thank you to Alexis, Hannah, and Caitlin for letting us get a glimpse in to the SOSA life, and wish them an amazing season in the Alamodome. Go Roadrunners!


We hope you have enjoyed this blog post. We are always looking for great new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or some information we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at texastwirlcontact@gmail.com and we would love to hear more about it.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Friday Night Lights Feature - Byron Nelson High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Here we are at another Friday Night, and so ready for those lights to appear.

Each season this blog likes to get to know some of these awesome twirlers a little better by learning about them and their experiences. We will be meeting a new High School twirler each Friday through the season with the Friday Night Lights Features, and discovering more about our Texas Collegians with the Collegiate Twirler Spotlights during the week. Make sure to follow us at facebook.com/twirlingiscatchingtx or on Instagram @twirlingiscatchingtx for lots of live content and Insta-story take overs by some of your favorites.

Today's Friday Night Lights Feature interview is with the Byron Nelson High School Twirlers!


This interview is another special one because these two twirlers are not only co-features, they are also sisters! We were so excited to meet Maggie & Lilly Barnett this week and learn more about their experiences sharing the field as the Byron Nelson High School Feature Twirlers.

BNHS, located in Trophy Club, Texas, did not have a history of twirlers before the Barnetts. We know newer schools can be a challenge when it comes to adding twirlers, so we asked what they had to do to get on the field. “Our high school had never had a twirler before, actually our district had never had one. We weren’t really sure how our band directors would feel about twirlers, so we set up a meeting to talk about it before Maggie’s freshman year. We gave some twirling background and it helped that Maggie was also a great oboe player and band student, so things fell into place. Our band directors, school staff, and students have all been so supportive of our twirling and we are so appreciative and grateful. They know we are willing to twirl and show school spirit whenever there’s an opportunity”. We love hearing about the success stories of first time twirlers, and even better, we love supportive band directors and schools!

As they get to be a big part of the Bobcat Spirit Community, we know they experiencing the games from right on the field and sidelines. We asked them what their favorite school tradition was, and of course, it had to do with Game Day! “We have a large student section at our football games, and every time we score a touchdown the student section shakes water bottles and splashes everyone with water. Sometimes it’s lots of water! Although we don’t sit in the splash zone, sometimes we can be twirling in front of it and get splashed too!” Water and batons? Not always the best combination, but that sounds fun anyway!


Both Maggie and Lilly are accomplished musicians, so being a part of the band program means a lot to them. They get to have a lot of fun twirling, as well as participating in the band. Maggie says her favorite part of marching season is when she gets to perform with the drumline, and Lilly said her favorite part of marching season is getting to twirl and march an instrument with the band. “Sometimes I even march in my twirling costume”. They also enjoy the weekly tradition of Meme Mondays. “Everyone submits band memes throughout the week and every Monday the drum majors pick their favorite and post it in the band hall”. You have to love a good band meme!

It is no surprise that when asked what they will miss the most about marching season they agreed on the football games, but not just because they get to twirl. They both really enjoy the unity of game days. “We both love how it is a time everyone from the school is involved and comes to show support, but we also live in a community that is very involved and it’s great to see so many community members, parents, and even younger kids that will attend Byron Nelson someday”.

Now that we have learned more about life as a BNHS Bobcat, let’s learn more about Maggie & Lilly!

Maggie Barnett, Senior
Competition Level: Advanced
Maggie has been twirling for 13 years and is taught by coach Janice Jackson Seamands. The competition title she is the most proud of winning is 2019 Miss Majorette of Texas. Her favorite twirling trick is elbow pops into the splits. In baton twirling she has been most inspired by Laney Puhalla. After High School she hopes to twirl in college and also wants to double major in music performance (oboe) and something with International Relations.







Lilly Barnett, Sophomore
Competition Level: Advanced
Lilly has been twirling for 9 years and is taught by coach Janice Jackson Seamands. The titles she is the most proud of winning were the 2019 Southwest Regional and Texas State Intermediate Junior Solo events, as those wins helped move her in to the advanced division. Her favorite twirling trick is back neck rolls. In baton twirling she has been most inspired by Trenton Haltom and Steffany Lien. After High School she hopes to twirl and play bassoon in college, “I just don’t know where yet!”








Fun Facts!
Favorite Color – Blue (Lilly)
Favorite Animal – Bobcat (Maggie)
Favorite Movie – Clue (Maggie)
Favorite TV Show – Golden Girls (Maggie), FRIENDS (Lilly)
Favorite Food – Chick-Fil-A (Maggie), Chips and Queso (Lilly)
Favorite Subject – History (Maggie), Writing (Lilly)

Favorite Quote…
Lilly – “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt”

When they are not twirling they love to…
Maggie – “Play oboe and hang out with friends”
Lilly – “Play bassoon and saxophone”

Something most people might not know about them is...
Maggie – “I’m a geography nerd and I can name all the countries in the world...and their capitals”
Lilly – “I have an eye condition called vertical phoria, it’s very similar to dyslexia”

Most Memorable Advice from her coach…
Maggie – “It’s all about the degree of perfection”
Lilly – “No matter what, always keep going”


It is not super common for sisters to get the opportunity to twirl on the same field, and when we asked Maggie and Lilly what their favorite moment of field twirling was, they both answered “the first time we twirled together.” How sweet is that? What a special moment, and we can imagine mom was just on cloud nine watching.

We also asked them what is the #1 non-twirling life skill they have learned from baton twirling, and the girls agreed it was being timely and prepared. “Being on time is being 15 minutes early!”

Finally, we asked Maggie and Lilly what their best advice was to a future Feature twirler, and they said, “Remember to always positively represent yourself because you are not twirling just for you, you are representing your band, school, district, and community, as well as the sport of baton twirling”. Wise words!

Before we wrap up this interview, we wanted to take a moment to recognize Maggie. Every year a small group of baton twirlers from around the country are selected to be Baton Twirling Ambassadors in Peru for the Festival Internacional de Primavera. For 2019, the 69th year of the Festival, there have been two excellent baton twirlers selected from the state of Texas, including Maggie! Maggie will be traveling alongside fellow Texas Twirler, and 2019 Miss Majorette of the Southwest, K.K. Tunnell. We are so incredibly excited for these ladies, and we cannot wait to hear all about their visit when they return, so stay tuned for that interview next month.

If you would like to support Maggie on her adventure to Peru, she is raising money to help cover the expenses of airfare and to provide gifts to the people she will meet in Peru. You can visit her GoFundMe Page Here. She is only a little bit away from her goal, so let’s see if we can help her out!

We want to send our best wishes to both Maggie & Lilly on a fantastic field season, and an extra congrats to Maggie for being selected as a Peru Ambassador. Go Bobcats!


Photo Credit: BNHS Band photographers Douglas and Amy Pennington.

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of our FNL Feature. Have a favorite High School or Collegiate Twirler that you would like to see interviewed? Please contact us at texastwirlcontact@gmail.com with their name and email address so that we can reach out to them!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - Texas State University

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

These Collegiate Twirler Spotlights and the Friday Night Light Features are some of my favorite posts to do as we all love learning more about our amazing Texas Twirlers.

Each season this blog likes to get to know some of these awesome twirlers a little better by learning about them and their experiences. We will be meeting a new High School twirler each Friday through the season with the Friday Night Lights Features, and discovering more about our Texas Collegians with the Collegiate Twirler Spotlights during the week.

This week's Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is with the Texas State University Feature Twirlers!


It was such a pleasure to talk to the Bobcat Feature Twirlers, Kaylee Williams and Megan Lazrine! These two young ladies are so much fun to watch twirl, and they are just sweethearts. This week we had a special introduction to our collegians as they not only took over the @twirlingiscatchingtx Insta-Story, but we were also able to broadcasting a part of the interview LIVE on our Twirling is Catching - Texas Edition Blog Facebook Page from the sidelines. Check it out here!


In the live interview, they told us about what their Game Day schedule is like, the best part of Game Day, and their favorite thing about being a Bobcat (make sure to watch the video for their answers)! We also asked them what the best school traditions are, and as Megan said it, “ya girl loves her gang(hand) signs”. Kaylee agreed, and explained their hand signs. “Our left hand represents the state of Texas for TXST and our right hand is a paw for our mascot, a Bobcat! Having two hand signs is really unique!”

Part of being a Bobcat Feature Twirler means being a part of the BMB, or Bobcat Marching Band, also known as the "Most Dangerous Band in the South". This past weekend was very special as it kicked off the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Bobcat Marching Band with the first Home Game of the season. The halftime performance included not only the 300 members of the BMB, but also the 200+ members of the Bobcat Alumni Band marching right alongside the Collegiate Members. It was such a fun show to watch over 500 Bobcats all on the same field playing and performing together.

Being part of a program with such a rich history, we had to ask them about their favorite BMB tradition. Kaylee told us that “At the end of ‘Hell Week’ (the last week of summer band) the whole Bobcat Marching Band walks over to the river and jump in to cool off!” We bet that was very welcomed after this crazy hot summer. Megan also enjoyed a band camp tradition. “During preseason camp we always do a rookies vs veterans challenge with who can scream the fight song the loudest. It’s super fun and a neat way for us freshman to learn the fight song fast!”

Now that we have learned about their experiences as Bobcats and members of the BMB, let’s take some time to learn a little more about these young ladies individually...

Kaylee Williams
Competition Level: Advanced/Collegiate
Kaylee is from Whitehouse, Texas and is currently a sophomore working on a Computer Science Major and a Psychology Minor, and is also a University Ambassador and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. She has been twirling for 8 years and is coached by Janice Jackson Seamands and Shelby Elder. She is the most proud of placing Top Five in her National Pageant her first year attending. Kaylee's favorite trick is back neck rolls. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by one of her coaches, and former SFA Feature twirler,  Shelby Elder. “She inspired me the most as I was going through high school. She was one of the reasons I wanted to become a Feature Twirler, and as my coach, helped me achieve that goal!”  After college she plans to continue her academic career and receive her Masters. Then, she hopes to become a UX Designer.


Megan Lazrine
Competition Level: Collegiate
Megan is from the West Columbia, Texas and is currently a Freshman and majoring in Entrepreneurial Management. She has been twirling since she was in first grade. She is a member of the Jana’s Gems and coached by Jana Reid. Megan's favorite competition trick is a toss roll into the splits, and her favorite field trick is anything with three baton. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by several twirlers. “I love watching Michael Lopez twirl. He makes everything look so effortless! I also love Catherine Watters. Her style is definitely my type, and she is so fun to work with!” After College she wants to move back home and start a family, as well as help her mom run her restaurant and bakery. “Family has always been my number one. They have been my biggest supporters through everything and all I have wanted in life was a big family”.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color = Maroon - “Eat Em Up” (Kaylee), Pink (Megan)
Favorite Movie = “The Heat, or honestly anything with Sabra Bullock” (Megan)
Favorite Music = “The band, The 1975” (Kaylee), “Tristan Marez is my all time favorite music artist” (Megan)

Favorite Quote…
  • Kaylee – “Always make your best better.” -Denny Whitley
  • Megan – “No one gets to tell you how big your dreams can be!” - Rachel Hollis. “This quote is my favorite because growing up I always felt scared to show my ambition and dreams with others. I was worried about what people would think and think I’m crazy, but when I read this it hit me so hard due to the fact that I’m the only one who can tell myself if I can achieve something or not. I want people to look at me when I’m older and do things in life and go “wow I didn’t know she was capable of that”.”

When they are not twirling they love to…
  • Kaylee – “Waych YouTube. I am subscribed to over 30 YouTubers!”
  • Megan – “Watch Netflix, take nice long naps (self care is the best) and play with my hamster, Arlo”

Something you might not know about them is…
  • Kaylee – “I played the flute, alto sax, and piccolo in HS, and also marched with the band!”
  • Megan – “I make the best iced coffee everrr (I'm kinda partial to it)”

Most Memorable Advice from their coach…
  • Kaylee – “There is no limit to your ability if you believe. Your determination to succeed is what will carry you the farthest when reaching your goals!”
  • Megan – “You can’t go into a contest expecting to win when all the other girls have put in hours upon hours of work. Practice. Practice. Practice.”

Favorite Twirling Moment...
  • Kaylee – “Feature Twirler at Texas State University for the first time was one of the best feelings after all the hard work that went into preparing to be a college twirler!”
  • Megan – “GETTING CHOSEN TO TWIRL AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY!”

Funniest Twirling Moment:
  • Kaylee – "At my first performance at TXST, we performed in front of the freshman class in 2018, and as I went to do a sling toss under my leg, a cameraman walked right in front of me! Luckily, my baton missed him by a couple of inches, but it was definitely a shocking moment!"
  • Megan – “Fun fact I have actually been on America’s Funniest Home Videos after wiping out. I always record myself when I practice alone so I can go back and critique myself and I just so happen to catch my fall on video.”

#1 Non-Twirling Life Skill they have learned from baton twirling…
  • Kaylee – “Communication skills. Twirling has allowed me to speak more confidently and easily to various amounts of people, through interview and being a representative for my university”
  • Megan – “How to prioritize the things that are important to you. When I was in high school I worked three jobs and for a while there I was struggling to make time for twirling, but it taught me what I have to do in order to be able to do the things I love even if it means 9:30 pm practices.”


We wanted to find out from Megan what it has been like as a freshman feature twirler experiencing her first game, especially since that was a big game between Texas State and Texas A&M at Kyle Field. “My first game as a college twirler was absolutely crazy. That’s literally the only way to describe it. And on Kyle Field of all places. Almost 100,000 people attended that game. It was CRAZY”.

We also wanted to know why she picked Texas State and how she feels about her choice now that she is a couple games into the season. “If you would have asked me two years ago where I was going to college I can guarantee you it wouldn’t have been Texas State, but after lots of heart to hearts with my supporters they pushed me to look more into Texas State, and man I’m so glad I did. When I went in to my tryouts and meet everyone it just felt like home and where I was meant to be.” It is an amazing feeling when you end up right where you are supposed to be, no matter the road that got you there.

Finally, we asked Megan how she prepared for a game day so that she can perform her best. “Before any performance of any type I always take a moment to pray and give it all to God. I realized after fighting all my nerves and anxiety for so long that there was literally nothing I could do at that point. You have trained so hard for this moment and you are prepared!! The only thing you can do at this point is do your best and let God do the rest."


Now, this season is the second season for Kaylee representing as a Bobcat Feature Twirler. We wanted to find out what she is most looking forward to this season and she told us, “I’m looking most forward to having more performances we have this year! The BMB is learning an additional show and is performing as a guest band at two marching contests!” That does sound like a lot of fun, and a great way to get twirling out there more in the community.

We also asked Kaylee what she has done different this season to improve on her experiences last year. “As this is my second-year twirling with the BMB, I am striving to add more ‘WOW’ to my performances and get the crowd more engaged during my routines!” What a great goal! Keep it up Kaylee.

To wrap up our interview, we wanted to know what advice these ladies wanted to share with future collegiate twirlers. Kaylee said to enjoy the experience. “Soak up every single moment as a college twirler, from injuries to your very best performance. Every single moment will be unique and will hold a special place in your heart after you graduate!” So true!

Megan wanted to pass along the message of believing in yourself and following your dreams wherever they lead you. “For a while I made the decision that I was going to go to college locally to get my certification as a dental hygienist, but what some people didn’t know it was because I didn’t think I was good enough to twirl in college so I made up an excuse to miss the embarrassment. After a long talk with my family and my coach as well as twirling team I was finally able to get out of my head and believe in my abilities. Well here I am, Twirling in college. No matter what always believe in yourself. No one can make your dreams come true, but you.” Wise words from someone living the dream. You never know unless you try!

We want to send a big thank you to Kaylee and Megan for their time and wish them the best of luck this season on the field. We know you will represent the Bobcats with pride and a smile. Eat ‘Em Up Cats!


We hope you have enjoyed another edition of our Collegiate Spotlight. Have a favorite High School or Collegiate Twirler that you would like to see interviewed? Please contact us at texastwirlcontact@gmail.com so that we can reach out to them!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Friday Night Lights Feature - Chapel Hill High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Who else can hear the cheers of the football stadium already? Those Friday Night Lights are getting ready to get fired up, and our Texas Twirlers will once again be on the field entertaining the crowds for week two.

Each season this blog likes to get to know some of these awesome twirlers a little better by learning about them and their experiences. We will be meeting a new High School twirler each Friday through the season with the Friday Night Lights Features, and discovering more about our Texas Collegians with the Collegiate Twirler Spotlights during the week. Make sure to follow us at facebook.com/twirlingiscatchingtx or on Instagram @twirlingiscatchingtx for lots of live content and Insta-story take overs by some of your favorites.

Today's Friday Night Lights Feature interview is with the Chapel Hill High School Twirlers!


Chapel Hill High School, located in Tyler, TX, has a great group of twirlers on the field this season. Lead by coach Krystal Miller, this year they have both a feature twirler, Katelynn Carter, and a twirling line that includes Captain Katherine Adams, Holly Walton, and Kyndal Houff. How did these girls earn their positions? “High School try-outs for the line require a solo and learning a group routine. Feature Twirler auditions require an additional solo and interview. Captain Tryouts also require an interview and solo. Our band director is a big part of our try out process”.

These twirlers love being a part of the Chapel Hill Community. There are many great traditions at CHHS, but they all agree that the Homecoming Parade is their favorite annual event. 

While they love supporting their football team, in fact they said that the football games are what they miss the most when the season is over, they have a lot of fun as a part of the marching band as well. Their favorite part about being in the marching band is going to marching contests and being able to perform together. 

They also have a lot of fun with their band directors. One of their favorite band inside jokes is Pie in the Face day. “At the end of band camp, we get to put pie in the directors’ faces and then pour ice cold water on them”. Oh boy! 

Now that we have learned a little about being a Chapel Hill Twirler, let’s learn a little more about these ladies!


FEATURE TWIRLER
Katelynn Carter, Senior
Competition Level: Intermediate 16+
Katelynn has been twirling for 8 years. She has been coached by may great instructors including Beth Maddox, Chelsea Conder, and Blair Maxwell. She is the proudest of winning the 2019 Southwest Regional Beginner Junior Pageant and X-Strut titles. Her favorite thing to do with a baton is rolls. “I love learning rolls!” After High School Katelynn hopes to twirl in college while working on a degree in Speech Language Pathology. 


CAPTAIN
Katherine Adams, Junior
Katherine has been twirling for 4 years with coaches Krystal Miller, Emmanuel Espinoza, and Chelsea Conder. Her favorite twirling trick is a two spin or anything with two baton. After High School she plans to attend Graduate College to earn a PHD in Nursing and graduate without any student loan debt. 





TWIRLER
Holly Walton, Senior
Holly has been twirling for 2 years with coach Krystal Miller. Her favorite twirling trick is any two baton trick. After High School she plans to become a teacher. 







TWIRLER
Kyndal Houff, Sophomore
Kyndal has been twirling for 3 years with coaches Krystal Miller and Mrs. Zoe. Her favorite twirling trick is back catches. After High School she plans to get a doctorate in Veterinary/Animal Sciences. 








Fun Facts!

Favorite Color – Sea Blue (Katelynn), Blue (Holly), Blue (Katherine), Black (Kyndal)

Favorite Movie – The Nightmare Before Christmas. “I absolutely love clay animation” (Katelynn), Princess and the Frog (Holly), Napoleon Dynamite (Katherine), Little Shop of Horrors (Kyndal)

Favorite Music – Christian Music (Katelynn), Any BTS or Billie Ellish (Holly), Musicals (Katherine), Classical, Alternative, and Rock (Kyndal)

Favorite Quote… 
Katelynn – “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible”-Francis of Assisi
Holly – “The only time you run out of chances is when you give up”
Katherine – “Life’s a garden; dig it” – Joe Dirt

In baton twirling, they have been most Inspired By… 
Katelynn – “My first ever experience seeing a feature twirler was Alex Bridges. I actually wrote an essay about her in junior high and how I wanted to be just like her. I have been inspired by two others along my journey as well: Chelsea Conder and Beth Maddox. Chelsea has been intricate coach with a lot of life lessons to teach. Beth Maddox has been a huge gift to my twirling career. All three of these ladies have inspired me to be the best me and twirler I can be.”
Katherine – "Adely Zavala and Krystal Miller"
Holly – "Katelynn Carter and Kimberly Wembly"
Kyndal – "Katelynn Carter"

When they are not twirling, they love to…  
Katelynn – “Read and write poetry”
Katherine – “Read”
Holly – “Play volleyball, read, take walks, and play Minecraft”
Kyndal – “Read, write, and draw”

Something you may not know about them… 
Katelynn – “I am first chair clarinet, section leader, and my clarinet is as important to me as baton twirling"
Holly – “I love collecting buttons”
Katherine – “I low-key like to clean when I’m bored”
Kyndal – “I listen to Metal music when I am feeling grunge-y”

Best Advice from their Coaches… 
Katelynn – “Girl you got this! Just go out there and have fun!” and “You’re going to do great cause God is with you.”
Holly – “Even if your lost, just keep smiling!” and “Point your toes!”
Katherine – “Practice” and “Grab that thing!”
Kyndal – “Just stand up and look for the baton” (after a toss cartwheel or flips)

These twirlers have a lot of great moments together including their Twirling Sleepover, and Lip Sync Battles. They get to laugh together a lot, but also learn quite a few things. 

When asked what the #1 non-twirling life skill they learned is, they all agreed it was time management. We all know that it is hard to be a student involved in extra-curricular activities but twirling especially takes a lot of additional training time. This has led to their best advice for a future twirler… “Practice daily! Don’t wait or put it off”. 

We are so excited for these ladies and we cannot wait to see what a great time they have on the field this season. Smile big, practice hard, and have fun! Go Bulldogs!



We hope you have enjoyed this edition of our FNL Feature. Have a favorite High School or Collegiate Twirler that you would like to see interviewed? Please contact us at texastwirlcontact@gmail.com with their name and email address so that we can reach out to them!