Last day of September means a very special interview. We hope you enjoyed following her Instastory take over this weekend as she introduced us to a super fun style of Collegiate Twirling.
Each Fall this blog likes to get to know the many awesome field twirlers in Texas 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 your favorites.
This week’s Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is the Texas Southern University Platinum Girl!
The Texas Southern University Marching Band, known as the Ocean of Soul, is a Show Style program. If you are not familiar with this style, it is very common with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). HBCU Bands are known for being athletic, loud, and entertaining. In fact, at most HBCU schools, the marching band participants are “akin to elite student-athletes who are scouted, recruited, and offered scholarships like their student-athlete counterparts… During HBCU football games, the relationship between the marching band and the football team is inverted as the halftime show is frequently the primary driver of attendance – not the game” (hbcumarchingband.com). If you ever have the opportunity to see an HBCU band in action, they are quite fantastic to watch, and you will undoubtedly be singing and dancing right along.
One day while checking out our Instagram feed we came across a video posted by @txsuplatinumgirls. This video featured the 2019 Texas Southern University Platinum Girl, Kennedi Robinson, a.k.a. “Tha Dream”. The amount of energy and sass coming from this twirler was undeniable and after checking out more videos and pictures, we just had to reach out and learn more about this twirler.
A very important question we ask of our Collegiate Twirlers is why they chose their school. Selecting Texas Southern University was an easy choice for Kennedi, as the culture of the school was exactly what she wanted and it was close to home. “As an African American student, I’ve always dreamed of having an HBCU experience. Here at Texas Southern, we are diverse while still being in touch with our cultural roots. I enjoy the idea of being around other cultures, while indulging and learning about my own. Not to mention, the university is in the heart of my hometown”.
The HBCU Style, and TxSU Ocean of Soul style, is unique, and is not one we have feature before here on the blog. We asked Kennedi about the style, and how she prepared to be able to embody the style. “The style of TxSU’s twirlers is a marching/dance style. The style has been around for quite some time now. I found myself trying to learn the new style from previous years’ videos. It wasn’t until Freshman band camp that I was taught the correct way of TxSU’s style of twirling/marching. The technique is very different than what I’m accustomed to. I’m still trying to grasp the hang of it and feel less awkward attempting it”.
As she is a freshman this year, this is Kennedi’s first season on the field at TxSU. She tells us that the audition process occurs annually in the Spring. We also asked her what the experience has been like for her so far. “It is still a shock and very new to me performing at a collegiate level. Being the only twirler has its ups and downs, but I really am enjoying myself. I love the thrill of performing in front of hundreds of people and the feedback given once our band marches off the field. Since I am a freshman, I am still learning to juggle personal and study time after practice. Overall, I enjoy being able to say that I am apart of Texas Southern’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band”.
Now that we have learned more about the Ocean of Soul, let’s learn a little more about “Tha Dream” herself!
Kennedi is a Freshman Pre-Nursing Major from Houston, Texas. She has been twirling for around six years with coach Doris Keener. Her favorite field trick is “The Pretzel” which was inspired by former TxSU Twirler, Jessika Hearne. In baton twirling she has been most motivated by Angelicia Plunkett. After college she plans on going to nursing school to become an RN. “I will then return for medical school and fulfill my dream as an OB/GYN”.
Favorite Color – Pink
Favorite Movies – “I LOVE Moana and Clueless”
Favorite Music – R&B and Pop
Favorite Artist – “THE Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter”
“Forget the risk, take the fall. If it’s what you want, then it’s worth it all”
When she is not twirling she loves to…
“Cheer, Tumble, and watch YouTube make up tutorials”
Something people might not know about her is…
“I’ve never been in a band of any sort before. I have been a cheerleader since I was three years old though”
Kennedi has been made sure she is getting the most out of her TxSU experience. So much, in fact, that she is planning on running for the 2019 Miss TSU Freshman so that she can represent her University even further. There are many things she appreciates being a TxSU Tiger, but the moments with her band friends have been unforgettable. Kennedi says her favorite moment as a twirler was “the moment of relief and joy I felt after performing my first field show against Prairie View A&M”. She also loves getting to learn new tricks, and says it just isn’t a good practice unless she is leaving with a new knot or bruise!
In the process to get here, Kennedi has learned a lot from baton twirling and the journey that brought her to the TxSU field, but she said the most important thing she has learned is perseverance. “No matter what life throws at you, push yourself and keep on going”. A lesson that will do her well in every part of life!
Finally, we asked Kennedi what advice she would give to another twirling hoping to one day twirl on a college field. “Twirling at a collegiate level is a lot of work. It takes time, hard work, and a lot of dedication. There will be times when you feel defeated. There will be times when you feel as if you can’t push yourself any farther. Always remember, you can do whatever you put your mind to. Be the best you that YOU can be! Perform as if no one is watching. Leave your all out on the field. And never forget, “Don’t Drop, Just Dazzle!”
We want to thank Kennedi for introducing us to the TxSU and we wish her an amazing season! Go Tigers!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to hear more about it.