The month of November is here, and that means so is competition season! We are only 17 days from the Fall Twirling Festival and 31 days from the ATX Holiday Twirl Fest. The mail-in deadline for the ATX Twirl Fest is November 16th, so make sure to get your entries in!
The month of November is also going to be a special one for our Collegiate Twirler interviews. While we all LOVE the Lonestar State, there are only so many Feature Twirler position within state lines. There are tons of amazing Universities all over the country that offer fantastic opportunities as well, so for November, all of our spotlights this month will be from Texas Twirlers that have chosen to twirl out of State.
To kick things off, we are going to a state soooo far from Texas that you have to cross part of an ocean to get there! This twirler chose to attend a college over 3,700 miles from home, and she is loving every minute.
This week’s Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is the University of Hawaii at Manoa Feature Twirler!
The University of Hawaii at Manoa is located on the beautiful island of Honolulu. Home of the Rainbow Warriors, this paradise offers an amazing educational opportunity, as well as the ability to twirl alongside the UH Marching Band. This year, the University of Hawaii at Manoa Feature Twirler is Callyn Marvell!
How did this Texas girl end up all the way in Hawaii? “In the fall of my senior year I decided to apply to the University of Hawaii mostly because I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, and I thought 'what an experience that it would be'. I then learned that their twirler was graduating. My mom encouraged me to follow my dreams and to send in my twirling resume and audition video. I learned I was a finalist, and the last hurdle was a Skype interview. After what seemed like forever, I was offered the position. By the next day I decided to accept and become the 2019 University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior Feature Twirler!”
After experiencing several months in Hawaii, we asked Callyn if she would suggest an out of state experience for other twirlers. “I would encourage other high school twirlers to consider going out of state, because with today’s technology you are able to keep in touch easily by phone, FaceTime, text, or snap chat, and that has helped homesickness. I do miss my family (A LOT) but keeping up with my studies, and twirling at football and volleyball games has kept me busy.”
Going to Hawaii was a big decision for Callyn. She had actually never visited Hawaii before accepting the position. “It was quite a leap of faith going across the ocean 3,700 miles from home, to a University I had only taken a virtual tour of, but I knew it was the right thing to do.”
A place like Hawaii, with such a rich culture full of tradition, could have created quite the culture shock for a Texas girl, but Callyn has had nothing but a welcoming experience. “I had heard rumors that maybe the local people would not be as accepting of me coming from Texas, but that has been totally not true! Everyone I have had any interaction with has been so kind and welcoming, especially the band! The directors and drum majors have been so supportive, the color guard has included me in their family, and the rest of the band members have become my friends.”
We love hearing that Callyn is having a wonderful time in Hawaii, but being so far from home has to have its downside. “The hardest part was probably having to make all new friends here, but thankfully that part was easier than I thought. Plus, thanks to technology, I can keep in touch with my twirling friends and my friends still in Texas with no issues. Probably the biggest difference in Hawaii is the more laid back approach to life that I’m still getting used to.”
The hardest part for any twirler who chooses to go out of state is knowing if they made the right decision. “The MOMENT that I knew I made the right decision was at the first game when I stepped out on the field, it was the greatest twirling experience of my life! I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Thank you God for leading me here.”
Now that we have learned about what brought her to Hawaii, let’s learn more about Callyn!
Competition Level: Collegiate/Advanced
Callyn is a freshman pre-nursing major from San Antonio, Texas. At UH, Callyn is a member of the Phi Mu Sorority. She has been twirling for 12 years and works with Coaches Melinda Mann White and Major Margaret Mann. The competition titles she is the proudest of winning were the 2017 & 2019 Texas Intermediate Pageants. Her favorite competition tricks are rolls, two baton, and a three baton stack, toss illusion, and her favorite field trick is a toss leap. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Olivia Ebersole. After college she hopes to work as a registered nurse.
Favorite Color – Pink
Favorite Movie – Star Wars
Favorite Drink – Starbucks! Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte or Carmel Macchiato
Favorite Bible Verse – Phillippians 4:13
When she is not twirling she loves to…
“Go to the beach and explore the island of Oahu (I am living in paradise!), and spend time with my friends and family.”
Something people might not know about her is…
“I have Spina Bifida and have had two spinal surgeries. I also enjoy calligraphy.”
Most memorable advice from her coach…
“When she had me read the book ‘Mental Combat’.”
Favorite Moment as a Baton Twirler…
“AYOP 2019 when I got to represent the University of Hawaii in the Collegiate Downfield Strut and Collegiate Night!”
Funniest Moment as a Baton Twirler…
“At the 2017 Texas State competition, during the final trick in my State solo, a four spin came down on my forehead giving me a goose egg. I then went to perform my three baton routine and realized while twirling that I couldn’t see over the goose egg to be able to catch anything!”
Getting to be a part of the University of Hawaii band means Callyn is front and center for Game Day. We asked Callyn what is the best part of that experience and she said “singing the alma mater all together after the football game.” She also really loves when she get to twirl to the band playing Hawaii 5 O as the football team runs out on the field.
In her many years of baton twirling, Callyn has learned many amazing skills, but she considers her interview skills to be the one that will take her the farthest in life. “Learning interview skills from twirling helped me to achieve my goal of being named a Collegiate Twirler at the University of Hawaii!”
Finally we asked Callyn what her best advice was for any twirler also hoping to one day twirl on a college field, and she told us, “start working on your multiple baton work as early as possible—it is a crowd pleaser!!” So true!
We want to say thank you to Callyn for being this week’s spotlight, and tell her Texas is so proud of how well she is representing #teamtexas and baton twirling in Hawaii. Go Bows!
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.