Happy November! With the second to last week of the football regular season in the books, we are starting to see which teams are continuing in to playoffs and who only has one more game left. Also, this week is the big Bands of America Super Regional in San Antonio! If you are a twirler (or the parent of a twirler) and are performing in BOA SA this weekend, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each season this blog likes to get to know our awesome Texas twirlers a little better by learning about them and their experiences. We will be meeting a new High School twirler each Friday and discovering more about our Texas Collegians during the week. Make sure to follow us at facebook.com/twirlingiscatchingtx or on Instagram @twirlingiscatchingtx for live content and Insta-story take overs by some of your favorites.
This week’s Friday Night Lights Feature is the Arp High School Twirlers!
Arp High School, located in Arp, Texas (Southeast of Tyler), is the home of the Tigers, and these eight awesome twirlers, who also double as their school’s colorguard! Coach Tiffany Ellis tells us, “We like to say we are twirlers who play with accessories.” The Arp Twirlers not only learn all the twirling sideline routines that they perform at the end of the show, but they also perform with flags, parasols, double flags....whatever the band director wants... during the marching show.”
We wanted to know how this multi-talented group came to be at AHS. “We are a small school and it was hard getting enough girls to have both a twirling line and a colorguard, so I had the great idea to combine them and just let the twirlers ‘twirl’ the flags. When I first started teaching in Arp, we were down to one twirler and there was talk of doing away with twirl, and instead, going with just Color Guard. As an alumni twirler, and a teacher there, I just couldn't stand to see such a strong tradition of twirling just die like that. I started recruiting off the playground. We started with 4, and now nearly 19 years later, our line is full with the max our band director will allow, which is 8.”
In order to select these 8 twirlers, the audition process is pretty specific. “Girls must perform fundamentals and then a solo in front of 3 judges. Highest score is head majorette. You have to be a returner to be eligible to get head twirler. The lowest two scores are the alternates for regionals. We take 8 twirlers on the line, but only 6 perform for regionals. This can change if someone works hard. All twirlers do a solo at Regionals.”
Now that we have learned how they got on the team, let's learn about the talented AHS eight!
Macy Maxwell, Junior
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations!”
Macy has been twirling for 8 years with Coaches Michele Fuller and Tiffany Ellis. Her favorite trick is anything three baton and “I also love floor work!” In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Karissa Wimberley. After High School she plans to go to Kilgore College and try out for the KCT. After two years there she “would love to finish my studies at Florida State University, while also twirling on their line! I want to one day have my own studio and teach young girls to twirl in my free time.”
Emily Stiles, Junior
Emily has been twirling for 5 years with Coach Tiffany Ellis. Her favorite tricks are anything that includes a back catch. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Liana Cabe, a former AHS Twirler, “because of her determination and diligence.” After High School, she hopes to attend college to become a forensic pathologist.
Jasmin Cavazos, Junior
“Don’t let your past mistakes rob you from your future successes.”
Jasmine has been twirling for 6 years with Coaches Paige Keitt and Tiffany Ellis. Her favorite trick is a toss cartwheel. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Adaline Bebo and Savanah Miller. After High School she plans to go to Texas A&M to become an orthopedic nurse practitioner.
Meagan Mace, Junior
1 John 4:18
Meagan has been twirling for 6 years with Coach Tiffany Ellis. Her favorite trick is a front walk over. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by the twirler that introduced her to twirling. “An A&M twirler first showed me how to twirl and I fell in love with the sport. Her name is Taylor.” After High School she plans to join the Navy.
Sophia Robinson, Freshman
“Make today the day to learn something new!”
Sophia has been twirling for 4 years with Coach Tiffany Ellis. Her favorite trick is her salute. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Savan Wilson. After High School she plans to study to be a hair dresser.
Dakota Garrison, Freshman
“I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed!” – Michael Jordan
Dakota has been twirling for 4 years with Coaches Mitzi Bowie and Tiffany Ellis. Her favorite trick is a toss layout, or splits and leaps. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Macy Maxwell. “She inspired me by just being herself - having everything balanced while still pushing herself to be able to do different tricks.” After High School she plans to attend Baylor to become a NICU nurse.
Brianna Hammack, Freshman
Brianna has been twirling for 2 years with Coaches Mitzi Bowie and Tiffany Ellis. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Macy Maxwell. After High School she would like to attend college and major in psychology and human behavior.
Kyleigh Pawlik, Freshman
“Better an hour early than a minute late.”
Kyleigh has been twirling for three years with Coaches Mitzi Bowie and Tiffany Ellis. Her favorite trick is two batons with a backward illusion. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Macy Maxwell. After High School she hopes to continue her twirling in college and become a math teacher.
Favorite Color – Blue (Macy), Black (Emily), Yellow (Jasmin), Red (Sophia), Any type of blue (Dakota), Lavendar (Meagan), Light Turquoise (Kyleigh)
Favorite Movie – “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Macy), “Sweeny Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (Emily), “Coco” or “Aladdin” (Jasmine), “Creed” (Sophia), “Aquaman” (Dakota), “The Breakfast Club” (Meagan), “The Maze Runner” (Kyleigh)
Favorite Music – Blackbear and Twenty One Pilots (Emily), Blackbear (Jasmin), Hip Hop (Sophia), Halsey (Meagan), Rock, rap, or HM (Brianna), “100 bad days” by AJR (Dakota), Panic! At The Disco (Kyleigh & Macy)
Favorite Book – The Book Thief (Macy), Lolita (Emily), The Serpents Shadow (Kyleigh)
When they are not twirling, they love to…
- Emily – “Eat and spend time with my friends and family.”
- Jasmin – “Play sports and hang out with my friends.”
- Meagan – “Rollerblade.”
- Sophia – “Shop, practice volleyball, and spend time with friends and family.”
- Dakota – “Shop, eat food, play sports, sleep, be involved, and hang out with friends.”
- Brianna – “Go running or going outside.”
- Kyleigh – “Hang out with friends and go to the movies.”
- Macy – “Work at the Haunted House, Corpse Groove. I’ve worked there for two years now and it’s one of my favorite things to do! I also very much enjoy talking and doing homework on the phone with my boyfriend. On weekends im either at the Haunt or at the movies with friends.
- Emily – “My natural hair is curly but I straighten it every day. My mother was also a twirler.”
- Jasmin – “My mom twirled at the same high school I twirl at.”
- Meagan – “Most people do not think I like to take photographs.”
- Sophia – “I play the trumpet.”
- Dakota – “I am Native American and I do events and do tribal dances.”
- Brianna – “I love making things.”
- Kyleigh – “I don’t really wear make-up.”
- Macy – “I am really into scary things! I love scary movies, haunted houses, ghost stories, serial killers, really just anything creepy! On the outside I’m all calm and sweet but I love anything weird!”
Most memorable advice from their coach…
- Macy – “Mrs. Ellis always calms me down when I mess up and to square up and toss from my belly button.”
- Emily – “Anytime I am dropping a trick, she reminds me to square up and toss from my belly button.”
- Jasmine – “Mrs. Ellis always reminds us to square up when we drop a trick.”
- Meagan – “Square up, and throw from your belly button.”
- Sophia – “Practice, practice, practice!”
- Dakota – “Practice and stay focused.”
- Brianna – “PRACTICE!”
- Kyleigh – “Don’t give up because if you do, you won't find out if you could have done it.”
Being a part of the Tiger Spirit Community, the twirlers get to enjoy many great AHS traditions. Their favorite occurs at the annual Homecoming game. “Every year at homecoming, the alumni twirlers perform on the track to the fight song and Eye of the Tiger. Those two routines have been the same for over 20 years!”
The Tiger Marching Band has its own memorable moments. The twirlers say the Leadership Pool Party is a tradition they love, and their favorite band inside joke is “your plume is on backwards.” As a twirling line, they have their own experiences that they will never forget. One of their best experiences is when they get bundt cakes as a reward for no drop routines. Yum! They also have their fair share of funny moments. One that sticks with them is when Jasmin was trying to learn a front walkover. “It didn’t turn out so well!”
With the many, many hours they spend together practicing, we asked them what life lessons they have learned, and they had several to share, including dealing with pain, not saying “cant”, and time management. But overall, the best thing they have learned from twirling is that “if you want something bad enough you have to work for it.”
We want to say thank you to these ladies, and congrats on a great 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 email@example.com and we would love to hear more about it.