Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Night Lights Feature - Columbia High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans! Everyone is rounding out their regular season games, but don't worry! Our Features will keep going into playoffs. We just have too many amazing twirlers in Texas to stop just because football will be over soon. Besides, we know twirlers work hard ALL year, regardless of what other sports are going on.

For tonight's edition of the Friday Night Lights Feature we are in West Columbia, Texas, just a little outside of Lake Jackson, visiting with the Twirlers from Columbia High School: Feature Twirler Megan Lazrine (sophomore), and Twirlers Carrie Boling (freshman), & Dallas Kirkpatrick (senior).

The Columbia High School Roughneck Twirlers are lead by Coach Jana Reid of Jana's School of Dance. They get to enjoy a lot of time together on and off the field, but they say their favorite moment of twirling is always after marching onto the field and turning around to see the crowd in the stands. The school's reaction always keeps them motivated!

They also have a lot of great inside jokes and traditions. They said one of their funniest moments twirling together can be summed up with the line "There's numbers on the field?" Oh my! We can only imagine the situation that led to that conversation.

Their best tradition is a sweet one, and one they will always cherish. Each year they have "Daddy Twirl Night" where their dads get to join them for twirling on the field at halftime. They also say when they graduate they will most miss getting to wear the maroon and white on Friday nights.

Fun Facts!
Twirler they are most inspired by: Savannah Miller
Favorite thing to do when they are not twirling: Watch Netflix
Most memorable advice from their coach: Catch the baton at all costs!
Favorite trick to perform on the field:
      *Megan - horizontal leg pop off the shin
      *Dallas - two baton
      *Carrie - horizontal two spin

These girls have learned a lot about life from their time twirling for Columbia High School. When asked what they feel is the best lesson they have learned from baton twirling is, they said "that hard work pays off". So true! They also want to make sure to pass on to future high school twirlers to always remember to "Enjoy it! It goes by fast".

Thank you so much to these three lovely young ladies. We wish y'all a great rest of football season and a wonderful start to your competition seasons. We can't wait to see that maroon and white out on the field or the floor.

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - Erica Kuntz of the University of Texas

Hello Texas Twirl Fans! Can you believe this blog is currently at 14,600+ page views in only 4 months? Wow! We just know that this week’s Collegiate Twirler Spotlight will not only propel us well past that 15k mark, but it will also be a great read with tons of inspiration for twirlers and non-twirlers alike.

Today we head right to the capital city for the third edition of our weekly Collegiate Twirler Spotlight. Here we find an extremely dedicated longhorn, who we are also excited to say is the 2016-17 University of Texas Feature Twirler, Erica Kuntz!

Erica always knew she wanted to be a collegiate twirler, but more importantly knew she bled burnt orange. Even though the Feature spot at Texas was taken when Erica was a freshmen, she didn’t let that stop her from getting the education she had planned on. “I waited two years to audition for the spot of Feature Twirler, but I never gave up on my dream. Put school first, don’t lose sight of your dream, and know that hard work and patience always pays off. The great thing about baton twirling is that there are many other ways to stay involved in the sport if twirling for your college doesn’t work out.”

We love this answer, and we hope many of the soon-to-be collegiate twirlers out there take Erica’s advice. Loving the school first will make the twirling experience that much sweeter! Now let’s take some time to get to know the woman behind these wise words…

Erica Kuntz, Junior, Competition Level: Advanced/Collegiate
Erica is from Rockwall, Texas, and is currently a junior public relations major with a business minor. In a couple years, when she graduates from UT, she plans to attend law school “to pursue my love for politics and justice”.

She has been twirling since she was 5, so that makes 15 years, to which Erica says “Wow, I’m old!” Haha, yeah right! She is a member of the Texas Touch of Class twirling team coached by Sheila Rigelsky and Shirley Payne. Erica says these two ladies are some of the most influential people in her life. In fact, Erica says “Sheila and Shirley are constantly filling me with excellent advice. One moment of encouragement I carry with me from many years ago is when Shirley Payne told me to ‘never, never, never give up’. While it is very simple, it has been extremely influential and given me a spirit of determination and a hardworking attitude”.

Being so influenced by her coaches led to her winning the International Show Twirl Championship at AYOP 2015, which is the competition twirling title she is the most proud of achieving. “I performed a modified version of (my coach) Sheila Rigelsky’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia" routine from her twirling days exactly 20 years apart! I even used the same costume she wore. It was such an honor!” If you didn’t get a chance to see the routine, Erica’s version or Sheila’s, trust us… it was incredible!

When it comes to twirling inspiration, beside her coaches, Erica says “there are so many incredible talents and inspirations, it’s hard to pick just one! I have always admired former SMU feature twirler, Kelli Montgomery (Park). Her collegiate twirling was incredibly fun to watch and inspired me to twirl in college when I was just a young girl”. This inspiration has led Erica down a very successful path in competition and on the field. Erica says her favorite competition trick is anything x-strut related. “Right now, my favorite part of my strut is my second leg; it showcases all of my favorite leaps,” and while she has only been on the field a few months, she has found her biggest crowd pleaser is her high toss, grand jete, somersault, catch in a split. “The crowd loves (it)!”

With 15 years of twirling under her belt, we wanted to know what she considered the best non-twirling skill the sport has given her. Erica said “the interpersonal skills I’ve learned have been invaluable to my success and the self-discipline I’ve learned has carried over into many facets of my life. These skills have been personally rewarding on and off the competition floor/field”. She would also like to pass on some advice to future high school and collegiate twirlers… “Practice like you’re performing to the top of the stadium. The major keys to field twirling are making your movements larger-than-life and entertaining the crowd, so have fun!”

Fun Facts!
Favorite Movie Genres = Comedies and older musicals
Favorite Music Anytime = “I’m pretty easy going and like to listen to most kinds of music”
Favorite Music When Practicing = fun remixes of current songs
Favorite Quote/Life Motto = “Champions are comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Favorite Color = “Anything Pink! But now that I’m so actively involved with UT, burnt orange is easily my second favorite”

Any non-band school organizations = Active member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority “Shout out to all of my delta sisters out there!”

People might not know that I am… “bilingual; I’m fluent in Spanish and I’m currently learning my third language, Catalan”.

When I am not Twirling I Love to… “spend time with my friends and eat at local food trucks and enjoy the live music scene in Austin. After all, it’s the Live Music Capital of the World!”

So far Erica is having an amazing time as the University of Texas Feature twirler. Besides her recent opportunity to perform with the Longhorn Alumni Band alongside former UT Feature Twirling greats such as Dr. Coral Noonan-Terry, Alexa Bourdage, Ashley Dolan, and Lynn Dell Harrell, what has been her favorite moment twirling at UT so far? “My favorite moment was when I performed at my first game as The University of Texas Feature Twirler. Stepping on the field for the first time to perform was truly unforgettable”.

We can image that was quite nerve wracking, on top of being amazing. Do you have any game day ritiuals to help get ready to perform in the gigantic Darrell K Royal Stadium? “Drum Major Kevin Kwaku and I have a secret handshake we do before every game; it always lifts my spirits and gets me pumped for our performance!”

Erica is getting the chance to have so many exciting new experiences, including the amazing traditions she gets to be a part of. We asked what, so far, has been her favorite UT Tradition, and she said it had to be the mascot, Bevo. “My all-time favorite tradition is having Bevo on the field during the game. This year is even more special as we welcome baby Bevo, the 15th version of the iconic steer”.

With all that goes on at the UT Games, there has to have been a funny blooper moment, and she came back with one of every twirler’s performance fears – “I was performing at the start of the 4th quarter when the band plays “Wabash Cannonball” and my shoe came off in the middle of the routine. I had to adjust my routine and avoid kicks and illusions to avoid my jazz shoe flying into the student section!” Yikes!!!

Finally, we just have to know… Was it worth the wait? “Taking the field for the first time was truly indescribable.  The love I have for UT became much deeper, and my love for baton twirling became so evident. The opportunity to twirl for my university is one that I do not take for granted; I relish every moment— no matter the circumstance. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has been more than worth the wait. Hook ‘Em!

Congrats to Erica on showing us all that you should never give up on your dreams, and congrats to the University of Texas for adding another amazing twirler to their roster. Hook ‘Em indeed!

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Night Lights Feature - Gonzales High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans! Is it Friday night again? Have to love that Texas football!

For tonight’s edition of our Friday Night Lights Feature, we are traveling a little east of San Antonio to Gonzales, Texas, to meet the four lovely twirlers from Gonzales High School: Feature Twirler Paige Glass, and Line Twirlers Lilliana Ramirez, Samantha Kuntschik, & Alicia Ramirez.

The Gonzales Feature Twirler and Twirling Line, directed by Janice Glass, are an exciting part of the Apache band program. In order to become and Apache twirler, students must be a member of the band and sign up to try out.  For try outs, “they must then attend a mandatory meeting where expectations and tryout info are discussed.  On the day of tryouts the twirler is expected to perform a three minute routine of their choosing and a panel of judges makes the final decision”.

These girls get to have a lot of FUN together! In fact, their favorite advice they have received from their coach has been “Alrighty girls! Let’s go out there and have fun!” They named twirling in the third movement as the most fun part of their marching band show, and said they have a ton of fun when they get to twirl fire each year at the senior night football game.

A group that has this much fun must have some great traditions and inside jokes! According to the girls “Mambo” and “Just Keep Swimming” are two of the biggest ones they get to enjoy together. Don’t know what they mean, but we are sure they will bring band fond memories in the future. Speaking of the future, when they leave Gonzales High School they all say they will miss being a part of the Apache Band half time performances the most.

Don’t get the wrong idea though. The GHS Twirlers have their fun, but they also take our sport very seriously. They said the main life skill they have learned from baton twirling is time management. They also want to make sure future High School twirlers know that “One more time really means twenty more times”. Isn’t that the truth?

Now that we have learned a little about the Gonzales High School Twirlers and their experiences as part of the Apache Band, let’s meet each of the girls individually…

Feature Twirler: Paige Glass, Senior, Competition Level: Advanced
Paige has been twirling for seven years with Coaches Sheri Carter and Pat Montgomery. She said she is the most proud of winning the title of the 2014 Jr. Twirl Mania 3-baton Champion. Her favorite competition trick is her entire roll section, her favorite field trick is her back neck rolls, and her favorite twirling moment is when she gets to perform at halftime. When Paige graduates she plans to attend college to become a dermatologist.

Lilliana Ramirez, Junior
Lilliana has been twirling for six years with Coach Janice Glass. Her favorite field trick is juggling. She says her favorite individual twirling moment was the first time she got to perform with her sister in a half time show. After high school, Lilliana plans to go to college and become a respiratory therapist.

Samantha Kuntschik, Freshman, Competition Level: Novice
Samantha has been twirling for four years with Coach Pat Montgomery. She says she is most proud of winning her Open Solo at the Southwest Regional Championships. Her favorite competition trick is her rolls, and her favorite field trick is their group layback. One of her favorite twirling memories is when she went to the winter twirling camp and made a friend named Sophie. After high school, Samantha hopes to twirl in college.

Alicia Ramirez, Freshman
Alicia has been twirling for three years with Coach Janice Glass. Her favorite part of the marching band show is the third movement. Her favorite individual twirling moment was “hearing everyone get amazed when we all twirler fire”. After high school Alicia plans to go to college and become a psychologist.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Food: Matamores puffy quesadillas (Paige)
Favorite Drink: Coffee & Diet Coke (Paige)
Favorite Color: Red (Lilliana), Blue (Samantha), Purple (Alicia)
Favorite Music: Rap (Samantha), Any (Alicia)
Favorite TV Show: American Horror Story (Samantha)
Favorite Movie: The Breakfast Club (Alicia)

Twirlers they are most inspired by…
*Paige = Michael Lopez & Stephanie Lampman
*Lilliana & Alicia = Jesslyn Lamprecht
*Samantha = Destiny Pierpont

When they are not twirling they love to…
*Paige = Sleep
*Lilliana = Spend time with family and friends
*Samantha = Watch Netflix
*Alicia = Solve puzzles such as Rubix cubes, piece puzzles, etc

Something you might not know about them is…
*Paige = “I have a Morkie named Beau who thinks he is my child”
*Lilliana = “I also play softball (catcher)”
*Samantha = “I am a namesake of my Uncle Sam”
*Alicia = “I wear my favorite bracelet only on my left wrist”

Favorite Quotes:
*Paige = “She turned her can’ts into cans, and her dreams into plans”
*Lilliana = “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
*Samantha = “Life is like riding a bicycle. Keep your balance to keep moving”.
*Alicia = “Do not go where the path may lead instead go where there is no path and leave a trail for someone to follow”

We had so much FUN (didn’t see that coming did you) getting to know these four Apache twirlers, we are all worn out (just like them in this hilarious picture below). We wish them a great rest of the football season, and hope the tradition of fun at Gonzales HS continues (and we mean that times twenty!).

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - Kaitlen McNeill of Angelo State University

Hello Texas Twirl Fans! We are so excited about the reaction to our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight. Our last interview with Sydney Webster had over 1100 page views. Wow! Please continue to share this blog with your friends in the Texas twirling community so that we can give awareness to all our Collegiate twirlers.

Today we venture over to San Angelo, Texas for the second edition of our new weekly Collegiate Twirler Spotlight! Here we find one of the Angelo State University Twirlers, Kaitlen McNeill!

At Angelo State University, Kaitlen has to audition annually to maintain her Twirler position. She loves being a part of the Angelo State community and says her favorite school tradition is the “bonfire the night before homecoming”. She also enjoys being a part of the band and says that performing at Ram Jam (the school’s tailgate) is one of her favorite performance opportunities.

If you are interested in learning more about the Marching Ram Band, check out their website. They will be holding their 2017 Twirler auditions in April for those looking to try-out. Let's learn more about this Senior twirler and her experiences as a twirler.

Kaitlen McNeill, Senior, Competition Level: Collegiate
Kaitlen is from Lubbock, Texas, and is currently a Senior Early Education Major. Kaitlen is taught by Coach Vanessa Moffett of M & M Majorettes and has been twirling for 10 years.  She says she is the most proud of earning the title 2016 Intermediate Senior Southwest Regional Pageant Winner. Her favorite competition trick is a toss double fan jump catch blind, and her favorite field trick is a toss cartwheel.

She find her biggest twirling inspiration in her Coach, Vanessa Moffett. “Twirling duet with her inspired me to try harder tricks and increase my speed of the baton”. When asked what her moment in twirling was, she said it was attending her first AYOP (NBTA Nationals). She also says that the best life skill she has learned from baton twirling is “How to not give up! When things get tough, it makes it easier to keep going”.

As she is a Senior this year, we asked Kaitlen what she will miss the most. She says “The daily practices and my lessons with Coach Vanessa as well as twirling with the M&M majorettes”. After graduation, she has plans to get her Master’s in Education. “Hopefully by 2018 I will be teaching in the classroom”.

Fun Facts!
Color = Blue
Movie = “Tangled” (“Who doesn’t love Disney?”)
Music = Country
Quote = “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling”.
When she isn’t twirling she loves to… “Spend time with family and friends”.
You may not know that she… “Loves to ski”.

Most Memorable Advice from her coach… “Calling me chicken and ‘bwocking’ at me when I didn’t want to try a trick or would toss the baton up and not do the trick under it.”

Kaitlen says the funniest moment she has had during her twirling career was one day at practice when she was trying new split tricks with her coach. “(we didn’t know if) we were going to be able to get up the next day!”

When asked what advice she would pass on to future Collegiate twirlers, she said “Don’t give up, even when you want to quit. Push through, because this sport will make you a stronger person”.

Thank you Kaitlen for giving us a little view into your world. We wish you a wonderful football season and a great senior year. Go Rams!

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

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Friday Night Lights Feature - Veterans Memorial High School Twirler

Hello Texas Twirl Fans! Ready for another edition of our Friday Night Lights Feature? We were enjoying our time on the beaches of Corpus Christi so much, we decided to stay here for this week’s interview.

Today we venture down the road to the bright lights at the brand new Veterans Memorial High School to meet the very first Feature Twirler in school history, Victoria Contreras!

Victoria tells us “My high school just opened last year, so we contacted the band director, Mr. Shawn Athey, and asked if he would consider a feature twirler in the marching band. I tried out and he welcomed me to the Screaming Eagle Band!” Don’t you just love a good story about receptive band directors? We need more band directors like Mr. Athey who are willing to give baton twirlers a chance to showcase our sport. Below is Victoria (supporting Twirling for the Cure during her school's Pink Out day!) pictured with Mr. Athey. We know the Screaming Eagle band has a great future with such a supportive leader at the wheel.

Since Veterans Memorial High School is still new, they are just beginning to create school traditions. Victoria’s favorite so far is when at football games VMHS has a different U.S. Military Veteran run out on the field with the football players waving the American flag. “It is very moving for me because my dad is a Veteran. He served 21.5 years in the United States Coast Guard”. What an amazing way for this new school to really live up to its name!

Now it is time to learn a little more about this Screaming Eagle Twirler when she is not making history!

Victoria Contreras, Sophomore, Competition Level: Intermediate
Victoria has been twirling for 9 years as a part of the Nancy Eisenhauer School of Baton Twirling where she is coached by Keely Davis, Kim Berger, and Nancy Eisenhauer. She says the title she is most proud of winning was the 2015 Junior Intermediate Miss Twirling Snowflake Pageant. She says “I had just moved up to Intermediate the contest before, so it was really cool to win that pageant”.

Victoria’s favorite competition trick is anything with a leap in it, and her favorite field trick is a toss cartwheel. When it comes to twirling inspiration Victoria says “I don't have a specific twirler that inspires me. Everyone that has helped me through my nine year twirling journey has motivated me to become a better twirler and person”. After High School Victoria hopes to attend UTSA and major in Art/Art History. She would also love the chance to be a part of the SOSA Sweethearts as a Feature Twirler.

Fun Facts!
Color: Black
Movie: “Forrest Gump”
Book: “This Is Where It Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp
Favorite Routine to Perform: her Show Twirl

You may not know that she… has a red headed sister who has Autism. “I don't mind talking about her to my friends... (talking about it) brings Autism awareness & educates”.

When she is not twirling, she loves to… “Create Art. Drawing, painting, sculpting, and writing...I just love art!”

Funniest twirling moment... “When I knocked out a dragonfly practicing my tosses”. Poor dragonfly!

Most memorable advice from her coach... “Practice like you are performing in front of the judge”.

Victoria’s Favorite Quote/Life Motto comes from her mother who tells her "Even when you think people are not watching, they are". Victoria says “that always motivates me to be at my best”. This motto has gone hand in hand with other lessons she has learned from baton twirling. “The life skills I've learned (from baton twirling) are how to motivate others and help keep a positive attitude”

When reflecting on her time so far as the Feature Twirler, Victoria wants to make sure future Features remember that “the band will be your second family throughout your high school years, so take in the laughs, the moments and cherish every bit of it”. While she still has a couple more years to enjoy her time at VMHS, this second family is a part of what she says she will miss most when she graduates… “The hilarious moments, the bonding, and the friendships that we created within the band. Those memories are what I will forever remember being (the first) Veteran's Memorial High School Feature Twirler”.

Congratulations to Victoria on spreading our sport into a new school and serving as a positive example of what baton twirlers can accomplish. "VMHS Band Hoo-rah!!" Blog Dismissed!

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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - Sydney Webster of Texas Tech University

Hello Texas Twirl Fans! I hope you all have been enjoying the weekly Friday Night Lights Feature. We know we have enjoyed reading the answers these lovely twirlers are giving. All that interview practice is paying off! If you have a High School twirler you would like to nominate, please email us at

As a special treat, today we kick off our new weekly Collegiate Twirler Spotlight. We wanted to start off BIG so we went all the way up to Lubbock to introduce you to a fantastic young lady, Miss Sydney Webster. Sydney is not only the Texas Tech University Feature Twirler, but she was also Miss Lubbock and was awarded second runner up at the 2016 Miss Texas Pageant where she won both her prelim talent and fitness award.

Texas Tech University has a wonderful history of baton twirling, and the feature positon has always been filled by amazing Texas twirlers. In order to earn this title, the Tech Feature has to re-audition every year to make sure they stay competitive and keep their skill level up. As a senior, this was Sydney’s last year to audition and she will be graduating in the spring. With four awesome years to look back on, we asked what she will miss the most about being the Texas Tech Feature… “I will miss pre-game performances, because the energy is through the roof and the crowd is so supportive! You can feel the passion in the stadium; it is just an unforgettable feeling!”

With Sydney graduating, there will be an open Feature spot for the 2017-18 season. We asked Sydney why twirlers should consider auditioning for the vacancy. She says “Texas Tech is an amazing school with so many wonderful traditions that you get to be a part of. We have outstanding leadership (twirling coaches, band directors, etc.), so you will be in great hands, and The Goin’ Band is so supportive of its twirlers! Also, people are so passionate about football in Texas so there will NEVER be a dull moment”.

We had to hear, what is her FAVORITE of these great traditions? “Throwing tortillas on the field at kickoff…I don’t even know why Tech fans do that, but it’s hilarious every time!! It looks like it is raining tortillas”. She also says that the band has its own set of traditions and inside jokes. She is most fond of “when we march over to the stadium, the Goin’ Band has these chants that we say to fit the drum cadences. Nobody knows how they were created or even what they mean, but it’s so fun because everyone is so ready for the game! There is so much energy and we do it so often that fans walking by even chant along with us.”

If you think you want to be a part of the tortilla throwing and chanting next year, check out this blog post with more information about the opening. In the meantime, let’s take a minute to get to know more about this Red Raider off the field…

Sydney Webster, Senior, Competition Level: Advanced/Collegiate
Sydney is from Lubbock, Texas and is currently a senior at Texas Tech University where she is a Public Relations Major. Sydney is taught by Coach Bethany Tolley and has been twirling for 15 years. She says she is most proud of earning the title of College Miss Majorette of Texas. Her favorite competition trick is her front neck rolls, and her favorite field trick is a toss leap walkover (“The crowd loves it!!!”). Sydney says her biggest twirling inspiration is former Texas Tech Feature, Lee Bobbitt. After graduation, Sydney plans to move to the Metroplex area and get a job in the Public Relations field.

When asked what her favorite moment of twirling has been, she said it was becoming a coach herself. “It’s so important to teach younger generations about twirling so the sport can continue and become more popular”. We also wanted to know what she thought was the funniest moment she has experienced in twirling. She said “when I went to Peru in 2012, we learned an entire routine about 5 minutes before the performance…it was a disaster but we had so much fun and surprisingly the crowd thought it was great!!!”

Sydney says that the number one non-twirling life skill she has learned from baton twirling is to be confident and carry yourself with poise. “You never know who is watching!” So true! She also advises all future collegiate twirlers to make sure to “always be nice to band members… you will be with them for four years, so make as many friends as you can”.

Fun Facts!
Color – Green
Movie – “Me Before You”
Music – Country
Quote – “Be a pineapple… stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.
When she isn’t twirling she loves to – Read Books!
You may not know that she – skipped first grade! “I’m younger than everyone in my grade. I will graduate college before I even turn 21!”
Most Memorable Advice from her Coach: “Watch the baton into your hands and say CATCH every time.”

Since we had Sydney answering questions, we just had to hear about her experiences at the Miss Texas pageant! The whole twirling community was so proud to see her prelim wins and to watch her take 2nd Runner Up in her very first attempt for the crown. Here we learn more about the pageant and her advice to twirlers considering the pageant route…

Q: What were you most proud of? 
A: I was most proud of my Lifestyle and Fitness award. I am definitely someone who likes sweets so I had to make a lifestyle change leading up to the pageant. I never knew I could be that self-disciplined!

Q: What surprised you the most? 
A: The girls competing surprised me the most, actually. I didn’t know they would be that funny behind the scenes. We had a blast together and I will never forget the memories we made!

Q: What would you go back and change? 
A: I don’t think I would change anything… I felt confident in each phase of my competition and I was extremely pleased with the outcome.

Q: Will we see you competing again for the Miss Texas title in 2017? 
A: As of the year 2017, I will not be competing since I am graduating from college and trying to find a “real-person job.” As for 2018 though, that is definitely a possibility!

Q: Many twirlers debate if they want to go the pageant route. What would you tell them to help them decide?
A: Pageants do require a lot of time and dedication, but if you compete you will already be SO prepared! As a twirler, we already have a talent, practice with interview, we know how to walk in a gown, and twirling keeps us physically fit. Basically, if you are a twirler you have been preparing for pageants the whole time without even knowing it!! Miss Texas was a wonderful experience and I firmly believe it helped me become a better field/competitive twirler, as well. If you are on the fence about pageants, try it once and I promise you will be successful with it!

What wonderful, insightful advice from a great role model. We were so honored to be able to share this great interview with all of you, and hope you enjoyed learning more about Sydney. Until next time Texas Twirl Fans… and don’t forget… GUNS UP! WRECK EM TECH!

Have a favorite High School or Collegiate Twirler that you would like to see interviewed? Please contact us at with their name and email address so that we can reach out to them!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Night Lights Feature - Flour Bluff High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans! Welcome to week three of our Friday Night Lights Features.

This week we travel way down south to Corpus Chrisi, Texas, to learn about the Flour Bluff High School twirlers – Cayla Watson, Alexis Tanner, and Piper Vegh. The three twirlers are members of the Stingerettes twirling team and are coached by Nancy Eisenhauer, Kim Berger, and Keely Davis from the Eisenhauer School of Twirling.  

To earn their spots as the Flour Bluff twirlers, each year they have to try out with a routine in front of the band directors. This year five twirlers auditioned, but only these three were selected. As the Flour Bluff twirlers, they get to experience a lot of great moments including having a no drop half time performance, playing other schools with twirlers, and  most notably when they went to an away game, and the student section of the opposing school was cheering super loudly for them.  

At Flour Bluff, they have a lot of great inside jokes and traditions. They start each football game with a kick line before kickoff, and end it with hitting the gate of the football field entrance with their batons for luck. Besides yelling “MOVEMENT FOUR” (which must mean something hilarious), they love when their band does Senior Speeches. “On the day of the last home game, before we leave, all the seniors are given the opportunity to give a speech about their time in the band and their experiences”.  

While they may have a few years until they give their senior speeches, they already know what they will miss the most when they leave band. “The memories made at band camp, practice, games, pep-rallies, and before/after school rehearsals” as well as “all of the friends I have made over the years. I will also miss being part of such a close band, because everyone is very friendly and nice to each other”.

When summing up their experiences as twirlers, they have learned a lot. They feel that twirling has given them a lot of confidence and has given them the ability to always think positive. “When you drop on the field or during a competition you should always smile even bigger and keep going. It really helps you realize that even when things get tough, think positively and keep smiling!” They also have some important advice to pass on to future High School Twirlers including (1) Learn your spots!!! (2) Never stop practicing- and that means full out practicing (3) Know the routines and (4) of course, have fun!

 Now let’s learn a little more about these three Hornet Twirlers…

Cayla Watson, Freshman, Competition Level: Advanced
Cayla has been twirling for 12 years. She is most proud of winning the title of 2016 Advanced Junior Texas State Solo, Strut, and 2 Baton Champion. Her favorite tricks during their marching band show are her double illusion and their group exchange in movement four. Cayla’s most memorable twirling moment was when she got to compete in the Strut Offs at AYOP Nationals. After High School she wants to twirl for a major University.

Alexis Tanner, Junior, Competition Level: Intermediate
Alexis has been twirling for 10 years. She is most proud of the title of 2009 Beginner Miss Majorette of Texas. Her favorite competition trick is a toss double illusion, and her favorite field trick is a toss cartwheel. After High School, Alexis plans to attend college and twirl for her University, while also running track and working on her major of sports medicine. She says her favorite twirling moment would be when “I won a sportsmanship award from Mrs. Patti Mickey for continuing my routine through to the end even though I was covered in blood since I had hit myself in the face and given myself a nose bleed”. 

Piper Vegh, Sophomore, Competition Level: Intermediate
Piper has been twirling for 11 years. She is most proud of earning the title 2014 National Flag Baton Champion. Her favorite competition twirling trick is elbow pops and her favorite field trick is a toss leap.  Her favorite competition each year is AYOP and she loves doing her solo. After college Piper plans to work with the elderly.

Who are they most inspired by?
     *Cayla – Savannah Miller
     *Piper – Elisabeth Lawson
     *Alexis – Shane Downey “He was so uplifting and had a positive outlook on everything”. 

Fun Facts!
Color: Glurple/“Glittery Purple” (Cayla), Blue (Alexis & Piper)
Movie: Soul Surfer (Cayla), Aladdin (Alexis), Titanic (Piper)
Music: Pop (Cayla), anything that pumps you up (Alexis), Drake (Piper)

When they are not twirling, they love to…
      *Cayla – RUN! I'm in cross country and track
      *Alexis – RUN!! I love running on varsity track for my school
      *Piper – Sleep

Something you might not know about these girls:
      *Cayla – I love tacos.
      *Alexis – During concert season I play the bassoon.
      *Piper – I have a pet squirrel, goat, and pig.

Best Advice ever given by their coach:
      *Cayla – Practice like you're in last, Perform like you've already won.
      *Alexis – Just keep smiling, and if you mess up, smile bigger! 
      *Piper – You can do it!!

Favorite Quote/Life Motto:
      *Cayla – "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful." 
      *Alexis – “Fake it till you make it!”
      *Piper – "Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor."

Funniest Moment Twirling Together:
It is a tie, with both stories revolving around Alexis. It was either when she broke her baton in half right before they went on to the field for a halftime performance, or when Alexis was practicing during band camp and ended up getting the tip of her baton stuck in a container of coconut oil. We don’t even want to know how either of those happened! Way to go Alexis!

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