Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Night Lights Feature - Saint Pius X High School Twirler

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

We hope everyone is ready for some Halloween fun! We can't wait to see all the posts of everyone in their costumes and enjoying the evening. If you or your twirler has a cute twirling related costume, send us a pic, and we will share it on our Facebook Page! Now, lets get on to the main event for this evening...

For this week's Friday Night Lights Feature we are headed over to Houston to meet the Saint Pius X High School Feature Twirler - Anita Hopmann!

Anita was given the great opportunity to be her school's twirler. As this was not a normal role at her high school before she attended, the audition process was a little more complicated than normal. "There was a lengthy discussion with my school administration and band director about having a twirler perform with the band and as a solo feature including videos and coach interviews". After holding tight to her dream, it was all able to work out in Anita's favor, thanks to her knowing the importance of determination and perseverance. When it comes to twirling, she says it has given her many things, but most importantly it has taught her that "giving up never gets you anywhere".

The experiences she has gained twirling for her high school are ones she will never forget. She has been able to introduce her community to the potential a twirler can bring. One moment especially sticks out for her. "When I twirled fire batons on the field for the first time it was amazing. It was so memorable because we did not tell anyone other than the school officials that I was doing it.  Everyone was so excited and shocked!”

Being the only twirler at her high school, there has been a lot for Anita to learn too. The most important thing she has learned, and the advice she would pass on to a future high school twirler is to "never let the crowd scare you. They will love you even if you think you did not perform well, the crowd loves you!”

As we have learned about Anita bringing twirling into the Saint Pius X community, let's learn a little more about Anita herself...

Anita Hopmann
Senior, Competition Level: Intermediate
Anita has been twirling for six years with Coaches Robin Crossland and Trenton Haltom. Her favorite competition trick is “an illusion toss which I catch backhand behind my back in a spin” and her favorite field tricks are when she is doing three baton and does tricks with two under the third. In baton twirling she has been most inspired by current University of Texas Feature Twirler, Erica Kuntz. After high school she plans to go to medical school to study pediatric gastroenterology.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color – Yellow
Favorite Movie – “Fly Boys”
Favorite Band – Fun
Favorite Candy – Sour Patch Watermelon
Favorite Quote – “Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” 

Most memorable advice from her coach…
“There’s no crying in baseball or twirling”

When she is not twirling she loves to... 
“Perform in theatre productions”

Something you may not know about her…
“I have a connective tissue issue and all my joints are hyper elastic, double jointed.  It makes some movements very difficult.”

Favorite Moment of Field Twirling… 
“When I was performing at a football game, I caught my friend in the crowds’ eye and flashed a smile and blew a kiss at her and she started screaming, it was so funny and sweet since she has been my best friend for 17 years.”

Funniest Twirling Moment…
“My funniest moment was when I busted my lip on the competition floor and after finished my solo, I smiled at Coach Robin with a mouth full of blood because ‘there is no crying in baseball and twirling’. It was my first real competition solo!”

Best Band Inside Joke…
“Whenever I perform or the Color Guard performs we scream at each other that we are their biggest fan, we love them, etc.”

What will she miss the most when she graduates…  
“I will miss the late Friday nights at the games with my friends, the shouting, cheering, and of course performing, which is the highlight of my year!” 

We really enjoyed this chance to get to know Anita a little better. We wish her the best of luck with the rest of her senior year. Keep wowing that Saint Pius X community! 

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 and we would love to hear more about it. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Friday Night Lights Feature - Thomas Jefferson High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Have you sent in your entry for the 2017 Fall Twirling Festival? If not, you better hurry! The deadline is Monday, October 23rd! You will not want to miss this great beginning of the season event!

This week we are back on that football field, but this time with a very special group of twirlers, as they happen to be the largest group of High School Twirlers we have ever interviewed. For this week's Friday Night Lights Feature we are meeting all 13 members of the Thomas Jefferson High School Twirling Line!

Many of those in the Texas Twirling community will recognize the name Thomas Jefferson High School as it has regularly been the home of the South Texas Camp of Champions, a program that will return to TJHS this November for the STCC Winter Camp. For more information on this awesome skills camp, please visit

Thomas Jefferson High School has had a great history of baton twirlers. The TJ Twirling Program, which was started by Coach Pat Montgomery, has continued on the past couple years with Coach Shelby Parker. The program seeks to increase the number of students exposed to the sport of baton twirling while focusing on the skills required to perform. As Ms. Parker tells us, "I would never want to deny students from learning this awesome sport! I accept students into the class if they have an interest, and then if their skills are good then they can perform in the football games and pep rallies. I do encourage ALL of them to attend camps and competitions. Also, all of my students are required to participate in UIL".

Having a program of this size has to have it's challenges. Ms. Parker sites finances as the programs biggest hurdle. "It is a financial challenge even to have student be able to participate in camps or contests. Timing is also hard because I have to compete with their work schedules". Despite these things, Ms. Parker finds the program hugely rewarding to work with. "They are all working GREAT together! They are very uplifting and not negative, and some individuals go out of their way to include the others at all times. It is very sweet".

Now, lets take a moment and learn a little bit about each of the TJ Twirlers!

Molly Romo, Senior, Competition Level: Novice
Favorite Trick: Elbow Push Out
When Not Twirling she loves… “Drawing and Painting”
Favorite Quote: “Maybe in another life when we are both cats” – Vanilla Sky
Advice to future twirlers: "Focus on yourself to achieve greatness"
Future Goal: To become an art teacher

Elia Escalante, Junior, Competition Level: Novice
Favorite Trick: Mouthrolls
When Not Twirling she loves… “to watch make up videos”
Favorite Quote: “Practice makes perfect”
Future Goal: Go to college

Zala Weappa, Senior, Competition Level: Novice
Favorite Trick: Horizontal One Spin
When Not Twirling she loves… “Making art”
Favorite Quote: “Don’t paint me black when I used to be golden”
Advice to future twirlers: "Don't stop one you start something because it is so worth it!"
Future Goal: Become an ER Nurse

Hope De Haro, Junior
When Not Twirling she loves… “To eat and sleep”
Favorite Quote: “Never give up”
Advice to future twirlers: "Practice, practice, practice!"
Future Goal: Graduate High School and go to college to become a nurse

Bryanna Perez, Junior
Favorite Trick: High Toss
When Not Twirling she loves… “Go to different places around town”
Favorite Quote: “Trust is like a piece of paper, once it is crumbled it can’t be perfect again”
Future Goal: Get into college and study to be a forensic scientist

Jhovana Maquez, Junior
Favorite Trick: Thumb Toss
When Not Twirling she loves… “Dance to my freestyle and KPop”
Favorite Quote: “Love myself, love yourself” & “Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.”
Advice to future twirlers: "You should have fun no matter what. Twirling is fun if you give in to the fun. Practice makes you better and new tricks are always there."
Future Goal: Get into Korean school to learn more about their culture

Nayeli Salas Mata, Junior
Favorite Trick: Blind Catch
When Not Twirling she loves… “to dance”
Favorite Quote: “Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream I can be” – Karen Raun
Future Goal: Go to a 4 year college and study to be a fashion designer

Maddie Morales, Junior
Favorite Trick: Thumb Toss
When Not Twirling she loves… “go out with friends”
Advice to future twirlers: "Don't fool around when it comes time to practice. Get excited at the games and pep rallies for the best experience"
Future Goal: Go to college and stay happy

Mia Hernandez, Sophomore
Favorite Trick: Fishtails
When Not Twirling she loves… “sing and draw”
Advice to future twirlers: "Even if its hard in the moment, keep practicing even if you "can't" get it... you will soon!"
Favorite Quote: “If something is too hard, don’t quit. Just keep going”

Eryn Salas, Junior
When Not Twirling she loves… “talk with friends”

Kassie De Leon, Junior
Favorite Trick: Multiple baton
When Not Twirling she loves… “listen to music”

Henrietta A, Senior
Favorite Trick: Thumb Toss
When Not Twirling she loves… “work hard studying for school
Future Goal: Go to college

Franshae Kirven, Junior
Favorite Trick: Box toss
When Not Twirling she loves… “spend time with family and work”
Favorite Quote: “Life is what you make it”
Advice to future twirlers: "Twirling is what you make it"
Future Goal: Army or Navy to major in law

Ms. Shelby Parker, Coach
Favorite Trick: Hand rolls
When Not Twirling she loves… “to be involved with Jefferson in all events” 
Favorite Quote: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”
Advice to future twirlers: "You can always count on your fellow twirlers"

Being such a large group and working together, these twirlers have had many great moments as a team. Molly said her favorite moment is "when the crowd is in awe of what you are doing on the field during the performance". Zala says she loves the "Pregame Handshakes", and Jhovana said she most enjoys being "all together working as one team and having fun". Mia will never forget the first time she caught her high toss, and Franshae always loves learning new tricks. Eryn says she thinks it is funny when they get to be "little duckies to Ms. Parker", which Ms. Parker explains as when the twirlers "quack to follow me and call me their 'mom duck'". 

When asked will asked what they will miss the most about the program when they graduate, Kassie and Zala said the competitions and football game, while Eryn said "being a close group of friends". Molly also said she will miss "the peoples faces looking at us when we perform". 

We love seeing programs like this grow, and of course, we can never have enough High School twirlers in Texas. We are so happy to see the Thomas Jefferson High School Twirlers continuing the tradition of keeping twirling alive at TJHS, and congrats to coach Shelby Parker for developing and pushing this group to be the best they can be. Go Mustangs!

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 with their name and email address at so that we can reach out! 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Texas Twirlers Abroad - Abby & Rachel in Peru!

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Today we have a very special interview for you. As most that attend AYOP are aware, there is a special opportunity every September offered to only a small handful of some of the nations most entertaining twirlers. Each of these twirlers are hand selected based on their performance abilities and advanced twirling skills. The sponsors attend AYOP, and after watching many twirlers compete, and comparing results with personal recommendations, they are invited to interview to be a part of that year's class. Once selected, they have the chance to travel for two weeks to Peru to participate in a once in a life time opportunity full of appearances and performances.

For the 2017 class traveling to Peru to participate in the 67th International Festival of the Spring (la Primavera), two of our very own Texas Twirlers were selected - Abby Morgan and Rachel Hutchinson.

Anyone who attends competitions in Texas should find these two faces familiar. Rachel, who is a member of the Mickey's Majorettes and coached by Patti Mickey, is from The Woodlands, TX. She is the reigning 2017 Miss Majorette of the Southwest and is one of The Woodlands High School Feature Twirlers. Abby, who is a member of the Alamo City Strutters and coached by Pat Montgomery, holds many State and Regional titles.  These two twirlers began their twirling careers around the same time, and have grown in the sport together as friends and competitors. It was a huge honor for these two to get the chance to travel to Peru, but made even more special that they were able to travel together. 

*Rachel & Abby have been friends and competitors since they began twirling around the same age*

We wanted to talk to these two twirlers about their experience and allow them to share some of the moments that meant the most to them as they traveled in Peru. 

So, tell us about the trip to Peru. What all did it entail? 
Rachel: "We participated in a two week long series of events. Our time in Peru consisted of several press conferences, meeting with officials  such as mayors, governors, and Lions Club officials, the sponsor companies Coca-Cola and Inkafarma, and visits to the public, all of which the twirlers performed at. Most memorable of all is the big 5 mile parade on the very last day. The whole festival is organized by the Lions Club of Trujillo, Peru to draw tourism and raise money for the community in surrounding areas."
Abby: "Yes, what most people do not know is that the annual International Festival of Springtime in Peru isn’t just performing and waving, it is a fundraiser for the country of Peru. We performed at orphanages, a nursing home, a horse show, in a 5 mile parade, and many other events." 

Wow! What an amazing experience. Of everything you got to do, what was your favorite part?
Abby: "Performing at the orphanages was definitely my favorite part. The children were so excited to meet us and watch us twirl." 
Rachel: "Mine was performing at the elderly home. After we performed there was a dance party and we taught baton skills to a number of wheelchair bound people. They enjoyed it and the exchange of happiness was very rewarding." 

How special to be able to share our sport in that way! In all those performances, there must have been some funny moments. What would you say is the funniest thing that happened to you on this trip?
Abby: "At the horse show, as I was walking out to the field to perform, I heard my name called. I looked back to see the Puerto Rican queen shouting and waving her hands at me to not step in the horse poop during the performance."
Rachel: "I have the biggest sweet tooth, so every time I heard that we were getting dessert I got really excited to try Peruvian sweets. However, they served purple corn EVERY TIME! One day they even served raw pig foot and a complete Guinea Pig, which was never eaten. There are also so many hilarious stories that were shared amongst the girls that I cannot even begin to tell accurately. After a long day we would all go camp out in one another’s hotel rooms and recap the day laughing until we had to go to sleep."

With that kind of food and all that performing, you must have been craving some home comforts. What did you miss the most from home when you were in South America?
Rachel: "Healthy, fresh water!"
Abby: "I missed southern sweet tea! I have not stopped drinking it since I’ve been back to Texas."

Oh I bet! With no tea, and them serving Guinea Pig, there must have been so many things you were not expecting or prepared for. What would you say was the thing that you found to be the most unexpected?
Abby: "Overflowing toilets!! Peruvians seemingly don’t use as much toilet paper as Americans so, two overflowing toilets later, I think we learned our lesson. At least I did!"
Rachel: "I did not expect to make lifelong friends from all over the US and Latin America. The Twirlers I have known vaguely from Nationals are now some of my best (and funniest) friends. Plus, I know I will keep in touch with my three new friends from Uruguay, Puerto Rico, and Argentina."

As we mentioned before, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we can all imagine that it had to be a life changing experience for you both. What would you say is the part that you will always remember?
Rachel: "Seeing the living conditions and the challenges that the people face was very upsetting and starkly contrasts our blessings in America. “To whom much is given, much is required” Luke 12:48. I went into this trip feeling like it was a privilege and came back realizing how important it is to give back. I will also always remember how the people of Peru were so welcome and generous with their support."
Abby: "The most memorable aspect of the trip to me was the exposure to the Peruvian and other South American cultures. The dances, food, landscape, and shopping of Peru is so different from our own, I think I will always remember that."

We are so excited that the two of you were able to go on this journey. What advice would you give to other Twirlers that may be selected for this trip in the future?
Abby: "During the parade, look down occasionally. The roads are a little rough there and I almost had two twisted ankles by the end of the 5 mile parade!
Rachel: "Brush up on your Spanish if you want to know what you are eating or where you are going. 

We want to say a huge thank you to Abby and Rachel for taking the time to do this interview with us. We are all so proud to say that these two were able to represent both our sport and our state abroad during this amazing experience. We hope everyone enjoyed their answers and we look forward to seeing who is selected next year for the 2018 Class attending the 68th International Festival of the Spring.  

*Video of Rachel & Abby Twirling in one of the parade during the Festival of Spring*

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 and we would love to hear more about it. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Contest Calendar Series - 2017 Fall Twirling Festival

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Yes it is that time again... time where competition entry deadlines are upon us. We are currently only a month away from the first contests of the season, which means the deadlines are this week! Today is the deadline for the 2017 South Plains Twirling Festival (if you missed it but still want to attend, please contact the contest director at, but for those in the more South/Central Texas area, we are only six days away from the first contest deadline!

Today's Contest Calendar Series will be discussing the 2017 Fall Twirling Festival!

*DEADLINE MONDAY* Please note that the deadline for this competition is Monday, October 23rd. You must have your entries submitted online or postmarked by this date. Click here to download the entry form or you can visit the Online Registration site. For more information, please contact the contest director at

Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Who: Contest Director Michele Pangrac
What: 2017 Fall Twirling Festival
When: Saturday, November 18, 2017. Facility opens at 8:00 am. Contest begins at 8:30 am.
Where: Antioch Community Sports Complex. 1001 N. Walters, San Antonio, TX 78202.
Why: This is a great contest to jumpstart the competitive twirling season and put new routines and tricks on the floor! Casual atmosphere, cozy facility with great floor, and ceiling height, make for a wonderful event.

CONTEST HASHTAG: #fallfestival2017
For this event we strongly encourage our Texas twirlers to utilize the hashtag #fallfestival2017 when posting photos of this competition on social media. Don't forget to tag @twirlingiscatchingtx on Instagram or Facebook and we may share your pic on one of our pages.

Highlighted Event: The headline events for this contest will be the Fall Festival Majorette pageant and the Fall Festival Model Pageant. The contest is also offering first contest basic strut and first contest solo events.

Unique Feature: The awards for this contest are done in a very original way. Each twirler will receive a blank plaque with their name on it. As they receive their placements in each event, they will be given a plate with the event and their place on it to be added to the plaque.

Last Comments from the Director: The concession stand for this event promises to have healthy options for those in attendance so that they do not have to leave to find good food. Also, there will be a vendor on site selling airbrushed attire and items for those looking for a fun gift idea for their twirler.

Want to attend this event? Please visit the Contest Online Registration Page or download the 2017 Fall Twirling Festival entry form, or contact the director at

Also, don't forget to check out for information and entry forms for many upcoming contests in and around the State of Texas. There are many great contests heading our way, and we don't want anyone to miss out!

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of the Contest Calendar Series. We are always looking for new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or some info we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at and we would love to hear more about it.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

College Twirler Spotlight - Sam Houston State Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

So much going on this week! We will have a new post almost every day. I guess it is that time of year again! To continue our weekly University Twirler interviews, this time we travel to Huntsville, Texas, to meet the Bearkats. Our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight this week is on the Sam Houston State University Feature Twirlers - Sara Wleczyk, Rachael Doucette, and Kaymie Thomas!

The Sam Houston State University Feature Twirlers, coordinated by Kelley McCormick, are a group of Feature Twirlers that perform with the Bearkat band. If you enjoy learning more about them in this interview, you can follow them on Facebook at

These twirlers that audition annually for their position, love being Bearkats! While the school has many great traditions, most of these ladies favorites involve the band showing their school spirit. Kaymie tells us her favorite school tradition is when they get to march to Bowers Stadium on game days, while Rachael most enjoys the Fire Festival and Battle of the Piney Woods. Sara just loves the atmosphere. “Twirling with my team members outside Bower’s Stadium with the Bearkat Marching Band, SHSU Cheerleaders, and the SHSU Orange Pride Dance Team (is my favorite).  This is an awesome opportunity to be up close with our fans and getting everyone in the spirit right before the football game”.

As members of marching band, they also get to enjoy the bands specific traditions. Sara really enjoys their pregame routine. Rachael loves at the end of every practice when the band comes together and yells "It's BMB in the house!". Kaymie tells us about one of their best inside jokes, which is "Hmmmm... seems salty". While this doesn't make any sense to us, we know it gives the Bearkat Band members a little chuckle. 

Since twirling as a Bearkat Feature Twirler is a dream come true for all three of them, they all consider getting to twirl at Bowers Stadium as their favorite moment as a twirler. As Sara tells us, “Honestly, making it as a Sam Houston State Feature Twirler was amazing because all of my hard work and determination had finally paid off”. Rachael had been concerned going in to auditions, as she hadn't competed in 7 years, but the moment she found out she made it ranks as a top memory. Kaymie loves some of the stuff that happens off the field, including when they get to talk to the little girls about twirling and get hugs from their little fans. 

Now lets take a moment to learn a little more about these three twirlers individually...

Sara Wleczyk
Junior, Competition Level: Beginner
Sara is a Junior majoring in Human Resource Management. She is from West Columbia, TX and has been twirling for 16 years with coaches Jana Reid, Jenna Reid Navarro, Heather Holland Mikel, and Kelly McCormick. The competition title she is the most proud of is when she won the NBTA Show Twirl. Her favorite competition trick is a toss reverse illusion, and her favorite field trick is a toss forward roll or any two baton trick. Sara has been inspired the most by Former University of Houston Feature Twirler: Heather Holland, and Former University of Georgia and Florida State University Twirler:  Karrissa Wimberley. Outside of baton twirling, Sara is an active member of Alpha Omicron Pi and Sigma Alpha Pi - The National Society of Leadership and Success. After college, Sara plans to eventually attend graduate school, but “my immediate goal is to be employed in a hospital or petro chemical work environment utilizing my HR background to manage insurance benefits or company employee policies”.

Rachael Doucette 
Junior, Competition Level: Beginner (Solo)/Advanced (2&3 Baton)
Rachael is a Junior majoring in Human Resources. She is from The Woodlands, TX, and has been twirling for 12 years with coaches Patti Mickey and Kelley McCormick. The competition title she is the most proud of is when she won the Southwest Regional Basic Skills Pageant. Her favorite competition trick is a two spin blind and her favorite field trick is a toss illusion. Rachael has been inspired the most by her Mickey’s Majorette teammate, Rachel Hutchinson. Outside of baton twirling she is also an active member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. After she graduates from college she hopes to get a job in the Human Resources field.

Kaymie Thomas
Sophomore, Competition Level: Intermediate
Kaymie is a Sophomore majoring in Music Education. She is from Lubbock, TX and has been twirling for 9 years with coaches Patti Mickey and Kelley McCormick. The award she is the most proud of winning was the John Phillip Sousa award in High School. Her favorite trick is a one spin illusion. Kaymie has been inspired the most by the Texas Tech University Twirlers. Outside of twirling, Kaymie is an active member of Tau Beta Sigma, a service organization ‘for greater bands’. “We promote music and do service projects for the community and our school”. When she graduates, Kaymie wants to be a band director and write marching drills.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color = Pink (Sara), Red (Rachael)
Favorite Movie = “Battleship” (Sara), “Moana” (Rachael)
Favorite Food = Mexican (Sara)
Favorite Book = The Hobbit “I love reading!” (Kaymie)
Favorite Music = Country (Sara), “Classical music and musicals like Phantom of the Opera and Alexander Hamilton”

When they are not twirling they love to…
  • Rachael = “Read”
  • Kaymie = “Read and compose”
  • Sara = “Spend time outdoors with my German Shepherd dog, Jethro, and just taking time out with my family and friends.  Also, I have a passion for cooking one of my many Pinterest recipes which I have perfected with the help of my dad”.
Something people might not know about them is….
  • Sara =  “I’m pretty much an open book”.
  • Rachael = “I am very funny”
  • Kaymie = “I used to wrestle in high school"
Favorite Quote/Life Motto…
  • Sara = “Be yourself, because an original is worth more than a copy!”
  • Kaymie = “It is well with my soul”
  • Rachael = “Everything that comes your way is an opportunity. Just because you don’t get something, doesn’t mean you never will”.
Most Memorable Advice from their coach…
  • Sara = “Leave it all floor at competitions, walk away knowing that you have done your best”. 
  • Rachael = “Have fun on the field”
  • Kaymie = “Have fun! If you enjoy it, the audience enjoys it!"

As a Feature Twirler, these ladies get a chance to hang out and have fun together. Kaymie mentioned that they like to have fun at the games by "acting like the batons were light sabers and battling during the Star Wars stands tunes”. They also know that funny moments can happen in the middle of a performance. Rachael tells us that "Once when I was twirling at a basketball game, my fake hair piece fell out!” Yikes! On the other hand, Sara told us about a not so funny story. “Not really funny, but rather a dramatic experience when I did a toss illusion at a high school football game.  The baton landed on my nose with a loud “thunk”.  Literally, thought I broke my nose, but I kept on twirling through the pain. Turns out, I just had a really bad bruise the next day under my eye and a swollen nose”. 

They have all learned so much from their years of twirling that they now bring with them into college and their futures. Sara tells us that baton twirling has "made me more confident in myself as a person”. Rachael says she has really learned the value of team work, and Kaymie has come to realize that you should Never give up! You can achieve anything, do not let fear control you!”

Finally we asked the three Bearkat Twirlers what advice they would have for a future collegiate twirler. Rachael said that she would tell them not to "think too hard about it if you drop of mess up. Just remember that most people watching do not understand the details of baton twirling and will not see your mistakes. No matter what happens you are still the best”. Along those same lines, Sara mentioned that, “If you don’t succeed the first time, get back in the gym or studio and prove them wrong!” Kaymie wraps up that thought with a great way to look at the experience. "Enjoy what you do, so the long rehearsals feel like fun and you won’t have to work a single day of the season!”

Thank you so much ladies for giving us your time and participating in our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight. We wish you a great remainder of the season full of awesome performances. Go Bearkats!

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 with their name and email address at so that we can reach out! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Night Lights Feature - Rockwall-Heath High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Happy Friday the 13th! Such a fun night for Football, and of course, lots of field twirling!

This week we venture up to the Dallas area to meet two very special twirlers. Our Friday Night Lights Feature for this week is the Rockwall-Heath High School Twirlers, Macy Allen and K.K. Tunnell!

These two twirlers love being a part of the Rockwall-Heath community. They especially love the "Pre-Rallies" and the very special moment when after their show the band forms an H on the field to perform the fight song. But what is their favorite moment being the RHHS twirlers? “The Rockwall Heath game against Rockwall. It's the biggest game of the year. Everyone in town goes, and the excitement from the crowd is amazing!" When representing the Hawks, these two ladies just love being a part of the band program. When asked what they will miss the most when they graduate, they said it would definitely be “the people we get to be with at games”.

While most of their time twirling at Rockwall-Heath is a wonderful experience, sometimes there are little moments that make them laugh. K.K. told us about one time when her shoe came off in the middle of the show last year. "I kept on trying to do leg holds to put it back on”. Way to be inventive and keep the show going, even without a shoe!

Now that we have learned a little more about their experiences at Rockwall-Heath High School, lets learn a little more about Macy & K.K.'s twirling background...

Macy Allen
Senior, Competition Level: Beginner
Macy started twirling recreationally about 6 years ago, but started training competitive a year ago as a member of Texas Touch of Class coached by Shirley Payne and Sheila Payne-Rigelsky. The competition title she is the most proud of winning is the 2017 Southwest Regional Senior Beginner Two Baton Championship. Her favorite competition trick is an illusion one spin and her favorite field trick is when she does a high toss jump split with a ground roll. In baton twirling, Macy has been most inspired by World Champion Karissa Wimberly. After high school Macy says she would “love to continue my twirling career by competing and twirling in college”.

K.K. Tunnell
Sophomore, Competition Level: Intermediate
K.K. has been twirling for 7 years as a member of the Texas Touch of Class coached by Sheila Payne-Rigelsky and Shirley Payne. The competition title that she is the most proud of, happens to be the one ALL of Texas is also extremely proud of. At AYOP this past summer, K.K. won the title of 2017 Beginner Junior National Pageant Winner! Wow!!! Her favorite competition trick is her back neck rolls and her favorite field move is her “Split Trick” which she calls “a special creation by Miss Sheila”. In baton twirling, K.K. has been most inspired by fellow TTOC teammate and University of Texas Feature Twirler, Erica Kuntz. “She is always so encouraging!” After high school K.K. hopes to continue twirling in college.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color = Pink (Macy), Blue (K.K.)
Favorite Movie = “The Hunger Games” (K.K.), “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Finding Dory” (Macy)
Favorite TV Show = Full House (K.K.)
Favorite Food = “Jersey Mike’s”
Favorite Music = “Pop and Country” (Macy), “Anything other than march music - ha!” (K.K.) ←We feel you there!

When they are not twirling they love to…
K.K. = “Dance (especially on pointe)”
Macy = “Go shopping! I have so many clothes in my closet, but I can never seem to find an outfit to wear!”

Something you may not know about them is…
Macy = “My favorite subject is math. I am taking AP Calculus this year, and in my free time, I like to tutor students in geometry and algebra”.
K.K. = “There is a 170 pound difference between my dogs! Lucky, the Great Dane,  weighs 180, and Zoey, the maltipoo, weighs 10 pounds”.

Favorite Quote/Life Motto…
K.K. = "Why fit in when you were born to stand out"-Dr. Seuss
Macy = “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard”

Most Memorable Tip/Advice from Coach…
Macy = “She has taught me that i have to work hard to achieve my goals in life”.
K.K. = “Everyone get nervous. It's natural, and it means you care about what you're doing. You just have to use nervous energy to your advantage, and give 'em a show!”
Favorite Individual Twirling Moment:
K.K. = “Winning the beginner pageant at AYOP!” (We all loved that moment too! Congrats KK!)
Macy = “When i got to twirl on the field for the first time as Rockwall-Heath High School's first feature twirler”.

Between school, band, and preparing for the upcoming season, these ladies work super hard all year round. We asked them what they consider to be the most valuable skill they have learned from twirling. "Twirling has taught us how to work in high stressful situations, and how to manage time between band practice and homework.” This is for sure how they both pull off such high demands.

Finally, we wanted to round out our interview by asking the NEW 2017 Beginner Junior National Pageant Winner, K.K., what advice she has for future twirlers. While of course it takes lots of time, dedication, and practice to become a National Pageant Winner, her advice was simple and effective - “Don't stress out if you drop just pick your baton up and smile bigger. No one will notice or remember in a few days”. Such a great way to think about most mistakes in life. Just smile and keep on moving!

Special thanks to these two ladies for taking the time to talk with us. Congrats to Macy on her Senior Year at Rockwall-Heath. We hope you making amazing memories! Also, another congrats to K.K. Tunnell on her amazing National Pageant win. Such a well deserved honor, and one we were all so proud to see come home to Texas. Go Hawks!

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 with their name and email address at so that we can reach out!