Sunday, December 31, 2017

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - University of Arkansas Twirling Line Captain

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

I know we are all counting down those hours until midnight, but we wanted to post our final Twirler Feature of the year. Each season our high school senior twirlers are having to make tough decisions about where they want to go in the Fall. Through our Collegiate Twirler Series, we have spoken to many in state twirlers, and many twirlers who have come from out of state to Twirl in Texas, but we wanted to end the series for the year by talking to a Texas born and raised twirler, who chose to go out of State.

For today’s Collegiate Twirler Spotlight, we are talking to University of Arkansas Twirling Line Captain, Michaelah Reynolds!

For those that are not familiar with the University of Arkansas Twirlers, we will fill you in really quick. At U of A, they have both Feature Twirlers, and a Twirling Line. Many talented twirlers from Texas have filled spots in this group, and we were all excited to see Michaelah be a part of it. Plus, this year she was named as one of the two Captains of the line. What a great way to wrap up her senior year twirling for the Razorbacks!

Our first question for Michaelah was, of course, why did you choose to go out of state? “I never inherently made a decision to go out of state. When looking at colleges, I knew that I didn’t really want to stay in San Antonio because I felt that I wouldn’t get the true college experience if I stayed at home.  I also wanted to make sure that I chose my college based on what was best for my education, and if that school had twirlers, it was an added bonus.  I visited the U of A because we knew a twirler, Stephanie Lampman, who was on the line at the time. Since the trip was on a whim, I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did, but Fayetteville quickly captured my heart. Arkansas’s Communications program fit me better than any of the other colleges I had visited, and it felt like the university truly cared about what I wanted rather than just trying to sell the college.  All in all, Arkansas fit exactly what I wanted in every aspect that was important to me so there was no other choice!”

It is always such a great experience when you find that school that makes you feel like you found your home away from home, which is also right in line with Michaelah’s advice to any potential future Collegiate Twirlers. She told us the number one thing she would tell a future twirler was to make sure and “pick the college you feel is best for you. If you want to choose based on your major, that’s great. If you want to choose it based on twirling, that’s great too.  Just make sure you’re choosing what will feel like home to you”.

We know going out of state had to be hard. We wanted to know what Michaelah felt was the hardest thing about going out of state and she said it was, of course, “being far away from my family. When I left for college, my niece and nephew were very young, and I really hated not being able to see them all the time. The majority of my immediate family lives in San Antonio, so it wasn’t fun to see pictures of them together. Luckily, Facetime helped a lot, and I have tried to stay in touch as much as I can”. Yes! Technology can help fill those gaps distance can create, but we know with all the band practice, individual twirling practice, and, oh yeah, studying, we bet Michaelah barely had any time left to worry about it too much!

Now that we know a little more about why Michaelah went to school out of state, let’s learn a little more about her!

Michaelah Reynolds, Senior
Competition Level: Advanced/Collegiate
Michaelah is a Communications Major, with a Marketing Minor, from San Antonio, TX. She has been twirling for 6.5 years as a member of the Alamo City Strutters, coached by Pat Montgomery, and has received additional instruction from former Razorback Feature Twirler, McKinsey Ogden. The competition title she is the most proud of was when she won the 2016 Collegiate Miss Majorette of the Mid-South title. Her favorite competition trick is a toss with a calypso leap underneath, and while she doesn’t necessarily have a favorite field trick, she loves whenever the twirling time does two and three baton. In baton twirling, she has been inspired the most by Karissa Wimberly and McKinsey Ogden. In addition to being on the Razorback Twirling Line, she is also is many other organizations, including, being a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, the Co-Public Relations Director of Lambda Pi Eta (National Communications Honor Society that was founded at U of A), and President of the Student Advisory Committee at the Walton Arts Center (regional theatre in Northwest Arkansas).

Michaelah just graduated a few weeks ago from University of Arkansas. Now that she is on to the next step, she is planning to head to Graduate School to get her Master’s in Communications. “I would like to eventually move to New York and become a Marketing Director for a Broadway theater!”

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color = Burgundy
Favorite TV Show = Gilmore Girls
Favorite Movie = Dogfight
Favorite Music = Anything Broadway related\
Favorite Quote = “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt

When she is not twirling she loves to…
“Spend time with the girls on the line. We are honestly like a family, and it’s always a great time when we can have fun that doesn’t involve twirling.”

Something people might not know about her is…
“I’m a huge Broadway nerd. I could probably sing every part from at least 20 different musicals from start to finish if someone asked.”

Most memorable advice from her coach…
“McKinsey always reminded me to ‘Just Have Fun’. A lot of the time, it’s really easy to get in your own head before you perform, but if you go into your routines wanting to show your love for twirling, you’ll be able to do it to the best of your ability.”

Best life skill she has learned from baton twirling…
“Definitely the interview portion from pageants.  Especially now that I’m getting ready to interview for jobs, I feel very blessed that I have gained the skill to speak eloquently, even if I’m extremely nervous”.

Being a part of the University of Arkansas community has been four year of amazing experiences for Michaelah, but she said nothing will ever beat that first game! “My favorite moment has been the same since my freshman year at Arkansas – at the beginning of our pregame we do the famous Hog Call on the field.  That Hog Call at my first game freshman year felt so magical with the whole stadium in unison doing this beloved tradition.  It made me feel truly at home with the Razorback Marching Band and with the University of Arkansas”.

Pre-Game is such a big part of the Razorback game day, and if you have ever been to a game you know, it is a contagious spirit. “All of our pregame is very traditional and amazing to take part of, but the best hands down is forming our Big A and moving it across the field! The crowd goes crazy every week and the feeling in the stadium is absolutely electric”. Everyone on their feet cheering for their team… even someone that isn’t a Razorback fan can get sucked in (and I can vouch for that!).

While Game Day is what the hard work is for, the band has a great time getting ready to call in those hogs every week. They have a ton of fun and create just as many memories during practices. One of the best Razorback band traditions, according to Michaelah, is the spirit stick. “During our band’s early week, we always have a spirit stick competition every day, and whichever section gets the stick, passes it on to another section the next day.  The twirlers always try (and succeed J ) to get the spirit stick, and we have a chant that we do several times a day the whole band participates in.  We yell “the twirlers are what?” with the band answering back “EXTREME!” in a high pitched voice.  It’s honestly hilarious, and makes us feel included and loved by the band!”

Being a part of the band is special, but the best moments come from the time the twirlers spend together. During my sophomore year early week, the last day was very peculiar because for some reason the coaches couldn’t be there and we had 2 girls gone because of Preference Day for sorority recruitment.  There were only about 5 of us at our individual practice and things got very loopy.  By that point in the week, we were all physically exhausted and we had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep because of something we had to do for band that morning.  While we promised we would go over our new halftime routines, we ended up goofing off the entire time and talked about funny twirling memories.  I can’t remember a time during that practice where we didn’t stop laughing!”

Such great memories for this now graduated twirler. We want to thank Michaelah for participating in this interview and congratulate her on four amazing years representing the Razorbacks and baton twirling. We cannot wait to see what comes next for this talented young lady. We know she will achieve great things. Whooo Pig!

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.  

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Night Lights Feature - Canyon High School Twirlers

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Before we wrap up 2017, we have one final Friday Night Light post for you. We know football season for high school is officially over (congrats to all those teams that made the playoffs), but College Bowl Season is just kicking off, so we think it still counts!

This week's Friday Night Lights Feature is with the Canyon High School Twirlers - Megan Dartez, Denise Aguirre, Savannah Schwab, Presley Wirebaugh, and Maddie Brown!

In order to become a Canyon High School Twirler, these ladies have to perform an individual solo and interview, and must re-audition every year. They each learn their own routine to the music of their choice. As Maddie tells us, “we perform it alone in front of a panel of judges”. This year, five great twirlers all made it!

The school has many great traditions. Savannah most enjoys the Wurstbowl against New Braunfels High School, while Denise says her favorite is “definitely the blackout pep rally. It is once a year and dedicated to the graduating class”. The Canyon Twirlers are also a big part of their high school band program, and get to be a part of all the inside jokes. Savannah said that “6:45 on the dot!” always makes her laugh, while Denise loves her band sibling. “We exchange gifts with them. It’s a tradition”.

These twirlers have had many great moments on the field. Maddie enjoyed her first time twirling in front of the crowd, and Denise agrees! Her favorite moment is “when the crowd cheers, and all eyes are on you!” They have also had some pretty funny moments. One year they had costumes that looked almost the same front and back, and one of the girls wore hers backwards for an entire quarter. Oopps!

Now that we have learned a little more about being a part of the Canyon High School community, let's learn a little more about each of these twirlers...

Megan Dartez Captain, Senior

Megan has been twirling for 10 years with coach Abby Rogers. Her favorite competition trick is elbow rolls, and her favorite field trick is a high toss. After high school, Megan hopes to become a registered nurse.

Denise Renee AguirreSenior

Denise has been twirling for three years with coaches Michelle Pangrac, Mary Ann Srulowitz, and Abby Rogers, and competes at the novice level. The title she is the most proud of was when she won the 2017 Senior Miss Basic Skills pageant. Her favorite competition trick is a high toss illusion, and her favorite field trick is a leap, leap, illusion. In baton twirling she has been inspired the most by her coach, Mary Ann Srulowitz. “Everything she experienced I can relate to”. After high school she plans to attend college.

Savannah Schwab Junior

Savannah has been twirling for 7 years with coach Abby Rogers, and competes in the intermediate level. The competition title she is the most proud of was when she won Miss ATF 2013. Her favorite competition trick is a toss illusion, and her favorite field trick is a horizontal exchange. In baton twirling, she has been inspired the most by Razorback Feature Twirler, Savannah Miller. After high school, Savannah hopes to go to Texas A&M to get a Bachelors in Allied Health, then o to medical school, and become a pediatrician. 

Presley WirebaughLieutenant Captain, Sophomore

Presley has been twirling for 6 years with coach Abby Rogers. Her favorite competition trick is a toss floor roll, and her favorite field trick is a candlestick. In baton twirling she has been inspired the most by her mom. After high school, Presley hopes to attend Texas A&M University to be a Biomedical Engineer.

Maddie BrownFreshman

Maddie has been twirling for 6 years, first with coach Mary Jo Miller, and currently Abby Rogers. Her favorite competition trick is anything with 2 batons, and her favorite field trick is finger twirls. In baton twirling, she was most inspired by the “high school twirlers who introduced me to twirling when I was 8”. After high school she plans to attend college and do something in the medical field.

Fun Facts!
  • Favorite Color: Maroon (Presley), Pink (Megan), Purple (Savannah & Maddie), Pink (Denise)
  • Favorite Movie: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” & “La La Land” (Presley), “Twilight” (Megan), “Dirty Dancing” (Savannah), “Mulan” (Maddie)
  • Favorite TV Show: “Friends” (Presley), “Pretty Little Liars” (Megan), “The Vampire Diaries” & “Gilmore Girls” (Savannah)
  • Favorite Music: Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, & Ed Sheeran (Presley), Halsey (Megan), Country (Savannah), Rock Music (Denise)
  • Favorite Food: Grapefruit (Presley), Chik-Fil-A (Megan), Mexican (Savannah)
  • Favorite Animals: Dolphin, Turtle, Giraffe, and Elephant (Maddie)
When they are not twirling, they love to…
  • Maddie: “Cook and bake”
  • Presley: “Show lambs and poultry, do FFA and 4-H, and also cook!”
  • Megan: “Be at practice for color guard” (where she is also the captain!)
  • Savannah: “Volunteer in the community with my church youth group, the food bank, and at the hospital” 
  • Denise: “Spend time with family, especially my nephews. We have a weekly dinner where we all get together”

Something people might not know about them is…
  • Savannah: “I love to travel and I’ve been to 11 different countries in the world and 28 US states”
  • Denise: “I haven’t always been into twirling and all the glam. Prior to twirling, I participated in karate and boxing”
  • Presley” “I cut the top of my pinky off at the beginning of this summer”
  • Maddie: “I hate being late”
  • Megan: “I like video games”
Favorite Quote…
  • Denise: “Keep your focus”
  • Presley: “Happy girls are the prettiest” -Audrey Hepburn 
  • Maddie: “To laugh at yourself is to love yourself” -Mickey Mouse
  • Megan: “You only live once”
  • Savannah: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Most memorable tip they have received from their coach…
  • Presley: “Always keep smiling!”
  • Savannah: “Look up!” & “Keep your head up!”
  • Megan: “Practice makes permanent” 
  • Denise: “You get out of it what you put in to it” 
Favorite Individual Twirling Moment…
  • Presley: “Doing my tryout routine this last year and making Lieutenant Captain!”
  • Megan: “When my costume was related to the musical, Chicago”
  • Denise: “When I realized I had three baton down. Best feeling ever!”
  • Maddie: “When you are frustrated with a trick, take a break, and then come back and nail it!”

Baton Twirling has been very valuable to all of these twirlers. They each attribute it with teaching them different life skills. Savannah says that the hand-eye coordination has been the most important, while Maddie appreciates the time management, and Denise values how it has allowed her to become more comfortable in front of big groups of people.

They have also learned many lessons and have some great advice to pass along to future high school twirlers. As the freshman of the team, Maddie says to “be on time, work hard, and SMILE!” Savannah says, that to improve as a team, make sure to practice as a team as much as possible”. Finally, Denise, the senior, passes along this sage advice… “Enoyt it! There is nothing that quite compares to high school twirling, or high school for that matter. You get what you put in, so spending those hours and hours practicing will pay off!” So true!

When asked what they will miss the most when they graduate, the twirlers say tey will miss getting ready and doing things as a team. They will also miss the “at-home feeling, the comfortable feeling that comes when everyone is so close”.

Thank you so much ladies for taking the time to be a part of this interview. We know you had a great Fall 2017 season, and we wish you all the best of luck in what comes next!

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.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Contest Calendar Series - Dallas Twirling Festival 2018

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Sorry for the brief hiatus. December was CRAZY, but we are back and ready to get this blog going better than ever. We have so many plans for the new year. If you do not already, please make sure you are following the blog on Facebook at and on Instagram @twirlingiscatchingtx, so that you don't miss any of our upcoming posts.

Now, time to jump back in to competition season! The follow up posts for the Fall Twirling Festival and the ATX Holiday Twirl Fest will both be available at the beginning of the new year, so for now we will focus on the upcoming deadline that is fast approaching for the first contest of 2018.

Today our Contest Calendar Series is about the 2018 Dallas Twirling Festival!

*DEADLINE JANUARY 3RD* Please note that the deadline for this competition is Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018. You must have your entry postmarked by this date, and please note, entries must be sent with a money order or cashiers check. Click here to download the entry form. For more information, please contact the contest directors at

Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Who: Contest Directors Shirley Payne & Sheila Payne Rigelsky
What: 47th Annual Dallas Twirling Festival
When: Saturday, January 13th, 2018. Doors open at 7:00 am. Contest begins at 8:00 am.
Where: DeSoto High School (Freshman Campus*), 620 S. Westomoreland Road, DeSoto, TX 75115
   *Please note this is not the same gym that State was held at. The freshman campus gym is located in a different building. 

Why: This competition is a legacy competition. Not only is it in its 47th year, which is something to be said on it's own, but it is directed by a mother/daughter duo. Twirlers from all over Texas, and surrounding states, come to this competition. This competition is also known for having out of state judges, so that contestants get a wide variety of comments. The director have had years, and years, and YEARS of experience directing competitions; therefore, the event runs smoothly and timely. They also bring an upbeat element of fun throughout the day!

CONTEST HASHTAG: #dallastwirlfest2018
For this event, we strongly encourage our Texas Twirlers to utilize the hashtag #dallastwirlfest2018 when posting photos of this competition on social media. Below are some of the photos found on Facebook that utilized the hashtag in 2017. Shout out to Makayla Wood and Twirl ATX. Hashtag your photo this year and you might just see your picture in the contest follow up blog post!

Highlighted Event: A highlighted event of this competition is the Parent/Twirler Duet category! Since this contest is directed by a mother/daughter, it is only fitting that other parent/daughter duos show off their talents!

Unique Feature: The awards are beautiful and PINK! Nice sized trophies, unique first place pageant awards, and beautiful tiaras are awarded. Also, all enjoy the special ratings trophies, as well as, the vintage medals awarded to the runners up.

Any last comments? Miss Shirley and Sheila appreciate all the support over the last 46 years, and look forward to many more years! See you on January 13th!

Want to attend this event? Please download the Dallas Twirling Festival 2018 Entry Form, or contact the directors 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 you don't want to miss out!

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of the Contest Calendar Series. 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? Please contact us at and we would love to hear more about it. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays from Twirling is Catching TX!

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!!!

Happy Holidays from the Twirling is Catching TX Blog. We thank you for all your support this year. We still have a couple more posts coming your way this week to wrap up 2017, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, we wanted to do a wrap up of the last month. We do hope everyone has enjoyed following our journey as we celebrated the holidays by checking in with different twirling groups from around the state during their Holiday performances. It has been super fun getting to "go live" from different cities and see how other twirling groups come together!

Twirl ATX, Austin Twirling Academy
November 18, 2017: Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade

This is Twirl ATX's 2nd appearance in the Austin, Texas Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade. This is the biggest parade in Central Texas, and it marches right down Congress Avenue in front of the State Capital, as well as being broadcast on TV. Check out the Facebook live video of Twirl ATX in the prep area before they stepped off for this year's performance:

Twirling Sweet Sensations
December 1, 2017: City of Schertz's Festival of Angels Parade

The Twirling Sweet Sensations do many performances in their community, but this one had two extra special features! The first was when the older twirlers were allowed to perform a fire baton routine at the conclusion of the parade. We love any time twirlers get to show off their fire twirling skills! The second was that since their team has students of different faiths, their parade music line up included traditional Christmas and Hanukah songs. The best way to celebrate twirling is making sure everyone feels their holiday is included, so we love that their coaches made this happen! Check out the Facebook live video that was broadcast from the Twirling Sweet Sensations Facebook page during their event:

Texas Stingerettes & Eisenhauer Twirlettes
December 16, 2017: Eisenhauer School of Twirling Holiday Recital

Annually the Texas Stingerettes and the Eisenhauer Twirlettes from the Eisenhauer School of Baton Twirling in Corpus Christi, TX, hold a Holiday Recital to celebrate the holidays through baton twirling. Check out a live video of the Stingerette High School Feature Twirlers during their group performance during the recital:

Mickey's Majorettes
December 17, 2017: The Woodlands Market Square Performance

For the 10th Year, the Mickey's Majorettes brought baton twirling to Market Square in The Woodlands during their annual holiday performance. Each twirler gets the opportunity to perform a  solo and duet routine to a holiday song in front of the crowds shopping in Market Square. Check out the Facebook live video of them warming up here:

VM Twirlers
December 2017 (multiple dates): Second Baptist Church Woodway "Christmas Under The Big Top"

This performance comes from two twirlers with the Vicki Michelle Dance Studio in Spring, TX. Here we see sisters, Morgan and Kayli Bull, entertaining at the Second Baptist Church Woodway during their "Christmas Under the Big Top" event, which ran for nine shows in December. Check out a live video of these two awesome twirlers here:

Thank you for following us this Holiday Season! We look forward to featuring many more baton twirlers all over Texas in the upcoming year.

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.