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!”
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!