Saturday, December 29, 2018

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - University of the Incarnate Word

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

For our final post of the year, we wanted to bring you a special interview with a young lady that has been featured many times in this blog, but as she continues to break down barriers and serves as an amazing role model for younger twirlers and pageant hopefuls, we just had to learn more.

Our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is the University of Incarnate Word Feature Twirler, Ashley Sneed!

On top of being the University of Incarnate Word Feature Twirler, Ashley has spent the last year serving as Miss San Antonio. Balancing these roles has been challenging, but Ashley has done an amazing job representing UIW and her hometown in the Miss America Organization.

She really enjoys being a part of the UIW community. Her favorite twirling moments are when she has a no drop on the field in front of the Cardinal fans. Ashley also appreciates the atmosphere on game days. In her opinion, the best school tradition though is pregame because, “something unusual always happens during pregame!” In fact, once during pregame she got hit by the giant flag! “It was very painful!” The band also has its own traditions. A special one of note is when they flip their caps backward when they win a game “because UIW is the Southland Conference Champs!”

Now that we know a little more about Ashley and her experiences at UIW, lets learn more about her twirling career and what got her to where she is now!

Ashley Sneed
Competition Level: Advanced

Ashley is a junior at UIW and is majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a double minor in Business Administration and Marketing. She is from San Antonio, TX, where she has twirled for the last fifteen years as a member of the Texas Gems and is coached by Tori Mays. The competition title she is the most proud of is when she won the Advanced Miss Majorette of the Virgin Islands. Her favorite competition trick is continuous back neck rolls with a double roll on the floor, and her favorite field trick is a toss cartwheel catch in fujimi (under the leg).

Fun Facts!

Favorite Color – “I always consider glitter a color, so anything sparkly is my favorite!”

Favorite Movie – “I do not necessarily have a favorite movie, but anything that makes me laugh will for sure become a favorite of mine”

Favorite Music – “I always love to jam out to hip hop before a performance, but of course my favorite artist is BeyoncĂ©! I always get to channel her out on the floor during competition”.

Favorite Quote – “There is a power in people who dream big and who try hard” – Harold Klemp

When she is not twirling she loves to... “Hang out with my friends, stay involved with my community through community service, promote my non-profit organization, and shop”.

Something people might not know about her is… “I am the first African American Feature Twirler at a Texas NCAA Division I University”.

Twirler she has been most inspired by: Former UCLA Twirler and World Team Member, ReJoyce Green.

What organizations is she involved with in school... At UIW, she is a member of the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and the African Student Organization (ASO).

After college Ashley hopes to work for Ted Baker in London as a buyer and eventually open her own custom costume company. In order to make this happen, she likes to lean on her favorite piece of advice from her coach, “Trust in yourself and your ability”.

Ashley has also learned a lot from baton twirling that she hopes to carry in to her future. She say the number one life lesson she has gained from baton twirling is that “You never lose, you learn!”
When asked what suggestions she would pass on to any future collegiate twirlers, she said she would tell them to “Trust in the process and have FUN!”

We want to thank Ashley for taking the time to talk to us, and we can't wait to see the amazing things this twirler does in the next few years. Go Cardinals!

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. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Contest Calendar Series - Twirl in the Woods 2019

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

After our short break for the holidays, the blog is back! With only 4 more days left in 2018, we wanted to squeeze in a couple more posts to get everyone psyched for what 2019 has in store.

Today we have a Contest Calendar Series post about the upcoming 2019 Twirl in the Woods!

DEADLINE THURSDAY: Please note that the deadline for this competition is Thursday, January 3rd, 2018. Your entry must be postmarked by this day. Click here to download the entry form. For more info, contact the Contest Directors at You can also call 281-844-8486 or 281-844-1143.

*Early Bird Discount* If you can get your entry in the mail by 5 pm on Friday, December 28th, you can take 50% off your Facilities Surcharge Fee (That makes the fee only $7.50 instead of $15.00).

*Pay Online with PayPal* If you would like to pay online you can visit and click on the PayPal TITW Entry Fees button.

Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Who: Contest Directors Patti Mickey & Kayli Mickey-McIntosh
What: 2019 Twirl in the Woods Competition
When: Saturday, January 19, 2019. Doors open at 7 am. Contest begins at 8 am
Where: College Park High School - 3701 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77384

Why: Since this is the first NBTA contest in Texas for 2019, it is often one of the biggest of the season outside of the State and Regional competitions. Many coaches consider this contest to be the most reflective of what level of competition twirlers will face at the Southwest Regional Championship held in March. Many teams debut their routines here, and most of the twirling groups in the State will have representation. On top of that, the awards are extremely nice (tiaras, giant pageant trophies, Disney plushies, etc), and the contest runs very smooth for being as large as it is. It is definitely a 'must attend' to start off the new year!

CONTEST HASHTAG: #twirlinthewoods2019
For this event, we strongly encourage our Texas twirlers to utilize the hashtag #twirlinthewoods2019 when posting photos of this competition on social media. Please also tag the Twirling is Catching FB page or Instagram account (@twirlingiscatchingtx) and we might share your picture on social media!

Unique Feature: When at Twirl in the Woods, you can always expect a well run contest with nice awards, and lots of facility space for competition and practice across the three gyms. This year there will also be three out of state judges joining the All Star judging staff.

Another unique Feature at Twirl in the Woods is always the award ceremony. You have to love any award ceremony that has placement blocks, a photographer, and utilizes amazing senior twirlers from around the State to help pass out the awards.

Highlighted Event: A highlighted event for this competition is the team portion of the day. As mentioned above, many teams premier their routines at Twirl in the Woods, which means team routines you have never seen before will all hit the floor at the same time. This is where we get to see the starting point behind all those hours of teamwork and new choreography. It is so exciting to see where the teams all begin each season and compare it to how far they go by the time we reach State in June.

Contest Hotel Block: There is a hotel block reserved for the contest at the Courtyard Houston North/Shenandoah, but you must reserve your room by Friday, December 28th! The hotel is located at 19255 David Memorial Drive, Shenandoah, TX, 77385. The reservation can be made by calling 1-800-321-2211 with group code MMJ and hotel code IAHCS or you can visit the Booking Website.

Want to attend this event? Please click here for the registration form, visit the Twirl in the Woods 2019 Website, or contact the Contest Directors at for more details.

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 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? Please contact us at and we would love to hear more about it. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - Louisiana Tech University

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

We are in the final week of November. So much is going on! Competition season is underway with one competition down and another next week, plus Football Play-Offs are off and running. Who will be performing in Dallas next month? We can’t wait to see some twirlers on that Jumbotron!

This week is also the final week of our Fall Interviews. We will be wrapping things up with two Collegiate Twirler Spotlights, one today and one later this week, to meet two more wonderful Texas Twirlers that have spent the last several months representing their Universities with pride.

Today, we are visiting the State to the east of us to meet a Texas girl that chose to go out of the state for her collegiate experience, and is loving it! Our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is with the new Louisiana Tech University Feature Twirler, Macy Allen!

Macy had a different introduction to twirling than most twirlers, as she only started twirling three years ago. With the help of her coaches she quickly learned the skills needed to be a High School twirler, and was so excited to be named the first Louisiana Tech University Feature Twirler in over 10 years, a position that she gets to hold until she graduates. This has meant a lot to her and she wants to reach the next generation through her performances. “I hope to inspire other high school twirlers to twirl in college as well!”

When it came time to choose a college, Macy made the tough decision to go out of Texas. “I wanted to go to a school that was open to having twirlers and also had an exceptional pre-med program,” a combination she found at Louisiana Tech. She would advise any twirler making their decision on what college to attend to think about the big picture. “The College you choose will likely be your home for the next four years, so make sure that you love the school as much as you love to twirl during halftime!”

Being away from family is never easy, but Macy has a great support system that has made sure she feels the love all the way in Louisiana. “Being four hours away from my family has been the hardest part about leaving my home state, but fortunately I have a very supportive family that comes to all of the football games.”

Now that we have learned a little about what brought Macy to Louisiana Tech, let’s learn a little more about Macy and her twirling experiences!

Macy Allen
Competition Level: Beginner
Macy is a Freshman Biology Pre-Med Major that is also pursuing a Chemistry minor. She is from Rockwall, TX, where she twirled for the last three years as a member of the Texas Touch of Class coached by Shirley Payne and Sheila Payne Rigelsky. The competition titles she is the most proud of was when she won the 2018 Beginner Senior Solo & X-Strut events. Her favorite competition trick is a one spin illusion and her favorite field trick is a toss, grand jete, front roll, and catch in the splits. At school she is a member of the LA Tech Honors program and after college hopes to attend medical school as well as do some traveling.  

Fun Facts!
Favorite Music – Christmas Music!
Favorite Color – Pink
Favorite TV Series – Grey’s Anatomy

Favorite Quote – “You will never regrets doing the things you love!”

Twirler she has been most inspired by – Karissa Wimberley

When she is not twirling she loves to…
“Play the piano”.

Something you might not know about her is… “I know 58 digits of pi”.

As a member of the Louisiana Tech Marching Band, Macy enjoys being a part of the school traditions. Her favorite tradition is one she won’t experience for a few years. “After graduation we get a brick put on the sidewalk of campus with our graduation date, so that we will always be part of Tech.” How cool is that?

Macy also really enjoys the game day experience that comes with the Louisiana Tech community. She considers the best band tradition to be the “Walk of Pride” before every home game, and names her first time performing at the Joe Aillet stadium as her favorite moment ever as a baton twirler!

Being a freshman, this is Macy’s first season with the Louisiana Tech Band, and it has been a great learning experience. She is very thankful for the advice and training she received from her coaches, but says the most important tip was “take off your jacket and get use to the weather before halftime”. Very valid! Practicing like you perform is always great advice.

Through baton twirling, Macy has gained many skills, but says she is most thankful for the communication abilities she has learned through baton twirling. “Since I started twirling at Tech, there are a bunch of people that want to talk to me and hear about my twirling experiences”. She appreciates that she can hold up her end of these conversations and represent her university and sport with poise and grace.

The poise and grace also helped her with her with a funny moment she experienced this season. “A player from the other team asked to take a picture with me!” Well of course they did Macy! Who wouldn’t want a picture with such a talented young lady!

Finally we asked Macy what suggestion she has for other twirlers that may one day be a Collegiate Feature… “Have someone record you while you’re on the field. That way you can see what need to be added to your routine and what looks the best on you!”

We want to send a huge congrats to Macy on an amazing first season with the Bulldogs, and say thank you for being one of our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight’s this season. We wish her luck with future seasons and we can’t wait to follow her as she continues to represent LA Tech!

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. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Contest Calendar Series: 2018 ATX Holiday Twirl Fest

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Now that we are in to November, the hints of the holidays are starting to show up everywhere. Music, lights, shopping.. and even twirling contests! It is time to get ready to celebrate the holidays in the Austin, TX area with all your favorite twirling friends.

Today our Contest Calendar Series is about the 2018 ATX Holiday Twirl Fest!

*ONLINE REGISTRATION DEADLINE FRIDAY* Please note that the mail in registration deadline for this contest has already past, but they are accepting online registrations until midnight on Friday, November 16th. To register online, just visit, fill out the form, then pay online via PayPal, or you can send the amount via Venmo to @twirlatx.

Note from the Directors: "If anyone is having trouble with the online registration, please let us know and we can make other arrangements to send us a picture of the paper copy. We know some people aren't as inclined to use online registrations, and we don't want anyone to miss out on the contest because of that, so as long as they communicate with us before Friday, we can make it happen!"

For more information, please contact the contest directors at

PLAYOFF HOLDS - If your High Schooler wants to enter but may have a football play-offs conflict, please have them register online, but do not pay via PayPal! After registering online, hit submit, but close the pay screen when it opens. Then email requesting a Playoff Hold to make arrangements for payment. Please make sure to not pay via PayPal if you need a hold! They will not give PayPal refunds.

Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Who - Hosted by the Hutto HS Winterguard & Directed by Ashley Wood and Whitney Coons
What - 2018 ATX Holiday Twirl Fest
When - Saturday, December 1st, 2018. Doors open at 7:45 am. Contest begins at 8:15 am.
Where - Hutto High School, 101 Chris Kelley Blvd, Hutto, TX 78634 (North East of Austin, TX)

Why - The ATX Holiday Twirl Fest is a fun holiday themed contest. Holiday music is played for modeling and solo, the decorations and awards are holiday themed (custom snowflake ornament medals, snowflake trophies, etc), compete for Miss Holiday Model or the Miss Twirling Snowflake title, or catch a photo op with the Candy Cane archway! Great way to get into the holiday spirit with all of your twirling friends.

CONTEST HASHTAG! #atxtwirlfest2018
For this event we strongly encourage our Texas Twirlers to utilize the hashtag #atxtwirlfest2018 when posting photos of the competition weekend on social media. Use the hashtag and your photo could end up on this blog or the contest site! Don't forget to tag @twirlingiscatchingtx on Facebook or Instagram and we may share your pic on one of our pages.

Highlighted Event - Originally created to honor contest director, Ashley Wood's, mother, who fought and defeated Breast Cancer in 2015, and to celebrate all the women in our twirling community that have overcome so much, there is a special Best Costume event. The "Laura Craft Honorary Best Costume" competition puts all ages against each other to judge who has the "best costume". The entry fee for this event ($10) is a direct donation to Twirling to Fight Cancer. TTFC Founder, John Baton Mitchell, will once again be judging at the contest, and will be there to accept the donation check. Last year this event raised $450.00 for TTFC... Can they pull off a bigger donation this year?

Congrats to Khloe Page, the recipient of the 2017 Best Costume Award

Interested in attending this event? Visit to find the online registration link. Have any questions? Contact or call Ashley at 512-848-7426. We hope to see everyone in December!

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 so many great contests heading our way, and we don't want anyone to miss out!

We hope you have 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 info we could use to help highlight our sport? Please contact us at and we would love to hear more about it.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - Texas Tech University

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Can you believe it is November? It feels like 2018, especially this fall, has flown by. We hope everyone enjoyed the Collegiate Twirler Weekend vidoes yesterday from the Baylor, Tarleton, UT, and SMU games. So much fun to see all our Collegiate Twirlers in action on Game Day!

To wrap up Collegiate Twirler Weekend, we have a new interview for you. This week our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is the new Texas Tech University Feature Twirler, Abigail Morgan!

When it came time to look at colleges, Abigail (Abby) Morgan knew she wanted to go to a school with a rich twirling tradition, but that she also needed to find an opportunity to get a great education. She tells us, "TTU has several programs that allow a select group of students to have automatic admission to their medical school - which was my original plan until a few months ago. I am hoping a similar opportunity is presented when TTU opens their own dental school in 2021. The honors college at Tech also provides many opportunities and a lot of support to their students, which made TTU a great fit for me!"

In order to audition for the Texas Tech Feature Twirler position, Abby had to send in a video and application, and then attend a live audition. Once she was selected, she participated in summer band and assisting in creating her new routines. "I always get very excited about getting to be creative with every new show the Goin’ Band performs".

As a freshman just beginning in a well known feature position, there had to be a lot of work involved in getting on the field. We asked Abby what she has been doing to keep herself game day ready... "I have practiced a lot! I have found that when it comes to game days, my muscle memory already kicks in, just from a few weeks of practice, and all of my nerves and fears are subdued. To be prepared on game days, I have been finding inspiration from other twirlers and, per Bethany Tolley’s request, finding more of my inner sass for performances!"

With a couple months of leading the Band under her belt, we asked what she has enjoyed the most. Abby told us that entering the field for Game Day is the biggest rush she has ever had as a twirler. "At each football game, ZIT (our percussion section) and I are the first ones on the field for pregame. The adrenaline of being one of the only people on the field makes it my favorite twirling moment each game day!"

Now that we have learned a little more about what brought Abby to Tech, and what she loves the most about her choice, let's learn a little more about her!

Abigail Morgan
Competition Level: Advanced
Abby is a Freshman Biochemistry Major on the Pre-Dental track. She is from Gonzales, Texas, and has been twirling for 8 years. She is a member of the Alamo City Strutters coached by Pat Montgomery, and is now getting additional instruction by Bethany Tolley, the Tech Twirling Coach. In competition she is the most proud of winning the 2018 Miss Majorette of Texas title. Her favorite competition trick is anything rolls, and her favorite field tricks are back necks and floor rolls.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color - Red... "I know it’s clichĂ© for someone attending Texas Tech but it is a power color!"
Favorite Movie - Avatar
Favorite Food - Enchiladas
Favorite Quote - "Dreams don't work unless you do!"

Twirler she has been most inspired by... "Former Gonzales High School Feature Twirler, Destiny Pierpont, is who inspired me to start twirling."

When she is not twirling she loves to... "Spend time with friends and relax".

Something people may not know about her is... "I am an only child".

Best advice from her coach... "Relax and breathe! You know what your doing. Now go do it!"

As a member of the Goin' Band from Raiderland, Abby gets to take part in many of the school and band traditions. So far, her favorite school tradition is throwing tortillas. "At kickoff, the student section chunks tortillas onto the field, which sometimes get dangerously close to hitting the twirlers!" Ay! You image trying not to get hit by a baton, but not a tortilla!

The thing she is most impressed with regarding the band program is how unified they are. "My favorite band tradition is that when our band travels, everyone goes. We fill eight charter buses, one van, and one 18 wheeler!" Wow! That is quite the caravan, but shows awesome school spirit.

Abby has also really enjoyed getting to be a part of the Texas Tech Twirlers. As the Feature Twirler, for many of her performances she is in the spotlight, but off the field she gets to spend time with the Texas Tech Twirling Line. These awesome ladies have made her feel at home, and she loves the fun times they have, especially during the games. "In the stands, the twirlers have little dances that go with the band’s stand tunes but when we feel like switching it up, we have a great time ad libbing! You never know what crazy dance moves are going to happen!"

After College Abby hopes to "attend dental school followed by a three year periodontal residency program to become a periodontist". She knows that the life skills she has earned from baton twirling will help her get there. We asked her what she has learned from baton twirling that she feels will benefit her the most in trying to reach her goals... "Definitely time management skills!! From having to balance school work, practice (competition and field), various extracurricular activities, and free time (because I fully believe that is necessary for sanity!) since the sixth grade, I have gotten pretty good at making time for everything!"

To wrap up the interview, we wanted to know what advice Abby would give to an up and coming feature twirler trying to decide where to go for college. She said, "Be open minded when considering colleges. You never know what amazing opportunity is awaiting you at a college you may have never contemplated."

We want to thank Abby for being this week's Collegiate Twirler Spotlight. We love seeing her on the Tech field and we look forward to many more awesome things from this great Twirler. Wreck Em!

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.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Twirler for a Day 2018 - University of Houston

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Today we have an amazing opportunity for our 7th to 12th grade twirlers, and junior college potential transfers... Join the University of Houston Feature Twirlers on Saturday, November 10th, for their Annual Twirler Day! Rebekah, Abby, and Jassandra can't wait to meet all of this year's performers!

This is a great opportunity for 7th to 12th graders to learn what it is like to twirl on a Collegiate field at the TCEDU Stadium. Twirlers will participate in a morning practice, have lunch together, and then get to twirl on the field at half time during the U of H vs. Temple game.

Those interested in participating can visit the U of H Twirler Day Info Link. The deadline for registration is THIS WEDNESDAY, October 31st, so get signed up quickly!

The cost for each performer is only $40, which includes the practice, a t-shirt, meal, and game ticket.

Additional tickets purchased for guest (parents, friends, etc) are $25 each.

If you have any questions about the Twirler Day, please reach out to the U of H Twirler Coach, Jennifer Zuber-Garrison, at, or check out the U of H Twirlers Facebook Page.

We can't wait to see the game day pics from this awesome event. Go Coogs!

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, October 26, 2018

Friday Night Lights Feature - Clark High School Twirler

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

We are finally to the last Friday Night Lights of October. The end of October means that contest season is only a few weeks away! The Fall Twirling Festival is still taking registrations online until Saturday if you have not already registered. Also, the ATX Holiday Twirl Fest deadline is only three weeks away. Make sure you don't miss either of these great contests!

With a great turn in the weather, we know this evening  had to have been fantastic twirling conditions for twirlers all over the State, especially this lovely twirler that we are meeting tonight. The last Friday Night Lights Feature of October is the Tom C. Clark High School Feature Twirler, Callyn Marvell!

As the Clark Cougar Feature Twirler, Callyn has had many amazing opportunities. Her favorite moment as a high school twirler was definitely when she was able to lead the Mighty Cougar Band in the Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC. CHS also lets Callyn twirl fire each year for the Back in Black Pep Rally before the first game, which is a tradition she absolutely loves to be a part of!

Lets take some time to learn a little more about Callyn and her twirling experiences...

Callyn Marvell, Senior
Competition Level: Intermediate

Callyn has been twirling for 11 as a member of the Texas Gems. While her primary coach is Melinda Mann White, she has also been coached by Major Margaret Mann. The title she is the most proud of winning was the 2017 Texas State Intermediate Pageant. Her favorite competition trick is a two spin illusion, and her favorite field trick is a toss leap combination. When Callyn graduates she hopes to pursue a nursing degree.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color - Pink
Favorite Movie - "Sound of Music"
Favorite Song - "You Say" by Lauren Daigle
Favorite Concert - Toby Mac
Favorite Quote - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" - Philippians 4:13

When she is not twirling she loves to... "Snapchat!"

Something you might not know about her is... "I was born with spina bifida."

In baton twirling she has been most inspired by... former Clark High School and Baylor University Feature Twirler, Kelsey Vaughn Gomez.

While she has loved all the opportunities she has had as the Twirler for CHS, Callyn has also had a great twirling career so far. Two moments that stick out the most as favorites were when she won her State Pageant in 2017, and when she placed 2nd in her 2-Baton division at AYOP 2018.

In order to achieve those moments, there have been many hours of practice and her fair share of rough moments, She says her funniest moment was "at the 2017 state competition my last trick in my solo is a 4 spin that hit me in the forehead and gave me a goose egg. I then competed in 3 Baton and realized I couldn’t see over my goose egg." Yikes!

As she wraps up her final season as the Clark Feature Twirler, we asked Callyn what she has learned the most from her experiences... "I have learned in twirling that hard work does pay off whether in twirling or in all other aspects of life!"

Finally, we asked her what she will miss the most after this season is over and she graduates from Clark... "I will so miss going to the football games, having fun in the stands with my sweet friends and mostly performing at half time!!! These 4 years have gone by so fast!!"

A big congrats to Callyn on doing a great job as the Clark Feature Twirler. We wish her a wonderful end to this season, and a fantastic remainder of her senior year. We know this girl will go on to great things!

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Texas Twirlers Abroad - Josie 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 2018 class traveling to Peru as Baton Twirling Ambassadors for the 68th International Festival of the Spring, one of our very own Texas Twirlers was selected - Josie Linson!

Josie is a name many around Texas should be familiar with. She is from Round Rock, Texas, has been twirling for ten years, and is currently a Feature Twirler for Round Rock High School. As a member of Twirl ATX, and Co-Captain of the Twirl ATX Diamonds team, Josie is primarily coached by Whitney King Coons. Josie holds two previous State Pageant titles, was Senior State and Regional Royalty last season, and is a 2018 UIL State Solo & Ensemble Outstanding Performer.

We wanted to talk with Josie about her experiences in Peru and what it was like being an Ambassador to both her sport and her country in another continent!

As we know, the "Peru Crew" each year is selected at AYOP. How does that happen? "I had to go through an interview while I was there, and I found out the week after I came home. I had a dance party in my car when I found out that I had been chosen!"

Car Happy Dance? Totally understandable! Now that you have been to Peru and back, how would you sum up this trip to someone who wasn't familiar with it? "Going to Peru was such an unforgettable trip! I made fast friends with all of the other girls and getting to share the experience with them was so much fun. We did so many performances for the people of Trujillo, including nursing homes, orphanages, and a boys home. We attended press conferences, the crowning of the festival queen, and we ended the week with marching in the five mile parade, which is the highlight of the festival."

A five mile parade? That sounds intense! What was that like? "My favorite event was definitely the five mile parade. We got to throw a ton of cool tricks and the people loved it! I had so much fun during the parade that it didn’t even feel like five miles! The joy I felt getting to perform for thousands of people was truly indescribable. It was also really cool to know that my family got to watch the parade on livestream while I was there, and getting to see those videos when I got home."

Being in another country as a visiting performer, what part of the experience was not what you expected? "I was incredibly happy to get to serve in Peru and twirl, but I was pleasantly surprised at how in love they were with the twirlers! Twirling for excited crowds was so fun!!!"

We can imagine! Nothing like the cheer of a crowd. What would you say will be your most lasting memory of this trip? "The joy on the people’s faces when we performed for them and talked with them will stay with me forever. The people of Peru were so kind and welcoming and I will never forget that."

That sounds amazing! With all of these life changing moments with a group of girls from all over the country, there had to be some silly memories as well. What is the funniest story from the trip? "On one of the first days that we were in Trujillo, three of our girls got stuck in the hotel elevator between floors, and they documented the whole thing on Snapchat. They were in there for about twenty minutes or so, but we all had a good laugh about it when they got out!"

How funny! What a crazy Snapchat story to follow! Speaking of items from your daily live, what "home comforts" did you miss the most when in Peru? "I really missed fast food! We ate a bunch of delicious food while we were there, but a lot of us started craving McDonald’s after the first few days."

Now that you are back in the US (hopefully having filled your craving for McDonalds) and able to look back on the experience, what advice would you give another twirler preparing for the same trip in the future? "Pack more than what you think you will need, go in with an open mind and a willingness to try new things, and try to document every moment when you have a chance, because this trip is a whirlwind and you’ll be so surprised by how quickly it flies by."

A huge congrats goes out to Josie from #teamtexas on being selected for this opportunity, and we want to thank her for representing us so beautifully. We appreciate her taking time to share her Peru journey with us and we cannot wait to see what the rest of this year brings for her.

We hope everyone enjoyed the interview and we look forward to seeing who is selected next year for the 2019 class attending the 69th International Festival of the 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!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Contest Calendar Series - 2018 Fall Twirling Festival

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Yes it is that time again... time where competition entry deadlines are upon us. We are currently less than a month away from the first contest of the season, which means the deadlines are here! You can always stay on top of the upcoming contests by visiting At this website you can find all confirmed contest dates as well as entry forms once they become available.

Today we have our first edition of the Contest Calendar Series for the season! Check out all the info for the upcoming 2018 Fall Twirling Festival! We hope to see you there!

*DEADLINE WEDNESDAY* Please note that the deadline for this competition is Wednesday, October 24th. 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: 2018 Fall Twirling Festival
When: Saturday, November 17, 2018. 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 floors, and ceiling height, makes for a wonderful event!

CONTEST HASHTAG: #falltwirlfest2018
For this event we strongly encourage our Texas twirlers to utilize the hashtag #falltwirlfest2018 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.

Comment 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 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 2018 Fall Twirling Festival entry form, or contact the director at

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!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Night Lights Feature - O'Connor High School Twirler

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Welcome to another wet and rainy evening on the football field. Hasn't this season been crazy? Hopefully some of our twirlers got a chance to perform tonight. Lets all hope this weather starts to clear up soon!

In the meantime, lets move on to our next interview of the season. Rain or shine, you can always count on this twirler to have a smile as bright as the sun! For tonight's Friday Night Lights Feature we are meeting the Sandra Day O'Connor High School Feature Twirler, Hannah Kacher!

Hannah Kacher, Senior

Hannah has been twirling for 12 years as a member of the Twirling Sweet Sensations and coached by Michele Sweet Pangrac and Mary Ann Srulowitz. Any floor trick is her favorite on the field. After High School Hannah plans to attend college and be in the band program. She also hopes to someday do the college internship program at Disneyland.

Fun Facts!

Favorite Color = Gold
Favorite Movie = "Pitch Perfect" or anything with Molly Ringwald
Favorite Life Motto = "Why do anything less than your best!"

When she is not twirling she loves to...
"Hang out with my band friends and twirling team."

As a Senior in the O'Connor Band, Hannah has been able to experience the program not only as a baton twirler. but also as a section leader, to which she credits baton twirling with helping her achieve. "Twirling has taught me how to be a leader, whether in the gym or in my everyday life. The guidance skills that twirling has taught me has given me many opportunities, like being the Flute Section Leader for my band program."

With this being her last season with the Panther Band, Hannah has been looking back on the moments that have made her experience one to remember. One of her favorite tradition with the band is a little corn-y though... "Every time someone holds up corn the band screams because we are from Helotes (which means corn), so we celebrate corn!"

Hannah will miss a lot about O'Connor when she leaves, but most of all she will miss the memories and the people. "I will miss hanging out in the stands with my closest friends and being around my band friends all the time." We understand that! There is nothing like the bond created from hours and hours of marching across a blacktop.

We want to thank Hannah for taking to do this interview with us, and we wish her an amazing remainder of her Senior year marching season. Make it one to remember!

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Collegiate Twirler Spotlight - Vanderbilt University Twirler

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

How about this Texas weather? Summer on Sunday and Winter on Monday. We want to send our most sincere thoughts and prayers out to those in our twirling community that have been affected by the mass amounts of rain brought in with this cold front. We hope everyone is staying as warm and dry as possible.

While it is raining like crazy in Texas, we are going a couple states over to talk to a wonderful young lady that chose to spend her college years out of state. For this week's Collegiate Twirler Spotlight we are visiting with a Texas girl twirling in Tennessee... the Vanderbilt University Feature Twirler, Haylee Castagna!

Haylee actually has a unique situation. While she is the Vanderbilt University Feature Twirler, she actually attends Belmont University. How did Haylee end up in Nashville as both a Bruin and a Commodore? "I actually never considered Vanderbilt until AYOP the summer after my junior year of high school! One of my very best friends went to visit Belmont University in Nashville. She absolutely loved it and told me I would too! I did some digging and was super interested, but the only downfall was that they didn’t have a football team. I immediately forgot about it and focused on the other schools on my list. Then, at AYOP during the collegiate finals, the Vanderbilt Feature twirler was interviewing with Todd and mentioned that she went to Belmont and twirled at Vanderbilt. I immediately knew where I wanted to go! It was then at the top of my list. I reached out to the program and asked about tryouts. When I went to audition in March, I got the gig!"

In fact, Haylee considers the moment when she "got the gig" to be one of her best moments in her twirling career! "Leaving the Vanderbilt directors office after being offered my feature position and running to tell my coach is one of my favorite memories!! It was a dream come true nnd I couldn’t wait to tell her. We promptly took a photo and raced to catch our flight. I changed out of my costume at the airport, and got several weird looks!"

Before attending Vanderbilt/Belmont, Haylee had to make the decision to go out of state for college. This can be a hard decision for any twirler, but it was an easy one for Haylee! "I always knew I wanted to go far away! I’ve always been super independent and open to a challenge! I love to travel and I was open to going anywhere. University of Hawaii was even on my list at one point! I definitely recommend going far from home. I believe it truly allows you to get the full college experience."

While she knows out of state may not be the way to go for everyone, she does recommend that those wanting to twirl in college keep their options open. In regards to going to school out of state, Haylee says, "I would 100% recommend it! It is a way to get out of your comfort zone and be super independent! I love Nashville and Tennessee so much, but moving here also gave me an even deeper understanding and appreciation for Texas! I’m so happy I get to call them both home".

Choosing to attend school out of state has been a great experience for Haylee, but it does have its drawbacks. "The most difficult part of being out of state is not being able to visit friends and family nearly as much as I’d like. On the twirling side too, it definitely makes competing very difficult! It is very hard to keep it up once you’re so far away, but I really do recommend doing your best to stay in touch with your coach and continue competing as much as possible."

As a member of both the Belmont Student Body, and the Vanderbilt spirit community, Haylee gets to enjoy the many great traditions at each University. At Belmont, she is a huge fan of the school's support of music. "At Belmont there are several showcases where student bands, artists, and singer-songwriters get to compete within their genre for chance to play at the Best of the Best showcase. Several winners have gone on to become some big name artists!" For someone who selected the school based on its ties to the music industry, this just shows she made the right choice for herself.

However, it is not all music and showcases. The Belmont students do know how to play a good prank. "At least once a year, somebody puts bubbles in the biggest fountain on campus. It’s right in front of the quad in the center of campus. It’s always a mystery who does it, but for a few days you get to pass by a bunch of bubbles on your way to class!"

While with the Vanderbilt Marching Band, Haylee enjoys being in the midst of the Game Day experience, especially during rivalry weekends. "One of my favorite band “traditions” is when we get to play The University of Tennessee.. The game always falls on the weekend after Thanksgiving so it’s fun to come together during holidays to celebrate with the whole band. Traveling years have been the most fun, but regardless UT is our biggest rival so it’s always the most exciting game of the season! Winning in Knoxville last year was AMAZING!!!! After the game the whole band was so excited that they still kept playing in our little waiting area near the buses. Everyone was dancing and celebrating, it was like a little band after party!"

Now that we have learned a little about Haylee and her choice to twirl in Tennessee, lets learn a little more about what brought her to this point...

Haylee Castagna
Haylee is an Economics Major and Music Business Minor. She is originally from Lubbock, but moved to Fort Worth during her twirling years, and has been twirling now for 16 years. She has been coached by Bennie Evans and Vicki Ray. In competition, she is the most proud of winning the Senior Miss Majorette of Texas title a couple years ago. "I won it in Lubbock after I had moved to Fort Worth, and my best twirling friend from Lubbock won the Collegiate title at the same time!" Her favorite tricks are, "All things rolls & spins! My fujimi section was probably my favorite, but I always loveddddd spins!"

Fun Facts!
Favorite Color - Purple
Favorite Movie - "Almost Famous"
Favorite Music - "I love Leon Bridges, Kacey Musgraves, Bilie Eilish, Anderson Paak, and so many more!"

In baton twirling she has been most inspired by...
Former TCU Feature Twirler, Lynn Winter. "I remember going to a few of her games with my coach, and even being there for her last competition solo! One of my favorite memories was actually getting to twirl with her at her Law School talent show when I was in 5th grade."

When she is not twirling she loves to...    
"Go to live shows or events throughout Nashville! There is so much live free music happening all the time. Sometimes even big name artists!  Friends of mine and other Belmont students play shows a lot too so I like to go support them as well. There are also so many lakes, rivers and waterfalls, just right outside the city which make awesome hiking or canoeing spots. It feels like you’re getting out of the city but some spots are only 15 minutes away!"

Most Memorable Tip/Advice from her coach...
"Go out there and have fun! No matter how nervous I was I always did my best when I remembered why I was doing it -- it was so much fun! That one simple line always took the pressure off!"

As Haylee is coming to the end of her undergrad experience, we asked, what is next? "Once I graduate I hope to get a position in the music industry, specifically somewhere in booking or project management. I will also be taking the LSAT this next semester in case I decide to go to law school in the next few years. I would love to practice Entertainment Law and hopefully be able to stay in Nashville."

To help Haylee reach this goal, she makes sure to use the opportunities at Belmont University to get her better prepared. "I worked at a student run venue/record shop sponsored by the entrepreneurship program as an events/booking coordinator this past year! I’m also a member of the Grammy U Recording Academy which connects Music Business students to a network of industry professionals and opportunities."

The other thing that Haylee attributes to helping her get ready for her future career is the skills she learned from Baton Twirling. While she says "commitment and dedication are two of my biggest takeaways from twirling", the one she says has helped her the most is the ability to talk to anyone! "Twirling has taken me all over the country and allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people. Traveling and making friends from all over at such a young age really helped me become a well rounded person. Connecting with people is so important especially in a big city like Nashville and even more so within the Music Industry."

Finally, to wrap up our interview with Haylee we asked her to leave some advice for those preparing to apply and audition to one day be a college twirler. She told us, "Twirling at the collegiate level is such a dream! When looking at your schools, apply & tryout everywhere! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and really be open to all your options. Vanderbilt was never a school on my prospective list until a random series of events led me there just in time. And I’ve never been happier! I’m so lucky I got to go to the school I was most interested in (aside from  twirling), and still got to twirl for an SEC team. Sometimes the school you have your heart set on may not be where you’re meant to be. Always be open minded, you never know what might come along!" Fantastic advice!

We want to thank Haylee so much for taking the time to answer our questions and pass along her experience to other Texas Twirlers. We wish Haylee the best of luck with the rest of the football season and we can't wait to see her back in Texas soon!

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. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

University of Texas Twirler Day & Clinic 2018

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Today we have some super fun news to announce. The University of Texas will be holding it's very first Twirler Day and Twirl Clinic, and the best part is that both are FREE! This will be a fantastic experience for twirlers and we are so excited to see this event happening.

The event comes in two parts: (1) The Saturday Twirler Day and (2) The Sunday Twirler Clinic

University of Texas Twirler Day - Saturday, November 3rd

For the Saturday, November 3rd Football Game against West Virginia, a PRE-SELECTED group of high school twirlers will shadow the Showband of the Southwest and experience a day in the life of the UT Feature Twirler. This select group will spend the entire game day with Longhorn Band—attending morning rehearsal, eating the pregame meal, marching to the stadium in front of Big Bertha, cheering the Longhorns to victory, and then marching back to the band hall after the game. On top of attending LHB Gameday activities, this group of twirlers will also have a Q&A with UT Feature Twirler Erica Kuntz on what it’s like to be a college twirler.

***Please note due to the limited nature of this activity, only 15 twirlers will be able to participate. Preference will be given to high school juniors and seniors.***

If you would like to be considered to be one of the 15 select twirlers to participate in the Twirler Day, please fill out the UT Twirler Day Interest Form. If you are one of the 15 selected, you will be contacted by the organizers with information on the game day schedule.

University of Texas Twirler Clinic - Sunday, November 4th

On Sunday, November 4th, twirlers in 6th grade or older are invited to join the clinic in the ‘Bubble’, our indoor practice facility, from 9:00 am to Noon for our FREE Twirler Day Clinic. Taught by current and former University of Texas Feature Twirlers, classes will focus on skills like field tricks, multiple baton, performance and showmanship - all the tools you need to succeed as a school twirler at any level. The clinic will conclude with a showcase of the skills you’ve learned and a photo & autograph session with UT Feature Twirler, Erica Kuntz! Parents, coaches, and twirlers are invited to stay after the clinic for a 20 minute info session on the Texas Feature Twirler audition process.

***We are proud to offer UT Twirler Clinic at no cost to all participants!!! All attendees will received a UT Twirler Day T-shirt.***

If you would like your twirler to attend the FREE clinic, please fill out the UT Twirler Clinic Interest Form to ensure they have enough t-shirts for all attendees. 

Also, the instruction at this event will be stellar! On top of being able to work directly with current UT Twirler, Erica Kuntz, the list of former UT Twirlers that will be teaching is fantastic! Pictured left to right are all the amazing twirlers that will be coaching at this event: Alexa Bourdage, Ashley Dolan, Paige Patillo-Brown, Erica Kuntz, LynnDell Harrell, Whitney King Coons, and Dr. Coral Noonan-Terry

If you have any questions about this event, we recommend you visit the Facebook Event Page and message the organizers for the quickest response. If you do not have Facebook, you can email Alexa at or Whitney at Hook em Horns!

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.