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.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Night Lights Feature - Founders Classical Academy

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

We are almost two months in to the Football season, and well into the marching band competition season. We love seeing all the pics of Texas Twirlers performing with their school programs.

Today we continue on the journey to meet a new High School Feature Twirler each week to celebrate all the beautiful twirlers that are representing our sport under those Friday Night Lights. Tonight we venture up to the Dallas area to meet the Founders Classical Academy Feature Twirler, Chailie Alsaffar!

Chailie has had a different introduction to field twirling. This senior did not originally audition because her school was so new, but before long they allowed her on the field where she sparkles as she leaps and jumps across the field. When asked what she will miss the most when she graduates, she said she will "miss twirling for my school, since it is my last high school marching season".

As the first and only twirler for the Dallas Founders Classic Academy, Chailie has been able to bring many firsts to the school, including her favorite moment as a field twirler, which was when she got to twirl fire in front of her peers. What a fun experience for her and the community!

While things like twirling fire can be exciting, Chailie tells us that every moment she is twirling is special to her. "I love all my twirling moments because they made me the twirler I am today!" Love that! She did tell us, though, that all the moments aren't as graceful as you may think. "Honestly, anytime I fall in practice it is funny!" Her ability laugh with herself while also appreciating each opportunity explains why Chailie has had such a successful twirling career, and why she will go great places in life.

Now that we have learned about how much Chailie has gained from twirling for FCA, let's find out a little more about Chailie and her daily life.

Chailie Alsaffar, Senior
Competition Level: Intermediate

Chailie has been twirling for five years with the Texas Touch of Class and Coaches Shirley Payne and Sheila Payne-Rigelsky. The title she is the most proud of winning was National Junior Intermediate X-Strut championship. Her favorite competition trick is a high toss one spin illusion and her favorite field trick is a high toss leap, somersault, catch in the split. In baton twirling, she has been the most inspired by her TTOC Teammate, and current University of Texas Feature Twirler, Erica Kuntz, and former College Miss Majorette of America, Nicole Jensen.

Fun Facts!
Favorite Singer - Ariana Grande
Favorite Color - Blue
Favorite Movie - The Princess Bride

Favorite Quote...
"Don't let anyone treat you like free salsa. You are guac, baby girl, guac!"

When she is not twirling she loves to...
"Look on Pinterest for meal prep recipes."

Something people might not know about her is...
"I have a very sarcastic sense of humor."

Baton twirling has taught Chailie many things about life. She says the number one life skill she has learned from baton twirling is time management. "I have learned how to manage my time well with baton twirling. It has helped me live a more balanced life."

Another great lessons she has learned came as sage life advice from her coach. Her coach told her "If you can't bark with the big dogs, get off the porch". This is advice she will keep with her as she moves on in to her future, where she plans to attend college to study meteorology, "and hopefully twirl as well".

As for field twirling, Chailie has discovered the best way to be prepared is to practice how you perform. When asked what advice she would pass on to a future Feature Twirler, she said "I would advise them to practice outside as much as possible to get used to the elements". This is great advice and something many twirlers should add to their regular practice schedules.

We want to thank Chailie so much for taking the time to do an interview with us. We know her amazing body work and twirling skills just light up on the field while representing her school, and we can't wait to see she continues on from here!

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 texastwirlcontact@gmail.comwith their name and email address so that we can reach out to them!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Friday Night Lights Feature - Alamo Heights High School

Hello Texas Twirl Fans!

Happy October! All the High Schools are now getting in to District play and starting to talk about who is going to go the distance this season. How far will your team go?

This week we are on to our next twirler! Today's Friday Night Lights Feature interview is with the Alamo Heights High School Feature Twirler, Emily Britton May!

Emily is in her fourth year as the Feature Twirler for Alamo Heights High School, and has loved being a member of the marching band. As she is now in her final year with the program, she is looking back on the memories and thinking of what she will miss the most when she graduates. She tells us, "I will most miss cadence marching in to stadiums while leading the band behind the Drum Majors and the fans!" Another fun activity she will be sad to not be a part of is when the marching band is getting ready during the summer. "We all love our water balloon fights!"

Being an Alamo Heights Mule is something she is very proud of and says it is a great community to be in! The school has many great traditions, but the AHHS Howdy Parade, Carnival, and Night Pep Rally are Emily's favorite. In fact, she was able to twirl fire batons and fire poi this year for the Night Pep Rally! Getting to be a part of these events has been a major highlight of her twirling career.

Now that we have learned some of the best parts of being the AHHS Feature Twirler, lets take a moment to learn more about Emily and her twirling experiences...

Emily Britton May, Senior
Competition Level: Advanced
Emily has been twirling for ten years with Coaches Pat Montgomery and Sheri Carter. After she graduates from High School this May, she plans to attend college to study Biochemistry. The competition titles she is the most proud of are the 2018 Intermediate Junior State Two Baton event (which gave her the final win to move into Advanced in all multi-baton events), and placing Top 10 at AYOP Nationals in Show Twirl. Her favorite competition trick is a five spin and her favorite field tricks are back neck rolls and very high tosses - "The band loves them!"

Fun Facts!
Favorite Fruit - Raspberry
Favorite Musician - Ellie Goulding
Favorite Movie - "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
Favorite Quote - "Keep Moving Forward" - The Robinson's Movie
Twirler she is most inspired by - College Miss Majorette of America, Adaline Bebo
Most memorable advice from her Coach - "Pretty Free Hand!"

When she is not twirling she loves to...
"Be outside maybe kayaking or hiking, study biochem, or play the saxophone."

Something people may not know about her is.. 
"I volunteer at the Animal Defense League."

While there have been many moments in Emily's twirling career that have been outstanding, two instances stand out and will always be great memories for her. One of her favorite moments was when she was twirling in a cheerleader prep stand (see picture above). "The student body was going wild that I could twirl in the high position they were holding me up in". Another memorable moment was when she won the ATF Grand Champion strutter. "I beat out older twirlers when I was younger. It sparked my desire to keep at it".

There have also been plenty of times where Emily has had a good laugh from a twirling experience. "One time I was twirling in a parade and people were calling out my name. I realized it was actually another twirler friend". She will also never forget going through airport security with batons and learning the best way is to "use a stroller bag around suitcase".

Getting batons through security isn't the only thing that Emily has learned from baton twirling. She says that the main non-twirling life skill she learned from baton twirling was how to utilize "poise and presentation".

Emily also wants to pass along some important advice to future High School twirlers. She says "Make sure you understand that you are representing the band, the school, and the district in your position. Be your best!" Very true words, and ones that all twirlers should remember!

Thank you so much to Emily for taking the time to be our Friday Night Lights Feature this week. We wish her and the AHHS Community the best of luck on a great rest of the season!

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!