Hello Texas Twirl Fans!
2022 is only a day away, so we are here with our final Collegiate Twirler Spotlight of the year! Wow! Tomorrow, to kick off the new year, these four twirlers will be wow-ing the crowds at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and #TeamTexas will be cheering them on while hoping to grab a glimpse of them on TV!
Our Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is the Baylor University Golden Girl Feature Twirlers!
Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas, is the home of the Bears, and some amazing baton twirling talent. The Feature Twirlers at Baylor are referred to as the Golden Girls, and they carry on a legacy that has previously included not one, but two Miss Texas winners, World Team Members, and a former Collegiate Miss Majorette of America. While many in Texas are familiar with who the Golden Girls are, we are here today to learn more about them and their twirling history!
The Golden Girls are coordinated by coach Lynn Dell Harrell, who is the first stop on the way to auditioning for a spot at a Golden Girl. We asked the twirlers what they had to do for their auditions.
Danielle told us it was a multi-step process. “I emailed back and forth with Lynn Dell, and then I came down to visit and I twirled in the indoor football facility. It was a good process to be in, they made me feel comfortable and I had fun doing it.” Mallory Reynier experienced things differently as her audition was virtual. “For me, the audition process was all online. The hardest part was collecting twirling videos to put in my audition video because of the lack of competitions due to the pandemic.” Josie had a little mix of both the online and in person process. “I had to send in an essay about why I wanted to be a feature twirler as well as letters of recommendation and a video sample of me twirling. After that I was invited to visit Baylor to do a live interview and audition using their band music.”
An interesting fact is that all four of these twirlers are from out of state, and one is even from another country! Making the choice to go out of state (or country) is a big one for a lot of twirlers. We wanted to know what brought these Golden Girls to Texas and what advice they have for others considering the same.
Danielle told us, “I choose a school out of my country because I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and have a full college experience. It is so different than home and I miss my family - especially my mom. She is my best friend so not being with her all the time is kind of difficult. However, it is so amazing being at college and living somewhere new. The things I have learned are crazy because I pretty much lived alone, and I felt like I developed so much in that time. For another twirler wanting to go out of state or country I would say that you shouldn’t let the fear of moving keep you from doing so. I was terrified of leaving my family, but I have had some of the best times in my life at college. You learn so much and I know I learned much more then I would of then living at home - but, at the end of the day it is always nice to go home and be comforted by my amazing family.” While she does miss her family, Baylor has been a great choice for her. “I remember when I first saw the campus, I felt that this place could be my home and I was right. I am a Baptist Christian, so having the opportunity to be at a Baptist university is amazing. The people here are so friendly and kind and I have met the most amazing people here. Our campus is gorgeous as well! Every aspect of this school makes me love it more and more.”
The adventure of new experiences brought Mallory Remm to Texas. “I wanted to go out of state because I love traveling and exploring new places. I think college is the perfect opportunity to experience living in a different state, and I chose to twirl in Texas because I loved the community and Baylor University felt like home as soon as I stepped on campus. My advice for those considering it would be to make sure it is the right decision for you and that you know why you want to go out of state and to know that the hardest part about being out of state is being away from family.”
Going out of state was always the plan for Josie, she just had to decide where. “I always knew I was going to go to a college outside of California. I wanted to travel far and do big things. Baylor has been absolutely amazing, and I know I chose the right school for me. Sometimes it’s hard not being able to see my family as much as a lot of my little siblings are still growing up. If you’ve ever considered going out of state for college I say, go for it! It’s amazing to branch out and experience new things! We grow as people by being put in new places and learning how to adapt.”
Mallory Reynier also knew that going out of state was the plan. “Before even applying to colleges, I knew I wanted to get out of my bubble in South Alabama. I wanted to get out and explore by myself; however, I have found it hard to settle in Texas knowing all my family and friends are back in Alabama. For other twirlers, it really just depends on the type of person you are. If you’re a homebody I don’t recommend going to school far away from home.” She has enjoyed her experience at BU and is proud to be a part of the Baylor legacy. “I love the community of togetherness that Baylor projects, as well as its pride!”
Now that we have learned what brought these twirlers to Baylor, let's learn more about them!
Danielle is a Sophomore from Regina Saskatchewan, Canada, that is majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in history while being on the pre-law track. In addition to twirling, at Baylor she is a reporter for the school news cast, a goalie on the boy’s club hockey team, on the wakeboarding team, and a sister in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She has been twirling for 13 years and is coached by Maureen Johnson with SOBG. Her favorite competition trick is a triple cartwheel or monster roll, and her favorite field trick is a walkover into a forward roll. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Stacy Singer and Keira West. After college she hopes to become a baton coach and either a legal correspondent or a criminal justice lawyer.
Mallory is a Sophomore from Sussex, Wisconsin, that is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition to twirling, at Baylor she is in the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a sister in the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She has been twirling for 13 years and has been coached by Anna Spiers, Aryn Swan, and Lynn Dell Harrell. The competition title she is the proudest of earning was Miss Majorette of Wisconsin. Her favorite competition trick is a backhand double illusion, and her favorite field trick is a toss leap, walkover, illusion. In baton twirling she has many twirlers that have and continue to inspire her, including, Jameson Kenerly, Kylene Spanbauer, and Adaline Bebo. After college she hopes to pursue her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
Josie is a Freshman from Redding, California, that is majoring in mechanical engineering. In addition to twirling, at Baylor she is also a member of SWE, which is the Society of Women Engineers. She has been twirling for 15 years and has been coached by Kellie Perelman and Lynn Dell Harrell. The competition placement she is the proudest of earning was the Bronze Medal in A Artistic at the IC Competition. Her favorite competition skill is a double illusion walkover, and her favorite field trick is a double walkover. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Sophia Barden and Adaline Bebo. After college she hopes to work as a biomedical engineer.
Mallory is a Freshman from Fairhope, Alabama, that is majoring in Health, Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (Pre-PT). She has been twirling for nine years and has been coached by Stacy Forbess, Karissa and Cheryl Wimberly, and Jackie Stewart, and is also a member of INTREPID. The competition title she is the proudest of earning was the Alabama USTA All Around State Champion. Her favorite competition skills are “anything spins!” and her favorite field tricks are toss aerials or spin walkovers. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by her coach Stacy Forbess, who sadly passed away due to Covid-19 complications earlier this year.
- Favorite Color – Sage Green & Light Blue (Danielle), Purple (Mallory Remm), Green (Josie), Pink! (Mallory Reynier)
- Favorite Movie – “Jurassic Park or any Marvel Movie; Love Spiderman!” (Danielle), “The Proposal” (Mallory Remm), “National Treasure” (Josie), “Princess and the Frog” (Mallory Reynier)
Favorite Quote or Life Motto...
- Danielle – “It's not how you take the wins that define you, but how you take the losses.” – my dad
- Mallory Remm – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:10
- Mallory Reynier – “Big girl actions come with big girl responsibilities.”
When they are not twirling, they love to...
- Danielle – “Be with my friends at cute coffee shops.”
- Mallory Remm – “Be active and go hiking or kayaking.”
- Josie – “Relax! Put something good on Netflix.”
- Mallory Reynier – “Spend time with my friends.”
Something people might not know about them is...
- Danielle – “I went to a sports high school and did baton there.”
- Mallory Remm – “I played varsity tennis in High School.”
- Josie – “I’m a huge math nerd.”
Favorite moment/memory as a baton twirler…
- Danielle – “My favorite moment on the field was just to finally twirl every half time and see me and my other twirlers on TV. It has been so amazing every time! Off the field was when I had one of my best performances at ICUP in my Artistic Twirl and placed 4th in the first round in the Elite category.”
- Mallory Remm – “Experiencing my first Baylor Game Day with the Golden Wave Band and the other Golden Girls by my side.”
- Josie – “Having a no drop at the International Cup competition in France!”
- Mallory Reynier – “Inspiring my students back at home.”
Funniest moment as a baton twirler…
- Danielle – “Last year on the field I dropped and then I threw a peace sign into the air! Also, off the field there has been so many I couldn’t choose just one. Me and the three other twirlers always have the best time.”
- Mallory Remm – “During a recording session with the Golden Wave Band, the clasp holding together my costume broke while I was twirling! We held it together with bobby pins and tied it together with a lanyard. At the moment, it was very stressful, but a funny memory looking back!”
- Josie – “All of the times I have fallen on my butt.”
- Mallory Reynier – “All the silly moments me and my Intrepid teammates share at practice.”
Most memorable advice from their coaches…
- Danielle – “She always told me to work hard and remember all the mental skills I learnt in twirling because they would apply to everyday life, and she was right. She taught me to work hard, be organized, be a leader, know when to listen, to be respectful, and she taught me that a coach is more than just someone who teaches you... they are family!”
- Mallory Remm – “Do not worry about things you cannot control.”
- Josie – “Whenever you are worried, you are going to drop a flip, say ‘no’ and don’t drop it.”
- Mallory Reynier – “It takes guts to be a champion.”
#1 non-twirling life skill they have learned from baton twirling…
- Danielle – “Everything I learnt in baton somehow can relate to my non-twirling life, but mainly I think I have learnt patience and to be grateful for every moment. I also learnt the importance of being a gracious winner because when you win, someone loses, and I think that is an important perspective to have.”
- Mallory Remm – “To trust the Lord. Letting go of what I cannot control and leaning into the Lord and his strength has been one of the biggest blessings I have learned through baton twirling.”
- Josie – “Leadership and team skills! Oh, also, time management!”
- Mallory Reynier – “Communication.”
Advice for future baton twirlers…
- Danielle – “Work hard, but the main thing is to love the sport. Don’t over exhaust yourself, learn from failures, be happy with your successes, and be grateful for the experience.”
- Josie – “Be yourself and be big! Don’t be scared to show your unique style. People will love that about you.”
- Mallory Reynier – “Don’t be too serious. Having fun is more important that the titles!”
Best Baylor School Tradition…
- Danielle – “The homecoming traditions are the best! We have the bonfire, pep rally, parade, and the big football game! The band also takes a huge nap in the middle of the day in the indoor football stadium.”
- Mallory Remm – “Running the Baylor Line.”
- Josie – “Dr. Pepper Hour.”
- Mallory Reynier – “Christmas on 5th.”
Best Baylor Golden Wave Band Tradition…
- Danielle – “One of my favorites is with one of the staff members. We have a very, very long handshake and do it every single time we pass each other.”
- Mallory Remm – “Singing That Good Old Baylor Line. Also, the song 'Low' by Flo Rida holds a special spot for the twirlers as we have a little dance we always do!”
- Josie – “Whoosh!”
- Mallory Reynier – “The march to and from the football games.”
What advice would you give a twirler that is about to go into college auditions…
- Danielle – “Always be yourself, don’t try to twirl like anyone else. Your style suits you the best and your individual sparkle will shine through.”
- Mallory Reem – “It is never too early to start preparing for college auditions. Make sure to record performances and competition routines. Also, be yourself and you will end up where you are meant to be.”
- Josie – “Try to show your personality. Twirling in college is all about being entertaining. Don’t worry about your skill level – just have fun and be yourself!”
- Mallory Reynier – “Be yourself!”
The past almost two years have brought about uncertain times and unusual circumstances. We asked these collegiate twirlers what they did to stay motivated. Danielle told us she likes to look to the future. “I always just remember my love for the sport and put that above everything. I keep in mind my goals for the future, so that when I don’t want to practice, I find a way to motivate myself. I practice every day, and struggle sometimes with balancing school and practice - but so far it has been really good to be on a practice schedule and trying new things. I learnt that no matter the circumstances I will always want to twirl and perform at my best”
Mallory Remm used her memories of past good times to keep her going. “Whenever I feel unmotivated, I like to look back at old pictures and videos and see how much I’ve grown. It can be inspiring and gives me the push I need to remember why I love twirling. I also like to look up YouTube videos of my favorite twirlers twirling. Seeing them perform always reminds me of my why and encourages me to continue to push myself to be the best twirler I can be. Also, finding joy in the Lord only is the biggest take away I have gotten from this whole experience because it is a reminder that no matter what circumstance you are in, the Lord’s love and faithfulness is constant.”
Mallory Reynier leaned on her coaches and teammates to stay motivated. “My coaches did a great job of keeping me and my teammates very motivated with multiple zoom calls a week for lessons and team practice, and the overall excitement regarding college tryouts kept me motivated. At first, I did have a hard time trying to get my motivation back, but after a new weekly routine was set in place it became easier.”
We want to congratulate these twirlers on an amazing season, and we wish them the best at the Allstate Sugar Bowl tomorrow. Smile bright, perform big, and show that Bowl Game audience what the Golden Girls are all about! Sic 'Em Bears!
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Collegiate Twirler Spotlight. We are always looking for great new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or info we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to hear more about it.