In the midst of an energetic crowd at a Friday night football game, four girls help fuel the Clemens pride that surges through the stadium. These talented students, covered in sparkle and school spirit, twirl their batons to keep a school tradition of twirling alive. At football games and pep rallies, twirlers perform their routines for the crowd’s entertainment and grow as a family along the way.
The four twirlers include Abigail Slaughter (12), Madison Chadwell (12), Caitlin Thai (11), and Erin Dabbs (10). They either started in color guard or marching band, and found their passion for twirling.
“Twirling has become a huge part of my life”, Thai said. “It impacts who I am to myself and to other people.”
They say the best part is both the audience’s reaction and the feeling of performing. They make an impact on other students through enthusiasm and school spirit at their events, like football games, pep rallies, and school events.
“My favorite thing about performing is seeing the reaction. I love seeing the smile on their faces,” Slaughter said. “When little girls want to be just like you, it’s the best feeling in the world, and you know, it warms my heart.”
They practice every Sunday from 9-10:30 a.m. and meet throughout the week to do run throughs to prepare for the game. Each friday comes with a new routine to choreograph, as well as the polishing of old routines. The beauty of their talent seems natural, but with such high stakes, sacrifice is to be made.
“Balancing between twirling and school can be quite difficult at times, but it all becomes worth it when I twirl on the football field every Friday”, Caitlin Thai said.
Their main goal is to get the crowd excited about the games and entertain them with routines. They perform after touchdowns and occasionally routines at halftime to songs like “Bang Bang” and “Exs & Ohs”.
“It’s a lot of fun, and getting to perform for everyone, it’s a great rush,” Dabbs said.
According to the twirlers, it is no easy skill, and it requires dedication to perfect and clean their routines. Even when making mistakes, they push through and stay positive in order to finish and improve for their next run.
“I think smile, have fun, love what you do,” Slaughter said, “You can’t think about the drop. You just have to pick it up and keep going, and smile.”
Throughout their time practicing and performing, the four girls have grown as friends and acquired a sense of family. Whether they rely on each other for checkpoints throughout their performance or have fun at their different events, they have gotten closer throughout the season.
“There is definitely a family, a sense of family,” Dabbs said. “We all care about each other a lot, and we all are there for eachother all of the time.”
Kate Whyte, Taylor Trapp
Copy Editor, Staff Writer
[ photo taken by Samantha Wray]