Baton twirling is more than just a fun skill to show off to your friends. It’s a serious sport that allows twirlers to compete with other athletes from around the world. Our country has produced some great baton twirlers, many of whom win medals in international competitions.
Kylee Saltzman of Florida won a gold medal in 2019 at the World Baton Twirling Federation’s Grand Prix. In her two-baton routine, she did not drop either baton once. Kylee often drops her baton while practicing, but she made sure not to let it fall when her dream was on the line. She also won silver and bronze medals at the International Cup in France the same year. The most nerve wracking performance for her, however, was twirling in front of her peers as a high school majorette. Kylee’s mother, Amanda, is also a baton twirler who coaches a girls’ twirling team in Niceville. She brought Kylee to classes as a baby, then encouraged her to pursue twirling herself.
Laney Puhalla from Tennessee won a gold medal
How to Become a Baton Twirling Coach
If your passion for baton twirling started when you were a child and continues well into your adult life, consider being a baton twirling coach. Whether online or in person, teaching gives you an opportunity to influence the next generation of twirlers and show them the wonderful world you’ve found yourself in.
In the US, the best way to become a twirling instructor is by getting certified with the United States Twirling Association. USTA welcomes anyone 16 years of age or older to take their coach and judge training classes. To reach a Level I certification, you have to take a test. First, you need to join the association and pay dues. Then, find the free study materials that are available on their website. You can also buy study guides and training DVDs on their website to prepare for the test. The association recommends studying as many of these materials as possible before taking the Coach Level I exam.
For a Level II certification, all you need to do is complete Level I, g
Mastering the Tambourine
Did you know that the first known use of the tambourine was recorded as early as 1700 BC? This ancient percussion instrument has been part of worship music for thousands of years, and is still used by church choirs and praise teams around the world. If you’d like to master the tambourine, here are a few of the different playing techniques you’ll need to know.
The leg tapping method is the easiest way to familiarize yourself with playing—and keeping rhythm with—the tambourine. To start, hold the tambourine in your non-dominant hand, resting your thumb on one side of the frame and curling your fingers around the opposite edge. Then, tap it against your hip or upper thigh to a steady rhythm. You can start off slow with the leg tap and increase the speed as you become more comfortable, but don’t forget to stay on beat.
Once you’ve grasped the basics, you can start to learn some tambourine rolls. The most basic type of roll, a shake roll, involves holding the tambourine upright and
Types of Baton Twirling
When you hear the term “baton twirling,” what picture comes to mind? A traditional drum majorette leading the school marching band across the football field, or the dazzling, fire-wielding performer at a halftime show?
There are many different types of baton twirling, and all require an equal level of skill, commitment, and enthusiasm. Here are just a few kinds you’ll see being performed across the globe today:
In marching band twirling, the oldest and most common form of baton twirling, performers called “drum majors” or “drum majorettes” lead the band with colorful uniforms, synchronized movements, and of course, intricate twirling routines. This type of twirling has its roots in rifle-spinning military parades, and has since evolved into a competitive sport that is practiced around the world. Marching band twirlers typically use a standard metal baton with weighted rubber ends—often shaped like stars, flutes, or balls—for utmost flexibility in their routines. They also use h
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