“Why do you want to be a baton twirler?”. This has produced some very funny responses over the years, but the ones that makes me pay very close attention are… “Because, I don’t like dance classes.” and ” and “cheerleaders are too girly.” or “I’m not good at sports.”. At this moment, I know, baton twirling is about to blow this kiddo’s mind!
Coaches like myself have been advocating Baton Twirling as a SPORT for years. This is not easy, because no can appreciate the effort and skill it takes to do something until they’ve tried it. Baton twirling is the trifecta of athleticism because it requires stamina, muscle strength and endurance. It is artistic because it uses choreography, and when performed well is simply beautiful to watch.
When I began taking dance and twirling a baton I was four-years-old. I was rough around the edges and loved watching football, high school wrestling and Muhammed Ali strut his stuff in the ring. I knew these were NOT sports for a young lady back in the 70′s, so my mom showed me how twirling compared and it was pretty darn close. It developed muscle strength, small motor skills, dexterity, stamina, speed, balance and move as though I floated.
Don’t get me wrong, this sport can really bring the bling! The costumes are beautiful, there’s make-up and flat irons and rhinestones too. Girly is definitely an option here!
No one is born with natural grace, coordination and athletic ability. It is taught, nurtured, coached, practiced and harnessed in a sport that is loved by the participant. Baton twirling is my passion and I hope to help your child find theirs for it as well.
Shelley Rouse twirled competitively for over 13 years in Chicago, IL. She’s won state championships and regional titles as well as compete on the national level. Her coaching career began while attending Drake University. She currently teaches through Ankeny Parks and Recreation and owns Revolutions Twirling Academy. Shelley lives in Ankeny, IA with her husband and three children.
Comments or questions are welcome.