Ask me a question!

Have a trick you're struggling with? Wondering how I prepare for competitions?

Ask your twirling, pageant, or life related questions here!

This site uses Google reCAPTCHA technology to fight spam. Your use of reCAPTCHA is subject to Google's Privacy Policy  and Terms of Service.

Thank you! Your message was sent successfully.

Twirling Advice

I receive so many messages asking for twirling advice - Here are just a few that I've answered in the past!

Horizontal Tosses

April 5th, 2019

First you want to focus on the flat toss: keep it in pattern, release with your palm up, and when you release it, you want your elbow to be at a 90° angle (L-shaped) right in front of you.


Another trick I learned a while back is that wherever your fingertips are pointed, are where the baton is going to go so make sure they are straight up and not pointing out or in toward you! Definitely practice your tosses until they’re comfortable. Make sure you aren’t moving your upper body too much and try tightening your core for more control over the baton!

Spins

April 5th, 2019

Spins can be so tricky! Here are a few tips that I’ve been given that helped me! - Shoulders down, toss then turn, look up with your eyes and not your head (if you put your head black it will throw off your center of gravity), keep your right foot at your ankle, and squeeze your glutes!!


I’m sure you’ve probably been told a few of these before, but they’ve helped me in the past! I definitely recommend practicing the baton and body separately! Start with the body by tossing an “air baton” and count it to see how many counts it takes you to do the spins, then add an additional count/ count and a half for the spot and catch.


Then drill your toss with that number of counts. To help placement, try playing a game with yourself where you don’t move your feet or try tossing up against a wall! Then put it all together (which I know is much easier said than done!)! 

Illusions

April 5th, 2019

 Here are some tips for illusions/tricks in general! When it comes to getting illusions proficiently, what helped me was doing over-splits (splits with your front leg on an elevated surface) and relaxing into it... try to hold it a little longer each day and breathing and relaxing into it makes it hurt a lot less!


Doing illusions against a wall also helps! To get them faster, try doing 3, or even 4 illusions, together and it will make 2 seem way easier! For the trick itself, I recommend practicing the baton and body separately. Start with the body by tossing an “air baton” and count it to see how many counts it takes you, then add an additional count/ count and a half for the spot and catch.


Then drill your toss with that number of counts. To help placement, try playing a game with yourself where you don’t move your feet or try tossing up against a wall! Then put it all together (which I know is much easier said than done!)! I hope these tips help you!


If you’re still struggling after a few weeks, feel free to send me a video and I can try to help you from there!!! 

Contact Material

April 5th, 2019

Repetition is definitely a big part of building speed! Getting comfortable with the flips, releases, catches, and body will build your confidence to push them faster! I start every practice with flips drills and they have made a huge difference!


Set a timer for 1 minute and see how many right hand thumb flips you can do, write it down and work to increase that number every day - I also do left hand thumb flips, right and left back hand flips, and side to side forward and reverse (let me know if you need videos to see what I mean!).


Karrissa Wimberley taught me a series that really helped me learn how to control the direction of the baton - it’s like the side to side reverse flips except you start in your right hand on the right side: do thumb flip catch right, thumb flip catch right backhand, thumb flip catch left, and two left figure 8s before repeating on the left side - it’s easy to do slow but once you kick it up and push the speed it will really make you think! 

College/School Auditions

April 5th, 2019

School auditions are all about heart and less about talent than you might expect! Also, don’t doubt yourself for a second until everything is said and done! When you’re performing for your school, the crowd is more entertained by cool tricks done well and showmanship rather than big, hard tricks they don’t understand.


So with that in mind, being about to project confidence and enthusiasm that show all the way to the top of the stadium becomes one of the most valuable skills you can have! Just do what YOU do well with power and confidence, and I guarantee you will leave an impression on them!


When you have your meeting with the staff (if there is an interview) be sure to thank them and show your excitement for the college, as well as interact positively with the other girls - another big job of a Feature twirler is your interaction with the crowd so they will observe his closely and it adds to the overall package! I have seen twirlers with less advanced skills bring a crowd to their feet with their ability to play to the audience!


Like I said, just do YOU and (in the words of Savvy Shields) “if it’s in your destiny, it will be.”

Becoming a World Team Member

April 5th, 2019

Well nothing as big as representing your country internationally could be accomplished without tons of hard work! In twirling, that hard work comes in the form of hours spent practicing routines, contact, rolls, and getting your body in shape and fueling it properly enough to make it through 2.5 minutes of solid twirling!

Making sure you’re practicing proper technique and not repeating mistakes can help you improve. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re having trouble with a trick.

Another component is choreography, so having a coach that knows your strengths and how to highlight them - as well as how to push to be better with challenging material - is a large part of it.

For me, overcoming the nerves of competing was a big part of becoming successful. I became a better competitor by performing all the time and going to every competition I could, no matter how small.

Passion for twirling is something that shines on the floor so I’d definitely say that it is important (it also makes the long hours in the gym a little more worthwhile!)

I’ve always said that you truly master something after you’ve dedicated 10,000 hours to it! That sounds like a lot, but each individual hour put in makes you that much better and puts you that much closer to reaching your goals!