Girls explore baton at twirling clinic

Published 10:45 am Thursday, June 15, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Summer can be a great time for finding new hobbies and passions. For one group of girls, this summer has included exploring baton through the Just Twirl It Mini Majorette Clinic at the YMCA of Chilton County.

Director Stacey Easterling has been teaching baton for 25 years. She said the clinic serves as a way for girls to see if baton is something they would enjoy.

Some who have been introduced to baton basics, such as figure eights and horizontal movements, during the clinic have joined Just Twirl It and become competitive twirlers and majorettes. One such student is Anna Grace Baker, who has done baton for 10 years.

“I just did this clinic when I was four … and I loved it and I haven’t stopped twirling since,” Baker said. “I am a high school majorette for the first time this year.”

She recently competed in Miss Majorette of the South along with other Just Twirl It members.

At the annual YMCA clinic, the experienced twirlers help the beginners learn the basics and a baton routine.

Anna Grace Baker said she enjoys getting to know the girls at the clinic and “watching their fascinations grow.”

Raven Baker, who has been with Just Twirl it for four years, said she enjoys helping with the clinic. She said many of the attendees have never picked up a baton before attending the clinic.

“Just seeing how fast they learn is really amazing,” Raven Baker said.

Raven Baker said some of the students have trouble following the entire routine at first.

Both girls said they hope all of the attendees have fun during the three-day event.

Anna Grace Baker said she hopes some of the girls will develop the same love for baton that she has.

“I hope I see some of them in the fall [at Just Twirl It classes] because I know a bunch of them have really good potential for baton,” Raven Baker said.

Several moms and grandmothers stayed to watch the girls practice during the clinic.

Mary Linder, grandmother of participant Milley Clecker, said the clinic was a “great opportunity to learn a lot in a short amount of time.”

“It is a definite confidence builder,” Linder said.

Abby Cannoles said she signed for five-year-old daughter Madison Cannoles up as a trial run to see if she would enjoy it and be able to follow the directions at the pace required before signing her up at Just Twirl It.


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