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Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

Student Aims to Increase Popularity of Baton Twirling


The thin baton flies from sophomore Rachael Doucette’s hand. It hangs in the air before spinning back down to her. A twirl here, a throw there. Rachael works through her routine, perfecting every spin, leap and toss.

Having been introduced to baton twirling in fourth grade, Rachael has been twirling ever since.

“Most people don’t know what baton twirling is so I have to explain it to them,” Rachael said. “At first they’re like, ‘what’s that?’ I’m like, ‘I toss a stick in the air and try my best to catch it.’”

According to her mother Marilyn Doucette, what began as classes at the local recreation center has transformed into a world of competitions and camps dedicated to twirling. As a freshman Rachael had sights of twirling for the school. As baton twirling is not offered, she decided to opt for color guard.

“Color guard’s totally different,” Rachael said. “Flags are so big. The closest thing to a baton would have to be a saber. In baton twirling I’m on my feet and have more balance, but in color guard it doesn’t really matter. The flags are heavy objects. Of course I’m graceful with them, but I’m not as graceful as with a baton.”

With color guard season taking up time, Rachael has not competed in baton twirling since the eighth grade. With the season now over, she has begun preparation to return to the world of competition.

“When I used to compete, I would spend one to two hours in a gym, at home, outside or parking lots after school. I can’t go to competition not knowing what I’m doing,” Rachael said. “Because I haven’t competed in a while I’ve lost a lot of the skill. I still can do tricks and stuff, but I don’t have the skill for the level I should be at. There aren’t very many coaches here so I’m going to have to go to Dallas and San Antonio for lessons on the weekends.”

It is this dedication that sets her apart in baton twirling, Marilyn said.

“She has always participated in all aspects of the sport, from selecting music to designing her costumes,” she said. “It takes hours of practice as well as a passion to reach the level she has reached.”

According to Rachael, baton twirling is often belittled or overlooked as a sport. On the contrary, she said it requires dexterity and a good sense of coordination.

“I’ve got to judge where the baton is going. If it’s too high, I’ve got to know that,” she said. “If it goes to the left, I’ve got to go to the left. It’s all hand-eye coordination. People think it’s really easy, it’s really not. The baton has to roll the right way, I’ve got to toss it right. I can’t just chuck it in the air and expect it to fall back in my hands. That’s what everyone thinks about it.”

These misconceptions have prompted Rachael to create a baton twirling club. After receiving approval from the district, plans are in the works for an initial meeting. Rachael wishes to shed light on the world of baton twirling for students.

“There are a lot of baton twirlers that twirl at high schools and that’s what I’m hoping to achieve here, to get people to know what it is and have clubs started at schools,” Rachael said. “It’s something special that not a lot of people know about, but really should. I want people to know that baton twirling is a sport. It’s still alive, it’s not dead.”


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