24: Band Directors and Baton Twirling - An Interview with Shiner Band Director: Zach Sims
"Baton Twirlers detract from the band."
These were the words my band director spoke to me as I walked into his office on the first day of band camp, proudly showed my batons, and opened my mouth to speak.
Ugh. Talk about a hearing your heart break. At the age of 13, I walked away, tail between my legs, and told my mom the bad news when I got home. My baton twirling teacher told me it was normal.
"Most band directors don't like twirlers. Maybe they'll let you twirl at a pep rally."
I refused to let this be my high school experience. Other friends were able to twirl at their school. I went back and asked again.
"No, I'm not a fan of baton twirling."
Instead of putting up my batons, I decided to "practice" outside during our breaks. I'm from Texas, and if you aren't aware, we have huge bands. We had over 400 in our program alone. As you can imagine, a crowd of band students circled me as I completed some rolls, spins, and the beloved toss illusion.
It didn't work. My band director refused to budge.
I continued bringing my batons to school, practicing when I could, and always making sure my director could see. Finally, I saw a win.
"Fine, you can twirl at a pep rally."
No joke, this pep rally was called "Black out the Huskies." THEY TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS! My friend and I twirled our little hearts out, and granted we were pushed off to the side, in a semi-dark gym, the crowd went wild. They loved us.
Still, we weren't allowed to twirl with the band.
After my freshman year of high school, I scheduled a meeting with my band director.
"Why won't you let us twirl? It can't be because we're a distraction. We have had positive feedback and the crowds love us."
My band director's response took me by surprise.
"Fine. The reason is - I hate dealing with twirling moms." What?
It turns out this is not uncommon. That's why I wrote this free PDF for you.
Long story short, we came to an agreement, and from Sophomore year to Senior Year of High School, I twirled on the field in High School. The footage from twirling on the field allowed me to twirl on the field in college as well.
If you don't follow these simple tips, you could ruin your college twirling career before it's even begun. Click on my Free PDF below, follow the tips, and come back here and let me know what worked, what didn't work, and what advice you would give to twirlers who want to work with the band director to twirl on the field.