Tiger Twirlers Spin through Nationals


Photo sent by Taylor Herrmann

Hannah Phelps (12), Taylor Phelps (9), Rylee Brawley (9), and Taylor Herrmann (11), pose before awards at National Baton Twirling Association’s USA/World Championship Competition

People do a lot of cool things for the summer. But for four OHS students, their summer was “up in the air.” 

Hannah Phelps (12), Taylor Herrmann (11), Rylee Brawley (9) and Taylor Phelps (9), practiced all throughout summer and prepared two routines to take to the the National Baton Twirling Association’s USA/World Championship Competition at the Notre Dame University Campus in South Bend, Indiana on July 23-27.

“It was a great experience,” Herrmann said, “But it was nerve wracking as well.” 

She explained that although the eyes on her were rather uncomfortable, it also made her excited to perform. In one of their performances, a one baton dance routine, they shouted out hometown hero Pat Maroon in a routine entitled “Gloria.”

“The audience knew that we were a St. Louis team because of the song,” Herrmann said. 

Everyone, including the judges, began singing along. “The whole routine was better than we could have ever expected.”

Despite that experience, the week was anything but fun and games.

“Nationals week is the most stressful week of any twirler’s life,” Herrmann said. “There’s so many things that we need to buy before, and making sure you have everything is a lot more stressful than you think.”

The girls got to lean back on each other for positivity during this week.

“We did a lot of team bonding,” she said. “We had pizza parties, pool parties, basically anything to bring us closer together.”

The girls had no time to slack around in the weeks leading up to practice. Workouts were conducted before practice and individually, and they ran through routines “back-to-back”.

Even with the stressful week, the girls’ hard work paid off.

They performed a routine entitled “Halloween” and placed third in USA/World Open High School Majorette Halftime Show Championship.

Later in the week, they also placed fifth in USA/World Open High School Majorette Line Dance Twirl Comp, with the routine dedicated to Maroon.

“When they called our names, it was a rush of excitement that went through me,” Herrmann said, “It gave us a reminder that no matter how small our team was, we can really do anything we put our minds to.”