Team of twirlers

MN twirling team supports school’s sports teams and partakes in large competitions

Before walking out onto the football field, the girls come together to encourage one another and give their final pep talks before their performance. The boys football team is down by 28 in the first half, making it harder for the student section to cheer for their team. 

It’s now the baton twirlers job to get the crowd pumped with their rehearsed twirls and spins, planning to capture the crowd’s attention and lift school spirit. 

During the school year, the baton twirlers at MN are dedicated to performing at football and basketball games, but outside of school, they partake in large competitions across the state that they prepare and practice for all year long. Many of the twirlers found their passion for twirling from a young age, attributing their success to the many years they spent perfecting their technique and stunts. 

With ten years of twirling experience, sophomore Kaitlyn Warren plans to continue baton twirling into college. 

“You have to learn all of the routines, and you have to run them a lot, so you know them. And to get all your tricks down you have to do them over and over. There’s a lot of little stuff that you have to put together to make it all just one big show,” Warren said. 

Similarly, senior Marissa Messick has been twirling since the age of four. Messick’s mom twirled in both high school and college, but has now passed the baton to Messick hoping to carry on the family tradition of twirling. Like her mom, Messick hopes to continue her baton twirling career when she attends college. 

“At first it was for friends and fun, but I like baton because it’s all year round. It doesn’t go by season. Then, it was to challenge myself, and I enjoyed being able to prove to myself that I can do the tricks that I learned,” Messick said. 

Messick chose baton twirling because of how different and more challenging it is compared to other sports. 

“It’s fun to be able to challenge myself and prove to myself that I can do hard things that aren’t as common. Everyone plays volleyball, everyone plays basketball. [It’s] just something different,” Messick said. 

By having a small team of five, the girls have been able to bond and create long-lasting friendships with each other. Aside from being together at school, each of the girls perform for an Omaha club called the Stepper-ettes. While most of them are on different teams, they enjoy coming together to perform for the school.

“Everyone twirls for the Stepper-ettes, but we’re all part of different teams. It’s fun that we all are on the same team here. It’s fun to be able to mix all of our skills and come up with something different,” Messick said. 

Practices are year round for the Stepper-ettes, but the team usually comes in only once or twice a week for the school. Although they come in a few times every week, they are still able to maintain the tightly knit bonds they have created with their team. 

“I think [being part of a team] positively affects it. If you’re having a bad day, you can always count on your teammates to lift you up,” Senior Madison Salber said. 

The team continues to practice and perform in school and is looking forward to performing for the national competition, the American Youth in Parade , for the National Baton Twirling Association at Notre Dame University in South Bend Indiana over the Summer. 

“I just love the feeling the baton gives me and all the people that I’ve met, I’ve made a lot of great friends and it just brings me happiness,” Salber said.