The Next Step Performing Arts Center

(225) 654-4500 * Zachary, Louisiana

2015-2016 Twirl Starz


Here is the video link for your team makeup application.  

Please watch this and practice the application techniques at home, so you will be ready for your first competition!



  Watch the video above.  You will see what practice and some dedication could do for you!!!


Training Champion Twirlers for over 25 years!

Twirlstarz  shoot for the Starz! 

 The Twirlstarz Twirling Team will be entering their 23rd year under the direction of Christine Watson- Granier.  They have placed very well in state and regional competitions with choreography from Christine Watson-Granier and various professional twirlers throughout the south.

  Our teams have competed and held titles in both the NBTA as well as USTA twirling competition as well local fairs, festivals, parades talent competitions and twirling competitions. 

Mrs. Christine  has traveled with their students throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabamba, Tennesee, Texas and as far away as AYOP National Twirling Competition at Notre Dame in  Indiana to participate in workshops as well as competitions.  

This ensembles repretoire includes competition solo and team baton twirling,  tall flag, rifle, sabre, fire batons, samoian swords and a variety of batons and other equipment. 

 Please contact the office  to schedule a private evaluation for placement on this team.



Twirling Practice Helpers


Basic Novice Skills to practice

 (all skills are to be practices in the right hand as well as in the left hand, forward & reverse)

 Rolls are covered farther below:

  • Vertical Figure 8
  • Horizontal Wrist twirl
  • Forward Flourish
  • 2 Hand Spin
  • Basic Marching Port de Bras
  • Slap Trick
  • End of Baton (EOB) horizontal boxtwirl
  •  2 Hand Spin around the back
  • 2 Hand spin Series
  • Vertical Wrist twirls 
  • Forward Flourish Whip 
  • Chin Trap arm roll
  • Horizontal Dead Stick Pop
  • (catching in bth hands, in right hand only and in left hand only)
  • Horiztontal dead stick Drop
  • Pinwheel
  • Forward Flourish whip Series
  • Thumb Roll
  • End of Baton (EOB) under arm (or leg) release
  • Vertical Thumb toss  catch R
  • Little joes front to back
  • Hortizontal Toss (out of L catch R)
  • 1/2 Flashtwirl
  • Belly wrap
  • One Spin 
  • Flashtwirl
  • 2 finger split - fingertwirl
  • 4 finger & over back of hand roll
  • Horizontal Boxtwirl
  • Horizontal 2 finger split fingertwirl
  • Horizontal 4 finger fingertwirl w/ back hand roll


Rolls:  A Painless Approach


Rolls are "any movement where the baton makes one or more revolutions on the surface of any part of the body without being held or caught in the hand.". 

*** Rolls are not TWIRLING tricks?. They are BALANCE tricks.  Place the baton in a body groove and as it falls off, you place a new balance point in the path of the baton to continue the roll.

Tips for successful teaching

***Approach a roll scientifically, making the athlete aware of what makes it work. Athletes become frustrated when they practice rolls because they do not understand the basic mechanics and cannot make the necessary corrections during practice. Rolls often take more time to learn than "tricks", but you can speed up the learning process if you lay the right foundation from the very beginning Do not allow cheating at any time. Do not allow bad habits to develop. Most important, don't try to speed up the process by skipping steps.


***Teach rolls in a proper progression. Never teach a roll that has several elements without teaching each of the individual elements first. Drill the elements until they are perfect and the athlete can "feel" the roll.

***Teach all rolls Left and Right, Forward and Reverse

***Break the roll down into its elements so that the athlete has a complete understanding of what will make it work.

***Body and footwork control all rolls. Teach body and baton separately to insure success

Make sure the athlete understands the importance of the following:

The ?Groove?      · Proper path   -      Pattern       · Rhythm   

 Correct position of hand, arm, or elbow        · Balance point of baton

***Always teach a preparation and a follow through This helps to maintain the proper pattern.

***Sometimes "catch" is a naughty word

***Develop a variety of rolls. Don't just use variations of the same roll.

***Construct a roil series so that it can lead to connection when the athlete is ready.

***Maintain a positive attitude when teaching rolls

Roll Progression

A. Single element rolls (teach them left and right, forward and reverse)

1. Straight arm Roll

2. Hand roll

3. Wrist roll

4. Elbow roll

5. Neck roll

6. Open arm Roll

B. Simple combinations of single element rolls

1. 2 hand rolls

2. Elbow extension

3. 2 arm rolls

4. Retraction roll

5. Hand/elbow/layout roll

C. Continuous figure 8 hand rolls

1. ½ fishtail

2. ½ reverse fishtail

3. Teach in increments of 1/2

4. Add variations as the athlete becomes ready      for them (forward and reverse carries)

D. Continuous elbow rolls & continuous back neck rolls


Check out this Link to subscribe to

 Twirl Magazine!

Twirlers Parade Marching Routine

New Routines to be addded soon!





Doctors of Spin

Tossing around the idea of mastering the baton? Top twirlers offer tips on creating a whirl.

By Melissa Hathway


The throws and spins of baton twirling are as breathtaking as they are challenging. Requiring dance and gymnastics training, physical conditioning and hours of practice, baton twirling is gaining increasing recognition as a challenging sport requiring enormous dedication. No longer relegated exclusively to parades and stadiums, twirling can be an exciting addition to dance training and can add pizzazz to any dance routine. Dance Spirit caught up with two experts to get the spin on this rotating artform.

Training to Twirl
? A successful twirler has the flexibility of a gymnast, the accuracy of a quarterback, the jumping ability of a basketball champion, the grace and poise of a dancer, the precision of a golf pro and the skill of an ice skater,? says Joyce Perrone, a former twirler for the Philadelphia Eagles. Because controlling a baton while moving requires a diverse set of skills, Perrone, who is also the owner and director of Twirl Mania in Orlando, FL, stresses the importance of having a background in dance and gymnastics.

?Baton twirling and strong dance technique go hand in hand,? agrees Vivian Mutchler, a certified coach and judge with the United States Twirling Association (USTA) and co-owner and program director of Encore Baton & Dance Studio in Upper Marlboro, MD. Mutchler says that students can learn to twirl as young as age 3, but that older students learn faster because their minds and bodies are more developed. ?The younger ones should concentrate on their dancing and gymnastics to get in gear for baton twirling,? she says.
The average starting age for baton twirlers is between 6 and 12, but many become
interested when they enter middle or high school and want to twirl with the band at school functions. Perrone suggests starting with group classes to learn the fundamentals of twirling before moving on to private lessons. ?Group lessons will help you to decide the type of twirling and amount of dedication you want to devote to the sport,? she notes.

Explore Your Options
Finding a good twirling coach is an important step in the training process. Mutchler
recommends visiting the USTA website ( The site has links to state councils (most of which have links to state twirling groups) as well as a listing of coaches.
Locating a potential coach is only the first step, however. Perrone stresses that students need to inquire about a coach?s qualifications, ask for a few trial lessons before committing, ask former or currents students for recommendations and attend a performance before settling on a coach. ?Never sign a contract,? she advises. ?The school or coach should have confidence in their ability and should not ask for one.?

Once you?ve learned to twirl, performance opportunities for twirlers are abundant, says Mutchler. In addition to sporting events and parades, there are competitions sponsored by twirling organizations and community events. Many theme parks also showcase twirlers as entertainment.

Whatever your baton twirling goal, Perrone advises taking it one step at a time: ?Twirling is a very high tech sport and requires the 3 Ds: desire, determination and dedication.?





Stroman Takes A Spin
Choreographer Susan Stroman drew upon her own twirling background in creating
Broadway?s Oklahoma!, which closed this past February. ?I used to twirl the baton at
halftime shows when I was in the high school band, so I have great coordination,? she says. ?It?s probably why I?m able to use props so easily, because if you toss me anything, I?ll catch it. Twirling takes so much practice. I?ve found, even with the greatest dancers in the world, if you toss them a cane, they either lose it or they can?t dance anymore. It?s just a matter of hand-eye coordination and being able to isolate one part of your body from another-to get your arms to do one thing and your legs to do another.?

The two young girls in Oklahoma! who steal Laurey?s bottle of elixir execute lyrical ballet steps while tossing the bottle back and forth on a rhythmic count. After struggling with the move in rehearsal, they figured out that the trick was isolating their upper body from their lower. ?Hilary Ostlere

Twirl ? Mania
The Twirl Mania Championships for twirlers, dancers, pom lines and flag lines is held annually at Disney?s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL, in February. Next year?s championships will take place February 20-23. The event consists of parades down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, competitions for solos and teams, showcases in the Disney parks, workshops, performances and clinics with the world?s best coaches. Check out
for more


Whip It Up
? Find a coach with good credentials and references.
? Take care of your body by eating right and staying physically fit.
? Practice every day full out, don?t just go through the motions.
? Try to find the lessons to be learned in each win or loss.
? Have fun and be a good sport.

Melissa Hathway was a member of the final company of the Broadway show Cats and has performed on national tours, in dinner theater and at theme parks. She is currently based in Washington, DC.




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