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How to Choreograph a Baton-Twirling Routine

By Contributor

Baton twirling, like dance and gymnastics, is part sport and part art. There are a number of standard body moves and baton-handling techniques, but the greatest joy for both participants and spectators is a creative, lively and unpredictable routine that exemplifies the best of both.

Plan Your Routine

Choose a theme or style for your routine, depending on whether there will be one or a number of twirlers. You can choreograph your routine to incorporate drill team elements, dance steps or athletic moves.

Diagram your routine on paper or with the aid of a computer and graphics software.

Use time markers and step-by-step instructions to keep everything in sync and cue important moves and twirls to specific sections of the music when using musical accompaniment.

Practice Your Routine

Ensure that you allow sufficient time before the performance date to practice your routine by yourself or with the group if the routine has multiple twirlers.

Practice the routine at different rates, from slow to even a little faster than its full speed.

Visualize the individual steps in conjunction with the accompanying music until the routine becomes one extended, fluid set of moves.

Perform Your Routine

Remember that a choreographed twirling routine is both art and athletics, so keep your mind and body in sync. It may be a practiced and planned performance, but you must still bring a sense of newness and excitement to it, so loosen up and have fun.

Smile, laugh and make eye contact with the observers, as audience feedback is important in any creative performance sport.

Pay attention to any missteps or any flourishes or additional elements that you or another twirler brings to the planned routine. This is a creative activity and there are times when an unplanned move or spur of the moment idea can add real excitement and vitality to a twirling routine.

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