My story is a little different than most since I did not start twirling until the age of 10… see it is never too late to start! My grandmother, Linda Alford, owns the Dynamics Dance Twirl Team in Laurel, MD where my aunt and mother are also coaches. About one year after I started twirling, I also began taking lessons from my current coach, Lori Cobb. With all us of working together, I have been able to accomplish my dreams of winning dozens of state, regional, and national titles, two gold medals and a silver medal at three different World Baton Twirling Championships, be an Ambassador to Peru, and become a feature twirler for a university. 2016 VT Feature Twirlers – Kaitlyn Boyer and Serena Bronk My grandmother, mother, and aunt awarding our Alford family Dynasty Trophy at Nationals With my coach, Lori Cobb, at the 2016 AYOP CMB: What is your favorite memory being a part of your college marching band?KB:
Up until two weeks ago, I always said my favorite memory was doing the Dirty Dancing show my sophomore year. The Hokie Bird and I got to do a little reenactment of the famous Dirty Dancing lift in the middle of the show, and it was so much fun! Although, now my favorite memory out of my four years is a toss up between creating the very first Twirler for a Day at VT and the Battle at Bristol. I love performing at Lane Stadium more than anything, but performing in front of 150,000 was an indescribable feeling.CMB: Finish this sentence... "One time at band camp..." KB:
During my first couple weeks of band camp, I was trying a new leap trick and landed on my baton the wrong way. Unfortunately, I had to go to the hospital and ended up tearing 3 ligaments and spraining my ankle. As sad as I was to have to sit out of practices and a game, I was overwhelmed by the amount of band members that reached out to me. I was still a shy freshman who did not know that many band members yet, but they were so comforting. Right then, I knew I had 330 friends and a second family. CMB: What is your favorite accomplishment in your twirling career and tell us what it took to achieve that dream?KB:
My biggest accomplishment would probably be winning my first gold medal at the World Baton Twirling Championships in Belgium in 2009 with my duet partner, Briana Rohrer. We have always been best friends and qualifying for Worlds was an incredible surprise. Taking the podium and having the USA flag being raised while playing the national anthem with my best friend by my side is a moment I will never forget. CMB: What advice do you have for high school-aged twirlers in deciding a school to go to?KB:
KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN! Twirling in college is a dream come true for me, and is certainly one of my biggest accomplishments. But remember, you are going to college for the academics, not twirling. During the try-out process it is very hard to remember that sometimes. Always keep an open mind because everything will eventually work out the way it is suppose to. Never give up. CMB: What is one thing that you always have to do before a game starts?KB:
Before the game starts, drumline performs at Hokie Village and they have been kind enough to allow the twirlers to perform with them. Before it starts, I also “high-five” all the drumline members with their drum sticks and our batons. It is such a silly thing to do, but it has always been one of my favorite game day traditions. CMB: If you had to live on one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?KB:
For anyone that knows me pretty well, they know I can’t start my day until I have my morning bagel. I would definitely be okay with living off bread for the rest of my life. CMB: What advice do you have for other college twirlers?KB:
Take full advantage of these four years because it will be the fastest four years of your life.
Being a feature twirler is so much more than just a halftime performance every week. It is about inspiring young athletes, promoting school spirit, and being a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself. Use your talents to push you academically as well. Approach your studies with the same dedication and work ethnic that molded you into becoming a feature twirler because you will always have someone looking up to you. Be the role model that you used to look up to. CMB: When you were a young twirler, what college twirler(s) did you look up to, where did they twirl and why did you admire them?KB:
There are so many twirlers that have inspired me over the years; however, when I first started twirling I always remember watching Bobbie Jo Solomon and wanted to be just like her. She twirled at Penn State as the Blue Sapphire when I first started twirling. Her technique and presentation was always flawless, and her outgoing personality made her so much fun to be around.
Bobbie Jo and I after I won 2006 Intermediate Preteen Miss Majorette of the Mid-Atlantic CMB: What are the next steps for you, inside and outside of twirling?KB:
My next steps inside of twirling definitely depends on what is going to happen outside of twirling in the next couple of months. I currently just applied to Physical Therapy school all across the country, and am waiting to hear back. It is my goal to attend one more twirling nationals this year, unfortunately it will really depend on my upcoming school plans.