In a room full of band instruments, five girls find a space just big enough to stretch. They are getting ready to go out into the hot sun to practice.
The twirlers are a part of the Tyler Junior College Color Guard and they are preparing for their color guard clinic. This is an opportunity for young ladies to learn more about twirling and college competitions.
“We invite kids from 3 years old all the way up to seniors in high school,” said Karmen Trotter, advisor for the color guard.
Girls from schools all over East Texas will come and learn new routines to possibly use at their own schools, learn what the TJC color guards does and what they need to do to sign up for tryouts if they want to become part of the team.
When the clinic starts, the girls will be separated into skill levels and not only learn new routines, but get help with problems they may have when performing for their high schools or, for the younger girls, private competitions.
“We try to make it anything and everything,” said Jessica Leonard, captain of the TJC twirlers. “We use it for recruitment, critiquing, and showing them tricks they can do together like group exchanges.”
The girls will be out on the floor helping both in groups and one-on-one, teaching routines that those who have come to the clinic can use in competitions of their own.
This is the third time TJC has held a clinic for twirlers and the second for both the twirlers and color guard. Invitations have been sent as far as Houston and Austin. Judging from the amount of forms sent in, the girls are expecting a huge turnout.
“Basically it is a fund raiser to help us get to nationals,” said Trotter.
The TJC twirlers themselves have different reasons for joining the group. Some got into it in high school and others had parents get them involved.
“I was inspired by my mother. She was a twirler herself. She was great and helped me out a lot,” said freshman Taylor Skinner.
The twirlers have been around as long as the band. During the fall, they are dedicated to the band but during the spring they go to competitions.
“In the last three years, we branched out and starting actually having a competition squad and doing a lot more community service and more traveling and getting known,” said Trotter.
The competition squad went to Maui, won regionals and have now decided to go to the collegiate nationals in Southbend, Ind. at the famous Notre Dame campus.
There will be auditions for twirlers and color guard members on April 30 for anyone interested in joining.
For more information on the auditions, call the band hall office at (903) 510-2242.